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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Old 13 Jul 2004
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Is it possible to travel with vehicle not registered in one'

Hi ! .
From what I experienced 10 ago , It is impossible , however the situation may have easened somehow now.

I have been given a really nice looking xpedition-ready Series III 109 , but due to some weird Spanish laws , I wont' be able to change the register title to me any more.

Any recent news about travelling with vehicles' not in ones' name ?

What about VIN numbers ? are they checked at all ? how competent are at "investigating" VIN numbers ?

-dont get me wrong , Its not stolen , but the only choice I have left is to "swap" plates an VIN number with another easier to register Landy.

Would that be a good , bad , or really stupid idea ?


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Old 13 Jul 2004
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Kent, Uk
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not sure about Saharan area countries but in East and Southern Africa it is possible as long as you have a letter of permission from the owner.
The other choice wold be to create a letter head from a rental company hiring the car to yourself.

Not sure about changing VIN plates, I would avoid if possible - the implications of being caught etc.

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Old 13 Jul 2004
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The last two times I went from Morocco to mauritania the VIN number was checked by the moroccan customs, they also checked some other cars.

It may be possible to make your own documents with a laser printer, or else get an official declaration from the police or spanish AA. this is valid in Morocco, after this I cant really say, some border guards are more cunning and diligent than others.
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Old 13 Jul 2004
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I'm just curious as to why you can't register the vehicle in your own name.
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Old 13 Jul 2004
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it depends on the route you are choising. But as you want to go all the way to Cape Town, you will have to cross pretty many countries. than to you want to get rid of the car or take it back, as coming back sometimes makes some difficulties especially if you are shipping it. For the north eastern countries it is not possible, for marocco, they sometimes are pritty acurate, sometimes it seems the ydon't care, so you might be lucky. But I would not depend on the luck all the way. I would try all the afford to get the paperwork done from the beginning, it will take may be some afford but it will be less than you have to do the same, leaving your car and staff at a bordercrossing any where in africa, which may happen.
We wish you the best of luck
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Old 14 Jul 2004
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Originally posted by vagabond:
I'm just curious as to why you can't register the vehicle in your own name.
Good question .

In Spain , in order to get a Carte Gris (V5.1) with tne new owners name , the vehicle must undergo a full MOT , AND have all outstanding road tax payed. Unlike UK , one must show the latest yearly receipt , but that cant be paid until the previously unpaid is paid as well . That is , some vehicles "owe" the treasury more than their value ... making them impossible to buy/sell/transfer

Also , to get the MOT , the car should be fully insured (and guess what ? , Insurers are not allowed to insure cars without MOT/ V5.1) . (also Unlike in England , which insurers won't care if the car's motted or not) .

Secondly , MOT stations are quite far, so -as driving without insurance is not possible (unlike in UK , which can be temporarily arranged from the MOT Station ) , one must bring the vehicle on a recovery platform.

And lastly (and that's my own case) , in Spain , MOT stations won't pass a car modified in ANY way . That means a single jerrican holder will make the car fail the test. My Landy is full expedition ready (roof rack , tent , jerry holders all the way around , snorkell , big tyres , water deposits on top , solar panels etc ,etc... and there's positively no way that can pass a MOT , (even that I could get insurancet to do so ) .

So I guess , "creative Laser printing" will be my option . ha ha ha .

The advice is:
If anyone is tempted to buy a spanish car (they are cheap , closer to Africa , and some brands LR much more available , BY ALL MEANS MAKE SURE ITS GOT A VALID MOT TEST . Otherwise , the greatest difficult will be experienced .

Thanks all ...

...now I am gonna turn my scanner on.

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