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  #1  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Thumbs down Warning: Before entering strange Countries with you own car read this:

This message has just reached me by today:

"Poor old Marc came to grief in good old England.

Marc arrived in England to be waved through by customs and he went on his merry way. When he reached Wigan a cop stopped him because he had strange number plates (from NZ) and after quite a friendly conversation he wanted to know about Marc's insurance.

Well, Marc didn't have any insurance - didn't know he had to have it. He wasn't allowed to go and get the insurance and present it to the police. He got arrested, handcuffed, taken away in a paddy wagon, and spent the night in a cell. The next morning the magistrates decided they were going to disqualify him for driving for 3 months, fined him everything he had in his wallet, and impound Marc's Nissan.

To get the Nissan out, Marc had to insure the vehicle. However he was told he could not insure the vehicle because he had to have a valid license to be able to insure it. It also had to be insured by a UK resident. Then he found out if he didn't get it out within 7 days they would crush his dearly beloved vehicle.
As you can imagine this was not looking good, and Marc was struggling to find a way of getting his vehicle out before they crushed it. We all sent lots of ideas to Marc, but it was very complicated - whoever insured the vehicle had to show the insurance papers to the police - couldn't fax them or anything like that.

One chap went along to the police station but got told that he had to own the vehicle to insure it, and they weren't allowed to change the ownership while the vehicle was in police custody. Marc then found an Aussie (who drives for a living in England) and they decided that they would put this chap on the insurance as a driver of Marc's vehicle. They went to the police station to insure the vehicle, only to find out that this Aussie only had 1 part to his license and he was supposed to have 2 parts. If he got pulled up he would also get his vehicle impounded.

Most of the locals were too scared of the police to get involved. So Marc stripped everything he could out of the vehicle thinking it was going to get scrapped. In a last ditch effort he got hold of a senior officer at the station who turned everything around and was going to go to the magistrates to try and get the whole thing turned around, but of course Marc felt his whole trip has been ruined by his dealings with the police and just wants to get home. So this chap has said that he will ensure the shippers can pick the vehicle up - which is supposed to happen on the 23rd April.

Since this he has found out that there is no way anyone can insure a foreign registered vehicle in the UK, even with a residential address. So there is actually no way that any foreign vehicle can come into the country unless it is registered in the UK.
But if Marc had done this he would have had trouble getting it back into NZ. So there was actually no way that Marc could tour the UK with his own vehicle.

But I wonder - do they let in any vehicles? What about French
registered vehicles? Does anyone know? Talk about making things
difficult.

And you think things are difficult in Libya Kuno?

So we expect Marc will be back in New Zealand soon after traveling to
20 countries in about 6 months of traveling, with no problems in any of
them until he reached good old England.

Sad that such an adventure finished in these circumstances."
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  #2  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Several things do not ring true here, but the over-riding fault is Marc's in not having insurance.

Unless insurance is unnecessary in his homeland, I have little sympathy.

I am the Worlds greatest 'corner cutter' of regulations but would NEVER drive/ride without 3rd party liability insurance. The consequences of a vehicle seriously injuring or killing anyone can be life changing - not just to the victim, but to the driver/rider, Irrespective to his own burden of guilt.

- - - - - -

Foreign registered vehicles are permitted to be driven in UK for up to 6 months, subject to the driver being licenced, insured and having a valid entitlement to be using the vehicle. Local laws must be abided with.

This 'right' derives from The Geneva Convention.

I am in a hurry right now, but will post links later.
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Old 19 Apr 2008
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Marc's story is certainly an eye-opener, but frankly it is difficult to believe that he didn't know that insurance is required in most countries. Maybe he knew that, but didn't know that the consequences could be so severe? Jeez, do at least a little research before driving in foreign countries!
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  #4  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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I agree for sure that one should have an insurance. This is without a question - but obviously it was not possible to arrange such insurance once the need was declared. I did not speak to him myself but I cannot imagine that he did not try just everything to get such insurance then...
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  #5  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuno2 View Post
Since this he has found out that there is no way anyone can insure a foreign registered vehicle in the UK, even with a residential address. So there is actually no way that any foreign vehicle can come into the country unless it is registered in the UK.
Sorry this is incorrect, I have personal experience of importing a French registered car into the Uk and obtaining temporary insurance cover from a UK insurance broker with only a postal address.

Quote:
But I wonder - do they let in any vehicles? What about French
registered vehicles? Does anyone know? Talk about making things
difficult.
Also I now regularly drive back to the UK from France in my French registered and french insured car. I see the AA for New Zealand will insure online, Marc could insure his car in the country it is registered in, as while it's not compulsory in NZ, most people have it.

Quote:
So we expect Marc will be back in New Zealand soon after traveling to 20 countries in about 6 months of traveling, with no problems in any of
them until he reached good old England.
If any of those 20 countries included an EU member state Marc risked exactly the same thing as I know of no EU member state where car insurance isn't compulsory.

The moral of the story, I'm afraid is research beforehand and NEVER drive without insurance.
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  #6  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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The DVLA's view of using non-EU registered vehicles in UK, and includes details of insurance requirements:-
Motor Insurance for visiting and imported vehicles : Directgov - Motoring

Try this HU thread for obtaining insurance in EU for non-EU vehicles:-
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...t=eu+insurance
I have not followed their links but feel sure that insurance is purchaseable even at a seemingly unreasonable cost.

For Marc to be in his plight suggests a total contempt or naievity. Surely, in planning and executing his drive to almost the antipode of his home, he must have been sufficiently aware of the important of having insurance - to comply with local laws as much for his own peace of mind.

The UK, in having a fairly efficient punishment/deterrent process, is not at fault, although the laxity of other countries on the way could instill a false sence of security.

To blame the British Police (no friends of mine) or the UK for his sorry mess is disingenuous indeed.

I hope it all goes smoothly for him from now on.
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Old 19 Apr 2008
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If you see Marc, tell him to look here

https://aaionline.aainsurance.co.nz/...ublic/index.do

If I can find it in two seconds from France, I'm sure he can.
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Old 19 Apr 2008
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Marc is getting off lightly

I understand that vehicle insurance is not compulsory in NZ: can someone over that way confirm this?

As for the story: yes, there are aspects that simply do not add up.
However, crushing of illegal vehicles in the UK was introduced a while ago as a means of dealing with the vast array of such 4 and 2 wheelers that are on the roads of the UK, often in the hands of uninsured drivers etc etc i.e. no licence, banned already from driving - the list of offences just goes on and on.
As an aside, property can be seized on the grounds of suspicion alone, under newish powers for the police: if you can't show that you have the means to support the lifestyle that you are living then you may get a dawn call from the police - in recent past, they have seized houses, cars etc etc - whatever is present basically.
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  #9  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
I hope it all goes smoothly for him from now on.
Thanks for all your links. Hope that he reads this and can make use of it!
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  #10  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Wink On the other hand .....................

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
This 'right' derives from The Geneva Convention.
.
................. I may have been a bit harsh in saying that Marc is getting off lightly.
If he can claim that he is a persecuted minority in his home country, in all probability he will get a new car given to him along with free accommodation etc while his claim for asylum is considered.

This was Marc's real naivity.
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  #11  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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True enough, i was in NZ '04 and vehicle insurance was not a compulsory requirement. Very laid back. But driving through some 20 countries without some kind of liability cover... unreal!
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  #12  
Old 19 Apr 2008
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Talking

...Plenty of Polish cars driving around Aberdeen....one of which clobbered my Discovery on a roundabout. He was insured by Tesco!

It's an interesting tale, which sounds almost plausible, but
must surely become an Urban Legend...
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  #13  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuno2 View Post
Well, Marc didn't have any insurance - didn't know he had to have it.
That's not ignorance, that's stupidity. I don't even cross the channel without letting my insurer know I'm going and to confirm I'm covered for both accidents and breakdown in whatever country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuno2 View Post
To get the Nissan out, Marc had to insure the vehicle. However he was told he could not insure the vehicle because he had to have a valid license to be able to insure it.
Not true. You can insure a vehicle on a UK provisional licence. I'm assuming your mate hasn't even passed his test in his home country, in which case he has also been driving illegally in the rest of Europe too. It's just unfortunate that he wasn't stopped earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuno2 View Post
One chap went along to the police station but got told that he had to own the vehicle to insure it,
Again, not true. Contact Neil/Kentfallen for confirmation of this as he's an ex-bike cop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuno2 View Post
Most of the locals were too scared of the police to get involved.
Are you sure this is the British Police and not the Stasi or Gestapo we're talking about here?

So to sum up, we've got a uninsured, unlicenced driver who thinks it's everyone's fault except his own that his trip has been ruined and his car was seized and will probably be crushed. Is that about right or have I missed something here?
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  #14  
Old 20 Apr 2008
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People drive in the Americas all the time with out insurance. I can see how some of us may get in to Marc's problem real fast. cross the border in to Colombia say uncrate your bike ride it out cop pulls you over "Do you Colombia insurance?" No "Oh well in Colombia that means your bike did not enter fully legal you comiting a crime and all on it, your going to jail till the court decides to try you in a year or so I own your bike now we do that now to cut down rich gringos bribing there way out of problems have a nice time".
How many know that in most if not all South America now have state required insurance?

Or how bout the USA where insurance is ran state by state? who knows all the state insurance and vehicle requirements? In Washington state you dont need insurance on a bike. Cross from Canada ask the border gaurd if you need insurance he will say no. Drive down to Californa get stopped near the border and some anil cop looking to save the world can impound your bike arest you then if they dont like you, your story, your bike, your kit you can be the guest of homeland security. After all that your visa will be up your bike in little pices in a box. You will be deported. It dose not happen because the USA dose not want it to.

Dont mock a poor traveler that lost his trip and his ride because they dint know or tryed to save a few bucks.

That said I have insurance and it is not need on my bike, the risk is too big. in other countries some "rich" grengo on a bike must look like a score to cops and conmen.
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Old 20 Apr 2008
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We drove from Turkey to Cape Town without any valid insurance. The plan was to buy it from border to border but were advised by many it wasn't worth the paper it was written on so we continued with only a badly photocopied insurance certificate valid for only Europe which worked at borders and for police checks. It was a cheap old land rover and our attitude was that the vehicle would probably breakdown and be abandoned along the way but it just kept going. Brakes failed in the dessert in Namibia so we had to drive 250km with no brakes before we figured out how to do a temporary repair. But it was a risk we took and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without understanding the possible consequences... Suffice to say the old girl made it all the way back up to Kenya then back down to Zambia before her timing belt snapped and she rests there to this day.

Last edited by Richardq; 20 Apr 2008 at 01:37.
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