Taking Your Car Abroad? Read This


Taking your car abroad requires you to jump through a few hoops to make sure everything is above board and accounted for. This post takes a look at the things you’ll need to do to take your car with you out of your home country.

The rules and regulations for taking your car abroad will vary depending on how long you’ve had your car and where you’re going – here’s a break-down of the main regulations:


If you’re taking your car abroad for more than 12 months:

This is known as ‘permanent export’. In the UK, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Notify the DVLA. You need to locate your V5C registration document (the logbook) and fill in the section for permanent export – the V5C/4 section and send this section back.
  • You can get a tax refund if you’re moving abroad by including a letter of notification containing all the relevant details including the address of your new overseas residence.

If you’re going on holiday or taking your car abroad for less than 12 months:

This is known as ‘temporary export’. The following action should be taken:

  • Bring along your V5C document – make sure it’s up to date in good time – at least two months before departure.
  • Your temporarily exported car will still be subject to UK law and still be taxed in the UK.
  • Research the necessary admin procedures for your country of travel beforehand.

Hired cars are a little different. You’ll need to take a VE103 document with you to prove you’re authorised to be using the vehicle.

Holidays to the EU with a Car & Compulsory Equipment

There are many different laws for different countries in the EU regarding what you’ll need to bring with you – this list by no means covers it all, but here are the main items:

  • The original registration document
  • Reflective jacket
  • Warning triangle
  • Motor vehicle insurance and breakdown cover
  • GB sticker
  • Headlamp adjustments

In addition to all of the above, when driving abroad there are still a lot of legal procedures to consider as well as practical concerns. You’ll need your full driving licence, you may be asked to produce a copy of your DVLA driver record, and you’ll need an International Driving Permit for non EU countries.

Aside from navigating life on the other side of the road, there are other road rules you’ll need to familiarise yourself with. Local drivers won’t know to give you a wide berth or defer to you in any way, so it’s vital you get to grips with the rules. Make sure your research is thorough and comprehensive before you make the move.