Moving from Toronto to the UK

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Moving from Toronto to the UK
Moving from Toronto to the UK

For Canadians looking to relocate overseas, the United Kingdom has a lot to offer. There is no need to learn a new language, or even adopt a new royal family. Canada’s close relationship with the UK means that residents of Toronto could feel right at home. 

If you are moving from Toronto to the UK, you may want to bring your vehicle with you. How can you import a vehicle into the country? When it comes to importing a vehicle to UK, there are several factors to consider. This guide will help make importing a vehicle from Canada to the UK a smooth and easy process. 

Keep in mind that vehicles in the UK are built differently, and your vehicle will need modifications to comply with UK safety standards. Here’s what you need to know: 

How do I import a vehicle to the UK?

You must complete certain steps as soon as you bring a vehicle into the UK permanently.

HM Revenue and Customs 

Within 14 days of the vehicle’s arrival in the UK, you must contact HM Revenue and Customs. You can use the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) service to report the arrival of your vehicle. Residents from Canada must complete form C384 and send it to HMRC.

VAT and Duty 

If HMCRC advises you to do so, you must pay VAT and duty. The Value-Added Tax (VAT) is calculated based on the value of the vehicle. Duty is paid for vehicles that are imported from countries outside of the EU. 

Vehicle Approval 

Your vehicle will need to be evaluated according to safety and environmental standards. Get vehicle approval to show your vehicle meets safety and environmental standards. Canadian residents will need to register using the Individual Vehicle Approval scheme unless their vehicle has previously been registered in the UK. In that case, they will need to register using a Voluntary Individual Vehicle Approval scheme. 

Tax and Registration 

Contact the DVLA to pay taxes and get your vehicle registered. It is here that you will be issued a plate for your vehicle.


You will need to insure your vehicle before you are permitted to drive it on UK roads. 

Note: Failing to comply with these steps is a prosecutable offense unless you are driving it for an approved test.  

Do I have to pay taxes when importing a vehicle to the UK?

The specific requirements for a tax-free import are as follows:

  • You have been a resident of Canada for no less than 12 months
  • The vehicle has been fully paid for, including taxes. You will be required to provide proof of this.
  • The vehicle was owned in Canada for at least 6 months prior to transferring your residency to the UK. 

If your vehicle is found to be ineligible for tax-free import, you will be charged 10% duty and 20% VAT for all vehicles made outside of the EU. 

Modifications After Import

In addition to safety checks, vehicles from the U.S. and Canada are subject to modifications to meet UK highway standards. These modifications are needed because North American vehicles are built with signal lights that are colored and situated differently than those in the UK, and drivers in the UK drive on the left side of the road rather than the right. 

Converting your vehicle for use in the UK should be handled by a professional who can complete these modifications without causing damage. 

The Easiest Way to Import Your Vehicle? Hire A Shipping Company 

If you’d rather not have to deal with the logistics, but still want to import your vehicle or household goods, we’ve got you covered. At A-1 Auto Transport, we understand how overwhelming it can be to handle the complex requirements for shipping a vehicle or belonging overseas. Fortunately, A-1 Auto Transport has a top-notch team of international shipping experts ready to make your import or export easy and painless. 

If you’re planning to ship a vehicle from Canada to United Kingdom, look no further than A-1 Auto Transport. Complete the form at the top of this page to receive a free overseas shipping quote. You can also get in contact with our international shipping specialists or give us a call. Our expert team will walk you through your options for overseas transport and assist you with all the paperwork, helping you achieve a carefree moving experience. 

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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