Beware the Cheap LHD Car

Beware the Cheap Left Hand Drive “Bargain”

The police and local authorities are toughening up on unregistered foreign import cars and their illicit use. Surveilance is now being kept at ports, motorways and other places of all foreign cars as they enter the UK.

Police are now using the very latest digital photography with automatic number plate recognition to trace and identify the owners of left hand drive cars who have failed to register their vehicles which have been in the UK for six months or longer.


The law is that if an imported car (i.e. one without a UK registration) is used on the road in the United Kingdom for 6 months or longer it has to be UK registered with the relevant road tax paid. The vehicle also needs a valid MOT and insurance and must conform to current UK road use requirements.

Owners of cars who fail to follow these rules face having their vehicles clamped or impounded together with hefty fines.

This should be borne in mind if you are considering buying a LHD car in the UK which still has foreign plates on it and it has not yet been UK registered. It may well be priced cheap because there could be an unpleasant surprise waiting for you – an outstanding fine on the car which the seller has failed to pay – So, I suggest, buyer do beware!