Temporarily importing a vehicle There are international agreements which provide for the temporary use of a vehicle in a foreign country for a limited time, usually six months in a 12 month period. A visitor to the UK may use a vehicle displaying foreign plates, provided that all taxes (including vehicle excise duty) are paid in their country of origin.
European Union vehicles
It is the responsibility for the driver to prove how long the vehicle has been in the country. This can be achieved by producing ferry tickets. EU vehicles brought into the UK will be allowed to circulate freely for six months in any 12 month period without the need to register here, provided the vehicle complies with the requirements of its home country. Certain vehicles will be required to display a temporary 'Q' plate. Temporary visitor status is not appropriate to these vehicles.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) announced today it is clamping down on foreign registered vehicles that flout the UK registration and licensing laws, with enforcement measures that include wheel clamping and impounding foreign registered vehicles that don’t comply with UK laws.
Leaflets and windscreen warning notices will be placed on offending vehicles and persistent offenders may find their vehicle wheel clamped and impounded and, if unclaimed, disposed of by crushing.
Vehicles that are properly registered and taxed in their home countries and brought into the UK temporarily are usually exempt from UK registration and licensing, and may be used in the UK for up to six months in any twelve month period.
After that they must be registered and licensed with DVLA. Keepers must register and license their vehicle immediately they become resident in this country.
DVLA is taking the lead and the Republic of Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden have agreed to allow enforcement action to be taken in the UK on non-compliant vehicles registered in their countries. Information will be shared with the EU Commission and other member states and as a result the initiative may be extended to include vehicles from other countries."
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