Ask Us Anything

Is it ok to keep a UK car here during lockdown?

Hi guys,

My daughter drove home to Dublin from London last October in her UK-registered car. It has been sitting on the road outside the house since then, she drives around occasionally to keep the battery up. She is still here because of the lockdown here and in London. My neighbour has said that if someone reports the car to Customs that they can take it off her and she will have to pay import duty to get it back. She has owned it more than six months. It is her intention that if we and the UK EVER get out of lockdown that she will drive back to London.

She has no money as a result of Covid and is on the Covid payment and came home because she could not afford her rent in London. My husband and myself have been in lockdown for over a year now, we are just not able for the worry of this. Have you any advice please? We do not have a driveway big enough to take this car.

Regards Helen

Helen ONeill (Dublin)

Mar 2021 Filed under: importing

Expert answer

Hi Helen,

OK, first off there’s nothing to be concerned about. People who are temporarily resident in Ireland are allowed to bring their cars with them, and not have to re-register or fully import them for as long as 12 months. There are no forms to fill out, you just have to be able to show proof of address, purchase, tax, and insurance when and if you’re asked. Students who are studying in Ireland can keep cars with them for the duration of their studies, even if that exceeds 12 months, so there are clearly generally lenient rules when it comes to this. Given that your daughter is (a) intending to return to the UK when it is safe to do so and (b) effectively sheltering with you because of the pandemic, I wouldn’t be too concerned about having the car taken away nor anything like it.

Really, the only issue that would arise is if your daughter wanted to sell the car here, but if she’s going to keep it, I would say you’ve not much to worry about. 

Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Advisor

Read all questions...