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Export your vehicle

Posted on Wednesday, July 2nd by

If you are thinking about exporting a car overseas there are some things you need to know when it comes to the shipping process.

Let's start by discussing first the types of shipment options available.

Full container shipping also known as intermodal shipping containers

- Most shipments go via containers. The industry term used is what's called a Full Container Load (FCL) which refers to shipment using a container occupying full or maximum capacity (as opposed to for Less Than Container (LCL).

RORO shipping

- this is a type of a vessel which has a large warehouse within the ship and is designed to carry cargo with wheels such as cars, tractors, mini trucks and vans. Basically, types of oversized cargos.

Air transport

- if you need your car to be shipped urgently then one of the best ways to do that is to use air freight. Whilst this option is perhaps the most expensive of them all, it is usually the quickest and is helpful in situations when you need your container or shipment arriving at it’s destination as soon as possible.

Some other things to bear in mind:

- If you plan to keep your vehicle out of the country for more than 12 months you’ll need to inform DVLA and let them know that you’re exporting the vehicle and fill out a V5C/4 ‘notification of permanent export’ section of your V5C registration certificate.
- If you’ve already left the UK then you should still let DVLA know by filling out a V561 certificate of permanent export
- You don’t need to fill out the V561 certificate if you’re moving the car to Northern Ireland and in which case, once your car needs it’s tax renewed, you should re-tax it in Northern Ireland
- You may also need certain types of other documents such as the registration certificate, proof of address and utility bills (please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need more information)
- If you’re taking a hired vehicle overseas, you’ll need a VE103 certificate to show as proof that you have authorisation to use the hired vehicle whilst you’re overseas.


Temporary Export



If you plan to keep your vehicle out of the country for less than 12 months, then this classifies as a temporary export. In this case, you don’t need any particular documentations or forms to be filled out.

Your vehicle must still remain taxed, insured and MOT certified as it still needs to comply with UK laws. Additionally, it’s a good idea to find out the licensing and/or vehicle requirements for the country your’re using your vehicle as it may be different to that of UK.

If it’s ran out of tax when it re-enters the UK, you’ll need to tax it immediately or declare it off the road via a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) .

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