These are my experiences of registering my second hand Spanish left hand drive car in England.
I hope that this will help anyone considering doing the same.
First of all, I have to say that if you can sell your car in Spain and buy a UK car when moving back to the UK, it will save a lot of hassle and some expense. The re-registration process is really quite complicated, the garage which did the work on my car had no experience of the procedure, so it has been a steep learning curve for us all.
The reasons I brought over my Spanish car were:
- We needed the car to move our animals with us to England.
- The car is just what I need and has been very economical and reliable since I bought it.
- The car is only 5 years old and has low mileage.
Steps you will need to take when returning to the UK to live with your Spanish car:
1. Within 2 weeks of arrival report the import to HMRC. This can be done online. Use the NOVA system explained in this link. Until you have done this you cannot register the car.
2. Send for a DVLA registration pack from here which will include the most important V55/5 form.
3. Speak to a local garage, preferably one which is a dealership for your make of car. Ask them to order any parts to make the car legal in the UK. I had to have UK specification headlamps fitted, UK specification tail lamps, and wiring modifications so that fog/reversing lamps were on the correct sides. If your speedometer does not show miles per hour, then you will need to have your speedometer changed or modified.
Speedometer overlay cards can be obtained online from Prodash Limited who are a professional firm making them.
4. You will need to obtain a European Certificate of Conformity, which I obtained from Ford head office. This will state whether or not (probably NOT) your car can be registered in the UK without modification.
5. If your car needs modifications it will need a Mutual recognition certificate. To apply for these download the form from the Vehicle Certification Agency website – Follow the links to download the form. To get this certificate your car must have left dipping UK headlamps, suitable tail lamps and a speedo registering in MPH and KPH. You will also need official garage invoices, carefully worded, as evidence that the changes required by the VCA have been carried out.
6. Once you have had modifications done, and have all the relevant paperwork for the Vehicle Certification Agency, send off the completed form with payment of £100 (fill in a debit card authorisation or it will be delayed) and the Agency will issue a certificate. Mine arrived 6 days after posting it. Keep copies of everything you send and use “signed for” post.
7. Complete the form V55/5 very carefully, most of the information comes from the European Certificate of Conformity. The form is partly self duplicating, so be careful how you handle it. You will need to work out the vehicle tax for your car. This is based on emissions, as mine was low (119 CO2) it was £30, but you will need to use the information supplied in the import pack to calculate the tax for your car. Add to this the £55 registration fee.
8. When you have completed the V55/5 send it off to DVLA, and ensure that the following are included:
Proof of name: (DVLA licence, passport, birth cert, marriage cert, or decree nisi or absolute cert.) Only one of these.
Proof of address: (Gas, electricity, water or landline phone bill less than 3 months old. Council tax bill. Bank statement less than 3 months old, medical card) Only one from this group, too.
Payment by cheque or postal orders to cover tax and registration.
European Certificate of Conformity
Mutual Recognition Certificate (Individual Approval Certificate or IAC)
Original non UK registration document – in Spain this is the “Permiso de circulación” (NOT the ITV test card). This will not be returned unless you send a covering letter asking for it back. You will need it in Spain to de-register the vehicle so that you don’t keep getting Spanish road tax bills.
Certificate of Insurance based on the Vehicle Chassis Number or VIN plate. This has to be obtained from a specialist insurance company. I used Acorn Insurance chassis number insurance but if you search the Internet others are available. Mine was temporary – for one month.
UK MOT certificate done using the chassis number.
9. The DVLA should reply by sending you a V5 in your name, having allocated a registration number. You can then take this to a car accessory shop to have your registration plates made up. You can then apply to a standard insurance company for car insurance.
WARNING: The law states that you must ensure that your vehicle remains insured at all times that it is being used on the UK roads.
I hope that you find this useful. All information is correct as at January 2015 – refer to UK government website links in case of changes. The cost of this changeover has been less than £1200, most of that in garage costs for changing lamps and inserting the new speedometer overlay. Paperwork and registration costs were less than £300 of that total.