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-   -   Keeping a UK registered car in Spain (https://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/keeping-uk-registered-car-spain-867906/)

bolton wanderer Nov 12th 2015 5:10 pm

Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
Hi, this has been discussed in a previous thread but I don’t wish to hijack that thread with additional questions....:o
We are in the process of purchasing an apartment with a basement parking space and would like to leave a UK registered car for use during our visits to Spain. We are non-resident and happy to drive the car back to the UK for the MOT once a year. We are currently insured with Saga who cover 90 day trips but won’t cover the car if left in Spain.:unsure:

Is it possible to insure the car with a Spanish insurance company allowing cover in Spain, France and the UK ? ....I think some forum members are already doing this and we’d appreciate any recommendations/advice.

Will this insurance appear on the DVLA insurance database so the vehicle can be taxed online? This is also important as this info is freely available to the Spanish & UK police.

Is there any discount given for No Claims earned in the UK?

We appreciate that matriculation, or buying a Spanish car, is probably the best way to go and will probably do this eventually but in the meantime we’d like to avoid as much bureaucracy as possible.

Thanks for reading and all advice & recommendations gratefully received.:fingerscrossed:

frigilianafreddy Nov 12th 2015 5:47 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
A UK registered car (even if MOT'd, taxed and insured) can only legally remain in Spain for 6 months, after that its illegal.

Yes you could buy Spanish insurance. The car would still be illegal if it remained in Spain more than 6 months, whether it is insured or not.

Just buy a cheap Spanish registered car and save yourselves the hassle.

bolton wanderer Nov 12th 2015 6:12 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by frigilianafreddy (Post 11792605)
A UK registered car (even if MOT'd, taxed and insured) can only legally remain in Spain for 6 months, after that its illegal.

Yes you could buy Spanish insurance. The car would still be illegal if it remained in Spain more than 6 months, whether it is insured or not.

Just buy a cheap Spanish registered car and save yourselves the hassle.

Hi,
Many thanks for the reply. However, I've been looking at the following thread which suggests that it's the person not the car that cannot remain in Spain :(...http://britishexpats.com/forum/spain...gister-866784/
and Car registration and taxes - Your Europe
I do hope that you're incorrect...:unsure:

EMR Nov 12th 2015 6:22 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by bolton wanderer (Post 11792626)
Hi,
Many thanks for the reply. However, I've been looking at the following thread which suggests that it's the person not the car that cannot remain in Spain :(...http://britishexpats.com/forum/spain...gister-866784/
and Car registration and taxes - Your Europe
I do hope that you're incorrect...:unsure:

Its the vehicle, just as it is in the UK.Portugal etc.

Fred James Nov 12th 2015 6:25 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by frigilianafreddy (Post 11792605)
A UK registered car (even if MOT'd, taxed and insured) can only legally remain in Spain for 6 months, after that its illegal.

Yes you could buy Spanish insurance. The car would still be illegal if it remained in Spain more than 6 months, whether it is insured or not.

Just buy a cheap Spanish registered car and save yourselves the hassle.

Sorry, that is not correct. The problem is if the owner stays for more that 6 months. So long as the car is taxed and insured and has a valid UK MOT, if required, it can stay indefinitely.

Of course, explaining that to the Guardia after they have wrongly impounded it could be a challenge, but it would be perfectly legal to leave it in Spain.

bolton wanderer Nov 12th 2015 6:40 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
Hi again,
Thanks for the replies so far. Could I clarify that we don't intend to stay in Spain for longer that 6 months, in any calendar year, and that the car will leave the country for about 1 month in order to obtain a UK MOT. The car will be taxed & MOT'd and legal in the country of registration (UK).

We do have an alternate vehicle that we could bring over after 6 months but would prefer to use just one vehicle for Spain.

Thanks again.

Fred James Nov 12th 2015 7:31 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
That is OK according to all the information that I have.

As I said, it is just possible that keeping the car in Spain for an extended period could just attract the attention of the Guardia which would mean that you might have to justify your position.

That said, there are thousands of old UK vehicles without UK tax or MOT, that have been here for years, owned by full time residents and the Guardia has done absolutely nothing about it.

amideislas Nov 12th 2015 8:19 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
The fact is, it is indeed legal to keep the car in Spain, but it's also true that the Guardian *can* seize the vehicle and impound it if they see fit. That doesn't mean they will, but if they choose to, the onus will be on you to prove it's legal in some way. And the law doesn't necessarily matter to the Guardia. If at the end of the day, they have little chance of imposing some criminal charge, then they'll let it go (but at your expense for grua, etc.). But if they have a chance of proving you "criminal" in some way, they will. And then it gets very expensive.

Better to take the advice of others, and buy an old Spanish-registered golf or fiesta. Should be able to buy a decent one for €1000 or so. Could save you €5000 in misery. Besides, a left hand drive is quite a bit safer to drive in Spain.

guesswork Nov 12th 2015 9:05 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
I used a company called Andrew Copeland for my UK car when I first came here for an extended stay. Then I use Abbeygate. Both will cover a UK car for up to 12 months.

Longlegpete Nov 12th 2015 10:54 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by bolton wanderer (Post 11792574)
Hi, this has been discussed in a previous thread but I don’t wish to hijack that thread with additional questions....:o
We are in the process of purchasing an apartment with a basement parking space and would like to leave a UK registered car for use during our visits to Spain. We are non-resident and happy to drive the car back to the UK for the MOT once a year. We are currently insured with Saga who cover 90 day trips but won’t cover the car if left in Spain.:unsure:

Is it possible to insure the car with a Spanish insurance company allowing cover in Spain, France and the UK ? ....I think some forum members are already doing this and we’d appreciate any recommendations/advice.

Will this insurance appear on the DVLA insurance database so the vehicle can be taxed online? This is also important as this info is freely available to the Spanish & UK police.

Is there any discount given for No Claims earned in the UK?

We appreciate that matriculation, or buying a Spanish car, is probably the best way to go and will probably do this eventually but in the meantime we’d like to avoid as much bureaucracy as possible.

Thanks for reading and all advice & recommendations gratefully received.:fingerscrossed:

We have started keeping a UK reg car in Spain as we were spending loads on hire cars, we have insurance that covers us fully comp throughout Europe for any length of time in any country, this is via a broker but the insurer is Liberty Seguros, they allowed me 50% NCD but in the end its the price you pay and not the discount that matters

I did a lot of research to make sure i was doing the right thing including contacting the EU commission and DVLA, the 6 months is definitely related to the person and not the car as long as its UK road legal, i was originally going to buy a Spanish reg car and take it back to the UK for the summer when we rent our house out but this is not legal in the UK, as a UK resident i cannot legally drive a foreign reg car so a UK car in Spain is the only way to do it.

As to it showing as insured on the UK database I dont know but i will sort that out at the time if a problem crops up, i know there are people that do drive uninsured, untaxed UK cars with no mot's but there are I am sure plenty of us that are doing it all legally!

As far as being in a RHD car i am amazed at how little difference it makes over LHD, in fact only parking and tolls spring to mind, i have a help in hand under the passenger seat, works a treat for ticket machines and saves getting out the car;)

lyric030250 Nov 12th 2015 11:10 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
I drive a RHD car, have done for the last 7 years, it is on Spanish plates, and I must be more athletic than you as I have NEVER had to get out at a machine, I just lean over. It is not the slightest problem and indeed I consider it a plus on narrow campo tracks.

Longlegpete Nov 12th 2015 11:45 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by lyric050203 (Post 11792846)
I must be more athletic than you as I have NEVER had to get out at a machine, I just lean over. It is not the slightest problem and indeed I consider it a plus on narrow campo tracks.

Too many years of motocross have put pay to any athleticism i may have had in the past :rofl:

Casa Santo Estevo Nov 13th 2015 8:28 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by bolton wanderer (Post 11792574)

....but in the meantime we’d like to avoid as much bureaucracy as possible.....

:fingerscrossed:

Joked on my coffee when I read that bit. Have to ask why you are even purchasing a property here in Spain?:confused:

snikpoh Nov 13th 2015 9:06 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Fred James (Post 11792640)
Sorry, that is not correct. The problem is if the owner stays for more that 6 months. So long as the car is taxed and insured and has a valid UK MOT, if required, it can stay indefinitely.

Hi Fred, I thought that the law stated -

that the vehicle can only be in the country for 6 months in any calendar year as a "temporary import".

or is this only if owned by a resident?

Longlegpete Nov 13th 2015 10:07 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by snikpoh (Post 11793091)
Hi Fred, I thought that the law stated -

that the vehicle can only be in the country for 6 months in any calendar year as a "temporary import".

or is this only if owned by a resident?

I am sure Fred will answer for himself in good time but the information re length of stay is here, Car registration and taxes - Your Europe
When I contacted the EU commission with my scenario they pointed me to this page and pointed out that everything relates to you and not the car, you will also see there is a link on that page for each individual country to state the amount of time a resident of said country has to register the vehicle, the UK state's immediately, on contacting the Department of transport in the uk they informed me its the DVLA that handle it, they said 10 days.

You will notice in that same link Spain has not entered a time, my lawer in Spain is telling me it is now 30 days but i have no evidence to support this.

One more thing to add was I spoke to a few different traffic cops in the UK when i was making my enquiries and none of them had knowledge of the rules so its not only the Spanish police that are unsure sometimes of what is right and wrong.

snikpoh Nov 13th 2015 11:13 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
You're right - I misread the facts.

As a UK resident, a UK plated vehicle can stay in Spain for as long as it wants (subject to MOT and road tax etc.).

Fred James Nov 13th 2015 11:14 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by snikpoh (Post 11793091)
Hi Fred, I thought that the law stated -

that the vehicle can only be in the country for 6 months in any calendar year as a "temporary import".

or is this only if owned by a resident?

No, the law is as stated in the link Longlegpete gave.

Often you see it quoted that you can only use it for 6 months in a year - that's technically correct because if you used it for more than 6 months you would become a resident.

The car can stay as long as you like as long as it is legal.

amideislas Nov 13th 2015 11:42 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
So, do you want to drive it back every year to get MOT?

Other than some minor short-term convenience or driving back and forth one or more times per year, I can't see many scenarios where bringing your UK-registered car to Spain for the long term makes any sense at all. Well, presuming you want to stay legal, which is indeed highly advisable, because if you get caught, it can get ugly.

Longlegpete Nov 13th 2015 12:44 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by bolton wanderer (Post 11792574)

Is it possible to insure the car with a Spanish insurance company allowing cover in Spain, France and the UK ? ....I think some forum members are already doing this and we’d appreciate any recommendations/advice.

Will this insurance appear on the DVLA insurance database so the vehicle can be taxed online? This is also important as this info is freely available to the Spanish & UK police.

I just checked on line at askMID and indeed it is showing as having insurance so the answer to your question is yes it does show up

Hornets_Nest Nov 16th 2015 10:26 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
This has probably been mentioned before - however I can't find anything.

Do Spanish insurance companies accept No Claim Bonus earned in the UK?

Longlegpete Nov 16th 2015 11:13 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Hornets_Nest (Post 11795146)
This has probably been mentioned before - however I can't find anything.

Do Spanish insurance companies accept No Claim Bonus earned in the UK?

Mine gave me 50% but as i mentioned before in the end its the price you pay that's the deciding factor, the cover normally includes European brakedown cover, how good that is i hope i never find out but as with most insurances you only know when you try them!

Mitzyboy Nov 16th 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Hornets_Nest (Post 11795146)
This has probably been mentioned before - however I can't find anything.

Do Spanish insurance companies accept No Claim Bonus earned in the UK?

Mine did. I had to get a letter from my last insurance company in the UK declaring what my NCD was, and after that they were happy to offer it

But as Longlegpete says, it of course depends on what start figure you are working from, hence it's worth ringing around. I initially went with Mapfre and they too offer breakdown cover in Spain and the rest of europe.

newpower Nov 16th 2015 8:23 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
Why if your staying do you want a right hand drive car in spain?

snikpoh Nov 17th 2015 7:02 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by newpower (Post 11795573)
Why if your staying do you want a right hand drive car in spain?

Why not?

My wife kept hers because we had it from new and knew exactly what the service history was.

It's never been an issue to have a RHD car here (on Spanish plates of course!).

Mitzyboy Nov 17th 2015 9:16 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by newpower (Post 11795573)
Why if your staying do you want a right hand drive car in spain?

There can be many reasons. I owned the car I bought with me for 14 years in total. I didnt want to change it, and the stories you hear about RHD cars being a problem to drive in a LHD country are not true in my experience of driving a RHD car in Spain for 6 years

bolton wanderer Nov 17th 2015 5:51 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
Many thanks for all your replies.:thumbsup: .... really appreciate you taking the time to respond

I'm now happy about the legality of leaving our car in the basement car park during our absence from Spain. The reason we wish to keep the UK registration is so that we can still use it throughout the rest of Europe (incl UK). If we buy a Spanish registered car then, as UK resident, we cannot use this in the UK :(

Thanks Longlegpete for confirming that Spanish insurer Liberty seguros appears on the DVLA database. This means that I will be able to tax the car online and demonstrate that the car is legal in the country of registration.
I've just found their website.....[URL="http://www.libertyexpatriates.es/spain-car-insurance"] :thumbsup:

Mitzyboy Nov 17th 2015 8:19 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by bolton wanderer (Post 11796440)
Many thanks for all your replies.:thumbsup: .... really appreciate you taking the time to respond

I'm now happy about the legality of leaving our car in the basement car park during our absence from Spain. The reason we wish to keep the UK registration is so that we can still use it throughout the rest of Europe (incl UK). If we buy a Spanish registered car then, as UK resident, we cannot use this in the UK :(

Thanks Longlegpete for confirming that Spanish insurer Liberty seguros appears on the DVLA database. This means that I will be able to tax the car online and demonstrate that the car is legal in the country of registration.
I've just found their website.....[URL="http://www.libertyexpatriates.es/spain-car-insurance"] :thumbsup:

.... and you'll take the car back to the UK every year for an MOT?

Bri and Katee Nov 18th 2015 7:22 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
We had a UK registered car that we exported to Spain and re-registered it here. Since doing that it has been driven back to the UK, in fact this year we drove it back, all the way to Yorkshire, drove it around for the five weeks were home and then all the way back to Murcia. No problems at all with the law.

I spoke with the DVLA and they said as long as it was registered, road worthy in the country of registration and insured for european travel, as long as it was in our names with our Spanish address on its documents there was no problem driving it in the UK as european traffic law allows.

You may be confused in that as a UK resident you cannot drive a foreign registered car as your permanent transport in the UK, but returning as such for a holiday it is permissible.

snikpoh Nov 18th 2015 8:02 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Bri and Katee (Post 11796906)

You may be confused in that as a UK resident you cannot drive a foreign registered car as your permanent transport in the UK, but returning as such for a holiday it is permissible.

... and that's the point, if you are Spanish resident, driving a Spanish plated vehicle in UK is not an issue.

The problem comes when you are either Spanish registered with a UK plated car or are UK resident with a Spanish plated car.

Bri and Katee Nov 18th 2015 11:55 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 
You have it wrong. According to dvla you can drive a foreign registered car as a UK resident in the UK. As long as that vehicle is only visiting the country and is not being kept there in which case it must be re registered. Keeping it there and driving it is breaking the law, temporary visit as per holiday is not.

Think about it. You could rent a car from Hertz or Europcar or any number of others. It is registered in Spain. France elsewhere. You have rented it to drive home back to the UK. In your scenario once you set wheels in the UK you are breaking the law! It's a give and take situation with leeway as far as the dvla is concerned. The police might have a different outlook and issue a ticket if you don't have all your supporting paperwork, ie a return ferry ticket or a date to return the vehicle to an office of the rental company.

Longlegpete Nov 18th 2015 11:59 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by snikpoh (Post 11796918)
... and that's the point, if you are Spanish resident, driving a Spanish plated vehicle in UK is not an issue.

The problem comes when you are either Spanish registered with a UK plated car or are UK resident with a Spanish plated car.

Exactly, that's why i have a UK car in Spain, because its the only way as a UK resident i can drive my car in the UK when i take it back for the summer

Casa Santo Estevo Nov 18th 2015 1:59 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Bri and Katee (Post 11797063)
You have it wrong. According to dvla you can drive a foreign registered car as a UK resident in the UK. As long as that vehicle is only visiting the country and is not being kept there in which case it must be re registered. Keeping it there and driving it is breaking the law, temporary visit as per holiday is not.

Think about it. You could rent a car from Hertz or Europcar or any number of others. It is registered in Spain. France elsewhere. You have rented it to drive home back to the UK. In your scenario once you set wheels in the UK you are breaking the law! It's a give and take situation with leeway as far as the dvla is concerned. The police might have a different outlook and issue a ticket if you don't have all your supporting paperwork, ie a return ferry ticket or a date to return the vehicle to an office of the rental company.


Well suppose you do not have a return ticket? Suppose you do not know your return date. This can happen. It is up to the police to prove you guilty in a court if need be.

Question for Longlegpete: How long do you "live" in Spain and how long in the UK?Being a resident is not all amount registering here in Spain.

newpower Nov 18th 2015 2:49 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by snikpoh (Post 11795939)
Why not?

My wife kept hers because we had it from new and knew exactly what the service history was.

It's never been an issue to have a RHD car here (on Spanish plates of course!).

OK i understand now, You cant afford another car so it's cheaper to keep the UK car.

Rosemary Nov 18th 2015 3:35 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by newpower (Post 11797168)
OK i understand now, You cant afford another car so it's cheaper to keep the UK car.

He has not said that he cannot afford another car but has stated that his preference was to keep the car that they had due to knowing its history.

Rosemary

CapnBilly Nov 18th 2015 4:37 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Bri and Katee (Post 11797063)
You have it wrong. According to dvla you can drive a foreign registered car as a UK resident in the UK. As long as that vehicle is only visiting the country and is not being kept there in which case it must be re registered. Keeping it there and driving it is breaking the law, temporary visit as per holiday is not.

I don't believe this is correct, my understanding of the situation is the same as Snikpoh posted. With regard to the DVLA it says

You can usually use a vehicle with non-UK number plates without needing to tax or register it in the UK if all of the following apply:

- you’re visiting and don’t plan to live here
- you only use the vehicle up to 6 months in a 12-month period (one single visit, or several shorter visits adding up to a 6-month period)
-the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country

If you are a UK resident then you automatically fall at the first hurdle. This is the same as the situation in Spain, and is all based on an EU directive from 1983. I believe that as a resident you can drive a non registered vehicle, providing the non resident registered owner is in the vehicle at the same time. That's because it's not a driving offence, but a customs issue.

snikpoh Nov 18th 2015 5:08 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by newpower (Post 11797168)
OK i understand now, You cant afford another car so it's cheaper to keep the UK car.

I actually have my own car and the children (3) all have their own vehicles.

My wife chose to keep her UK car unlike me who sold and bought new when we arrived here.

Longlegpete Nov 18th 2015 7:31 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Bri and Katee (Post 11797063)
You have it wrong. According to dvla you can drive a foreign registered car as a UK resident in the UK. As long as that vehicle is only visiting the country and is not being kept there in which case it must be re registered. Keeping it there and driving it is breaking the law, temporary visit as per holiday is not.

Think about it. You could rent a car from Hertz or Europcar or any number of others. It is registered in Spain. France elsewhere. You have rented it to drive home back to the UK. In your scenario once you set wheels in the UK you are breaking the law! It's a give and take situation with leeway as far as the dvla is concerned. The police might have a different outlook and issue a ticket if you don't have all your supporting paperwork, ie a return ferry ticket or a date to return the vehicle to an office of the rental company.

When I made contact with the DVLA they said nothing of the sort, they told me under EU law each country was allowed its own say on the length of time a resident can drive a foreign registered vehicle, the UK has said immediately which according to the DVLA is around 10 days of arrival with the vehicle, If you are a resident of the UK you cannot drive a foreign registered car, the leeway as you put it is an unofficial 10 days, this is to sort the paperwork out not to drive around on holiday, if you rent a car the car rental companies would arrange for you to have a UK car wile you are touring

Longlegpete Nov 18th 2015 8:08 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Casa Santo Estevo (Post 11797134)
Question for Longlegpete: How long do you "live" in Spain and how long in the UK?Being a resident is not all amount registering here in Spain.

These days around four and a half months on and off a year, wife the same but not always at the same time, I'm here now for 2 weeks she not, she also stays here on her own sometimes, not sure what you mean buy , "being a resident is not all amount registering here in Spain " ?

newpower Nov 18th 2015 8:44 pm

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Rosemary (Post 11797191)
He has not said that he cannot afford another car but has stated that his preference was to keep the car that they had due to knowing its history.

Rosemary


Right, sorry was a little confused thats all, i just didnt realise anyone would want to keep a RHD if staying.

snikpoh Nov 19th 2015 6:54 am

Re: Keeping a UK registered car in Spain
 

Originally Posted by Longlegpete (Post 11797354)
These days around four and a half months on and off a year, wife the same but not always at the same time, I'm here now for 2 weeks she not, she also stays here on her own sometimes, not sure what you mean buy , "being a resident is not all amount registering here in Spain " ?

The law states that if they consider that your 'centre of economic interest' is in Spain, then you are deemed to be resident here irrespective of the 183 day rule.

What this means in reality is that if your main residence is here, your family are here etc. etc. then you are really already resident here.


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