Taking a vehicle out of the UK

For less than 12 months

Take your vehicle log book (V5C) with you if you’re taking your vehicle abroad for less than 12 months. You may have to show it if you’re stopped at a port or while driving abroad.

Your V5C must show your most recent address in the UK.

Apply in advance if you need to get a V5C before you travel. It takes up to:

UK law still applies to a UK-registered vehicle if you take it abroad for less than 12 months. That means you need to make sure:

  • your vehicle is taxed in the UK while it’s abroad
  • you have a current MOT
  • you have insurance

You’ll also need to make sure you meet any international or national conditions for licensing and taxation.

Taking a vehicle outside the EU

You may need to pay import duty on your vehicle if you take it outside the EU. Check with the authorities in the country you’re taking your vehicle to.

If the country charges duty, you can buy a CPD Carnet. This lets you take your vehicle into the country temporarily without paying duty. It can also make crossing the border simpler.

You’ll have to pay a fee and a deposit. You usually get the carnet within 4 weeks of applying.

Bringing your vehicle back untaxed

If you bring your vehicle back to the UK untaxed you cannot drive it back into the UK - it’ll have to be transported and a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) must be made straight away.

Taking hired vehicles abroad temporarily

You’ll need a VE103 vehicle on hire certificate to show you’re allowed to use a hire vehicle if you’re driving it abroad.

You can get a VE103 for a fee from the:

  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 on the AA website
  2. Step 2 Apply for an international driving permit (IDP)

    If you need an IDP you can:

    You may be able to pay more to get your IDP faster.

  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. You are currently viewing: 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.