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Last checked: 05/07/2018

Car registration in another EU country – United Kingdom

UK decision to invoke Article 50 of the TEU: More information

Registration rules

As an EU national moving to the United Kingdom, you must register your car if you are the owner of the vehicle.

Time allowed for re-registering a vehicle

If you change your country of residence to the United Kingdom you have 6 months to re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country – counted from the date of your arrival to the UK.

Find out how to re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country.

Temporary registration plates

If you buy a car abroad, transit registration plates issued in another EU country will be recognised in the United Kingdom.

More on using a vehicle with non-UK number plates without needing to tax or register it in the UK.

Find out how to temporary import a vehicle in the UK.

Exemptions from the obligation to register a vehicle

As an EU national moving to the United Kingdom, you can use your vehicle here while it is still registered in your previous home country.

You can use it for up to 6 months under certain conditions or until you become a resident, after which time the vehicle must be re-registered in the United Kingdom.


If you are a student in the United Kingdom from another EU country you:

  • do not have to register your own car with the authorities here for your period of study. This also applies if the car is owned by your parents, who are not resident in the United Kingdom
  • do not have to pay registration and/or road taxes on it in the United Kingdom
  • do not have to buy additional car insurance for your period of study here, but this may depend on the cover you hold

Check out who qualifies for exemption from the requirement to register vehicles.

Pensioners, second homeowners, and cross-border commuters

As EU nationals with a second home in the United Kingdom (that you use for no more than 6 months a year), you do not need to register your vehicles here.

Car tax

As an EU national, if you want to register and use your car in the United Kingdom, you must pay vehicle tax from the date of registration.

Find out which categories of vehicles are exempt from registration taxes.

More information is available on taking vehicles out of the UK and vehicle tax refund.

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