Classic Car

Old Jan 7th 2024, 6:33 pm
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Default Classic Car

Hi All
I have a ‘92. Lotus Elan M100, in France but UK registered. It is on Uk plates and has been off the road for about 15 years. No insurance or control technique. I’m debating which way to go because the car is basically sound but has limited value. My options appear to be either stick it on a trailer and bring it back to the UK and deal with it there or get it road legal and use it in France. Either way I’m not sure of the legal requirements or potential penalties. I can’t find any information on the attitude of the French authorities to either option. I suppose I could break the car and sell off the parts but that does seem a waste. Has anyone advice or been in a similar situation ?
yours
chris
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 10:52 am
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Hi
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Classic Car

Originally Posted by Chris Loa
Hi All
I have a ‘92. Lotus Elan M100, in France but UK registered. It is on Uk plates and has been off the road for about 15 years. No insurance or control technique. I’m debating which way to go because the car is basically sound but has limited value. My options appear to be either stick it on a trailer and bring it back to the UK and deal with it there or get it road legal and use it in France. Either way I’m not sure of the legal requirements or potential penalties. I can’t find any information on the attitude of the French authorities to either option. I suppose I could break the car and sell off the parts but that does seem a waste. Has anyone advice or been in a similar situation ?
yours
chris
Being a Lotus owner I guess you must be passionate about the marque and sports cars in general. I'm not too familiar with your model but I recall reading that once the traditionalists got over the shock of seeing an Isuzu powered front wheel drive Lotus they were pleasantly surprised at how well the f.w.d./chassis combination handled and performed.
For info, the 'top' Argus value here for a well maintained '92 M100 example with lhd and approx 85000klm, mechanically perfect with detailed maintenance history and valid controle technique is in the region of 18-19K euros.
A rhd version having being off the road for 15 years would be in need of some serious servicing/complete revision, and I would expect this to include checks of the distribution system complete with water pump, braking and exhaust system, oil change, oil and air filter, spark plugs and a new set of tyres etc.
I see there are several for sale in France, with prices varying significantly:
i) 1990 model, 68000 klms with complete service recently completed, valid controle technique and new hood, priced at 25k euros. This appears way above the estimated Argus price!
ii) 1991 model, 88000 klms, advertised as 'magnificent' with documents of service record and spares, valid controle technique and requiring a replacement new hood, priced at 11800 euros.
There's no doubt that Lotus are a dream to drive. I had the pleasure of driving an Elan S2 on a few occasions, and the joy of that experience led me to buy a used Europa S2 Type 54 (which was rubbish) followed by a new Europa Twin Cam in the early 70's - which was brilliant! I used that car for over 3 years during my first posting to France, and it was a joy to drive, but being aware of the inherent unreliable reputation of Lotus, I always kept a fairly comprehensive toolkit packed away in the tiny rear boot behind the mid-engine set-up. Plus it was required on several occasions, once when loosing all gears due to a roll-pin dropping out from the mechanical linkage. A 5min roadside emergency repair with a bent nail and masking tape got me home safely to Toulouse. Replacement roll-pin cost less than 5francs! After that the future Mme TP was always afraid a long drive would leave us 'high & dry' somewhere remote.
Delightful as Lotus are to drive, the reality of ownership - especially outside of UK should be seriously considered. "Once bitten......." etc
As Cyrian indicated, a contact with the French Lotus Owners Club may give you a few positive ideas, but I'd guess that a rhd M100 model would have limited appeal, some serious servicing required and then getting the car officially registered in France would have a negative affect on it's value.
You gan get all the info required on 'importing a UK vehicle and registering it in France' by doing a search on that.
Good luck!

Last edited by Tweedpipe; Jan 8th 2024 at 2:39 pm.
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Classic Car

Thanks for the replies. I suppose the old adage rings true LOTUS. =. Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious. I’ve run the car fairly regularly and it’s been up on stands. The systems appear to be OK. One of the reasons for the car not being used for so long was the succession of problems from the lights to the brakes. Misfiring engine even the windscreen washer pump. Lots of stuff, I’ve fixed most everything but it’s taken a time. The pieces just aren’t generally available.
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: Classic Car

Does any one know if I can just put the car on a trailer and tow it back to the UK ?
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Classic Car

Yes you can put it on a trailer
If you decide to keep it in France these can help you
www.ffve.org
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Classic Car

Ah ! That’s interesting. I was told by a friend, another classic car enthusiast, that this wasn’t allowed as the car had over stood its welcome
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Old Jan 9th 2024, 11:22 am
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If you are taking it back to the UK I cannot really see what the problem is.If you were thinking of selling it in France then you would have problem
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Old Jan 9th 2024, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Classic Car

Hi LVC
Yes, I agree with you, I couldn’t see a problem either. However during a couple of conversation at my local Anglo French Association it emerged that because the car had been in France for so long, that now there would be problems with French customs, probably at the exit port. There is always inaccurate information given freely with the best of intentions but I haven’t been able to find credible information either way. So I’m a little stuck. I suppose there will be a requirement for insurance and I have heard from somewhere, that the car should be immobile if it is not roadworthy. I can’t remember where I got that either.

chris
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Old Jan 11th 2024, 1:56 pm
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My last vehicle had an expensive fault that I couldn't afford to fix but wanted to keep it until I could repair it at some point in the future. As a non-runner I was getting fed up with paying insurance every month for a garden ornament and approached my insurance bod to stop (or pause) the cover. He said it was not possible. I threatened to stop the direct debit and he returned with a threat of his own.
It appeared that my only option was to have a breaker come and take it away and leave me with a piece of paper (not cash) to show the insurance broker I no longer owned the vehicle. Clearly the system sucks.
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Old Jan 15th 2024, 8:17 am
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Default Re: Classic Car

Originally Posted by White Trash
My last vehicle had an expensive fault that I couldn't afford to fix but wanted to keep it until I could repair it at some point in the future. As a non-runner I was getting fed up with paying insurance every month for a garden ornament and approached my insurance bod to stop (or pause) the cover. He said it was not possible. I threatened to stop the direct debit and he returned with a threat of his own.
It appeared that my only option was to have a breaker come and take it away and leave me with a piece of paper (not cash) to show the insurance broker I no longer owned the vehicle. Clearly the system sucks.
Interesting, however I'm a little surprised that you were told it was not possible to stop/cancel the insurance policy for a SORN vehicle. You mention "my insurance bod'. Was the policy with a known reputable company or an obscure 'no name' company?
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Old Jan 15th 2024, 9:28 am
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SORN is a UK system to remove the requirement to keep a vehicle taxed and insured. I live in France and no such mechanism exists here. I am aware of plenty of cars that are kept on private property here displaying no insurance or C.T. stickers but it seems only the French know how to get away with it.
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Old Jan 15th 2024, 10:35 am
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Default Re: Classic Car

In France there is a legal obligation to have 3rd party insurance for off-the-road vehicles in case they cause damage. For example - they go on fire.
However, there isnt a centralised database of cars with insurance or controle technique as exists in the UK.
From April, there will be no need to display an insurance vignette on the windscreen because France is going computerised on whether a car (on the road) has valid insurance.
As far as the insurance agent is concerned, just tell him that you have sold the car and cancel the insurance by recorded delivery letter or tell him that you have found a different insurance and ask him for a certificate of no-claims bonus.
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