Notification of Vehicle Arrivals for agents: HMRC Online Services

How to register and use the online Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service for agents.


If your client brings a vehicle permanently into the UK, they must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and account for any VAT due within 14 days. Your client won’t be able to register and licence the vehicle until this has been done.

You can sign up for and use the NOVA online service to tell HMRC about an imported vehicle on your client’s behalf. The service also lets you:

  • immediately confirm HMRC has received your notification
  • automatically calculate the VAT due
  • declare up to 100 vehicles in 1 submission

Find out how you declare a vehicle and pay the VAT.

How to register for the NOVA service

To use the service you need to:

  • have a VAT agent reference number
  • be signed up for HMRC Online Services
  • add ‘Notification of Vehicle Arrivals’ to your HMRC Online Services portfolio
  • set up agent authorisations for each of your clients

If you’re not registered for HMRC Online Services

You’ll need to sign up to as a new user and add the service to your account.

If you already have an HMRC Online Services account

If you’re already enrolled for VAT for Agents online service you’ll automatically be given access to the NOVA online service.

If you haven’t enrolled for VAT for Agents, you can add NOVA to your services by:

  1. Log in to HMRC Online Services.
  2. Go to ‘Your HMRC services’.
  3. Add ‘Notification of Vehicle Arrivals’ to your portfolio from the ‘Services you can add’ section.

Activating the NOVA service

HMRC will send you an activation code by post within 7 days of you enrolling for NOVA. You must activate the service within 28 days of the date on the letter otherwise you’ll have to enrol again for the service.

You’ll also automatically be given access to:

  • VAT for Agents
  • VAT EU Refunds for Agents
  • the EC Sales List and Reverse Charge Sales List online services - if you’re VAT-registered

Online agent authorisation for VAT-registered businesses

If you’re acting on behalf of a VAT-registered business you’ll need to complete the online agent authorisation process for each client before you can submit a notification on their behalf.

To set up authorisation for your clients log in to NOVA and follow the instructions under ‘Request an authorisation’. You’ll need the:

  • VAT registration number
  • principal place of business postcode
  • effective date of registration for VAT
  • final month of the last VAT Return submitted to HMRC
  • box 5 figure on the last VAT Return submitted to HMRC - enter ‘N/A’ if your client is new to VAT and hasn’t previously submitted a return

HMRC will send your client a letter within 7 days containing a unique authorisation code. It’s important to let your client know they’ll be receiving this letter and that they’ll need to tell you the code.

Your client must do this quickly as HMRC must be notified within 14 days of the vehicle being brought into the UK and the code will expire within 30 days from the date of the letter.

Published 1 January 2014
Last updated 31 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. This page has been updated because the Brexit transition period has ended.

  2. Agent online services guidance has been updated to improve style and layout of content. HMRC Online Services log in information also updated in this guide.

  3. First published.