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Driving my French car in England

Posted by Mcraig0220 - Created: 5 years ago
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Posted by Mcraig0220 - 5 years ago


Thanks for the swift response.

To add a little more context. I recently took early retirment in the UK and have moved down to our house in France. I plan to drive back to collect a few things, including the Wife and dog :-) before returning for the remainder of the year. I'm currently paying my taxes in the UK so I guess HMRC class me as a UK resident!

I had read the HMRC link you provided and it kind of suggeted tha HMRC are more interested about getting the duty.

I do have access to a vehicle whilst back in the UK So I guess best thing would be keep the French vehicle off the UK roads as much as possible whilst back there and only use it  for travelling back to France. And as we only live a short distance from Folkestone it shouldn't be too much of a chore.


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Posted by laughingboy-409220 - 5 years ago

You have indeed complicated things if you 'spend the majority of your time here' and 'are not French residents'.

Technically, the answer to whether 'you' can drive 'your' FR car in the UK will depend on 'your' individual circumstances, which since they are clearly not straightforward, people on the forum will find hard to guess hence hard to advise.

Presumably there is something unusual about your circumstances, because normally  spending the majority of your time in France would on its own be sufficient to class you as resident under French law, even if it doesn't automatically make you a 'leaver' under UK law. Residence isn't a thing you decide for yourself, it is decided automatically by your lifestyle - where you spend most of your time, where your economic interests are, etc - so if you're betwixt and between, it's up to HMRC and the fisc to look at your lifestyle patten and decide between them. 

If it has been officially decided that you are still fully UK resident and not even dual resident then the basic rule is very simple - NO, a UK resident cannot drive a foreign registered car in the UK. EU legislation provides for certain specific exceptions eg for students, and if you meet their very restrictive definition of a 'cross border worker'.

The UK legislation is summed up here:


"UK residents aren’t allowed to use non-UK registered vehicles on UK roads. The only exceptions are if you:

work in another European Union (EU) member state and use an EU-registered company car temporarily in the UK lease an EU-registered car and use this temporarily in the UK"