First things first – you need to follow the law. Follow these 5 steps before you do anything else when importing a vehicle.
1. Inform the HMRC
You must tell the HMRC that you have brought a van into the UK permanently within 14 days of the van arriving. For every day after the two weeks that you have not reported it, you will be fined £5 per day.
2. Pay all outstanding costs
These costs include the total VAT and duty fees on the whole van as well as the delivery charge and any accessories that may have come with the vehicle. You will be informed of this total cost by the HMRC after you have completed step 1.
3. Get the vehicle approved
To prevent pollution and accidents occurring any imported vehicle must go through a series of checks to ensure that it is safe for UK highways. If you are importing within the EU e.g. if you are importing a German van, there are fewer tests that need to be carried out. If you are importing internationally e.g. a van from Japan, then you must get a certificate of mutual recognition.
4. Register and tax the van
In order to complete this step you must have completed steps 1-3 already.
In order to register the van in the UK, the vehicle must not have been permanently registered in any other country before and the current model of the vehicle must not have been discontinued within the previous 2 years to date.
5. Insure your imported van
No matter where you are importing from or even if it is a grey import, you must get authentic and reliable specialist imported van insurance. Not only is this a legal requirement in the UK, it will also protect yourself and your van in the event of an accident in the future.