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How to Legally Import your Spanish Vehicle Into the UK

How to Legally Import your Spanish Vehicle Into the UK

Naturally, and for obvious reasons, this guide only applies to the owners of used (IE: previously registered) Spanish vehicles.

When it is decided to relocate back to the UK, it is often easier to take your existing vehicle with you - both as a means of transport to get there, and also to use as your run-around in the UK. Valuable money can be lost in selling a car in Spain only to have to buy another one upon arrival in the UK.

As soon as you arrive back in the UK you should make steps to legally import the vehicle with the DVLA, who have a detailed section on their website that provides the required forms online, but before you get that far you should be certain that your vehicle is eligible for being imported.

To be eligible the vehicle should be :

1.) No more than 10 years old.

2.) Of a construction that is 'recognised in the UK'. (Almost all European Manufactured vehicles will be - this clause is really to identify any modified, customised or kit-built vehicles)

3.) Fitted with the correct headlights.

Once you have ascertained that your vehicle meets the above criteria you can move on to the next steps :

A.) Apply for a certificate of conformity issued by the VCA (Vehicle Conformity Agency) - This is a whole process in itself that you will need to go through. Each type of vehicle (such as Motorcycle, Car, Motor home etc...) has it's own different criteria that must be adhered to, and corresponding application form. In order to apply for the certificate you must complete the required form and issue originals of the Certificate of conformity that should be kept with your permiso de circulación and Fichas Tecnicas.

The Cost for Obtaining this certificate alone will be £70 - There is a Helpline for anybody with question on this section of the process, which is 0044 117 952 4191

B.) The Vehicle will need to have at least third party cover road Insurance in the UK, and you will be required to provide a copy of the original policy certificate.

Once you have this documentation you should then take the following to your nearest DVLA office :

1.) A completed V55/5 application form

2.) The £55 registration fee (if applicable) and the required fee for the vehicle tax

3.) The Insurance Cert (see above)

4.) The Fichas Tecnicas & Permiso de Circulación

5.) Evidence showing the date the vehicle was collected (normally the invoice from the supplier or any receipt you may have)

6.) The VCA certificate of Conformity

7.) Current British MOT test certificate (if applicable - newer vehicles may be except from this)

8.) The appropriate HM Revenue and Customs form

9.) ID - UK passport or UK Driving licence is acceptable

10.) Vehicle Tax : This sum will be charged in accordance with the date of importing the vehicle. The required forms should be completed with as much information as possible at this stage, leaving the registration number blank - to be completed by the DVLA once they have allocate the new number to you.

Please note that you should supply original copies of all of the above documents/

In certain circumstances an inspector may wish to see the vehicle in question - particularly if for any reason any of the documentation is missing - and the process should take around 1 week to complete.

Note : This guide is for general reference only - A full and detailed version can be viewed by clicking the link here.

Comment on this Article

I plan to bring my Spanish registered Twingo (1999)which has ITV with road tax and insurance. I'm selling up in Spain and plan to scrap car on return to UK. Any ideas on how best to do this. Pre brexit.
Peter Atkins - Thu 25th Oct 2018
We are moving to Spain in 10 months. Our uk car has just been written off. Can we now buy a car from Spain and drive it in the uk for the next 10 months?
Sue Stone - Tue 27th Feb 2018
i am buying a Spanish registered car in Spain that was originally registered in England. I want to bring back to the UK , it is a right hand car. I wondered about the process. do i just buy the car drive it back then get an MOT and re register, The car was originally bought in the UK and spent 2 years there before the owner moved to spain. so i assume vat would not be an issue. Anyone help? car is 2002
Keith Stokes - Sun 2th Jul 2017
what if there is an embargo on the vehicle?
Pete - Sat 25th Feb 2017

@ Noddings : Yes, of course- and best done so within the 180 Day window, before you are legally obliged to re-register it in the UK.

@ Ian Scott : No - it IS still possible to do this - it is just that it is a slightly different procedure with the DVLA in the UK, and one which may require a special insection.

@ Matthew Turner : You don't need to do anything with the DVLA in the UK before you hit British soil, but adviseable do de-register / 'Baja' with Spain's DGT straight after leaving. Probably best to get this nailed down in advance !

@ Angela / Peter : We are not agents who undertake this as a service - the fee to do it yourself is ?55, but if you are looking to appoint an agent to do this on your behalf, who knows ?

Tumbt - Admin - Sat 27th Aug 2016
My car is 12 years old and bought in Spain with Spanish number plates. I am relocating to UK. Can I take my car and eventually sell it there
Noddings - Sat 27th Aug 2016
I am currently living in Spain but will probably return to the UK soon. My car is more than 10 years old but I intend to take it with me to the UK. Your site suggests that it is not possible to import such a car. Is this true? I will await your rely with interest. Regards, Ian Scott
Ian Scott - Mon 15th Aug 2016
I have a UK purchased car that I bought into Spain, matriculated, changed headlights & placed on Spanish plates. I am now coming back into the uk and I want to know what I need to do before I hit UK soil and when I'm on it. Thanks.
Matthew Turner - Sun 5th Jun 2016
I have an English plated car on Spanish plates and I want to take it back to the uk .. It is a 52 reg plate .. Do you know the cost of re-registration to UK plates Regards Angela
Angela - Wed 20th Jan 2016
i have a english right hand car with spainish plates i am concidering coming back to the UK and wish to know what the total cost would be to change plates back to UK plates my car is a 52 reg. many thanks.
Peter Seward - Wed 20th Jan 2016
I have a Spanish registered land rover 2002 I want to take it home to the uk is it to old to re register to uk plates when I get home what can I do
Alan - Mon 2th Nov 2015
I want to know if I can register my Spanish car in UK, if its still on finance in Spain .
Ros Revil - Mon 24th Aug 2015
Hi I registered my Spanish car in the uk with dvla and received a new uk logbook, now i want to take it back to spain and i am being told that there maybe tax outstanding from when i had it in spain the first time, which is over 5yrs ago, how can this be when i pay road tax in uk and dvla took my Spanish log book etc... please can someone help
Steve - Tue 21st Jul 2015
George : Yes, this is technically still possible - however the DVLA website just notes that you should call them for further details if this may be the case.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 23rd Jun 2015
My Spanish car was registered 25/05/2004. Is there any way I can import it back to UK? I really need it & have no other vehicle.
George Dennis - Mon 22th Jun 2015
Hy,i need to do the registration because my moto can not be stopped awaiting to be stolen,but i have lost the invoice that shows the time the moto was collected,anyway i have the spanish documents from the spanish dvla(dgt)showing the first registration of the motorbike,i would like to know if that is enough,otherwise i dont know what could i do Thank's
Jaime - Wed 3rd Jun 2015
Spoke to DVLA, the ten year rule applies from date of manufacture not date of registration
Pamela - Fri 8th May 2015
My sons partner is a Spanish girl working in the UK and wishes to register her ford Fiesta in the uk .She is becoming veryupset with the complex requirements,can anyone help? Thank you
Terry Kershaw - Fri 8th May 2015
Very informative. Good style. Thank you.
Jim Saxon - Sat 7th Mar 2015
Pamela : A very good question, and one that the DVLA themselves don't seem to know the answer to ! - Their website states "10 years from date of manufacture OR first registration".... but does say that anyone whose vehicle falls into this bracket "Should call for further information".
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 2th Feb 2015
How do you determine if the car is less than l0 years old? do you use the date of manufacture or the date of first registration.
Pamela - Mon 2th Feb 2015
I live in Spain but am returning to live in the UK in April 2015. I want to bring back my 1 year old LHD Hyundai I 30 CRDI 110 CV to use in the UK. I would like a professional company to carry out the importation and tax registration on my behalf. Do you know of any companies that would do that for me and have you any idea what that would cost. Would the headlights need changing, & how long can I legally drive in the UK before the import & UK taxation must be carried out? Regards, Norman
Norman Michael Hall - Tue 16th Dec 2014

David : You have 90 days grace before you are legally required to re-register.

Lynda : No, you will need to replace the headlights (and speedo if it doesn't show Miles aswell as Km), your nearest VW agent should be able to assist with a CoC, you will need a UK MOT to re-register, so that will supercede the Spanish ITV, your Spanish Insurance will be valid - although you may have to advise them the change of address (which may or may not invalidate it).

Tumbit - Admin - Mon 24th Nov 2014
What do I do if the vehicle is over 10 years old,it's a VW campervan. Do I have to change headlights or will a sticker be sufficient? What is a certificate of conformity and where do I get one? I have full insurance from Spain and equivalent MOT,is that sufficient until it runs out as travelling back to Spain in the early Spring?
Lynda Sands - Mon 24th Nov 2014
Hi I am moving back to the uk and bringing my 2006 ford focus. my question is how much time do I have to start the process of re-registering my car once I have arrived in the u.k and it has been de-registered in spain.
David - Tue 2th Sep 2014
Marc : Yes, you will still be able to legally register your vehicle in the UK - The point is that, with it being over 10 years old, the process will depend on quite a number of different factors, and as such the DVLA simply advise that you should call an advisor in person so they can talk you through the process. Still do-able, just impossible to write a succinct guide to allow for unkown circumstances.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 18th Jul 2014
Good morning, I'm planing to get to the UK with my 16 years old vehicle Mazda Miata (registered in Spain). I've been reading about all the process to register the vehicle with GB plate, but now reading this article I've found that my vehicle is more than 10 years old, so will I be able to register it in the UK? I ordered a few weeks ago the MPH speedometer and right hand headlights.
Marc P?rez - Fri 18th Jul 2014
I intend moving back to live in the UK in the near future taking my 2011 Ford Focus with me. I think there is an embargo for a speeding fine in place on it at the moment. Will this situation prevent me from taking the vehicle into the UK, and registering it with the UK system ?
Wyndham Richardson - Sat 12th Jul 2014

Derek : You might wish firstly to take steps to de-register the vehicle with the DGT in Spain.

Tony : Although the procedure is slightly more complex than with a newer vehicle, it can still be done - the DVLA advises that you should contact them in person to discuss the process.

Kathy : You would only need to de-register the vehicle with the DGT in Spain.

Tumbit - Admin - Mon 28th Apr 2014
Hi I bought a New Renault Kangoo whilst living in Spain, it is now 3 years old and I want to bring it back to uk, what first steps do I take?
Derek Tilley - Mon 28th Apr 2014
Hi, I have moved back to the UK last Sept, I brought back my much loved 1994 320e Mercedes cab and want to know how to put it on to English plates i have read that it is difficult when the car is over 10 years old. I have ordered my right hand headlights and MPH speedo. Any Advice will be helpful.
Tony Quayle - Tue 15th Apr 2014
Hi, I have a R H D skoda 1997 originally British registered, Exported and Re Registered in Spain with Spanish plates. It has an ITV, is taxed and insured, can I drive it back to the U.K. and scrap it here? I know it's too old to be imported and re registered here and I don't want to do that anyway. Do you know what paperwork I would need in Spain? Many thanks
Kathy Smith - Fri 21st Feb 2014
I imported my car from Spain last year{ see previous comments 2013}. I used LV for insurance using the chassis number not Spanish Reg -without any problems.
Frank - Fri 31st Jan 2014
Hi Dan, thanks for the info. After some research I note that Gestor charge a fixed amount. 200 or 250euro per car. is this right. If not, what is the current information. Do you know the names of any gestor in granada by any chance who speak english too.
Razwan - Thu 30th Jan 2014
@ Razwan : 1) Yes, 2) No, 3) The DVLA will not organise anything for you - just provide you with the appropriate forms and guides so you can do this yourself, 4) The DVLA do not say that you can not import a vehicle if it is older than years - just that you should speak to them directly for advice if this is the case.
Dan - Thu 30th Jan 2014
Razwan - Thu 30th Jan 2014
Rafael : No, this is not a service we offer. If you are struggling for such a Broker you could try Googling the services of Adrian Flux Insurance in the UK.
Tumbit - Admin - Sun 22th Sep 2013
I´m trying to register my Spanish Registered vehicle in the UK, I seem to be unable to do this and from your Webpage, I must have UK Car insurance before registering the vehicle with the DVLA. Are you aware of any UK based insurance firms that will be able to Insure the Spanish Number plated vehicle here in the UK? And do your company provide a service to register the CAR here?
Rafael Gonzalez De Castro - Sun 22th Sep 2013
I bought my secondhand English registered motorhome in the UK in 2009 and exported it to Spain. I am returning to the UK to live and want to register it back in the UK. It will be 10 years old this December and I expect to return in May 2014. It will then be a few months over 10 years old. Would I be able to re import it ?
David Hooper - Sat 27th Jul 2013
I have just registered my LHD CMAX 2007 following your super guide. Headlamps £110-Ebay fitted by friend speedo overlay £30 £30 fitting Conformity Cert from Ford UK £84 DVA Conformity £100 DVLA £55. Chester Office very helpful. Best to hand deliver docs. They check on the spot. Got plates 3 days later.
Frank Brassington - Fri 3rd May 2013
Thank you very much for a helpful and easy to read web page full of easily explained and easy to read statements.
Mr Paul Bedford - Tue 30th Apr 2013

Permiso de circulación = Vehicle registration document

Fichas Technicas = Technical Description of the vehicle

You are supposed to keep copies of each of these documents in the vehicle at all times, so if you don't have them you will need to apply for them again.

Tumbit - Admin - Wed 27th Mar 2013
Thank you for the info. Could you inform me what a fichas tecnicas & permiso de circulacion is, and where do I obtain it ? regards
Styephen Moore - Wed 27th Mar 2013
There should be a website catering for people wanting to exchane/part exch their LHD or RHD cars for the other, In the UK they're paying pittance for used LHD and selling them at fantasyprices, and vice versa for RHD cars for obscure reasons. I'm trying to find a LHD to go back to Norway and get rid of my low mieage 2007 Vauxhall. Any tips? thanx
Solfrid Leithe - Thu 10th Nov 2011