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Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Old Nov 24th 2017, 10:30 am
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Default Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Hi there,

Am in process of transitioning back and spending longer periods here twice a year.
I intend to buy a car vs renting, as the cost of renting makes no sense.
I will be buying a cheap runaround and storing it for 4 months at a time off-road.

Does anyone have the experience of a) licensing (I lost my original paper license :\ )
B) finding insurance cover?

I do have a residential address, but have no evidence of residence as this is a new situation, and is with a friend, so have no bills etc in my name.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 3:54 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Our son moved back to the UK end of September with no UK licence. He had no problem insuring his car without a UK licence. He got his US insurer, GEICO, to send him a pdf with his no claims history which Aviva accepted along with his Texas driving licence.

https://www.aviva.co.uk/frequently-a...aq/answer/425/

We will accept no claim discount (NCD) if it was earned from any of these countries, if you earned NCD elsewhere please call us on 0800 092 3615.

European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA)

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus (South), Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Others

Andorra, Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea (South), Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, United States of America, Zimbabwe

We may ask for proof of your NCD which should:

> Be in English
> Be on official company headed paper
> Be in the main driver’s name
> Show the vehicle details
> Confirm the number of years the NCD was built up over
> Show the date the policy expired

Please note that your NCD will be valid for 2 years after the expiration of your last policy, provided it is not being used on another policy.
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 4:02 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by Lis123 View Post
Hi there,

Am in process of transitioning back and spending longer periods here twice a year.
I intend to buy a car vs renting, as the cost of renting makes no sense.
I will be buying a cheap runaround and storing it for 4 months at a time off-road.

Does anyone have the experience of a) licensing (I lost my original paper license .....
So long as you're less than 70, if you contact the DVLA you can get your licence reissued very easily. You may need to prove your address.
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Old Nov 25th 2017, 11:46 am
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Our son moved back to the UK end of September with no UK licence. He had no problem insuring his car without a UK licence. He got his US insurer, GEICO, to send him a pdf with his no claims history which Aviva accepted along with his Texas driving licence.

https://www.aviva.co.uk/frequently-a...aq/answer/425/
Fantastic!
Exactly the kind of info i was looking for.
Thankyou, will def look into this.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 6:29 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

One thing is not clear to me about buying a car in the UK is if I pay in cash how do I know if I have bought it. In the US if I buy a car and pay for it I receive a Title with the seller signing off on the title. I then take it to the DMV ( the government office for all things related to vehicles) and they issue a new title with the new owners name on it. So how does that work in the UK?
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 6:48 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by cheers View Post
One thing is not clear to me about buying a car in the UK is if I pay in cash how do I know if I have bought it. In the US if I buy a car and pay for it I receive a Title with the seller signing off on the title. I then take it to the DMV ( the government office for all things related to vehicles) and they issue a new title with the new owners name on it. So how does that work in the UK?
Similar to a US state DMV, there is a system of car registration with the UK DVLA:

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration

For more general guidance, this site is useful:

https://theusedcarguy.co.uk/how-to-buy/
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 7:39 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by cheers View Post
One thing is not clear to me about buying a car in the UK is if I pay in cash how do I know if I have bought it. In the US if I buy a car and pay for it I receive a Title with the seller signing off on the title. I then take it to the DMV ( the government office for all things related to vehicles) and they issue a new title with the new owners name on it. So how does that work in the UK?
Registration system that transfers ownership.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 8:23 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by cheers View Post
One thing is not clear to me about buying a car in the UK is if I pay in cash how do I know if I have bought it. In the US if I buy a car and pay for it I receive a Title with the seller signing off on the title. I then take it to the DMV ( the government office for all things related to vehicles) and they issue a new title with the new owners name on it. So how does that work in the UK?
When you buy a secondhand car you'll be given the Vehicle Log Book, better known as a V5, by the previous owner. There is a section that both you and they need to sign and you then send this off to the DVLA. A week or so later you'll receive a new V5 in your name. However contrary to popular opinion this doesn't make you the owner of the vehicle, only its registered keeper. You should therefore make sure you get a receipt from whomever you are buying the car from as proof of purchase, particularly if you are paying cash to a private individual.

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 9:05 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
When you buy a secondhand car you'll be given the Vehicle Log Book, better known as a V5, by the previous owner. There is a section that both you and they need to sign and you then send this off to the DVLA. A week or so later you'll receive a new V5 in your name. However contrary to popular opinion this doesn't make you the owner of the vehicle, only its registered keeper. You should therefore make sure you get a receipt from whomever you are buying the car from as proof of purchase, particularly if you are paying cash to a private individual.

https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-registration


Also be aware that the tax does not and cannot transfer with the car and the seller will get a refund and the buyer must tax it from the date of purchase. This is very easily done online.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 9:14 pm
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post


Also be aware that the tax does not and cannot transfer with the car and the seller will get a refund and the buyer must tax it from the date of purchase. This is very easily done online.
Good tip. The moment you buy the car you'll need to tax it in your own name, even before driving it home.
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 12:54 am
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Good tip. The moment you buy the car you'll need to tax it in your own name, even before driving it home.
Things are much sloppily in the US. Seeing cars without registration plates us fairly common, and even most new cars are driven around for up to 30 days with a piece of cardboard masquerading as a "temporary tag".

They are so ridiculously easy to fake that some local drug dealers were printing their own new temporary tag every time they did a drug run down to South Carolina to avoid tracking by the police. It apparently worked for several years!
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 6:54 am
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Default re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Things are much sloppily in the US. Seeing cars without registration plates us fairly common, and even most new cars are driven around for up to 30 days with a piece of cardboard masquerading as a "temporary tag".

They are so ridiculously easy to fake that some local drug dealers were printing their own new temporary tag every time they did a drug run down to South Carolina to avoid tracking by the police. It apparently worked for several years!
It used to be that any outstanding tax was sold with the car, "12 mths tax and tested", but that was scrapped alongside the paper tax discs. Instead of saving the Exchequer money it's actually cost a fair chunk more as a lot more people either forget or don't bother to tax their cars now. Although it's a criminal offence to drive without a licence, MOT or insurance, driving without tax is a civil matter so the police can't do anything other than flag you with the DVLA if they pull you over.

That being said there are so many automatic cameras everywhere checking number plates then you aren't likely to get away with it for long.
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Old Dec 18th 2017, 11:21 pm
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Default still looking for further UK car/USA license insurance stories please!!

The story: I am currently splitting my time between UK and USA. Buying car to use for when I am in UK.
Found a cheap runaround and snapping it up in cash hopefully in 2 days.
All very last minute as it's a bit of a deal.

I still only have a US license, as I live mainly over there and even if I could find my UK one it wouldn't be til I go back in Jan.

My plan is to buy in cash and register to my mums address. More than likely I will SORN it.
I still have to find insurance (tomorrow's) job.

Q's:
Can I even get insurance without written proof of residence?

Can I SORN it without ever having insured it first?

Does the MOT need to be current if it is SORNed? (Tricky if I am overseas)

Anyone ever split a car/insurance with a UK based friend whilst holding NON-UK license? (Allowing car to be used Vs SORNing in my absence).

Thanks!!
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Old Dec 18th 2017, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: still looking for further UK car/USA license insurance stories please!!

I have merged your new thread with the existing one as the subject is the same.

Insurance will be very difficult to obtain if you are not a UK resident. It is illegal to apply for a new/replacement UK driving licence as you are not a UK resident.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Dec 18th 2017 at 11:55 pm.
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Old Dec 19th 2017, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Buying and insuring a car in UK with US licence?

FWIW here's my two pennorth....

1.You will struggle to get insurance if not currently resident in UK - good luck in finding it.
2. Once a vehicle has been SORN'd then you do not need insurance OR a current MOT so long as it is on private land.
3. I would not risk split insurance whilst you are not resident unless you find a VERY accomodating insurance company as it can cause problems. It is very difficult to be a named driver on a UK policy if you are not resident and your friend could be accused of "fronting" the insurance and it being declared invalid if there is an accident.

My suggestion is:
Agree to buy the vehicle but have the seller bring it to your premises, park it on private ground THEN do the official sale. The paperwork can then be submitted to the DVLA declaring SORN immediately. When you come back to UK and can declare residence then you can apply for insurance in your name at your UK address. Naturally the vehicle will need MOT and TAX before you can drive it on a public road. Oh, unless the MOT centre come and collect the vehicle using their trade plates, then you MUST have insurance to drive it to a pre-booked appointment at the MOT centre. You can buy daily insurance for precisely this function - just google "do I need insurance to drive for MOT"
alternatively, buy the vehicle and get your friend to tax and insure it then sort out getting you insured when you get back to UK in January and have your UK licence.( The sale invoice will show you to be the buyer (new owner) but the name on the new V5 can be your friend as the registered keeper) He can then get a new MOT if needed since the garages DVLA link will show him as the registered keeper.
The difficulties arise because in UK the DRIVER is insured whereas in most countries it's the VEHICLE that's insured and anyone can drive with your permission.
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