Paying VAT and duty

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will tell you if you have to pay VAT or duty after you tell them you imported a vehicle.

VAT is charged on the total cost of the vehicle, plus any:

  • accessories you bought with it
  • delivery and extra charges
  • duty

Duty is charged on vehicles imported to:

  • England, Wales and Scotland from outside the UK
  • Northern Ireland from outside the UK or the EU

HMRC will tell you how much you have to pay.

The rates you’re charged depend on the type of vehicle and where you imported it from. You can call the helpline to check rates.

How you pay depends on where you’re importing the vehicle from.

If you imported the vehicle to England, Scotland or Wales from outside the UK

Why you imported it What and how you pay
You’re moving to the UK with your vehicle No VAT or duty if you qualify for relief
You’re returning an exported vehicle to the UK No VAT or duty if you qualify for relief
You’re visiting the UK or the EU with your vehicle No VAT or duty if it qualifies as a temporary import
Any other reason - if you’re not VAT-registered VAT and duty - pay HMRC at the UK border (your shipping company may do this for you)
Any other reason - if you’re VAT-registered VAT and duty - pay HMRC at the UK border (your shipping company may do this for you) and claim the VAT on your next VAT Return

You must pay any VAT and duty before you can release the vehicle from customs or register it.

If you imported the vehicle to Northern Ireland from the EU

VAT is usually only charged on vehicles that are new. A vehicle is new if either:

  • it’s been driven less than 6,000km (about 3,728 miles)
  • it’s been in use for no more than 6 months

If you’re VAT registered, you need to account for any VAT you’ve paid on your next VAT return.

If you’re not registered for VAT or you’re a private individual, you need to pay HMRC directly before you can register your vehicle.

Paying HMRC directly

Use online or telephone banking to pay HMRC by Faster Payments, CHAPS or Bacs.

Sort code Account number Account name
08 32 00 12000903 HMRC Indirect Miscellaneous

Use these details to pay from an overseas account.

Account number (IBAN) Bank identifier code (BIC) Account name
GB20 BARC 2005 1730 3364 91 BARCGB22 HMRC Indirect Miscellaneous

Use your 13-character NOVA notification reference number when you pay. You can find it on the:

  • email HMRC sent you if you used the NOVA service
  • payment notice HMRC sent you

Do not put any spaces between the characters in your reference number.

Reclaiming VAT

If you have to declare VAT to HMRC, you can reclaim any VAT you paid in the EU. Send the Certificate of VAT you get from HMRC to the person who sold you the vehicle.

If you imported the vehicle to Northern Ireland from outside the UK and EU

Why you imported it What and how you pay
You’re moving to the UK with your vehicle No VAT or duty if you qualify for relief
You’re returning an exported vehicle to the UK No VAT or duty if you qualify for relief
You’re visiting the UK or the EU with your vehicle No VAT or duty if it qualifies as a temporary import
Any other reason - if you’re not VAT-registered VAT and duty - pay HMRC at the UK border (your shipping company may do this for you)
Any other reason - if you’re VAT-registered VAT and duty - pay HMRC at the UK border (your shipping company may do this for you) and claim the VAT on your next VAT Return