/ Taking a car to one European country for 10 months

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crisp - on 25 Jul 2013
Hi,

We are considering taking our car over to a European country for the next ten months. Ww have got jobs there and we will become residents in this country. However we are receiving conflicting information from friends, family and the internet.

Does anyone know what the rules and practicalities are on taking a car to one European country for 10 months? The car is right hand drive and registered in the UK at the moment. We understand that you have to re-register after 6 months but we don't want to do this as one of our work contracts is for 9 months and the other for an absolute maximum of 2 years and we would be bringing the car back to the UK for 2 months in the summer.
JimGoodman - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp: Your biggest problem is likely to be insurance, however I'm fairly sure you can get a policy that allows you to be out of the country for that long and keep proper cover. Many revert to 3rd party only after 90 days abroad. You may find an insurance company from the country you are going too that will insure a car on UK plates? Sounds like as things stand it would count as temporary abroad.



Run_Ross_Run - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp:
Residents in which country?.
If its uk registered and ur coming back and ur uk registered then just make sure your insurance covers you for European travel and you have nothing to worry about. Except mot and road tax but even thats not too bad.
crisp - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp:
Insurance is not an issue as companies such as Stuart Collins do a european policy.
IainRUK - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp: Stuart collins is fine.. you need UK MOT and tax so back in the UK for one day a year.
IainRUK - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp: In Germany I am meant to re-plate it, but they don't know when the car entered.. so its not an issue.. just make sure you have the equipment sorted... first aid etc..
Lesdavmor - on 25 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp:
In European law, it is allowed to use a car for 6 months but after this period, you either have to re-register the vehicle or take it out of the country & not return for a further 6 months.There is no doubt about this.
I live in Spain but commonly see vehicles which have been in country for 2 to 10 years. Generally the Guardia Civil say they have better things to do, or so it appears.
In 1979 I brought a car from Libya to UK & after 6 months I was menaced by the then HM Customs & Excise to pay the import tax or re-register.
It works both ways!

crisp - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp:
I contacted the DVLA about this matter and they could not give a definitive answer, they suggested contacting the AA.
Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp: I think you might get a better answer if UKC knew the exact country your going to.

Do note that it can easily cost £1000 to re-register a car onto French plates (depending on car engine size, wether you have to change headlights, what the hurdles are like in the area you are registering are like, what registration cost they pluck out of thin air).

For max 2 years, the higher european cover insurance of stuart collins can be cheaper than re-registering in France. Oh and also it is very very hard to move over your NCB from UK insurance to French insurance, so you get stung there too.

IainRUK - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Lesdavmor:
> (In reply to crisp)
> In European law, it is allowed to use a car for 6 months but after this period, you either have to re-register the vehicle or take it out of the country & not return for a further 6 months.There is no doubt about this.
> I live in Spain but commonly see vehicles which have been in country for 2 to 10 years. Generally the Guardia Civil say they have better things to do, or so it appears.

have you got a quote for that? I heard 3 months.. but see very little, just views on ex-pats forums.. toytown etc.

I've had mine here 6 months, police are fine, been stopped once.



Doug on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp: It was several years ago (1990s) but I had a UK registered car in France for a little over a year (wasn't sure at first quite how long I'd be staying) but had an insurance policy that was valid for unlimited time outside the UK. Was a little worried when the MOT ran out but was advised by the UK police that as long as I had an appointment for a MOT test for the day/day after I returned to the UK that there would be no problem. Fortunately didn't need to claim on the insurance so can't tell if that advice was valid.
IainRUK - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Doug: Can't see how your insurance would be valid?

Thats the case for SC's.. you need UK insurance and tax.
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp:

As far as France is concerned there's no problem for 10 months. After a years residence you are supposed to hand in your British driving licence and get a French one in exchange but no one checks and it wouldn't worry you for 10 months anyway.

For the car there is no road tax in France but again for a 10 month stay it wouldn't be worth getting French registration, again no one checks and if you are stopped you are just a tourist. The only problem I had with a GB reg car was once when it was stolen and I got it back damaged - the cover was poor and it was a bit complicated with just GB insurance so I found a French insurance (MACIF) which was cheaper. They covered a GB plated car in France with no problem for years. By the time I had decided to stay in France the car had been changed for a French one - getting a British reg car registered in France is a bit of a pain and only worth it if you have some special reason - vintage car or something similar.

Conclusion: for France at least, and by extension Europe as a whole, no need to take special precautions for 10 months. There's no Interpol section out here looking for Brits to harass :-)
Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: The license law has changed. You NEVER need to change your license unless the French authorities want to put points on it.
Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: For the Car, if you are EXPORTING the car to France you HAVE to change to french plates after 6 months of the car being in france.

If the car is going in and out of france all the time then this is a grey area and they usually don't hassle you.

As for vintage cars, I would recomend against. You have to have the vehicles certificate of conformity as well as the UK registration document. If it is a car that was 1st registered in the UK and fairly new then the manufacturer will be able to give a copy (at cost) BUT if it was a single vehicle approval then the document will be held by the DVLA in a storage warehouse and they will probable not be able to find it. I have no idea what you would do if the car manufacturer has gone out of busness etc. (can you tell I went through this pain?? ;-) )
Doug on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) The license law has changed. You NEVER need to change your license unless the French authorities want to put points on it.

But isn't it an offence not to change your license when you change address ? - having been resident in France for several years I really ought to have changed to a French license but the system is complex, varies from Dept to Dept (seemingly I need to go to the prefecture in person but you can't make an appointment & the queues here in the 93 are horrendous)& no one seems to be able to tell what papers I need.

Would be great to know I don't need to change (current license uses a house I own in the UK but its rented & I can't really claim to live there)

Bruce Hooker - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) The license law has changed. You NEVER need to change your license unless the French authorities want to put points on it.

I didn't know that, so I could go and get my old British one back and use it in France even as a French resident? I might do that as I'm going to be in Britain more and more an my British licence enabled me to drive vehicles with a heavy trailer. On the other hand I just got flashed so maybe the point I got would prevent me?

One advantage of having a French license is that it gave me at least one French ID document when I used a cheque in a supermarket :-)
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob:

> For the Car, if you are EXPORTING the car to France you HAVE to change to french plates after 6 months of the car being in france.

But no one checks and if you go back and forth there's never any problem -t I did it for years.

I knew about the hassle for importing a car, and recently looked it up for a friend who wanted to bring a Toyota Land Cruiser into France from Azerbaijan. The model (petrol) wasn't homologated in France so he would have had to do the whole procedure as if he was a manufacturer, it would have cost thousands apparently. In the end he took it to Britain and registered it there instead as it was much simpler.
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Doug:

I did it in Paris in the 70s, horrendous queue, 5 hours IIRC, and you had to get a "traduction assermentée" too, which cost a fair bit. If it's no longer required that's at least one point in favour of the EU!
Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Doug: Nope it isn't an offence. There was an EU directive I think as far back as 1997.

The UK address is fine. I did find an official website about it when I looked into it, but I can't find it at the moment.

I Have heard of some going to French DL as there is no expiary date.

When trying to look for the exact EU Directive I hit some web pages that made it look like they are trying to go for 1 European driving license where whatever country you are in you get treated the same as locals ie if you speed you get points.
IainRUK - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob: Do you know anyone who has points on a UK license from speeding abroad? I know its theoretically meant to be possible but you never hear about it. I heard that practically the mechanisms just are not in place.
Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: 2 things. 1) I think you have to be resident to first get the license, so you might have to be UK resident to get UK license back (check with DVLA).
2)UK licenses and what you are alowd to drive/tow has changed over the years. I know if I applied for UK license for 1st time now, I would be elegible for less than I have on my UK license I got ages ago. Not sure if you will get your old one reinstated, or you would get a new one with less elagability (check with DVLA).

One thing about keeping your French one, it doesn't have an end date does it? The UK one you do and then you have to get re-assessed.
Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK: If resident abroad, I have heard of people being forced to change license to country of residence so they get the points. Also when on hols I have heard of 1 month instant bans when I would suspect if a local they would have gotten points instead. Though both of these are highly unlikely.

The EU are getting their stuff in place though so that this won't always be the case.
Al Evans on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Doug:
> (In reply to Bob kate bob)
> Would be great to know I don't need to change (current license uses a house I own in the UK but its rented & I can't really claim to live there)

I just use my sisters address in England. Renewed it there last year as a matter of fact.
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob:

> The UK one you do and then you have to get re-assessed.

That might be the best argument for keeping my French one :-)
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Doug)
> [...]
>
> I just use my sisters address in England. Renewed it there last year as a matter of fact.

But doesn't that mean you have to pay taxes in Britain too as you would be considered a resident? I may soon have to make this sort of choice if I spend more time in England and I can't work out the implications, both for taxes and in the case of my demise... How do they calculate death duties between two countries?
Enty - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Bob kate bob) Do you know anyone who has points on a UK license from speeding abroad? I know its theoretically meant to be possible but you never hear about it. I heard that practically the mechanisms just are not in place.

I'll keep you posted - I was speeding Bourg d'Oisans two weeks ago in a hire van. The hire company got the ticked and forwarded my details and a copy of my license.

Incidentally - I have a 2006 Fiat on UK plates, been here 4 years and has a French Control Technique and French insurance.

E
IainRUK - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Enty: I was caught in a german hire car a few years back and just had to pay the fine..

But have had 3 pr 4 cameras go off since being here this time and non have been followed..
Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:There is the usual agreement for working out residency for days spent in the country, BUT this is trumped by the rule between France and the UK as to where your children go to school. So if you spend less than 180 days in France but your children school in france, you are still french resident for tax purposes.

Death duties I am not sure. Inheritance law in France is changing for expats I think that have not got French citizenship. THey are looking at UK expats being able to do inheritance the same as UK law ie you can choose who can inherit, rather than French law where there are rules of who inherits wether you want them to or not.

I hear that France is trying to get TAX on monies moved out of France that will no longer be subject to French tax. This does not matter if your moving it to example the UK but your stying in france, or your moving it to the UK as you are also moving to the UK. There is quiet exodus at the moment from France to the UK because of the tax and also due to burocracy restraints that limit the ability to do business. This is an exodus of French, not just expats going home.

Personally I would suggest going to someone for advice that knows the 2 systems well. There are a few out there, they usually advertise on expat forums.
crisp - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp: Does all of the above apply to Italy?
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Bob kate bob on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to crisp: The EU directive about not needing to change license yep.
About keeping UK car on UK plates, how much changing plates costs, how easy it is for a UK license holder to get insurance locally for a locally registered car. I would look on expat forums dedicated to Italy.
Bruce Hooker - on 26 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob kate bob:

Yes, I'll have to see (and pay!) an accountant in Britain this summer. I'm wary of asking our notaire as unlike a lawyer or accountant they are also "agents de l'état" and I don't know if you can tell them all the possible "what ifs" without them being obliged to report back as it were.

We are moving house at the moment in France and clearly must write a will given our ages... as you probably know death duties in France can be very high, up to 60% if you want to leave anything to someone who is not a direct relative. I know it wouldn't be my problem if I'm not around but I wouldn't like to leave the survivors in a mess :-)

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