Get that imported motorhome a UK reg!

Well, we’d successfully imported our 25 year old hymer and even managed to get her on the drive (not sure we’d ever manage to get her out through the gate again though..). Now we needed to get a UK registration for her.
Having never done anything like this before it seemed a little daunting, but actually the DLVA were really helpful and there are basically three steps to getting that UK reg.

*Note: A lot of this applies to any used vehicle import from the EU but there are some parts that are specifically for vehicles of 10 years old or over and the road tax is specific to motorhomes with a maximum allowable weight of over 3.5tonnes.

We did this with a lot of help and advice from the wonderful members of the Classic Hymers facebook group – if its a Hymer you want to import then this is the group to join for advice before and after the purchase.
So, here’s what we did, and we got the registration first time, so it must be mostly right!

Step 1 – NOVA

You need to contact HMRC to complete a NOVA (notification of vehicle arrival). They use this to assess whether or not you owe any VAT on the vehicle. Don’t worry, you won’t if the van is over 6 months old or has done more than 6,000 miles…
You can complete the NOVA online here. It takes just a few minutes to complete¬†and they email a confirmation – in the case of vehicles classified as ‘used’ – see above, this emails confirms that you don’t owe any VAT.
You HAVE to complete the NOVA before you try to apply for a UK reg through the DVLA, thats why we put it as step 1… ūüėČ

Step 2 – Get a UK MoT

A current MoT certificate is one of the documents that you will need in order to apply for a UK registration. If the van is left hand drive then in order to pass an MoT you should have the lights changed to dip the other way, the rear fog light swapped to the other side and MPH put on the speedo. However, there appears to be¬†some flexibility on this. We took a set of dutch beam shifter stickers (bought on the ferry as we brought the van back from Germany) and asked the garage to fit them, they used their beam alignment thingy to get them spot on, which was great because even in English the instruction are pretty incomprehensible and in dutch, well….
We also left the speedo as KPH as we would be using the van almost exclusively on the continent and just had the rear fog light swapped. It passed the MoT first time with no advisories.

Step 3 –¬†Apply for¬†that UK reg!

The easiest way to get the right forms is to request a ‘used vehicle import pack’. you can request them online here
I would request this at least 2 weeks before you need it as they can take a while to arrive. This pack includes theV/55 which is the form to fill out to apply for UK registration, it also has a document with notes on how to fill in the V/55 and a leaflet with advice on which road tax band applies to your vehicle.
image of v55 form

This is the V/55

Important extras!!

Here are a few notes on things we found out along the way, that could save you a lot of time and research.
  • The V/55 asks for a ‘certificate of conformity’ – you will not have one of these if the vehicle is older than 10 years. This doesn’t matter, it just means you leave all these areas blank on the V/55. If in doubt ask the DVLA – they were very helpful.
  • The tax band you should apply for if the van is over 3.5t is Private Heavy Goods, this is also the cheapest at ¬£165 a year.¬†The import pack has a tax band info sheet in it, it’s almost impossible to understand…just look for private heavy goods.¬†
  • To get UK reg, as well as sending off the the V/55 you need to send:
    • an MoT certificate
    • a certificate of insurance (this will have to be on the VIN as you won’t have a reg at this point)
    • proof of i.d (we used driver’s licence photocopy I think)
    • the original registration docs from the country you bought the vehicle from
    • a cheque that covers the tax and the first registration fee – for us that was ¬£220 (165 tax + 55 reg fee)
Finally, if you buy from Germany you need to make sure you get the german registration docs with the sale – this comes in 2 parts, the Fahrzeugschein Teil 1 and 2. The DVLA will want this when you first register and they will want both parts, 1 and 2, so make sure the seller provides them at the point of purchase.
Hopefully this will be of help to someone and if you think we’ve missed anything then please let us know in the comments.
Happy importing!


2 thoughts on “Get that imported motorhome a UK reg!

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  1. Tim 2 years ago

    Hi Chris and Family

    I am importing a 670 this coming week from germany. I have the DVLA pack ready and a place to sort the MOT here in the UK.

    My question is, assuming my paperwork is correctly filled in, how long did it take for the DVLA to return your documents with a UK reg number? What sort of time scale was that?

    Thank you


    1. Chris 2 years ago

      Hi Tim,

      The DVLA were really quick, in our case anyway. It took around a week until I heard back from them. It was a rejection, because like a fool I had included a cheque for the tax but not the first registration fee of ¬£55. They were very helpful though and the rejection included all the info and a named contact to resend the application to. It was then around another 7 days before I received the V5. I’m not sure what response time the DVLA commit to, but in our case it was around 7 days and a really good service. Good luck with the import and enjoy that S670!