Having a Car in Great Britain: Buy One or Bring it from our Country?

Before coming to the UK, drivers are struck by a question: am I taking my car to the UK or am I looking to buy one there? In this article we explain the two options, so that you can choose between the one that suits you best, according to your personal and financial situation.

How can we bring our car from our country?


You can enter the United Kingdom with your car if you are not going to live there. You can be with it for up to six months in the period of a year, either in a single visit or in several. In the event that you are going to be more than six months or have become a resident, you have the obligation to register the car and pay its corresponding taxes.

You can find information about the temporary importation of the vehicle. If you decide to import it, you will have to pay VAT (Value Added Tax). You can also consult how to register your car when you become a resident or spend more than six months with the vehicle in the United Kingdom, as well as the documentation that you must gather for it. Keep in mind that insurance with “an overseas car” is more expensive, since the steering wheel is on the other side. The average insurance payment is 700 pounds a year. If we have the English card, it is cheaper.

What steps should I follow to buy a car there?

If what we have explained so far does not convince you, perhaps you will see a better option to buy a cheap car in the United Kingdom, and save paperwork and others. Second-hand cars are usually quite inexpensive.

Here are some tips that you can follow before buying a second-hand car. Many used cars need to be repaired, so it never hurts to follow any of these tips to avoid bad taste surprises:

Buy a car that does not go out of your budget. Look at the car ads on websites and specialized magazines to see how the market is doing. Also think about the real space you need (a utility vehicle, a 4 × 4, a two-seater…), and how much you could spend on repairs if something goes wrong.
Buy it from a professional, preferably a brand of used vehicles that you know. It will cost you more, but you will have more legal protection. The car must comply exactly with the description that the seller has given us. Selling a car that is not roadworthy is considered a criminal act, so everything will most likely work. At that moment it is important to ask all the necessary questions about the condition of the car, who the previous owners were, engine, that is, everything that is important to know before buying a vehicle.

Scheduling a test drive (taking the car for a spin)

Instead of calling, we prefer to go to the dealership in person (physically check the location of our purchase). There, we told you that we saw an internet ad that we would like to schedule a test drive. We paid the £ 200 quid to do the test, which would be refundable if we didn’t like the car and would be discounted from the final price if we proceeded with the purchase. On the day of the test we signed a document talking about any accidents, fines, etc., that could happen during the course being our responsibility. After doing a test drive, at least you can be more sure about the condition of the car you are going to buy. But sometimes some damage or bad condition can’t be known with just one test drive. This is an annoying fact but unfortunately, it exists.

If something does not go well, you can ask the dealer to refund the money or make the necessary repair. Choose the seller carefully. To do this, you can follow the recommendations of your closest environment. Once you have completed your purchase, you can look up information about car registration and number plates online Carreg.co.uk . The process is not complicated. With the Internet you can have more freedom to choose your favorite number plates. There are so many choices that you may not be able to get offline.

Note: Before reaching any deal, check the identity of the car on the DVLA website. It is important to make sure that it is not a stolen car. Never get caught up in buying a stolen car.

You must have a drive license


Before buying the car it is worth remembering which driver’s license you have, as there are usage limitations and insurance can also be more expensive. If you already have a provisional English license, the insurance value will certainly be lower, however, you should only drive accompanied by someone who has a permanent driver’s license and cannot take highways; and finally, the permanent English wallet, which further decreases the value of insurance and there are no driving restrictions.

You must have MOT certificate

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport. The certificate is like a mandatory annual car check done by authorized agents. Without this certificate you cannot, by law, put your car on the street.


Don’t forget to pay the road tax

Road tax is a tax based on the amount of CO2 emission from the car. The prices to be paid vary according to the amount of CO2 and, therefore, it is always worth checking which tax range your car will be according to its CO2 emission.

Be prepared with car insurance


In England it is mandatory to have insurance to drive. The value of the insurance is based on your address, type of car, engine size, age, type of driving license (temporary or permanent), where day and night custody, how many years of driving license qualification you have, if you have accidents or in some cases speeding tickets on your record, among others.