Registering French car for UK plates

What are the rules for taking a French-registered car back to the UK? Ours was originally British and is still right-hand drive.  N.M.

29 January 2020
By Connexion journalist

If you are taking a car back to the UK to keep it there for more than six months or because you are moving to live in the UK, you need to follow steps to register it with UK plates:

  • Inform HMRC of the arrival of the car within 14 days using the Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (Nova) service. You can do it online at:;
  • HMRC will tell you if you owe any VAT or duty (this is not usually the case when bringing your car from the EU). You can make queries at HMRC’s imports helpline on 0044 (0)300 200 3700;
  • Obtain vehicle approval to show the car meets environmental and safety standards. You need a Euro­pean Certi­ficate of Confor­mity from the manufacturer. If the car is less than 10 years old, you have to submit this along with a “mutual recognition” application and a £100 fee ( Before doing that, you may need to get the lights changed if they are currently configured for driving on the right, install a speedometer showing miles if the current one shows only kilometres, and possibly change the fog lights if not in conformity with UK rules. You should do this at a garage which can provide a certificate of the changes made.

To clarify requirements in your precise circumstances, eg. with an originally British car but which has been registered in France and may have had some modifications for French roads, call 0044(0)300 330 5797;

  • Order a “used vehicle import pack” to be sent to a UK address with forms for registration with DVLA (there is another one for a brand new car you did not use in France).


You will need the carte grise and evidence of when you bought the car, eg. the invoice.

It can take six weeks to obtain a registration certificate you can then use to obtain new plates.


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