Buying a car in England: Where to buy, logistics, registration, number plates, and so on…


Since Brexit, buying a car in the UK has turned out to be a bargain. How to find a used vehicle in England at the best price? We explain the procedures as well as the pitfalls to avoid. Follow our practical advice to buy a car across the Channel and import it easily into other European countries.

Buying an English car on the Internet

Before you go out into the field, browse the car sales sites. On you will find a lot of offers. This is an auction. However, some sellers offer fixed prices. It’s up to you to find the right deal. There are other big selling platforms such as Many professional sellers use this site to sell their vehicles.

On site, inspect the coveted vehicle. English cars are sometimes in a general condition which can give cause for concern. Check the car for any signs of rust. Also make sure that the condition of the tires is satisfactory.

To adjust the vehicle, there are various solutions available to you. For a low value car, you may want to consider paying in cash. Note, it will be necessary to change between euros and pounds. If the professional seller has a bank card terminal, you can use this payment method. However, check that your credit card does not have a limit.

Free to return the car by road

The question of logistics arises for the purchase of a vehicle on foreign soil. Unlike Germany, England does not apply for temporary registration. You are free to return the car by road with its original registration.

There are then two possible choices for you to cross the Channel: the train or the boat. The train is the fastest but also the most expensive solution. If you are unsure whether to bring a car back, do not book a return ferry ticket for your vehicle. It is quite possible to do this once there.

Register and insure an English car

To register your car purchased in England, you must obtain a local registration certificate. This document will replace the English registration card. You have one month to complete the process at the prefecture. The supporting documents to be provided are:

the English gray card;

the fiscal discharge to prove the payment of VAT in destination country, or the exemption from VAT where applicable;

the European certificate of conformity if the vehicle purchased has been approved at European level;

the technical inspection report for less than six years. This must have been carried out on destination soil.

To insure a car purchased in England, the procedure remains the same as with a local vehicle.

With one difference, some insurance companies are cautious with the English car number plates. You have one month to do what is necessary, especially if you deal with unique number plates like CarReg (Est 1988) car number plates. Note, some insurers are understanding and allow additional delays.

Thank you for reading and we hope reading this article can help!

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