The world of car ownership is no longer confined by borders. Today, a growing number of people are opting to export their vehicles from the UK, unlocking a wider market and potentially securing a higher selling price. If you’re considering exporting a car from the UK, this step-by-step guide will equip you with the knowledge and resources to navigate the process smoothly.

Vehicle export involves selling and shipping vehicles from the UK to international markets. Key terms to know include:

Exporter: The party selling and shipping the vehicle.

Importer: The party buying and receiving the vehicle.

Customs: Authorities responsible for regulating and facilitating international trade.

Understanding Regulations and Requirements

Before diving in, familiarisation with the legalities is crucial. First, you’ll notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about your permanent export. This can be done conveniently online or by filling out the relevant section of your V5C logbook and detaching it for submission. Remember, temporary exports have different procedures, so ensure you understand the specific requirements of your situation. Prepare the necessary documents for vehicle export, including:

        1. Vehicle Registration Document (V5C)
        2. Export Certificate
        3. Bill of Lading
        4. Commercial Invoice
        5. Certificate of Origin

Regulations in your destination country also play a vital role. Ensure the vehicle meets export criteria (e.g., condition, age). Researching import regulations is key to avoiding delays or unexpected costs. You might encounter requirements for customs clearance, vehicle inspections, or even adaptations to meet local standards. Don’t hesitate to consult the relevant experts of your destination country for the most up-to-date information.

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A Grey Range Rover Sport Exported From The UK by UK RoadRunner

This is where the expertise of UK RoadRunner can make a significant difference. With over ten years of experience in the vehicle export business, our team is well-versed in navigating these complex regulations. We work closely with a network of experts in shipping and customs clearance to streamline the process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Export from the UK

Now it’s time to get your vehicle ready for its international journey. A thorough inspection and addressing any mechanical issues are paramount. Ensure the car is in good working condition to avoid complications during the export process. Don’t forget about general maintenance – a well-maintained vehicle is more likely to fetch a better price and raise fewer concerns for potential buyers.

Moving on to international regulations, cleaning and detailing your vehicle becomes crucial. International phytosanitary regulations aim to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. By thoroughly cleaning your car, you’ll ensure it meets these requirements and avoids delays at customs.

Finally, gather all the necessary documents. This typically includes your V5C logbook, a valid MOT certificate, proof of ownership, and potentially a bill of sale. Having certified copies prepared for some documents can be helpful, especially if required by the destination country.

UK RoadRunner’s extensive knowledge and experience in the industry can guide you through each of these steps. Our team can assist with inspections, cleaning, and documentation preparation, ensuring that your vehicle is ready for export and meets all necessary standards.

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A White Ford Ranger Wildtrak Ready for Export from The UK

Choosing a Shipping Method

When it comes to shipping your vehicle, you have these main options:

Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro) Shipping: This cost-effective method is ideal for operational vehicles that can be driven onto the ship. It’s a good choice for efficiency and affordability.

Container Shipping: For added protection and security, container shipping is the way to go. This method is particularly suitable for high-value vehicles or those requiring extra care during transport.

Air Freight: Suitable for urgent or high-value shipments.

The best option for you will depend on several factors, including the cost, transit time, type of vehicle, and final destination. Consider these factors carefully when making your decision.

Finding a Reputable Shipping Company

Partnering with a reliable shipping company is essential for a smooth export experience. Look for a company with experience in vehicle exports, a proven track record of customer satisfaction, and a clear communication policy.

Finding the right company can be done through online directories, industry associations, or even recommendations from friends or colleagues who have previously exported vehicles. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and compare quotes before making your final decision.

With UK RoadRunner, you gain access to our trusted network of shipping partners who have a proven track record of handling vehicle exports efficiently and reliably. Our relationships with these partners ensure that your vehicle is in safe hands throughout the shipping process.

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A Grey Porsche Cayenne Exported from The UK to Kenya

The Vehicle Export Process and Timeline

The export process generally follows a set flow: vehicle collection, customs clearance, loading onto the ship, and shipping to the destination. Understanding this process helps in planning and managing timelines effectively. 

Be aware that factors such as customs delays, shipping distance, and the chosen shipping method can affect the overall timeline. Planning for these contingencies can help avoid unexpected delays.

UK RoadRunner’s expertise ensures that each step of the export process is managed effectively. Our team coordinates with all parties involved to keep the process on track and minimize any potential delays.

Upon Arrival at the Destination Country

Once your vehicle reaches its new home, it’s time to navigate customs clearance in the destination country. In some cases, involving a local agent can expedite this process and ensure all the necessary paperwork is in order. 

Finally, you’ll need to register the vehicle in the destination country, following their specific procedures and requirements. This process ensures the car is legally recognized and can be used or sold in the new market.


Exporting a vehicle from the UK can be a rewarding experience, opening doors to a wider market and potentially securing a better sale. By following this step-by-step guide and understanding the key considerations, you can confidently navigate the process. 

To enhance your chances of a successful vehicle export, start the process well in advance to avoid last-minute issues. Accurate documentation is crucial, as incomplete or incorrect paperwork can cause significant delays. Maintaining clear communication with your shipping company throughout the process ensures you stay informed and can promptly address any concerns that arise.

Remember, a reputable vehicle export company like UK RoadRunner can be your partner in success, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience. Contact us today and let our expertise guide you through the journey of exporting your vehicle from the UK.

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