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 Importing A Car From Germany to UK: All You Should Know

You can bring your car along with you when moving to the UK from Germany temporarily or permanently. Whether you prefer to import your used car or buy a German car, you can drive the vehicle on UK public roads provided you follow the applicable importation and registration guidelines.

Getting the vehicle insured to protect it from damages that can occur during shipping is a vital measure but there’s more. Adhere to the steps below when importing a car from Germany to UK.

Importation Process: Bringing In A Vehicle From Germany To The UK

Importing a car from Germany to UK after Brexit comes with a few significant changes since even between EU countries, there are hardly any general rules on vehicle importation and registration.

Whether you are importing a car from Germany to UK by road or other means, ensure you use a reliable international shipping company, such as Clicktrans, so your vehicle arrives in the UK on time. You should properly research the transport company and its licensing before trusting them with shipping your car.

Import costs from Germany to UK on a vehicle generally depend on the chosen transport company and the valuation from HMRC.

Telling HMRC

The procedure for this sometimes differs, depending on where in the UK you are permanently importing the car. Regardless of its destination, ensure you have told HMRC about the vehicle no later than 14 days after you brought it in. Only cars with engines of 48cc or less can be registered without first telling HMRC.

If you are a private individual importing a car from Germany to UK, fill in the import declaration form and submit it via email to HMRC. This applies to non-VAT registered companies too.

Cars belonging to VAT-registered companies should be declared using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system or the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) system.

In both cases, your transport agent can make the import declaration on your behalf to HMRC. Also, use the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service to inform HMRC if you are bringing the car to the UK. You will be notified when the application is successful so you can proceed with other aspects of vehicle registration.

Paying VAT and duty

HMRC will also inform you of the VAT and duty you are to pay on the vehicle. The vehicle’s cost and accessories largely determine the VAT you’ll pay, but extra charges also apply. You will be told the exact duty rate that you are expected to pay but you can also place a call to confirm the amount.

Importing a car from the EU to UK ordinarily attracts VAT only if the vehicle is new and you are specifically bringing it to Northern Ireland. But you might also not need to pay VAT and duty if you are eligible for relief.

Vehicle Approval

If your vehicle is already registered in Germany, simply present the EU Certificate of Conformity which shows the vehicle’s conformity to European traffic regulations. If you no longer have the copy provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer, order your EU CoC here and get it within a few days.

Registering A Vehicle Imported From Germany To The UK

Here are the steps to take to register your imported new or used vehicle in the UK:

Make an application

  • Fill in the V55/4 form if your vehicle is new or the V55/5 form for a used imported car.
  • Submit copies of your identity document e.g passport or medical card.

Supporting documents

You will get your vehicle log book and identity documents back after successful registration, after which you can order a license plate.

Temporary Importation

As long as you are visiting the UK and intend to return back to your home country within six months, you do not need to pay VAT or duty on your imported private car. Fill out this form to claim relief.

Temporary importation is allowed if your vehicle has already been registered in your home country and is being taxed appropriately. If you intend to stay in the UK for more than 6 months within a 12-month time range, your vehicle needs to be registered and taxed in the UK.