For less than 12 months
Take your V5C (log book) with you if you’re taking your vehicle abroad for less than 12 months (also known as temporary export). If your V5C needs updating, allow 6 weeks before you travel to get it back in time.
UK-registered vehicles that are exported temporarily remain subject to UK law. That means you need to make sure:
your vehicle is taxed in the UK while it’s abroad
you have a current MOT
you have insurance
You’ll also need to make sure you meet any international or national conditions for licensing and taxation.
Taking a vehicle outside the EU
You may need to pay import duty on your vehicle if you take it outside the EU. Check with the authorities in the country you’re taking your vehicle to.
If the country charges duty, you can buy a CPD Carnet. This lets you take your vehicle into the country temporarily without paying duty. It can also make crossing the border simpler.
You’ll usually get the carnet within 4 weeks of applying. It costs from £210 and you’ll also need to pay a deposit.
Bringing your vehicle back untaxed
If you bring your vehicle back to the UK untaxed you cannot drive it back into the UK - it’ll have to be transported and a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) must be made straight away.
Taking hired vehicles abroad temporarily
You’ll need a VE103 vehicle on hire certificate to show you’re allowed to use a hire vehicle if you’re driving it abroad.
You can get a VE103 for a fee from the:
- RAC Motoring Services
- Road Haulage Association (RHA)
- British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)
- Freight Transport Association (FTA)
Newly bought vehicles
If you buy a brand new vehicle to take out of the UK (also known as supply of a ‘New Means of Transport’) you do not have to pay UK VAT or vehicle taxes such as the registration fee.
Within the EU
If you’re buying the new vehicle to take elsewhere in the EU you will not have to pay VAT if you:
- take it out of the UK within 2 months
- do not drive the vehicle in the UK unless you register and tax it
- Your supplier will get you to fill in form VAT 411.
You’ll have to declare your vehicle and pay VAT in the other country when you get there.
Exports outside the EU
You may be able to use the Personal Export Scheme to export a new or used vehicle outside the EU.
This means that when you buy a new vehicle and export under the scheme, you do not pay UK VAT. But you still have to pay vehicle taxes and the registration fee.
Who can use this scheme
You can use the scheme if you’re:
- from outside the EU
- an EU resident who’s leaving the EU for at least 6 months
- You usually have to be personally driving your vehicle to a non-EU country.
What you need to do
Fill in form VAT 410 (your supplier will give you a copy) and give it to your supplier.
You can drive the vehicle in the UK for up to 6 months after the delivery date (or 12 months for non-EU residents) - it must then be exported.
The date for export of the vehicle is shown on the VX302 (for new cars) or the VAT 410 (for used cars).
After export send the DVLA the:
- VX302 - new vehicles
- V5C - second-hand vehicles
- If you do not export the vehicle on time you’ll have to pay the UK VAT.
For 12 months or more
If you’re taking a UK-registered vehicle out of the country for 12 months or more (also known as permanent export) you need to:
Fill in the V5C/4 ‘notification of permanent export’ section of your V5C registration certificate (log book).
Send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD. Include a letter if you’ve moved abroad and want your vehicle tax refund sent to your new address.
Keep the rest of your V5C registration certificate - you might need this to register your vehicle abroad.
You’ll usually get a refund on your vehicle tax in 4 to 6 weeks.
You must also update the address on your driving licence if you’re moving home.
If you do not have a V5C registration certificate
You’ll need to get one using form V62. The address to send it to is on the form.
Moving your vehicle between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Fill in the change of address section in your log book and send it to DVLA.
You’ll need to transfer or retain your personalised registration before exporting your vehicle. Otherwise you’ll lose your right to the registration number.