Telling HMRC

You have 14 days to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after you bring a vehicle into the UK permanently. You cannot register the vehicle until you’ve done this.

You may be fined if you’re late telling HMRC.

If your vehicle has an engine below 49cc (or 7.2kw if it’s electric), you can register it without telling HMRC first.

If there’s a no-deal Brexit

Unless you already use a secure registration scheme, you must tell HMRC if you import a vehicle from Ireland to Northern Ireland. You must do this within 14 days of the vehicle arriving in Northern Ireland.

Ask the VAT helpline for a VAT Notification of Vehicle Arrival (NOVA1) form. Do not use the online NOVA service.

If you import a vehicle from the EU

Tell HMRC by using the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service.

You can use a spreadsheet if you’re a VAT-registered business and you need to use NOVA for lots of vehicles.

Ask the VAT helpline for a VAT NOVA1 form if you’re unable to use the NOVA online service.

If you import a vehicle from outside the EU

How you tell HMRC depends on whether you’re VAT-registered.

If you’re a VAT-registered company

You need to make an import declaration using form C88 (also known as the Single Administrative Document).

Submit the form electronically using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system or the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) system. You can also get an agent such as a freight forwarder to do this for you.

You must then tell HMRC about the imported vehicle by using the NOVA service within 14 days. You can use a spreadsheet if you need to use NOVA for lots of vehicles.

Ask the VAT helpline for a VAT NOVA1 form if you’re unable to use the NOVA online service.

If you’re a non-VAT registered company or private individual

You need to make an import declaration using form C384. Send the completed form to HMRC by email or post.

HMRC
CAR team
BT Ops Level 8
Dorchester House
52-58 Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7WF

You can also get an agent such as a freight forwarder to make the declaration for you.

You might qualify for relief from VAT and duty if you’re:

Ask the VAT helpline for a form if you’re unable to use online services.

After you tell HMRC

HMRC will tell you:

  • if you have to pay VAT and duty
  • when your NOVA application has been processed - you cannot register your vehicle with DVLA until it is

If you’re a non-VAT registered company or private individual, HMRC will make a NOVA application for you.