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How to Export a Car From the UK

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are planning to export a car from the United Kingdom, it is important to determine the length of time your car will remain out of the country. More than 12 months is considered a permanent export. If the car will return to the U.K. within 12 months, it is considered a temporary export and the car remains under the U.K. motor law while abroad. For new cars being exported, there are two types of export: direct export, which means the car will be exported by the manufacturer and the personal export, which means the car will be used prior to exportation and will therefore be exported by the individual.

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  1. Decide how long the car will be out of the United Kingdom to determine if your export is permanent or temporary.

  2. Contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) regarding your permanent car exportation. Fill out the purple section labelled "Notification of Permanent Export" on the car's registration card and send it to the DVLA.

  3. Keep the rest of the registration certificate in order to re-register your car abroad. If you have misplaced or lost your registration certificate, you may obtain a certificate of permanent export from the DVLA as a replacement.

  4. Contact an auto shipper that offers overseas shipping to the country where you are taking your car. Make sure the company you choose offers insurance for your car during transit, and that it accepts full responsibility for the car while it is in their care.

  5. Decide if you will be using the car in the U.K., prior to exporting it.

  6. A car that will not be used before being exported will need to use the direct export scheme, which does not require that you pay the vehicle's tax or the first registration.

  7. If you are planning on using the car, the appropriate taxes must be paid and the vehicle must be registered. The vehicle is therefore allowed to be driven in the UK for six months if owned by a U.K. resident living abroad and for 12 months if the owner is an overseas visitor. The car must then be exported using the personal export scheme.

  8. Have the manufacturer or applicant return the direct export certificate to the DVLA, once the car has been exported (if you chose to export the car without using it in the United Kingdom).

  9. Make sure the auto-shipping company that is transporting your car is certified to ship cars under the direct or personal export schemes. It is advisable to use auto shippers chosen by the manufacturer. These firms are accustomed to filling out the correct paperwork.

  10. Make sure your vehicle stays taxed while overseas if exporting it for less than 12 months.

  11. Keep the vehicle under current insurance to be able to secure a tax renewal, if the taxable period expires while overseas.

  12. Contact the DVLA by phone or by written mail if you loose your registration certificate. The office will mail you a replacement.

  13. Tip

    If the car is being exported to Northern Ireland, you simply need to fill out a change of address on the vehicle's registration and send it to the DVLA.

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Things You'll Need

  • Required documentation

About the Author

Ana Cassis began writing professionally in 1995. She has been published in the magazines "Cancunissimo," "Mesa Visions" and in online heath publications. Cassis is a nutrition counselor and herbalist with experience in fitness, nutrition and yoga. She holds an Associate of Arts in architecture from San Diego Mesa College.

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