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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

Owning a Vehicle


Registering an imported vehicle

A vehicle that is permanently imported for use in Great Britain (GB) must be registered and taxed as soon as possible after it arrives in the country. The vehicle should not be used or kept on public roads until the registration and vehicle tax formalities have been completed.

However, if the vehicle needs to have a single vehicle approval (SVA) or MOT test in order to be registered, the vehicle may be driven to and from the pre-arranged test appointment. Thereafter, the vehicle must be kept off the road until the registration formalities have taken place.

Application for registration should be made to your nearest Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) local office. It is not possible to offer an 'over the counter service', registration usually takes between 48 to 72 hours.

Registering the vehicle as new

A 'brand new' vehicle can be driven to GB and registered as 'new' provided the vehicle:

UK law requires a vehicle to be UK taxed and registered for road use. To avoid difficulties, importers are advised to transport, rather than drive their vehicles from the port to home or first destination and to keep them off the road until they have been properly licensed and registered.

For most new vehicles you must present evidence of type approval from the supplier or vehicle manufacturer, usually in the form of a certificate of conformity. If the vehicle has not been subject to type approval it must pass a SVA test.

Vehicle registration

The following documents will need to be submitted to the DVLA local office, photocopies are not acceptable.

Please make cheques, postal orders payable to DVLA Swansea or Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Registration and licensing will not take place unless you have the necessary documentation. In some cases the DVLA local office may wish to see the vehicle to check its identity.

Import information pack

The DVLA provides all the necessary information and forms required to register an imported vehicle in an 'import pack' which is available on DVLA's form ordering service.

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