Do I need to de-register my motorcycle in my home country, outside the EU, before I can bring it to the UK, register it, and get a UK number plate?

Or, can I freely travel by my bike to the UK with an international number plate and simply register it with Customs after paying VAT?

  • Where are you importing from? How old is the bike? (The latter affects which standards it has to meet.) Mar 4, 2018 at 11:33
  • I think a major factor in this is whether you already live in the UK or are in the process of moving.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 2, 2018 at 9:01

1 Answer 1


Ask the DVLA https://www.gov.uk/contact-the-dvla. You may also have to modify your motorcycle somewhat before it can be registered.

  • No, I think it has something to do with UK customs because they need to allow me to pass through the border after saying them that I am improting the bike and completing all required forms
    – Shendor
    Aug 17, 2017 at 20:48
  • Your bike might not have permission to be driven in the UK at all. The manufacturer might have to make changes to agree with UK regulations, and your non-UK bike might not meet the regulations.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 4, 2018 at 17:42
  • 1
    I don't have a motorbike! Feb 7, 2018 at 22:24
  • 2
    @Shendor ; There are two things going on. To import the bike into the UK, you will have to talk to customs. To register it with a British number plate, you will have to talk to DLVA. The two are completely separate operations: for example, when we imported our UK car to Germany, there was no tax to pay (single market), and we had six months to change the registration from UK to German (which required new headlights to meet German regulations). It will be more complex for you importing from outside the EU, but there are two steps. Mar 4, 2018 at 11:32
  • @MartinBonner Actually, the details are complex but “means of transportation“ are not generally covered by the single market. Various countries have exemptions for people moving into the country and the like but EU rules do not ban special import taxes, like the Dutch BPM.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 2, 2018 at 9:05

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