Motor insurance for visiting and imported vehicles

All drivers using roads in the UK must have third party insurance cover.

Drivers entering the European Union (EU) from a non-member state

Under the Motor Insurance Directives, a driver entering the European Union (EU) from a non-member state, (apart from vehicles from Andorra, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), must be able to produce evidence of having the necessary insurance cover, for example a Green Card.

Routine border checks are not normally carried out as the insurance requirement is checked at the point of entry into the EU.

Vehicles temporarily used in the UK

Vehicles registered in other countries that are temporarily brought into the UK by overseas residents are usually exempt from UK registration and licensing.

EU vehicles that are being used within or between Community Member States are allowed, under EC Directive 83/182, to be used on public roads without the need to register or pay duties in the host country.

These provisions limit visits to six months in a 12-month period and the vehicle must comply with the registration and licensing requirements of its home country. To qualify for the exemption, the visitor must have their normal residence outside the host-state.

Residency is normally taken to mean the place where a person usually lives for at least 185 days in each calendar year because of personal and occupational ties.


Enforcement is a matter for the police who can at any time ask a person to demonstrate that they are eligible to use the vehicle without registering and licensing it in the UK.

Any vehicle used in this country for more than six months in any 12 has to be registered and licensed here in the normal way with the Driver and Vehicle Licesning Agency (DVLA).

In addition, where the keeper of the vehicle becomes resident in this country, the vehicle must immediately be registered and licensed here. Once a vehicle has been registered in this country, its use must be covered by a motor insurance policy issued by a motor insurer authorised in the UK.

It should be noted that road traffic legislation applies to everyone using UK roads.

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