The United Kingdom Vehicle Registration Process

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The United Kingdom Vehicle Registration Process

Vehicle Registration Process In The United Kingdom

The UK is an island made up of several countries so the information presented here will be as specific as possible, while still trying to be general enough to apply to vehicle registration throughout the United Kingdom.

The information here applies to registration of a vehicle that is permanently imported into the United Kingdom, though many of the same requirements may be necessary for temporary import as well.

Forms Needed For Imported Vehicle Registration

There are a few documents you’ll need to register an imported vehicle in the UK. Note that there are some minor differences in the forms you’ll need depending on whether the vehicle is new or used.

  • Form V55/4 (for new vehicles)*
  • Form V55/5 (for used vehicles)*
  • Proof of identification
  • Confirmation of local address
  • Proof of payment of vehicle tax
  • MOT Certificate (see heading under second section)
  • Auto insurance
  • Form V267 if vehicle is new

*Both forms, as well as others you may need, are available from the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) website.

The United Kingdom Vehicle Registration Process

Motor Vehicle Tax

The motor vehicle tax is based on its CO2 emissions. It’s a tiered scale in which the higher concentration of emissions, the more you pay in tax. Because this is the case, lower and zero emission vehicles often don’t have to pay a tax, whereas a heavy polluting gas engine would pay the highest rate. Information about the specific costs can be found in the resources section at the bottom of this page.

Our international shipping page for the United Kingdom has more information about shipping a vehicle to the area, including how much it will costs, preparations you should make, and other important factors to keep in mind!

Roadworthiness & United Kingdom Vehicle Registration Resources

The road inspection is one of the major parts of the initial registration process and the certificate you’ll be issued is required to register any vehicle. Even vehicles that already in the UK must periodically be submitted for a road safety and emissions test.


A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


Road Inspection (MOT)

Any vehicle that is imported into the UK must pass a roadworthiness test, sometimes also referred to as the “MOT,” which is an acronym for the Ministry of Transport. Vehicles that have a MOT certificate must be retested every three years.

The main aspect of the MOT involves the examination of the safety of the vehicle and its emissions. The cost of the MOT is minimal and it includes inspection of the following components:

  • Seat belts
  • Steering & suspension
  • Windshield, wipers, & mirrors
  • Headlights & turn indicators
  • Brakes & tires
  • Electrical system
  • Vehicle body (for damage)

United Kingdom Vehicle Registration Resources

Gov.UK: Vehicle Registration – One of the most thorough sources on the internet for finding vehicle registration information about the United Kingdom. A variety of topics are covered here, including the MOT, new and used vehicle registration, and vehicle taxes.

Driving In The United Kingdom – An excellent guide to driving in the UK that covers vehicle imports, and insurance. There’s also a handy explanation of road signs and information about the traffic fine system.

Call us today at the number at the top of the page to learn more about shipping a car to the UK! Our staff is ready to answer your questions, offer a FREE cost estimate, and help you navigate the process of international auto shipping!

Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

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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