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How long can I drive a U.K. registered vehicle in

Posted by Phil Moisey - Created: 14 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by jayno-192281 - 14 years ago

Interesting information Tony, thanks.

I need to correct what I said in my earlier post. I have just looked at the UK DVLA website and found this:

".............

C. Temporarily Imported Vehicles

There are International agreements which provide for the temporary use of a vehicle in a foreign country for a limited time, usually 6 months in a 12 month period. A visitor to the UK may use a vehicle displaying foreign plates, provided that all taxes (including vehicle excise duty) are paid in their country of origin.

......... "

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

I was reading about speed radars in a French paper, and the Gendarmerie say that foreign cars caught by an automatic control are not traced but that within a few months there will be a system for exchanging information between EU states.

I think there is already a manual system in place for serious offences.  I dont whether the new system will apply to parking fines, but it is usual to tow foreign plated cars that are parked illegaly.

There will also shortly be a EU model "carte grise".

All in all there should not be any need for an EU state to insist on a foreign registered car being reregistered, provided that the car is registered at an address which has some connection with the owner, for example a second residence.

Tony

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Posted by lob-189383 - 14 years ago

well worth having 06 plates for another quite scary reason. car jacking. the toe rags who do this normally target foreign registered vehicles - happened to a friend of mine the other day on the n202 close to the airport - she was in a swiss registered car - luckily managed to get away. heard of similar stories in foreign plated cars.

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Posted by jayno-192281 - 14 years ago

I do this the opposite way round. I live in the UK but have a second house in France which I visit every two or three months. I bought an old french car (conveniently LHD, diesel, estate) in Paris and re-registered it in Departement 32, against my french house address, changing the number plates accordingly (which you have to do within 15 days of ownership if you reside in a different departement to the one the car is currently registered in). I insured it in France and made sure my policy covered me for driving elsewhere in Europe, including the UK, and I told my insurers I wanted to spend longish periods with the car in the UK. They were completely relaxed about this and even said they would honour breakdown cover if I needed it while over here. When I asked, they advised me I could keep the car here in the UK for up to 90 days at a time before I would trigger UK authorities wanting me to register it as a UK vehicle. In fact, I don't leave it longer than 90 days before I return to France, but it is obvious that the authorities here are not checking if I do or don't anyway. No police or anyone else has bothered me when driving the french car over here. 

I have heard that someone in my situation would also have the benefit of not paying parking or speed camera fines as the car's registration is untraceable through normal procedures to a UK address. I don't know if this is so and I hope not to do anything that causes me to test this out. but I would be interested in anyone else's comments on this.

 

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

Does anyone know anyone who has had trouble recently driving a foreign reg car?

I know the authorities were sticky in years gone past, but I wonder what they have been doing since the carte de sejour was abolished.

Tony

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Posted by dublinmike-182617 - 14 years ago

I keep an Irish registered wheelchair converted people carrier here for a family member who visits regularly and is practically a resident. It's fairly old now but it's her car and she needs it, and only it.

In this case it's impossible to re-reg it here because it's been modified, she couldn't possible afford a new replacement for it here, and keep her regular converted car in Dublin too. Nor could she physically drive a LHD.

she also couldn't prove that TVA had been paid for it, because in Ireland it's exempt from VAT.

So I have been met with shrugs and sympathy from the authorites amounting to "Oh poor lady, well I don't know...I'm sure it's fine as it is".

Nobody wants to delve into the paperwork on this one and they have decided (unofficially of course) to exempt the entire situation rather than provoke bad karma for themselves creating hassle for a handicapped lady who clearly doesn't need any more hassle than she's got already.

Mike

 

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

The problem with asking a French official what to do is that they might not be upto date with the latest developments.  Not only might are they likely to advise registering in France, but they might send someone to check that you have complied. 

It is the same as if a taxi driver were to ask if a bale of hay was still a legal requirement.  The answer is "Yes".

Registering a UK car in France is a bind because it is difficult to sell it on with RHD, so it means reregistering it back in the UK.

These days there is no real reason for the French to insist on residents cars having French plates provided that the owner has some connection with the country of the plate.  The Vignette has been abolished, the technical standards are more or less the same (except for UK lights) and shortly European countries will start swapping radar photos.

Tony

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Posted by mike-179830 - 14 years ago

The simple answer is "six months". However, if you are still resident in the UK (as your use of the term "home" implies) and return there on a regular basis, you may find that the French authorities are happy to accept that the car remains legally "domiciled" (as it were) in the UK and has not been imported into France.

Details on re-registering your car are here:

http://riviera.angloinfo.com/information/1/motoregister.asp

Personally, I'd go to the French authorities and say, "This is my situation, what's the score?" Get a response in writing if they say you can keep the car on UK plates. The reason I say "go to the French authorities" is that, if you assume you can keep the car on its current plates but (after six months) the French decide otherwise, it could all get a bit sticky...

**************
Mike

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

I would like to know the answer too, since I drive a car that belongs to our Belgian company and cannot be reregistered in France.

The law used to be that you couldnt drive a foreign reg car once you were registered in France. 

Lately the European parliament ruled that a member state may not prevent members of that state from driving vehicles registered to a company in another state, provided they had some connection with the company.

The ruling was specifically directed at Belgium, who were objecting to Belgians driving cars registered to Luxembourg companies, and thus avoiding Belgian taxes. Nevertheless it applies to all member countries.

In the case of Belgium, they still have the law forbidden the Luxembourg plates, just as the UK still has a law obliging taxi-drivers to carry a bale of hay for the horse, they just dont apply it anymore.

These days there is no real reason for France to object to foreign reg cars.  France has abolished the vignette, technical standards are the same, and soon member countries will swap radar photos too.

Tony