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Driving a UK registered car

Driving a UK registered car

Old Jan 24th 2019, 7:37 am
  #46  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Originally Posted by C.2s View Post
Yes, I am also insured with Saga and they include unlimited cover for trips in Europe...many uk insurers do at the moment. But on the basis that you gave accurate information when you completed the proposal form. First question on the proposal form after your name would have been something like, 'Where is the vehicle usually/normally parked overnight?' If you gave your uk address but in fact you usually keep the car here in Italy...well you can see the potential issue. There are people who have holiday homes here who may be able to win an argument with their insurers about this if they spend most of the time in the UK...it should be quite clear cut. But if you are resident in Italy...
AFAIK Saga and one other company,the name escapes me now,are the only ones with unlimited cover.I would welcome the names of any other companies.Luckily I am not a resident,so my yearly 9 month road trip is technically legal,lol.I know I'm going to be slagged off for this statement but I feel brave,bring it on,lol.
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Old Jan 24th 2019, 11:47 am
  #47  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

You will have 60 days from becoming resident to switch your car to Italian plates. For switching your licence, I would think that as long as you have the application in the works by 29 March you will be fine. you will need residency to apply to change your licence.
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Old Jan 24th 2019, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

I spoke to someone about changing my licence and they said that they'd not had anything to say that they would stop issuing to UK licence holders and that it would be unrealistic to expect them to just stop issuing them in the event of a no deal Brexit. He seemed to think that a solution would be found pretty quickly to reciprocate licence exchanges as Italy does the same with other countries.

As you said, I think if it has been submitted, then I think it would be fine.
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Old Feb 1st 2019, 5:08 pm
  #49  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

A bit of a personal update...

We decided importing wasn’t such a good idea for a number of reasons: cost, process, status of car and value after importing, time taken and so on, so a couple of weeks ago we bought a replacement Italian car.

It’s taken a while to sort out the insurance so while we have been waiting we have reduced our journeys, travelling after dark and by back roads. We have seen carabinieri on a few occasions but they have been on other business or we have avoided passing them.

Today, we are on the one hour drive to pick the car up and get lollipopped. Can you believe it?

Showed our papers and, against advice, spoke a little Italian and answered truthfully about where we lived and for how long. When told about the new law, we were able to say we knew and show them our purchase documents and log book for the new car. All very amicable. “Oggi, I no looka.” Grazies all round, enquiries about the new car and we were on our way. Safely there and back, UK car parked and won’t be used (well, I might give it a run down to the bins, country lane, no risk of carabinieri, to turn the engine over) until one last trip back to the UK.

Now all I need to do is get used to the drivers seat being in the middle of the road and keeping the near side wheels of the edges of the fields!
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Old Feb 1st 2019, 5:18 pm
  #50  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

You were lucky that you met some kind policemen. Much safer driving with a LHD car anyway.
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Old Feb 1st 2019, 6:09 pm
  #51  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Marchegiani are the nicest people in the world, carabinieri included.

Getting LHD was one of the reasons for not importing I didn’t mention....
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Old Feb 4th 2019, 10:41 am
  #52  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

We looked into changing our UK-registered car onto Italian plates and went as far as getting the Certificate of Conformity (which Hyundai kindly sent for free) and having a preliminary visit to the motorizzazione but, after looking at the whole process, we decided to drive it back to the UK and sell it. Buying a second-hand car in Italy is dear but the money spent on re-registering the UK car would have been a waste and it would have effectively had zero resale value. Plus if/when we move back to the UK, we'd have to go through the whole rigmarole again on the other side of the Channel.

Interestingly, even before this new law came in, we were stopped much more frequently in the UK vehicle than in our current IT one.

For those asking about insurance, we had our car insured via the Stuart Collins/AXA policy other people have mentiond above. Unfortunately, we had to make a significant claim on that policy after about 6 months' of residency when the front of the car was squashed by a sizeable rock which fell off a mountain (and after which I learned that the purpose of those "falling rocks" signs is so the comune can say "we warned you" and you can't claim against them for poor maintenance of the highways, or so we were told by Italian friends anyway). AXA were very good, they paid out and were happy with my own translations of the police report & the repair quote. It was pretty straightforward actually.

One thing I'm less clear about the new law is how it will work for people who look to buy a car abroad and then import it. We live in Trentino so it's not uncommon for people to do that here, given relative proximity to Germany/Austria where cars are, apparently, cheaper. I was led to believe you have to go through the process ononno outlined but it's much easier because to LHD-RHD conversion issues, the speedo's already marked up in kmh, etc., you just have to prove you've paid the VAT on the purchase.
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Old Feb 5th 2019, 8:28 am
  #53  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Originally Posted by GeorgeYoung View Post
We looked into changing our UK-registered car onto Italian plates and went as far as getting the Certificate of Conformity (which Hyundai kindly sent for free) and having a preliminary visit to the motorizzazione but, after looking at the whole process, we decided to drive it back to the UK and sell it. Buying a second-hand car in Italy is dear but the money spent on re-registering the UK car would have been a waste and it would have effectively had zero resale value. Plus if/when we move back to the UK, we'd have to go through the whole rigmarole again on the other side of the Channel.

Interestingly, even before this new law came in, we were stopped much more frequently in the UK vehicle than in our current IT one.

For those asking about insurance, we had our car insured via the Stuart Collins/AXA policy other people have mentiond above. Unfortunately, we had to make a significant claim on that policy after about 6 months' of residency when the front of the car was squashed by a sizeable rock which fell off a mountain (and after which I learned that the purpose of those "falling rocks" signs is so the comune can say "we warned you" and you can't claim against them for poor maintenance of the highways, or so we were told by Italian friends anyway). AXA were very good, they paid out and were happy with my own translations of the police report & the repair quote. It was pretty straightforward actually.

One thing I'm less clear about the new law is how it will work for people who look to buy a car abroad and then import it. We live in Trentino so it's not uncommon for people to do that here, given relative proximity to Germany/Austria where cars are, apparently, cheaper. I was led to believe you have to go through the process ononno outlined but it's much easier because to LHD-RHD conversion issues, the speedo's already marked up in kmh, etc., you just have to prove you've paid the VAT on the purchase.
Good decision, George!

I was stopped once in the UK car and waved on three times, until the latest lollipping (see previous post).

Enjoying the new car so far. Have only had the right hand wheels in a ditch once!

As someone said to us, it is expensive but the expense remains with the car, that is when you sell it you’ll get more for it...
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Old May 17th 2019, 3:47 pm
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Hi all,
I got a contract for work in Italy and I am planning to take my car there as its cheap to run it and in good condition. I am planning to NOT get Italian residence as I will run my UK ltd with is more tax efficient.The problem comes when I know already that my contract will last from 6 months up to 2 years. The Italian law, as in most EU countries, says that after 6 months of use with foreign plates, you have to switch to Italian plates. Without Italian residence you cannot register or buy new/second-hand car in Italy. Its a headache! I will put down possible alternatives and hopefully I will get an answer:
1) Register the car with DVLA in my partner's (not married and I will explain why its important that we are not married) name, she will then deregister the car from DVLA, get the Italian residence and register the car in Italy in her name, buy an insurance and add me as second driver. This option scares me as the Italian authorities may ask her what is she doing in Italy without income and just being a resident (she will look after our son so she won't work) and maybe that way will track me that I want to avoid the Italian bureaucracy and keep it simple with my UK ltd.
2) Someone told me that some countries are giving "exemption letters" to company cars and I was thinking to ask the Italian DVLA if a UK company car would be allowed to be driven with UK plates for longer than 6 months?
3) Get my Italian friend, who is an Italian resident, to register the car in his name, get Italian plates and I will pay all the tax and the insurance, and I will be driving it

The 3rd option sounds the easiest to me.

Any advice/suggestions please? Or people in the same complication like me?
Thank you in advance
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Old May 17th 2019, 4:18 pm
  #55  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Originally Posted by petr View Post
Hi all,
I got a contract for work in Italy and I am planning to take my car there as its cheap to run it and in good condition. I am planning to NOT get Italian residence as I will run my UK ltd with is more tax efficient.The problem comes when I know already that my contract will last from 6 months up to 2 years. The Italian law, as in most EU countries, says that after 6 months of use with foreign plates, you have to switch to Italian plates. Without Italian residence you cannot register or buy new/second-hand car in Italy.
2 points here: if you don't get your residency within your first 90 days of moving here you are technically not in the country lawfully. Also, the Italian tax authorities will view any work performed here, if you are living here for that sort of time, as falling within their domain. So tread carefully. I'm no expert & can't tell you what the penalties & risks are but those are the rules as I understand them. I do know some UK citizens who divide their time between Italy & the UK without claiming residence here but there are careful to keep their visits under 90 days in one go and - I think - 183 days in total over the year.

More simply, a foreign-registered car can now only be driven for 60 days in Italy by anyone resident in the country. Failure to re-registered it after that time can result in the car being seized and impounded until a fine has been paid.
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Old May 17th 2019, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Originally Posted by GeorgeYoung View Post
2 points here: if you don't get your residency within your first 90 days of moving here you are technically not in the country lawfully. Also, the Italian tax authorities will view any work performed here, if you are living here for that sort of time, as falling within their domain. So tread carefully. I'm no expert & can't tell you what the penalties & risks are but those are the rules as I understand them. I do know some UK citizens who divide their time between Italy & the UK without claiming residence here but there are careful to keep their visits under 90 days in one go and - I think - 183 days in total over the year.

More simply, a foreign-registered car can now only be driven for 60 days in Italy by anyone resident in the country. Failure to re-registered it after that time can result in the car being seized and impounded until a fine has been paid.
Thank you for your answer. I spoke with my accountant here and there is nothing illegal by doing that. I will use my UK ltd for up to 2 years and I have to be careful of course. The only way to track me is to declare permanent address, then they will tell me that I have to be resident. My accountant told me that I have enough ties in UK, mortgage and ltd company to prove that I am a UK employee working temporarily abroad. I know that the Italians will have different opinion after the first 90 days but as I said I will not declare my address to the authorities. The reason is that the UK ltd is much more tax efficient to run. I spoke with all the contractors and the agency and everybody is doing the same. I know that it is not 100% compliant with the Italian authorities and I don't know if it worth the risk or go with the Italians and chop my rate by 41%.
Also I am reading that for non residents the car can be driven longer than 60 days.
Thanks again for your advice, any comment more than welcome
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Old May 17th 2019, 5:25 pm
  #57  
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Option 3. It is illegal to drive a car registered to someone who is not part of family unit for more tha 30days. No idea how the authorities could check unless you are stopped a few times.
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Old May 18th 2019, 9:31 am
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Originally Posted by petr View Post
Thank you for your answer. I spoke with my accountant here and there is nothing illegal by doing that. I will use my UK ltd for up to 2 years and I have to be careful of course. The only way to track me is to declare permanent address, then they will tell me that I have to be resident. My accountant told me that I have enough ties in UK, mortgage and ltd company to prove that I am a UK employee working temporarily abroad. I know that the Italians will have different opinion after the first 90 days but as I said I will not declare my address to the authorities. The reason is that the UK ltd is much more tax efficient to run. I spoke with all the contractors and the agency and everybody is doing the same. I know that it is not 100% compliant with the Italian authorities and I don't know if it worth the risk or go with the Italians and chop my rate by 41%.
Also I am reading that for non residents the car can be driven longer than 60 days.
Thanks again for your advice, any comment more than welcome
It's good that you're getting professional advice about tax, but it's important to realise (you may do so already) that "resident" doesn't have one consistent definition. Tax resident is not the same as the 90 days residency issue in Italy. Everyone who resides in a place in Italy for more than 90 days must register this with the local commune. Afaik It is an Italian law you have to follow if you want to live here. You may want to check that with a professional source...but it's perhaps not something your accountant will know about?
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Old May 18th 2019, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

Petr, I think you are focussing on the wrong thing here. Residency is key. The bare facts are that you won’t be able to live and drive your UK car here for the length of your contract without being “under the radar”. Something worth thinking about is that, since the introduction of the 60 day ruling, you are more likely to be stopped by the Carabinieri if you are driving a foreign car. Without a good grasp of Italian (which you may have) and some ‘brass balls’ to lie to them, you could be in a bit of trouble, not only because of the car but also because of your residency/work situation. I believe the information you have from your accountant is wrong so I would get a second opinion, aside from the information you will get here from people who live and work here and, just possibly, are more aware of the rules and practicalities of living and working in Italy than your accountant. Apologies to them if I’m wrong on this. What do the company giving you the contract say? Seek advice from a UK/Italy specialist. Other than that, get a signed, legally binding document from your accountant that he will reimburse you fo any fines and incidental expenses (your car could be impounded and destroyed, fines can be up to €2,500).

Also, within your contract period, there is likely to be some sort of Brexit. It ain’t going to be pretty for people in your situation if there’s a no deal.

Seriously, I hope this helps but it strikes me that you are ready to accept your accountant’s advice because it matches what you want to hear.

Last edited by arjacey; May 18th 2019 at 9:48 am.
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Old May 18th 2019, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Driving a UK registered car

And it's worth clarifying that if you don't reside here for more than 90 days you don't need to register your residence with the commune, so if you go out of the country to work in another country or to visit your uk abode that's absolutely fine...and it's really difficult for the Italian authorities to prove that you haven't done that! And currently, before brexit, many people have been doing just that, but because nobody knows what will happen after Brexit many people have decided to get residency here in order to maintain the right to work (and other rights). Your accountants advice seems correct to me (but I'm no expert!). We've an Italian tax advisor and feel it's morally correct to pay tax here given that we've chosen to live here..but we're still waiting to be told if we must pay tax in Italy or the UK despite having been resident here for six months because the fact that our earnings are primarily in the UK and international, and only a bit in Italy seems to confuse the tax system here. You would think it would be straightforward! But it's Italy :-)

Coming back to your car. If you are resident you must register it, if you are not resident you cannot register it here. You could gift it to a resident who then must register it in Italy, but the process is extremely complicated and costly. If you don't keep the car in Italy for more than six months and you are not resident then you have no need to register it here.

You wouldn't have to take the car back to the UK (apart from for an mot) if you don't want to. Just outside Italy. Crossing the border into other countries is easy and there are lots of unmanned places to cross...it would be extremely difficult for the Italian authorities to prove that the car has been in the country for more than six months...I'm pretty sure they wouldn't bother to try...

Obviously post Brexit you might need other documents to drive a UK car in Italy but who knows!!
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