Registration and Residence

Where you can or more importantly have to register your left hand drive car is a question many customers ask.

In a world where people people live and work in different countries the question of where to register your new or used LHD car isn’t always an obvious one. In the past we have focused a lot on the economics of the purchase, choosing where is best to register based on maximising savings and using timing your import in terms of ownership and getting the best deal on registration and so on. This is still relevant and very much part of how we advise customers and to a degree those that travel amongst multiple destinations can also benefit greatly from this.

The ultimate question of where to register and when you need to register is one residency. Where are you and the car going to be. Quite simply if you buy a new left hand drive car to take to Spain and you are either Spanish, permanent resident there or work there for more than 180 days a year then in real terms you need to register your imported car in Spain. HMRC talk about intention when analysing whether to register a car in the UK. The question to ask is am I planning on staying in the UK for longer than 6 months, is the car staying and what background is there to that decision. Here are some scenario’s based on the UK system which is relevant to the rest of Europe.

1.) You have been living in the UK for 6 months already with a foreign plated you must re-register it or export it.

2.) You have arrived in the UK on holiday and leave before 6 months is up therefore you don’t have to re-register it.

3.) You have been here 3 months, you have now been given a permanent job contract, then you need to re-register now as your intention is to stay.

4.) You have been here 1 month, you have now been given a permanent job contract but await confirmation of your VISA then you still have 5 months to register the car.

It all comes down to intention and ability to stay if you have a job or bought a house these are the kind of things that clearly suggest you plan to stay and suggest you need t re-register in that country. For more information or advice then get in touch with us.