If you decided to import a used car from USA or Canada auto auction to the United Kingdom, please take a previous notice on the taxes on imported cars and the process of your vehicle registration in this country.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that used cars imported into the UK must be less than ten years old. Moreover, your imported vehicle must be registered and licensed as soon as possible after it arrives in the UK.
In order to clear your vehicle at customs you have to pay VAT and duties. But previously check what taxes you have to pay with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Within 14 days you should send them a notification to tell that you’re importing a vehicle using the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service. Below please find a list of fees* which may be imposed on your car:
Registration fee is £50.00
Licensing Fee (varies according to CO2 Emission; valid for 6 or 12 months) is £0 - £300
Fee for Model Report (if necessary)
MOT fee is £50.35 (at minimum plus each year after)
Duty amount 10%*CIF
Value-added tax 17.5%*CIF+duty
Insurance costs in the name of the registered keeper
ESVA application costs (if required) - £200.00
ESVA Testing Costs
* This information has been provided based on the government website on Oct. 12. 2015. Please note that this is your responsibility to verify if all provided details will be appropriate up to date of your purchase.
Besides, if you import a car 1 month after purchase, you must pay duty and VAT as per the wholesale price of the vehicle in the UK.
After the car arrival you can drive it only from the port of entry to your home address or a place of destination and keep it off road until the registration process is completed. In case you’re a permanent resident you can get a temporary UK license plate from DVLA (Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency) and drive your car during its registration. To register a used vehicle with the DVLA, you must go to your nearest DVLA Local Office or to the DVLA website to get a V55/5 form following: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/v3555-application-for-first-vehicle-tax-and-registration-of-a-used-motor-vehicle-v555.
Try to complete this form and send it to the DVLA within a month attaching the following documents:
Vehicle registration fee
Foreign registration documents
Motor insurance from a British company
Cost of vehicle tax
IVA/SVA if from USA or Canada
After DVLA receives your request, it will send you a new license plate number within 6 weeks as a rule, but usually it happens much earlier. Once your vehicle is registered with DVLA, you must pay a vehicle tax.
Besides, if a used car is coming from North America, is must pass the following examinations:
- Vehicle Approval Test (SVA) for vehicle, that weights up to 3,000kg;
- Individual Vehicle Approval Test (IVA) for cars that requires VIN number before a car inspection. The VIN number can be found from the DVLA;
- Motorcycle Vehicle Approval (MSVA) for motorcycles.
If your car is three years old, it must also pass a compulsory MOT test (annual test of vehicle safety) with a Government approved testing center. The certificate is valid for one year and your vehicle will need another test, each year.
Please note that all mentioned fees and duties are subject to change by the respective authorities of the UK at any time, so find more updated information about a used car registration on the following page: https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk