The length of time you intend to export your car from the UK will determine declarations that you will need to make to the UK authorities and to overseas customs. It will also play an important role in determining the documentation that will be required both in the UK and on arrival at the overseas destination.
If you are taking your vehicle out of the UK for more than 12 months, it will be considered permanently exported and you must notify the DVLA. You can do this by completing the ‘permanent export’ section of your vehicle log book (V5C) to show the intended date of export. The completed V5C form should then be returned to DVLA along with a letter confirming you have moved abroad and require a vehicle tax refund (if you’re entitled to one) be sent to your new address.
You should keep the rest of your log book with you as you may have to hand it over to the relevant authority when the vehicle is registered abroad.
If you’re buying a vehicle to take abroad make sure the seller follows the correct process for vehicles that will be registered in another country. They must give you the full log book (V5C) – not just the new keeper slip. The process is more complex if you do not have a vehicle log book (V5C).
If you are taking your vehicle out of the country for less than 12 months then this is known as a ‘temporary export’ and the rules are different.
The rules for driving may change from 1 January 2021 when the UK leaves the EU. For example, you might need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some countries.