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.

How you tell HMRC will depend on:

  • if you’re importing it to Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or to Northern Ireland
  • where you’re importing it from

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

If your vehicle has an engine of 48cc or less (7.2kw or less if it’s electric), you can register it without telling HMRC first.

If you import a vehicle to England, Scotland or Wales

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. You can use either 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 may be able to delay making an import declaration for 6 months if you import a vehicle from the EU. This is called a delayed declaration.

You must 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.

If you’re unable to use the NOVA online service, ask the Imports and exports helpline for a VAT NOVA1 form.

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.

Currently you cannot send an import declaration to HMRC by post because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

HMRC CARS team
ecsm.nchcars@hmrc.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 322 7071

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:

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

If you import a vehicle to Northern Ireland 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.

If you’re unable to use the NOVA online service, ask the Imports and exports helpline for a VAT NOVA1 form.

If you import a vehicle to Northern Ireland 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. You can use either 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.

If you’re unable to use the NOVA online service, ask the Imports and exports helpline for a VAT NOVA1 form.

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.

Currently you cannot send an import declaration to HMRC by post because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

HMRC CARS team
ecsm.nchcars@hmrc.gov.uk
Telephone: 0300 322 7071

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:

Contact 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.