Taking a vehicle out of the UK

For 12 months or more

If you’re the registered keeper of a UK-registered vehicle and you’re taking it out of the country for 12 months or more (also known as permanent export) you need a vehicle log book (V5C). You’ll need to:

  1. Fill in the V5C/4 ‘notification of permanent export’ section of your vehicle log book (V5C). It’s called ‘permanently exporting this vehicle for more than 12 months’ in some log books.

  2. Send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD. Include a letter if you’ve moved abroad and want your vehicle tax refund (if you’re entitled to one) sent to your new address.

  3. Keep the rest of your log book (V5C) - you need it to register your vehicle in the country you’re taking it to.

You’ll usually get a refund on your vehicle tax in 4 to 6 weeks. The refund is worked out from the date DVLA gets your V5C/4 slip.

You must also update the address on your driving licence if you’re moving home.

If you do not have a vehicle log book (V5C)

Before you leave the UK

You need to get a vehicle log book (V5C) before you leave the UK. It can take up to:

  • 5 days if you apply by phone
  • 6 weeks if you apply by post

DVLA cannot send a vehicle log book (V5C) to an address outside the UK.

When you get your log book, fill in and send the V5C/4 ‘notification of permanent export’ section to DVLA.

If you’ve already left the UK

Contact the driving authority of the country you’re taking the vehicle to - they’ll tell you how to register the vehicle without a log book.

Send a letter to DVLA to tell them you’ve taken the vehicle out of the country. Include:

  • your name and address
  • the date you took the vehicle out of the country
  • where DVLA can send the vehicle tax refund (if you’re entitled to one)

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BA

If you bought a vehicle in the UK but do not have a UK address

You need to:

  • take the full vehicle log book (V5C) from the seller (not just the new keeper’s slip)
  • send the V5C/4 ‘notification of permanent export’ to DVLA
  • find out how to register the vehicle in the country you’re taking it to

Do not buy a vehicle without a log book (V5C).

If you cannot get a vehicle log book (V5C)

Contact the driving authority of the country you’re taking the vehicle to - they’ll tell you how to register your vehicle.

Send a letter to DVLA to tell them you’ve taken the vehicle out of the country. Include:

  • your name and address
  • the date you took the vehicle out of the country
  • where DVLA can send the vehicle tax refund

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BA

Moving your vehicle between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Fill in the change of address section in your log book and send it to DVLA.

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BA

Personalised registrations

You’ll need to transfer or retain your personalised registration before exporting your vehicle. Otherwise you’ll lose your right to the registration number.

  1. Step 1 Check where you can use your licence

    1. Check the rules for using your driving licence abroad

    You may need an international driving permit (IDP) if you’re going to drive outside the EU.

    1. Check if you need an IDP.
  2. Step 2 Apply for an international driving permit (IDP)

  3. Step 3 Get insurance

    1. Check if your vehicle insurance covers you for the countries you're driving through

    Check this with your car hire company if you’re hiring a vehicle.

  4. Step 4 Prepare the documents you need to take with you

    1. Check what documents you need to take a vehicle out of the UK

    If you're hiring a car you may need to share your driving licence information with the hire company.

    1. Get a 'check code' to share your driving licence information

    If you got your licence in Northern Ireland, you’ll need to show the rental company your paper counterpart instead.

  5. Step 5 Check the rules for the country you're travelling to

    The rules for driving may be different in the country you're going to. For example, drink-driving rules might be different or you might need to carry extra equipment in your car.

    1. Check if you need to display a country sticker on your vehicle
    2. Check the rules for the European country you're travelling to on the AA website
    3. Check the travel advice for countries outside Europe

    When you have your documents, insurance and any extra equipment you need you can drive abroad.