Transport goods out of the UK by road: step by step

Transport goods out of the UK by road: step by step

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How to transport goods commercially if you’re driving from the UK to or through Europe.

You’ll need to complete extra tasks if you’re exporting your own goods.


  1. Check if you need a vehicle operator licence
  2. Apply for a vehicle operator licence

You will need other licences and permits, depending on the countries you're driving to or through.

  1. Check which licences and permits you need

Your vehicle must pass a specialist test before you can transport dangerous goods (ADR test).

  1. Book a specialist vehicle test 
  1. Find out what you need to do if you're exporting your own goods

There are rules for transporting certain goods. Your driver may need to follow set routes or stop at specific check points if you’re transporting mixed loads or specific types of goods. Check the rules for:

  1. Find out what you need to apply for if you’re moving goods temporarily out of the UK

If you're transporting goods outside the EU they must have been cleared by customs (given ‘permission to progress’). The exporter can tell you if this has happened.

Your driver will need copies of:
  • any export licences
  • the road consignment note (‘CMR note’)
  • the Movement Reference Number (MRN) from the export declaration - if you're moving goods out of the EU
  • the MRN and the Local Reference Number (LRN) - if you're moving goods under the Common Transit convention (CTC)
  • the ATA Carnet document - if you're moving goods out of the UK temporarily
  • the TiR Carnet document - if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment with a seal number

The exporter should be able to give all of these to you.

You'll also need to have a customs seal approval certificate for the vehicle if you’re moving goods in a sealed load compartment. You'll get this when your vehicle passes the TiR test.

  1. Check the road rules for European countries on the AA website
  2. Check travel advice for countries outside Europe

When you have your documents, insurance and any extra equipment you need, you can transport goods abroad.

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