LHD to RHD car

Old Nov 7th 2018, 2:21 pm
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Default LHD to RHD car

I am returning to the UK.

I want to sell my FR reg. LHD car and buy a UK reg. RHD.

It is not as straightforward as I thought.

Any links?
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Old Nov 7th 2018, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

What's the complication? Can't you sell your French car before you go back, and buy a UK car once you have gone back? Or is it the time gap and the inbetweeny bit that's causing the problem?
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Old Nov 7th 2018, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
What's the complication? Can't you sell your French car before you go back, and buy a UK car once you have gone back? Or is it the time gap and the inbetweeny bit that's causing the problem?
Thanks ET but these are the complications, along with the 'inbetweeny' bit.

· If I sell my car here I will have to hire one for probably a few weeks, I live in the sticks and a car is essential, especially for returning to the UK.

· If I buy a UK car while still a resident and bring it over to France, according to the DVLA, I will be exporting the vehicle, then I will need to re import it back in the UK.

· If after selling my home, I drive to the UK using my French car, it will have to be scrapped (it would be costly to register as UK spec).
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Old Nov 7th 2018, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Maybe I'm having a bad day, but personaly I can't see any major complications here.
What I would do, and have indeed done on at least 3 occasions when selling my wife's car on moving from overseas back to uk is:
- Advertise your car for sale on LBCoin, vendezvotrevoiture.fr, or get the best quote possible from a garage in neighbouring towns or cites. **
- Make arrangements to hire a car before you sell yours. Take possesion of the hire car by getting the buyer to drive you to the hire car company, or make arrangements for the hire car company to deliver the vehicle to your location, many do this.
- On your planned departure date, drive to the aeroport, bus or rail station - having arranged beforehand with the hire-car company that you are leaving it at a convenient location. There could well be an extra charge for this, but I've never had to pay one when dropping a car off at an airport or main rail station, obviously with prior agreement by the hire-hire company.
- On arrival in UK take another hire car for a week or two until you find the car of your choice to purchase. QED.
I can't see that living in the sticks should over complicate the above scenario if you make careful arrangements beforehand by telephone and/or online reservations.
Another possible scenario, but one I've never done, is prior to selling your car, put an ad and also check local ads for any rhd vehicles for sale. If you were to find and purchase one, there would of course be the additional hassles of verifying the authenticity of all the vehicle's documents, plus importing to the UK etc. Not something I'd rush into doing though.
**Note: You'll always get far less selling to a garage, but it's usually the most convenient and quickest way, unless you have a smallish car, make/model of which is sought after i.e. VW Golf, or Renault Clio in very good condition, relatively low-mileage, petrol-powered, and you price it 'temptingly'. Don't expect any diesel car to sell rapidly, if at all - especially now in France - unless priced exceptionally low.
Good luck when eventually back in UK.

Last edited by Tweedpipe; Nov 7th 2018 at 10:22 pm.
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Old Nov 8th 2018, 7:00 am
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Depends how you will be travelling to the UK, if you need to do this by car rather than fly/train then arranging a one-way car hire across the channel will be expensive even if you can find a hire company who will let you do it. In that case, I would consider using it to travel and sell it once you get there and have organised your UK car. It depends on how much it is worth and how much of a difference it will fetch when comparing France and the UK - you will not get best price in the UK unless you sell privately to someone who is looking to do the reverse move. There are second hand dealers who specialise in LHD cars, but I suspect they will offer you peanuts. Another possibility is to fly to the UK to buy a UK registered car and drive it back to France, sell the French car here where you will get more for it and then drive back to the UK when ready. Personally I wouldn't worry about re-registering it for the sake of a few weeks as long as it has valid UK tax, MOT and insurance but each will have their opinion on this. Buy and register it in a relative's name initially if it makes you feel more comfortable about the residency business, or if you already have accommodation arranged at the time of your first visit to the UK then why can't this be used to start UK residency? Plenty of options depending on how much hassle you can accept or want to avoid.
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Old Nov 8th 2018, 7:54 am
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by audio View Post
· If after selling my home, I drive to the UK using my French car, it will have to be scrapped (it would be costly to register as UK spec).
Most UK scrap yards will NOT accept a foreign registered car, a relative tried with a Spanish car and had eventually to drive back to Spain and sell it there and then fly home.
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Old Nov 8th 2018, 8:09 am
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

If it's a decent modern car there are dealers in the UK who specialise in buying and selling LHD cars, you could try one of them if you want to keep it until after the move. They probably beat you down on price but they will take care of all the paperwork. Google something like "buy LHD UK". They are mainly around London/Home Counties I think.

But, if you buy a UK car once you've started the process of moving back to the UK, and you register it to your future UK address, and then and come back to France for a few weeks, how will DVLA even know you have driven it to France and why should they care??? What you can't do is own a UK reg car without a UK address, which is fairly obvious - a car has to be registered to an address in the country where it's registered, and UK insurers will also require you to be UK resident - but presumably you have a UK address that you're moving back to? So I think the key here is to class yourself as having moved at the beginning of the process, ie as soon as you've sorted out where you're going to live in the UK then you tell France you've gone, you tell the UK you've arrived, and you are a UK resident visiting the country where you used to live to finish tying up the loose ends. Any problem with that?
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Old Nov 8th 2018, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Thank you all very much for your very helpful replies.

In my own quite wide experience with rental companies is that they all charge a drop off fee at a different location to the pick-up. I have left several rentals by prior arrangement at CDG. Hertz and Avis charged around 160€ extra I remember. The only exception I have found is Avis in the US and they will waive the charge only if you pick up and drop off in the same state.

Sorry TP but living in the sticks does make a difference, for me anyway. There are no trains no rental companies or helpful neighbours nearby .The bus stop is quite a hike for me and the missus carrying suitcases and trying to control my hyper 32kg dog. I did this once, never ever again.
I think diesels, mine is a 1.6 hdi are still in demand despite rising fuel costs but I will advertise it at a near giveaway price on LBC as suggested.

A car, preferably the same one for the whole journey is the way to go.
I am considering going with a mix of south_bound and ET’s suggestions, thank you. The only slight hitch I can see that if I declare UK residency before my house is sold thereby being a non Fr resident I will be subject to any capital gains declaration, very little if any but could delay the final settlement but that is a very minor point.

Thanks again.
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Old Nov 8th 2018, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by audio View Post
IThe only slight hitch I can see that if I declare UK residency before my house is sold thereby being a non Fr resident I will be subject to any capital gains declaration, very little if any but could delay the final settlement but that is a very minor point.

Thanks again.
I think that you are confusing tax residency and having an address in the UK to register a car.
When you sell your house - your main residence - you are tax resident in France.
Your French house is recorded by the tax authorities as your principle home for taxe d'h and taxe fonc.
Until you actually move to the UK then you remain tax resident in France.
I have a car registered to my french address but I am tax resident in the UK.
HTH
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Old Nov 8th 2018, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by audio View Post
The only slight hitch I can see that if I declare UK residency before my house is sold thereby being a non Fr resident I will be subject to any capital gains declaration, very little if any but could delay the final settlement but that is a very minor point.
You may find that's not an issue. If it's your principal residence when you put it on the market, and it sells reasonably quickly, it would be a harsh notaire that insisted you had to pay CGT. You've met the spirit of the law if not the letter, you are selling what was your principal residence until you moved out, and most notaires understand that houses don't sell instantly and you can't put your life on hold while you wait.
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Old Nov 11th 2018, 1:31 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
I think that you are confusing tax residency and having an address in the UK to register a car.
When you sell your house - your main residence - you are tax resident in France.
Your French house is recorded by the tax authorities as your principle home for taxe d'h and taxe fonc.
Until you actually move to the UK then you remain tax resident in France.
I have a car registered to my french address but I am tax resident in the UK.
HTH
Thanks cyrian,

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
You may find that's not an issue. If it's your principal residence when you put it on the market, and it sells reasonably quickly, it would be a harsh notaire that insisted you had to pay CGT. You've met the spirit of the law if not the letter, you are selling
what was your principal residence until you moved out, and most notaires understand that houses don't sell instantly and you can't put your life on hold while you wait.
Thanks ET
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Old Nov 29th 2018, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Try contacting London left hand drive centre, they also sell rhd, but they seem top of the market cars.
i am sure its not that bad.
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Old Nov 29th 2018, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by barryfiatman View Post
Try contacting London left hand drive centre, they also sell rhd, but they seem top of the market cars.
i am sure its not that bad.
Thanks but I'm all fixed up now.
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Old Nov 30th 2018, 6:32 am
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by audio View Post
Thanks but I'm all fixed up now.
How did you end up doing it?
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Old Nov 30th 2018, 8:14 am
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Default Re: LHD to RHD car

Originally Posted by south_bound View Post
How did you end up doing it?

Purchased a car in the UK, brought it back to France and then sold my LHD.

Easy!
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