Police divers, coastguard lifeboats and a helicopter were called to Duncansby Head in Caithness at around 1.20pm yesterday after reports of a vehicle in the water.
It was not possible to secure the car due to its location and it was lost from sight.
The search was stood down overnight, but Police Scotland divers and Wick lifeboat returned to the area this morning to continuing looking for the vehicle.
The body of a man has now been recovered from the scene.
A police spokesman said: "A search and rescue was carried out by police, HM Coastguard, Wick Lifeboat and the Coastguard helicopter but due to the car's location efforts to secure it were not possible and it was lost from sight. The search was stood down overnight.
"The Police Scotland dive and marine unit recommenced searches this morning at approximately 8am with assistance from the Wick Lifeboat. Police can now confirm that the body of a man has been recovered."
Officers from the road policing unit have also been investigating the scene to determine how the car ended up in the North Sea.