Foreign Driving Licence FAQs
Driving in the UK with a foreign driving licence can be confusing. We can help. Below are commonly asked questions answered by an experienced motoring law solicitor.Q: I live in an EU country but am working in the UK. My car is registered in my home country. Can I drive it in the UK on foreign number plates?
A: You can usually use a car, van or other vehicle with foreign number plates without registering or taxing it in the United Kingdom if all of the following apply:
- you’re visiting and do not plan to live here.
- the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country.
- you only use the vehicle for up to 6 months in total – this can be a single visit, or several shorter visits over 12 months
You will need to register the vehicle if you want to move it between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland.
However, if you become a resident or stay for longer than 6 months you must register and tax your vehicle in the UK.
In all cases, you must have insurance in place which covers you to drive the vehicle in the UK.
A: You do not pay VAT or duty on a vehicle if you temporarily import it and all of the following apply:
- it’s for your own private use.
- you’re not a UK resident.
- you do not sell, lend or hire it within the UK.
- you re-export it from the UK within 6 months – or longer if you’re eligible to use foreign number plates for longer.
Claim relief by filling in DVLA form C110 and taking your vehicle through the ‘nothing to declare’ channel when you arrive in the UK.
A: You might be able to use a vehicle with foreign number plates for longer than 6 months if all of the following apply:
- you normally live outside the UK.
- you’re in the UK for a set period as a student or worker.
- you claim relief from VAT and duty.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will give you a customs relief form when you claim relief – show it to police if you’re stopped when driving the vehicle.
If you stay after your customs relief expires you must register and tax your vehicle in the UK.
A: You must show police that you can use the vehicle in the UK without taxing and registering it here, for example proof:
- of the time you’ve been in the UK (such as a ferry ticket).
- that your vehicle’s eligible for relief from VAT and duty (such as a customs relief form).
It’s also a good idea to have proof that you have a driving licence and insurance which are valid in the UK.
A: You must get temporary Q number plates from DVLA if you visit the UK for up to 6 months and either:
- your number plates display numbers or letters that are not identifiable in the UK, for example Arabic script
- your vehicle is not registered in its home country.
If you have to get temporary Q number plates you need to contact the DVLA. Also, before you get Q plates, you must claim relief from VAT and duty, using form C110.
Is your licence or livelihood at risk? – Our solicitors can help. Call 0808 231 7107