What to know when exporting a car from the UK

Exporting Vehicles

Shipping your car overseas is relatively straightforward if you understand the process. KG Logistics is one of the UK’s leading vehicle shipping companies. We are experienced in shipping all types of vehicle cargo including cars, 4×4s, vans, tractors & units, and machinery. Plus we have a range of services and shipping methods to fulfil all your car export needs.

Here’s our expert advice for shipping a car to any destination across the globe from the UK.

In order to begin the process, you first need to work out the length of time you intend to have your car overseas. This timeframe will determine the declarations you will be required to make to UK authorities and the destination customs. Your options here are permanent export (12 months or more) or temporary export (less than 12 months).

Permanent export

If you are shipping a UK registered vehicle overseas for 12 months or more then you must notify the DVLA. To do this, you should fill in the V5C/4 ‘notification of permanent export’ section of your V5C registration certificate (log book), then send it to DVLA. You may wish to include a letter if you’ve moved abroad and want your vehicle tax refund sent to your new address. You will then receive a Certificate of Permanent Export (V561) as confirmation of your vehicle’s registration.

Be sure to keep the rest of your V5C registration certificate as it is likely you will need this to register your vehicle abroad.

Temporary export

If you plan to take your vehicle overseas for less than 12 months then you will have to take your vehicle log book (V5C). Be sure to keep it accessible as you may need to show it at the destination port.

It is best to apply in advance if you need to get a V5C as it could take more than 6 weeks to arrive. It must show your most recent UK address.

For temporary export, UK law still applies to any UK registered vehicle. So you will need to make sure it is taxed in the UK while it is abroad, and you must have a current MOT. You must also have insurance and meet any international or national conditions for licensing and taxation.

The shipping process when exporting a car

Once you have chosen a shipping company, you will need to decide upon the shipping method. At KG Logistics, our services include roll-on/roll-off, containerised and break bulk shipping.

Containerised shipment

Container shipping offers added security in dedicated sealed containers. Our professional handlers will load, lash and secure your vehicles at one of our various UK handling depots across the UK. Household effects can also be shipped whilst inside the car and container. We can also offer a full unpacking and delivery service at most destinations if required.


RORO vessels are specifically designed to carry cars under deck and are equipped with roll-on/roll-off ramps to enable cars to be driven on and off the vessel. Vehicles are secured and lashed to the floor of the ship to prevent any movement during transit and are not exposed to any external elements.

Vehicle collection

Once you have selected the shipping method, you can then arrange transport to the port. We offer a car collection service from anywhere in the UK. This is often the most convenient method to transport your car to the export port, but you also have the option to deliver your vehicle yourself. With our excellent connections, we also offer services from our overseas agents in most major ports if required.

Top tips to consider

Notifying the DVLA that you are exporting your car from the UK is the first step in the process. But there are a number of other considerations to make to guarantee a smooth transition to get your car abroad.

Obtain necessary documentation

Ensure you have all the necessary documentation, including proof of ownership, a valid drivers license, photo ID and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Check the history of your vehicle

If you do not have an export certificate, customs may check for any outstanding finance owed. If there is outstanding finance still owed on the vehicle then you will need written approval from the loan company before you can ship the vehicle.

Check import duty

At KG Logistics we can ship your car to any destination around the globe, but we cannot cover the import duties at the destination port. It is down to the person collecting the vehicle who must pay these duties or any taxes at the arrival port.

We can assist with any necessary import clearance documentation but we have no control over charges incurred by customs authorities overseas. It is vital you check overseas customs before you begin the shipment process to avoid any unexpected costs.

For more information or to receive a quote, please contact us.