Driving a Foreign Registered Vehicle in the UK: What You Need to Know

Are you planning to drive a foreign registered car in the United Kingdom? Whether you’re importing your vehicle temporarily or permanently, it’s crucial to understand the rules and regulations surrounding the use of foreign number plates and the importation process. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about driving a foreign car in the UK, including temporary imports, DVLA regulations, and the importance of obtaining a Certificate of Conformity (COC).

Temporary Vehicle Importation

Into the UK If you’re visiting the UK for 6 months or less and want to drive your foreign registered vehicle, you can do so without the need to tax or register your vehicle in the UK, provided you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are a visitor and do not intend to live in the UK
  2. Your vehicle is registered and taxed in its country of origin
  3. You will only be using the vehicle in the UK for 6 months or less

Exemption from VAT and Duty

When temporarily importing your vehicle into the UK, you may be exempt from paying VAT and Duty if you meet these conditions:

  1. The vehicle is for your private use only
  2. You are not a resident of the UK and do not plan to become one
  3. You will not sell, lend, or hire the vehicle within the UK
  4. You will export the vehicle back to its country of origin within 6 months

To claim relief from VAT and Duty, you must inform HMRC about your vehicle’s arrival by filling out a C110 form and taking your car through customs via the ‘nothing to declare’ channel.

Using Foreign Number Plates for More than 6 Months

In some cases, you may be allowed to use your foreign registered vehicle in the UK for longer than 6 months if:
  1. You normally reside outside of the UK
  2. You are visiting the UK for a specific period as a student or worker
  3. You claim relief from VAT and Duty by completing a C110 form

HMRC will provide you with a customs relief form upon claiming relief, which should be kept in your vehicle to present to officials if required.

Importing a Vehicle into Northern Ireland If you’re bringing a vehicle into Northern Ireland from an EU country, you will not be required to pay VAT or Duty. However, you may need to obtain a COC for your vehicle. GetCOC, the top provider of official and authentic COCs, can assist you with this process.

When importing a vehicle into Northern Ireland from outside the EU

Follow the steps outlined in the Temporary Vehicle Importation section or consult the GOV.UK website for guidance.

Q Number Plates for Unrecognized Registration Plates If you’re visiting the UK for up to 6 months and your vehicle either lacks registration in its country of origin or has a registration plate with characters not recognized in the UK (e.g., Arabic script), you must obtain temporary Q number plates from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Contact the DVLA for assistance with this process.

Obtaining a Certificate of Conformity (COC) When taking your EU registered vehicle abroad, it’s likely that you’ll need a Certificate of Conformity. GetCOC, the leading provider of official and authentic COCs valid in all EU and EEA countries, can simplify this process for you. With their easy-to-follow steps, GetCOC ensures that you obtain the necessary documentation for your vehicle quickly and efficiently.

In conclusion, driving a foreign registered car in the UK requires careful consideration of the rules and regulations surrounding temporary imports, DVLA requirements, and the necessity of a COC. By understanding these guidelines and seeking assistance from reputable providers like GetCOC, you can ensure a smooth and compliant experience when driving your foreign vehicle in the United Kingdom.