Can you buy a left hand drive car in the UK and sell it in Europe?
The long and short of it is yes, legally you can sell a UK registered car in Europe. With the strength of the Euro against the pound, many Europeans are in fact looking toward the UK as a means of getting their hands on imported classic cars and standard models at cheaper prices than they may pay in their native country.
Whilst selling a car in Europe opens you up to a larger potential market, the smaller market in the UK may mean you can ask a higher price for the car as it's already gone through the process of import and registration and has all the necessary documentation to make it legal to drive in the UK.
Making a sale
Issues can potentially arise when conducting a sale over a long distance, it goes without saying, but make sure you either receive the funds in person or any money transfers are completed and verified before you release the car.
Whenever you're selling a car within the UK or further afield, you should be wary of scams, but when dealing with buyers over long distance you potentially open yourself up to being taken advantage of.
Whilst payment services such as PayPal are popular, their buyer or seller protection that exists to protect against fraudulent activity or disputes arising from transactions, doesn't cover the sale of cars, therefore cash on collection or alternative payment methods would be worth looking into.
Following a successful sale, there are still a couple of things to take care of...
You should get in touch with your insurance company to cancel your policy. This should be a straightforward process, but there may be an administration fee for cancelling.
If you paid upfront for your policy and haven't yet reached your renewal period, you may be eligible for a partial refund. Make sure to contact your insurer for full details of their policies.
Informing the DVLA
It's possible to transfer ownership of the car to someone outside of the UK using the standard V5 document. The blue section (Section 11) should be filled out by you and kept whilst the remainder of the V5 document should be handed over to the new owner.
The section retained should then be sent to the DVLA to notify them you are no longer the registered owner of the car and the vehicle has been permanently exported. It is then the responsibility of the car's new owner to properly ensure that the car is legally registered in their own country.
Outside of the UK it is not a legal requirement for the vehicle to be taxed for UK roads if it isn't being driven on them, therefore if there is any remaining time left on the tax disc; it may be possible to apply for a refund from the DVLA.
Use a V14 form available from the GOV.UK website or a post office to make your application.
Key points to remember:
- It's not possible to claim back any tax before you have notified the DVLA that the vehicle has been exported though you can still submit both forms at the same time.
- Your refund application may be rejected if the details on the V14 document don't exactly match those shown on the V5 document
- You can get a refund for each full calendar month remaining on the tax disc
- The DVLA will acknowledge receipt of your refund application
Chris Stillwell writes for left hand drive insurance comparison site Confused.com. Whilst at University, Chris' summer job involved driving a 6 wheel left hand drive Land Rover ice cream van on the beaches of West Wales.