Taking a vehicle out of the UK

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For 12 months or more

The rules for passports, driving, EHIC cards, pet travel and more may change from 1 January 2021. Act now so you can travel as planned.

You must tell DVLA if you’re taking your vehicle out of the UK, including to the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey), Isle of Man or Ireland, for 12 months or more.

This is known as permanent export. You’ll need to:

  1. Fill in the ‘permanent export’ section of your vehicle log book (V5C).

  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.

  4. Update the address on your driving licence if you’re moving home.

If you’re due a refund, it will take longer than usual because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The refund is worked out from the date DVLA gets your ‘permanent export’ section.

If you’re buying a vehicle to take abroad make sure the seller follows the correct process for vehicles that will be registered in another country. They must give you the full log book (V5C) - not just the new keeper slip.

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

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

It will take longer than usual to get your V5C log book because of coronavirus. If you do not receive it before you leave the UK, contact the driving authority of the country you’re travelling to to find out what documents you need.

If you’ve already left the UK

Contact the driving authority of the country you’re taking the vehicle to. They’ll tell you what documents you’ll need to provide to register the vehicle there.

You also need to 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 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

If the ‘permanent export’ section is missing

If the ‘permanent export’ section is not in the 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

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.