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  • Paying VAT on vehicles brought into the UK if you're not registered for VAT

Paying VAT on vehicles brought into the UK if you're not registered for VAT

This guide gives you the payment options and deadlines for paying the VAT due on any vehicles you bring permanently into the UK if you're not registered for VAT. You could be a business that's not registered for VAT or a private individual.

If you're a VAT-registered business and want to know how to pay please see the 'More useful links' section at the end of this page.

On this page:

Payment Deadlines

You are responsible for making a Notification of Vehicle Arrivals (NOVA) and paying any VAT due.

You can notify HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) using the NOVA online service or by completing a form VAT NOVA1. If you use the:

  • NOVA online service HMRC will send you a secure email telling you how much VAT is due
  • form VAT NOVA1 HMRC will send you a payment notice confirming the VAT you should pay

You should pay the VAT as soon as HMRC tell you how much you owe.

You will not be able to register and license your vehicle with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), or the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland until you have paid any VAT due.

Log in to HMRC Online Services to make your NOVA declaration

Contact the VAT Helpline for a form VAT NOVA1


Penalties for Late Notification

You must notify HMRC within 14 days of the vehicle arriving in the UK. If you don't you will receive a late notification penalty of £5 for each day late.

If HMRC tell you that you owe a penalty you pay it in the same way as you pay the VAT.


Use the right payment reference

When you make your payment to HMRC it is important that you use the right reference number. This makes sure your payment reaches your account and will not delay HMRC confirming your payment.

To pay the VAT due you will need to use your NOVA reference number. You can find this:

  • on the secure email HMRC sent you if you've signed up for NOVA online
  • on the payment notice that HMRC sent you if you used a form VAT NOVA1

It's made up of 13 characters. For example:

  • if you've notified online - NOVA12E100000
  • sent in a form VAT NOVA1 - NOVA12P700000

When you give your NOVA reference please show the reference without any gaps between the characters. Otherwise it could lead to delays in updating your account.


Bank details for Bacs Direct Credit, Faster Payments by online/telephone banking or CHAPS

You can use your bank or building society services to pay by:

  • Bacs Direct Credit
  • Faster Payments by online/telephone banking

Setting up and making payments

To make your NOVA payment using any of these methods you'll need to set up the payment details with your bank. You'll need to give them:

  • HMRC's bank account details
  • your NOVA reference number

Find out HMRC's bank account details

Faster Payments

This is a service that has been introduced by the banking industry for sending online or telephone banking payments on the same or next day, providing the value of the payment does not exceed the value limit set by the sending bank.

More about the Faster Payments Service

Information about Faster Payment limits (Opens new window)


By Post

HMRC recommends that you make your payment using one of the other methods covered in the guide as its more efficient and secure than sending payment by post. You'll also receive confirmation from HMRC that you have paid the VAT due quicker.

If you pay by cheque it will take up to 10 working days for your payment to reach HMRC's account. This will delay you being able to register and license the vehicle with either the DVLA or DVA.

If, exceptionally, you need to pay by cheque please:

  • make your cheque payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by your NOVA reference number
  • send your cheque to HMRC at:

HM Revenue & Customs
Personal Transport Unit
Building 22
Priory Court
St Johns Road
CT17 9SH


More useful links

Find out more about NOVA

Read more on how VAT applies when importing a personal vehicle

Making a payment to HMRC if you're a VAT-registered business

Read more in the VAT Information Sheet 'Notification of Vehicle Arrivals'