Registering a foreign vehicle in the UK anyone done it ? ADVICE

Home Forum Chat Forum Registering a foreign vehicle in the UK anyone done it ? ADVICE

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Registering a foreign vehicle in the UK anyone done it ? ADVICE
  • cranberry

    From memory – it was – 5 years ago – you need to get it MOT’d, get a certificate of conformity from the manufacturer ( both can be done with just the VIN ).

    Take them to the DVLA and Bob’s your uncle. You’ll get an age related number plate and you’ll pay whatever road tax the car would attract if it was first registered now.

    EDIT: time – a day or two for the paperwork, import tax – not if it has already been registered in Germany and the MWSt has been paid.


    MWSt has been paid

    whats this ?

    certificate of conformity

    how would you do this ?

    what about the speedo ?

    and massive thanks

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    MWSt = German VAT

    CoC you get from manufacturer I think.

    Is the car in the UK now? IF so when the German guy sell it to you, he’ll probably take the reg. plates off and deregister it in Germany. So there may be a few days where it’s technically not registered anywhere, while DVLA sort themselves out.

    If it’s for export, then you normally put temp. export plates on to make it legal until DVLA give you the new numberplate.

    (or something like that).


    I did this last year, it was a hassle, although that was partly a tax issue.

    My advice would be to visit the dvla if there’s an office locally, and find someone who can help you, and give you a direct tel no. to reach them on. The hardest bit was probably communicating with dvla!


    I bought my Land Cruiser over from Greece in 2008. The process is very straightforward and the DVLA are very helpful.

    Because the car was first purchased in the EU, its much easier than it would be for, say, an American car.

    CoC, change the speedo, headlights and rear fog lights (you’ll need proof of this, but a receipt for the parts was sufficient as I did some of the work myself).

    Paperwork to DVLA job pretty much done.

    Speak to DVLA for exact, up to date details.



    If I bought a vehicle that had german plates on it whats the process ?

    Does it matter if its bought in the UK or not ?

    I know it would need an MOT, how long is the process ? is there import tax to pay ?

    Many thanks in advance


    Oops – forgot about the lights and speedo – the latter must be able to read mph, the former *may* need changing on the rear.


    You might need to switch the side of the rear fog light. It seems you can get through MOT by putting deflectors on the front lights.

    Not quite the same thing but I took my UK Golf to Holland – registered it over there on Dutch plates, ran it for 3 year and then brought it back again and re-registered here. Process was pretty much as cranberry describes above and surprisingly painless (I even got my old number back!). I’d switched the headlights to LHD spec and had to put the UK ones back in to get it MOT’d – they wouldn’t accept deflectors at the time, but guess this may have changed.

    I now run a German import T4 – didn’t register that one myself but pretty sure my rear fog lights are still Euro spec. Again I guess this may have changed or I may be illegal!

    Premier Icon totalshell

    couple of big hurdles introduced this year.. most dvla offices are closed/closing to the point that most transactions even if you turn u at one are now reffered by post to swansea.

    you now need to complete a NOVA form beforehand as well with evidence from the manufacturer/ importer that import taxes have / havenot been paid on the vehicle ( you even have to do this on e vehicles built and always resident in this country)

    the process is going to take about 28 days all in if all is okay but the hassle today is barely worth it i m afraid


    Sorry, a very long answer but, don’t bother with it if the car is your sole means of transport and you cannot live without it for a few weeks in my experience (my car was exported to Holland and is UK spec).
    As totalshell has said, the process for registering a car in the UK has now changed. Firstly you have to send a NOVA application to Customs & Excise in Dover, 8 page form with 8 pages of notes on how to fill the form. I was told I could not send the application off to Dover until the car was physically in the UK. Along with the application you send all your supporting docs to show that tax has been paid and you own it. C&E are supposed to send a NOVA certificate back to you, they e-mailed it to me which caused problems as we had just moved into a house and did not have internet.
    Once you have the NOVA, you need to fill in a V55/5 form and send off all accompanying paperwork to DVLA Swansea, rather than attending a local DVLA office. I waited for well over a week for a V55/5 to be sent to me, Post Offices did not seem to have the form and an online request is the only way to get it. When you send the V55/5 back to Swansea, you have to send the Certificate of Conformity, Title of Ownership, the NOVA certificate, proof of identity/address, a cheque for the Road Fund licence and Certificate of Insurance. The Certificate of Insurance, cost me £200.00 for cover based on the VIN Number, as the advice from DVLA was that my car may not be reassigned the original UK number plate and my overseas insurance was based on another registration and was not acceptable. There seemed to be only a couple of companies who do VIN insurance. The level of cover on VIN only insurance was 3rd Party only, consequently the car was not used and sat outside the being a very expensive garden ornament.
    My first application was sent back to me 2 weeks later as I had not included the original Title of Ownership, but a certified copy as I had to send the original back to Holland, I’d phoned DVLA about this before hand and was told a copy would be fine.
    Resent the application off with all original docs, returned to me 2 weeks later stating that the Certificate of Conformity did not state that the vehicle is Left Hand Traffic and uses Imperial Units on the speedometer. This was entirely wrong, the first page of the Certificate of Conformity stated that the vehicle is Left Hand Traffic and has Imperial units on the speedometer. By the time this application was returned to me, my chuffin expensive VIN insurance had expired. I didn’t want to re-insure for another £200, so took all my paperwork to the DVLA near Reading and asked nicely if they could look at it and see what I could do to get the car registered. They explained that DVLA Swansea were ‘a bunch of muppets’, registered the car for me there and then despite the insurance being lapsed and gave me contact names and details of people to complain to at Swansea. In total, I spent 5 weeks without a car waiting for the post etc, spent a load on VIN insurance only to find that the car went back to the original UK registration, we ended up having to buy a cheap run-around as we are in a fairly rural location and were running out of food and the kids were getting stir crazy during the Summer holidays.
    In sum, DVLA Swansea does not appear to know what they are doing, they are not resourced to turn round applications quickly (2 weeks is not acceptable IMO), each time you phone you get conflicting information, the whole process is a mess. For a motor trader it may be ok, but as the owner of a single car, it is crap. Still waiting for their response to my letter of complaint and I’m not bitter about it…….


    stoke footballer trying to change registrations?

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

The topic ‘Registering a foreign vehicle in the UK anyone done it ? ADVICE’ is closed to new replies.