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Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Old Dec 31st 2010, 12:32 pm
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Default Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Hi,

I am a British citizen living in mainland Europe. I would like to buy a second hand car in the UK and bring it over to Europe.

I am prepared to pay UK car tax and arrange and pay for a suitable UK insurance policy that does not limit the amount of time that the car can be driven in mainland Europe.

Does anybody know this, though: what happens with the MOT? The car has passed its MOT and this is good until Nov. 2011. Assume I bring the car over to Europe at the end of Jan. 2011, insured and taxed of course.
What happens when Nov. 2011 comes? Is it imperative that the car be brought back to the UK for an MOT test, or can such a test be performed at a reputable dealer in mainland Europe?

Also, does anyone have any recommendations for specialist insurance companies that offer car insurance for UK citizens driving mostly in Europe?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 31st 2010, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Hello and welcome to the forum.
Your posting has many questions that need to be answered before anyone can give you a clear answer.
  • Is this for a vacation’
  • Are you ready living in the Europe? If so which country?
  • Are you over 55? If so Saga allows you to travel for more than the normal continental Europe cover of 90 days.
It is a legal requirement to ensure your car is roadworthy all the time; it will be part of the policy. Having an up to date MOT is considered part way to the car being roadworthy. So you have to return back to the U.K. to have it retested.
If you already are registered as living in another country you should check to see if you are allowed to drive a car which is not registered in the same country.
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Old Dec 31st 2010, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Originally Posted by racquetdynamics View Post
Hi,

I am a British citizen living in mainland Europe. I would like to buy a second hand car in the UK and bring it over to Europe.

I am prepared to pay UK car tax and arrange and pay for a suitable UK insurance policy that does not limit the amount of time that the car can be driven in mainland Europe.

Does anybody know this, though: what happens with the MOT? The car has passed its MOT and this is good until Nov. 2011. Assume I bring the car over to Europe at the end of Jan. 2011, insured and taxed of course.
What happens when Nov. 2011 comes? Is it imperative that the car be brought back to the UK for an MOT test, or can such a test be performed at a reputable dealer in mainland Europe?

Also, does anyone have any recommendations for specialist insurance companies that offer car insurance for UK citizens driving mostly in Europe?

Thanks in advance!
What part of mainland europe are you ?
If you are not a UK resident you will have to change the registration to the country you are living in after the time allowed.
A lot of countries will charge you a (import) tax as you are already living out of the UK and not bringing it in as your personal chattels within the designated time of changing country, also you need to have been the owner for six months.
Probably easier buying a lhd registered in the country you are resident in.
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Old Jan 1st 2011, 10:31 am
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Hi,

Thanks for your help.

No, I am not over 55. I have a UK address but I live in Croatia. I already have a car here in Croatia but had the idea to buy another one from the UK and bring it over. Quite a lot of British expats living here do this. I'm just wondering about the exact details of it though - I would rather do everything properly of course.

The problem with buying a car in Croatia is the extremely high price of all used cars, and also poor availability of interesting models.

I was also wondering if it would be a possibility to buy a car privately in the UK, then pay import tax on it in Croatia and register it here. I'm wondering if this would be a possibility.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old Jan 1st 2011, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Importing the car is the only way to go.
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Old Jan 2nd 2011, 8:17 am
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

If you have residence in Croatia , you should be able to import the car , provided it is less than 7 yrs old and has the Certificate of EU-Conformity
( although Croatia is not yet in the EU ) ; there'll be tons of paperwork and lots of duties to pay , much depending on the value of such a car in Croatia , kW-output etc ; then you end up with a rhd vehicle which will be very much unsaleable there and generally on the continent ; also , driving it will be more unsafe and remember the way the natives drive there ... so , maybe : not such a good idea ?
Some Brits who live there drive on U.K. plates , the whole annual MOT trek can be a pain , though ( unless you also have other good reasons to do such mileages ) . There does not yet seem to be a problem with U.K. reg'd vehicles , though - even when it's known that you are a resident there ( unlike in many other EU countries ! ) ; but , beware , if this Croatian dream of joining the EU becomes a reality , then , without a doubt , the attitude towards ignoring foreign-plated cars , driven by Croatian residents , will also change ( as yet another way of getting funds in and Croatian authorities will be proud to demonstrate that they now observe at least a few of EU laws and regulations ) .
My 2 eurocents' worth - hope it helps !
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Old Jan 2nd 2011, 9:18 am
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Originally Posted by Ray51 View Post
If you have residence in Croatia , you should be able to import the car , provided it is less than 7 yrs old and has the Certificate of EU-Conformity
( although Croatia is not yet in the EU ) ; there'll be tons of paperwork and lots of duties to pay , much depending on the value of such a car in Croatia , kW-output etc ; then you end up with a rhd vehicle which will be very much unsaleable there and generally on the continent ; also , driving it will be more unsafe and remember the way the natives drive there ... so , maybe : not such a good idea ?
Some Brits who live there drive on U.K. plates , the whole annual MOT trek can be a pain , though ( unless you also have other good reasons to do such mileages ) . There does not yet seem to be a problem with U.K. reg'd vehicles , though - even when it's known that you are a resident there ( unlike in many other EU countries ! ) ; but , beware , if this Croatian dream of joining the EU becomes a reality , then , without a doubt , the attitude towards ignoring foreign-plated cars , driven by Croatian residents , will also change ( as yet another way of getting funds in and Croatian authorities will be proud to demonstrate that they now observe at least a few of EU laws and regulations ) .
My 2 eurocents' worth - hope it helps !
The above is good advice.

We have used UK-registered vehicles in Europe for years. In general (i.e. in most countries) it's only legal without local registration for the first 12 months of your residence, but there is little enforcement. Unless you have a crash or get stopped for speeding, etc. and the speed cop notices a problem.

There's an anomaly where, for example, you are dual resident and keep a locally-registered car at one or both of the residences and drive it occasionally to the other.

The MOT issue (when the car is 3 years old) is a pain. You cannot get exemption from the MOT requirement and within the EU it's unlawful to drive an untaxed EU car in other EU countries. If the car remains outside the UK you could declare it exported; it's unlawful to declare a SORN which is reserved for UK off-road or stored unregistered vehicles.

Non-EU European countries like Switzerland have other rules. In the case of Switzerland a nonresident may be able to use an untaxed foreign-registered car for one month out of the year. Presumably if it's garaged off-road.

But: your UK insurance may not be honoured if you misrepresented the place the car is principally garaged and used. Under the EU Motor Insurance Directive and the Green Card rules a car purportedly registered in (i.e., bearing the plates of) another member country - even if the plates are stolen or forged - would have a claim paid by the Motor Insurance Bureau of that country (although actually getting them to pay can be an ordeal). That Bureau (or the insurance company that claims misrepresentation by its policyholder) could then sue the person who kept the car abroad.
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Old Jan 2nd 2011, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

On 2nd thoughts :
it appears you might be wanting a pre-owned car , yes ?
If that's the case , why not research the websites offering such cars from the Netherlands and Belgium ( good value , generally ) , then do your research , re : Croatian import duties , trosharine etc ?
Then you could bring the car in , on export-plates , drive it on those for 6 months , legally import it ( since you say you are a resident of HR ) , pay your blood money to HDZ and then hopefully enjoy it for a long time thereafter ?
The insurance is another matter alltogether - another thing for you to research ! Cheers !
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Old Jan 2nd 2011, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

We have our insurance through Stuart Collins (stuartcollins.com). We do go back to the UK every year for the MOT but I have friends who get it done here in Italy. I'm not sure how this works but I think it requires only using dealerships for all work and servicing. I know that their insurance company is fine with this but I'm not sure what would happen if the car was taken back to the UK.
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Old Jan 2nd 2011, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Hi,

Thanks a lot for your helpful posts.

Yes, my idea was indeed to purchase a second hand car and bring it over here. I was also thinking of doing the whole "import" thing by the book. The insurance is indeed another key point that I am unsure about.

One thing I am unsure of is this: some foreigners who are resident in Croatia have GREEN plates on their cars. I have been informed that these plates are indeed for foreigners but am unsure of all the details though.

It is hard to find out information like this in Croatia, unfortunately.
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Old Jan 3rd 2011, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Originally Posted by LivingHere View Post
We do go back to the UK every year for the MOT but I have friends who get it done here in Italy. I'm not sure how this works but I think it requires only using dealerships for all work and servicing. I know that their insurance company is fine with this but I'm not sure what would happen if the car was taken back to the UK.
Your friend's car hasn't got an MOT, a UK MOT can only be legally issued by an approved testing station in the UK.
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Old Jan 3rd 2011, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

If you buy a UK car, the hardest thing is getting legal insurance cover to use abroad unlimited, there is a company who specialise in this for ex pats, I have an email if you would like to pm me.
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Old Jan 3rd 2011, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Hi,

From what I can see, the insurance company Stuart Collins do a good job with unlimited insurance. Seems like their prices are reasonable too.

As far as I can tell, the biggest problem seems to be the requirement to bring the car all the way back to the UK just for an MOT test once a year. If there were some way around that, it would be worth doing for sure as far as I can work out.

The prices of even the most basic models on the second hand market in Croatia are laughable.
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Old Jan 3rd 2011, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Originally Posted by anonimouse View Post
If you buy a UK car, the hardest thing is getting legal insurance cover to use abroad unlimited,
That is what the insurance companies would have you believe.
Any car insurance issued in the EU MUST offer minimum cover throughout the EU for the duration of the policy.
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...11:0031:EN:PDF (Articles 24 and 25 are the ones to read).
However, if you have 'fully comp' and your company says it limits EU use to X number of days, what that means is after those days are up your cover in the EU is only the minimum required in the Country you are in, i.e. your fully comp cover could reduce to third party only.
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Old Jan 8th 2011, 8:17 am
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Default Re: Bringing UK car to Europe - questions

Originally Posted by LivingHere View Post
We have our insurance through Stuart Collins (stuartcollins.com). We do go back to the UK every year for the MOT but I have friends who get it done here in Italy. I'm not sure how this works but I think it requires only using dealerships for all work and servicing. I know that their insurance company is fine with this but I'm not sure what would happen if the car was taken back to the UK.

You should tell your friends that their cars are illegal.
They have already got an MOT scammer covering Portugal. Where next?
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