Car in the UK

Old Jun 19th 2016, 11:51 am
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Default Car in the UK

Does anyone have any advice on keeping a car in the UK for use when I travel back there for visits, usually two or three times a year? I am getting fed up of hiring a car, aside from the expense, so considering buying a 3/4 year old car and keeping it in my garage.

Can you insure a car with someone like Direct line as an expat or do you need special insurance? If the car is standing for three or four months at a time do you need to do anything special in terms of ensuring it is usable next time you need it? I have read about trickle chargers but would appreciate any advice from anyone who keeps a car in similar circumstances as to the best way to keep it usable or someone who has done this before and what pitfalls to avoid.
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Old Jun 19th 2016, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Try researching classic car ownership websites and how to store a car. For example you might get a dehumidifier (it will need a drain) for the garage.

Good storage practice for a vehicle is to jack it up and leave it sitting on axle stands, not on its tyres, to stop the tyres developing flat spots, and also to over inflate the tyres for storage. You might also cover it with a dust sheet of some sort.
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Old Jun 19th 2016, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Car in the UK

You won't get mainstream car insurance in the UK in your own name if you are an expat, but perhaps some specialist brokers might insure you. Strangely however, Direct Line will insure expats as a named driver on someone else's policy. If you've got a local driving licence abroad, then your UK licence may well be invalid. There's a thread somewhere on these forums on this topic.

You're far better off renting a car at the airport when you return to the UK. It'll be far cheaper and a lot less hassle. Use your overseas licence and address, so your speeding and parking tickets get sent overseas and never seen or heard of again...
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Old Jun 19th 2016, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by Johnnyboy11 View Post
..... Use your overseas licence and address, so your speeding and parking tickets get sent overseas and never seen or heard of again...
Penalty tickets are sent to the rental company and charged to your credit card. You can't get the points on your licence though.
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 2:57 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

If you are only going to use it 3 or 4 times a year then it is going to be a pain to have a car there.

I am not mechanically knowledgeable on cars but this is what I was told about leaving my Landie in storage for months or years :

You will have to figure ways to maintain the battery but in my case the batteries were always dead since I didn't drive it for months.
The engine will gum up.
The wheel bearings will get pitted from the weight of the car resting on a few bearing for a long time.
Condensation issues, leading to some seized moving parts .
Lubricants would have become too sludge like and stuck.
Petrol in the tank will deteriorate and become gummy.

The knowledgeable guys here could instruct you on how to sort out these issues but maybee not all of them.
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by Boomhauer View Post
If you are only going to use it 3 or 4 times a year then it is going to be a pain to have a car there.

I am not mechanically knowledgeable on cars but this is what I was told about leaving my Landie in storage for months or years :

You will have to figure ways to maintain the battery but in my case the batteries were always dead since I didn't drive it for months.
The engine will gum up.
The wheel bearings will get pitted from the weight of the car resting on a few bearing for a long time.
Condensation issues, leading to some seized moving parts .
Lubricants would have become too sludge like and stuck.
Petrol in the tank will deteriorate and become gummy.

The knowledgeable guys here could instruct you on how to sort out these issues but maybee not all of them.
See post #2 above re wheel bearings and condensation/ moisture.

The OP said he visits the UK three times a year, but didn't say whether they're three weekend visits, three visits of 2-3 months each or somewhere in between. If he is using the car half the time then leaving it for a couple of months at a time won't be too big a deal. My Mustang often spends 2-3 months in the garage with no ill effects.
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 3:17 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Also, if the car is off the road you have to declare SORN to the DVLA. If not it MUST be taxed, insured and MOT'd. you'll have to do the calculations to determine if it's worth the aggro! Here's some info: https://www.gov.uk/sorn-statutory-of...ation/overview
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 5:51 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Don't bother!

As people have pointed out storing a car quickly kills it unless you disconnect the battery, jack it up and drain all the fluids.... As such, the process of getting it back on the road would be more of a ball ache.

Also, again, if you are a resident elsewhere and have a local licence your UK licence is invalid. As such, getting insurance and registering it will be a hassle, not to mention very expensive.
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 5:58 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by jam25mack View Post

Also, again, if you are a resident elsewhere and have a local licence your UK licence is invalid. As such, getting insurance and registering it will be a hassle, not to mention very expensive.
What so my UK licence is in valid??!?!
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 6:00 am
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Originally Posted by iggle View Post
What so my UK licence is in valid??!?!
it's invalid, you invalid
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 6:09 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
it's invalid, you invalid

I've seen this mentioned a couple of times here but have not been able to locate any confirming information.(*) Can someone please post a link that explains this properly. I have 4 driving licences from different countries but am unclear which if any are no longer valid for use in the country they were issued in and how that is so.

TIA

(*) I'm referring to a driving licence being invalid and not whether a person is an invalid.

Last edited by martinbkk; Jun 20th 2016 at 6:12 am.
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by martinbkk View Post
I've seen this mentioned a couple of times here but have not been able to locate any confirming information.(*) Can someone please post a link that explains this properly. I have 4 driving licences from different countries but am unclear which if any are no longer valid for use in the country they were issued in and how that is so.

TIA

(*) I'm referring to a driving licence being invalid and not whether a person is an invalid.
The UK license is only valid for when you are resident there. When you become resident again, it become active again.
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
it's invalid, you invalid
Great bants.

I post these little gems, to see if anyone catches them, it keeps my moral up at work
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 7:26 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by iggle View Post
Great bants.

I post these little gems, to see if anyone catches them, it keeps my moral up at work
thanks, I was proud of that one.
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Old Jun 20th 2016, 9:35 am
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Default Re: Car in the UK

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
The UK license is only valid for when you are resident there. When you become resident again, it become active again.
Boom!

Many folk are unaware of this and drive on their UK licence when at home. Were you to get into a crunch you 'may' have issues with the insurance depending on how arseholish they want to be...... and we all know that insurance companies love to be very arseholish!

Personally I don't see why you would want to drive on a UK licence. I always drive on a UAE one when away (last several years) and pretty much disregard average speed cameras etc. Haven't had a ticket or a charge levied on me once.
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