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  #61  
Old 24 Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by RogerM View Post
Yep, here we go again.

Trouble is that when you de register your vehicle in the UK, to comply with the law in practically every country that you visit it must be registered. Your Green Card insurance or legal minimum insurance (EU) will be invalid as soon as you de register.

Within the Vienna Convention countries its an absolute must to have current vehicle registration to be legal and comply with the international treaty that allows free(ish) movement of vehicles - and a lot of coppers and border guards KNOW what a UK tax disc looks like, as well as the uniform registration documents. Its even harder for UK residents as so many people speak and read English and can easily read a UK V5.

Vienna Convention summary;
"The vehicle must meet all technical requirements to be legal for road use in the country of registration.

The driver must carry the vehicle's registration certificate, and if the vehicle is not registered in the name of an occupant of the vehicle, proof of the driver's right to be in possession of the vehicle."
In practice, once you're off the beaten track (presumably most people on the HUBB are not just planning to drive around the EU), local officials do not know exactly what the source-country document should look like. Nobody outside the UK has ever looked at my tax disc or MOT, certainly not in Africa - it's more common that somebody asks me for the "carte grise", raises an eyebrow when they see that I've given them a totally different document to what they usually handle, then they get on with filling in forms and rubber-stamping.

Even in the EU I've been asked for my card license dozens of times (by vehicle rental agencies &c) but nobody has ever asked to see the paper counterpart. It's meaningless to them; it's a UK-specific piece of paper.

If you tell the DVLA you've exported or SORN'd your vehicle, you still have the V5. What, do you think, are the chances that an Algerian or Peruvian or Iranian border official will read the V5, and phone a foreign government agency to verify that a vehicle would still be road-legal in a different country? (hint: you'd have to translate the term "SORN" for them first, give them a phone, and tell them the DVLA's number).

Turn it the other way round. Imagine you're an official in the UK and you do a routine stop (maybe a border check) on a foreign motorist. They hand you a couple of official-looking documents which you've never seen before. Maybe one of them is laminated or has a rubber stamp on it. The documents are written in a foreign language and seem to have been issued by an acronym-agency in another country. There is no phone number for the agency on the document, and anyway you don't speak that language well (or at all). Your official instructions are that any paperwork valid in the source country should be accepted here. What would you do next?
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  #62  
Old 24 Dec 2009
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I can't believe I'm still subscribed to this thread...

To reiterate my previous post/s - since UK Road Fund Licence is only legally required if a UK registered vehicle* is kept or used on UK roads... anything else they tell you is bullsh!t in a lame attempt to prop up the threadbare government coffers...

If you want to pay anything between £100 and £400 a year to the government while you are away traveling, and renew your road tax on-line go ahead... or, you can SORN your vehicle, and re-SORN it on line, and pay them nothing.

The only paperwork foreign police or boarder controls are interested in is your vehicle ownership papers (eg. British V5) and most importantly, Insurance.

As long as you have both of those with you (either originals, photocopies, laminates or whatever), noone is going to give you any hassle if you are passing through their boarder/country.

I'm off to enjoy Christmas now, even though this year I'm stuck in this officious bureaucratic nightmare that the UK has become...

Toot toot!

xxx

*personally I think the government is trying to make up the shortfall in roadtax they can't collect from the thousands of foreign registered vehicles that use our roads everyday, by stitching up their own citizens - like so much else in the country...
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  #63  
Old 24 Dec 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
I can't believe I'm still subscribed to this thread...

To reiterate my previous post/s - since UK Road Fund Licence is only legally required if a UK registered vehicle* is kept or used on UK roads... anything else they tell you is bullsh!t in a lame attempt to prop up the threadbare government coffers...

If you want to pay anything between £100 and £400 a year to the government while you are away traveling, and renew your road tax on-line go ahead... or, you can SORN your vehicle, and re-SORN it on line, and pay them nothing.

The only paperwork foreign police or boarder controls are interested in is your vehicle ownership papers (eg. British V5) and most importantly, Insurance.

As long as you have both of those with you (either originals, photocopies, laminates or whatever), noone is going to give you any hassle if you are passing through their boarder/country.

I'm off to enjoy Christmas now, even though this year I'm stuck in this officious bureaucratic nightmare that the UK has become...

Toot toot!

xxx

*personally I think the government is trying to make up the shortfall in roadtax they can't collect from the thousands of foreign registered vehicles that use our roads everyday, by stitching up their own citizens - like so much else in the country...
Well said Jen, I am so pleased to see you put your fingers to keyboard for free on this site, I was thinking that you now required payment for articles!!
Happy Christmas and New Year xx
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  #64  
Old 7 Jan 2010
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Ex Pat, road tax, mot, insurance etc.

Having completed my "44 years" we decided that the time had come to get some sun into our old bones, and move to Spain.
Having lived here for two and a half years, we have discovered that things are not always as easy as you might imagine, but that the "pros" far outweigh the "cons".
The intention was, to drop off the edge of the world, no one would know where you were, do what you like (legally) no more tax-man, no more bloody T.V. licence, no more road tax, etc etc.

Although Spain is still very laidback, no one should make the mistake of thinking of Spanish police as being thick or inefficient, no one likes a "paperchase" or a roadside check, more than a bored spanish copper, with not a lot to do out of season, with the holiday visitors long gone.

They are always super polite, but they carry a big stick, and a gun!

First thing you learn is that Spain is the biggest rumour-mill you could image, and the older expats are the worst, so what follows is purely what I know, and how we have handled things for driving in Spain. (At last you say)

The reason for this post is that I saw on a previous posting, a comment about ex-pats with English vehicles with no tax, no mot, and no insurance.

Assuming you can use an English address, I registered both cars to my sister's house, DVLA will only send SORN reminders to the registered address in England.

This what we did, got the cat a pet passport (there's a rip-off £240!! More later). SORNED the two cars, hooked up the trailer and drove to Spain, it really was as easy as that!

Once in Spain the insurance on one vehicle ran out, so we insured it here, no problem at all, we told them that we had come here to live, and that it was an English car, and we had no intention of registering it in Spain (very expensive, more than the cars worth) they were happy with that, and said that as far as the insurance was concerned, it was all legal. Cost 200 euros, which included breakdown cover any where in EU, as it is completely illegal to tow any vehicle any distance in Spain, so all insurance covers breakdown.
It is also like the American style of insurance, where it is the car that's covered, not the driver, anyone over 23 with a valid licence is covered to drive my vehicle, which cuts down on the uninsured driver problem.

Next thing to come up was the MOT, unlike England, where it is TOTALLY impossible to get a test done on anything but an English car, the computer throws out anything but an English number, (thirty years in the business) in Spain you can get the MOT (ITV) done with no problem, just book it in, and turn up at the appointed hour, they are not at all thrown by the headlights with stickers on, or the different number plate style. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's going to be easier than in the UK, IT'S NOT, it's the same as England with emissions tested etc. but with the addition of a "shaker plate" where you think it's going to fall apart!

We now have a vehicle that is insured and tested in Spain, and is legal as far as the the authorities are concerned, but this is where I think the DVLA are really a bit slow, with an estimated 80000 cars here at any one time, with insurance details posted on the MID, so easy to check, they will not accept the Spanish MOT as valid, and it's therefore impossible to get the vehicle taxed, and become totally "legal in its country of origine" which is really what the Spanish want.

I realise that there are flaws to all this, things like after 3 months, you should, by law, become a resident, which you don't, because you lose your NHS service in the UK, and the free NHS in Spain doesn't kick in 'till you become a pensioner, and the fact that you are not allowed to keep an English vehicle in Spain for more than 183 days in any one year!

As my fiscal advisor (Gestor) which you have to have if you own property here, says "Who's looking and who's counting?"

The point of all this is to say, that it must'nt be assumed that all expats you see out here are all irrisponsible just because you don't see a tax disc in their screen, I for one would never drive an uninsured vehicle, it's not fair on everyone else, and Spanish jails can be a bit grim!

Partly given in, and got a Spanish car! Tax, which goes on the house, not the car, so no tax disc, 70 euros a year.

Just a point on the permanant export debate, my best mate, hairy biker Big Tell really fell out of bed over this, thought he would get away from all this SORN stuff, and PE his 750 Yam, not register it, but just MOT it and insure it as he does'nt use it much, and it costs about 750 euros to register it in Spain, which he has'nt got to spare. Testing it was not a problem, but when he tried to insure it, he was told that it was impossible to insure, as it now didn't "belong" anywhere, and so was unusable anywhere, certainly in EU! Furthermore to re-register it back in the UK, it first had to have an English MOT! Do you see a problem emerging here? How do you get an uninsurable bike back to the UK from Paradise?

You pay someone loads-a-money to transport it!

So think on!

Life's good.

Oh,yes the cat! Just a tip, if you want to export your pet with you when you move down here, and I know you will, IF YOU HAVE NO INTENTION OF RETURNING TO THE U.K. All you need is a chip implanted (£30) no jabs, no nothing else, you only need the passport (total £240) if you are planning to come back at any time, and let's face why would you?

Oh, yes, the "pros", well, it's 02.42.Spanish time, and I'm sittting in my shorts, indoors, no heating on, and it's 20c, went round to friends today for a lunchtime BBQ. Christmas morning on the beach with her indoors having her Christmas swim in the Med. Etc.etc.

Regards, Another day in paradise.
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  #65  
Old 7 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by rockinrom View Post
The reason for this post is that I saw on a previous posting, a comment about ex-pats with English vehicles with no tax, no mot, and no insurance.
Oh, that was me wasn't it? See you've made just the type of ex-pat post I was talking about, and it's one that's littered across the ex-pat forums on the web, for just about any country in Europe. I don't want to wee on your beachside barbeque but I'm going to because you've fallen into the trap. Enjoy your piss-flavoured sausages.

Before I go any further, sorry to everyone who just wants to find out how to legally drive/ride to Hanoi, or Tierra del Fuego, the DVLA's crap, and puts everyone in a crap situation of having to be outside the law, by their narrow definition, and the legislation provides no solution for an admitted minority, who'd rather have a decent answer, to a simple question.

Back to Spain: you've successfully insured and MOT'ed your vehicle, you can do just the same thing in France. The insurers didn't have a problem and the MOT centre was OK with the stickers. You're fine. Then you have an accident, your fault or not. Suddenly the insurers aren't fine, their legal department says "Hang on, this car's got funny numberplates." And they send you a nice letter explaining how on page 47, paragraph 6, subsection 3, in tiny writing, in Spanish it tells you that your car isn't insured because it's not registered in Spain.

Ah you think it's OK because, I'm not really resident in Spain:

Quote:
As my fiscal advisor (Gestor) which you have to have if you own property here, says "Who's looking and who's counting?"
Who's counting? Suddenly everyone is, and your paper trail lets you down. The insurers show you've been insuring with them for two years, the MOT centre issued you with a document two years ago.

The tax-man shows you're tax-registered in Spain. You have registered for tax? You must have some kind of income, even if it's bank interest. You're not taking a little bit of cash in hand here and there?

"I pay my tax in the UK, I'm still a UK resident" you say.

Then why isn't the car complying with UK regulations. The DVLA shows your car hasn't been SORN-ed for years, but wait, what was the car doing having an accident in Spain when it's been SORN-ed at a UK address?

So now you're up a certain creek with no means of locomotion. You're driving an un-taxed, un-MOT-ed, uninsured vehicle and that bored, but polite policeman is calling you into his office where he's not so bored and not so polite. He's looking through your papers, he's asking for proof, and the only proof you can give him makes your situation worse. Where do you live? Where is your money to live on coming from? Where are you getting your healthcare? Where are you paying your taxes?

As one of those ex-pats I've seen it, done some of it, and luckily avoided the T-shirt. I've read the horror stories and right now, as a court-appointed translator I'm interpreting for some ex-pats in France who've got themselves into precisely this situation, and are now looking at fines they cannot pay, back-tax they cannot afford, and the possibility of spending some time in government provided housing, where they don't let you nip down the beach for a swim.

Oh,yes the cat! You were right about that bit (although they might have to find him a new home soon).

Feel free to ignore every word of this post, I'm just some 40-year old ex-pat with too much time on their hands,. Just ask yourself, who is saying your car is legal in Spain? An insurance agent and an MOT tester. Then ask yourself, in the UK would you take legal advice from someone in a Direct Line call centre or an MOT Test centre under the arches?
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  #66  
Old 23 Feb 2010
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Update on this!

Genius Paul Gowan at the RAC has recently made an agreement with the DVLA. Email him at carnets@rac.co.uk and ask him to send you his standard template letter and to explain the very simple process.

What do you get out of it? A letter on DVLA headed paper explaining that your vehicle has been exported and that your record at the DVLA has been 'closed' i.e. frozen i.e. you won't be subject to any fees or nasty repurcussions during/after your journey... apparently! We'll be testing this method so watch this space.
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  #67  
Old 24 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by huwandrosie View Post
Genius Paul Gowan at the RAC has recently made an agreement with the DVLA. Email him at carnets@rac.co.uk and ask him to send you his standard template letter and to explain the very simple process.
Good news.
I hope it is not another DVLA ruling that they promptly rescind when they reralise they cannot collect Penalties for failing to re-SORN.

It presumably addresses the hoary DVLA chestnut of attempting to make British vehicles pay the British Government to use roads, that are free to every other road user in the World, in foreign countries outside their jurisdiction! (And insist they have a MOT where they are not required locally - or even available!)

Perhaps Paul could post his explanation and template letter here (I know he reads threads on this topic) to save having to repeat it many times.
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  #68  
Old 9 Mar 2010
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has anyone had any luck emailing Paul, I emailed him 2 weeks ago and have heard nothing.
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  #69  
Old 19 Mar 2010
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no mot and road tax abroad

I have followed all the posts, here and on other websites. Seems to me that the key thing is whether you are still validly insured abroad, if you don't have mot or road tax. That is just not worth risking. Anyone know the answer? And in that case do you inform your insurer that you have SORNed your vehicle but are driving it abroad?
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  #70  
Old 20 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by p_jm View Post
I have followed all the posts, here and on other websites. Seems to me that the key thing is whether you are still validly insured abroad, if you don't have mot or road tax. That is just not worth risking. Anyone know the answer? And in that case do you inform your insurer that you have SORNed your vehicle but are driving it abroad?
A lot depends on what you mean by "abroad", if it is within Europe (and a few Europeaan based countries like Norway/Finland/Sweden), then your UK insurance will generally cover you for 3rd party. But, those countries law enforcement officers will want to see your bike being taxed and MOT'd (IME). However, not having MOT or Tax does not usually invalidate insurance (but they may argue the toss a bit ).

Outside of Europe your UK insurance will not be in valid, you need to get insurance for what ever country you visit, sometimes at the border (if available). Insurance in the USA is available via the MotorcycleExpress link.

The SORN thing is just the DVLA being a PITA, if you are going to be out of Europe when your tax is due, they will want it or a SORN. I have come around to thinking that it is worth while making sure your bike is taxed while out of the country if going for less than 12 months (ie, cash in current and get a fresh 12 month one.

MOT is a different matter, if you have a document with a valid MOT it may well impress foreign cops, if not *don't* show it.

When you get back to the UK, book the bike in for an MOT, and it dos not need to be the nearest to port of entry, just within reach of that days ride.

HTH
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  #71  
Old 22 Mar 2010
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Sorry to be pernickety, but it is probably better to have the MOT prebooked BEFORE setting tyre on UK soil.
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  #72  
Old 23 Mar 2010
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Sorry to be pernickety, but it is probably better to have the MOT prebooked BEFORE setting tyre on UK soil.
Actually, I don't agree as an MOT can be booked at any time, but if you want to be pernickety, then it is better to have the MOT pre-booked before your bike leaves the airport/port :-P
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  #73  
Old 26 Mar 2010
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Almost 1 year on we're now at the other end of this issue. Following the advice from our nice lady at the DVLA we exported the car; right or wrong, that's where we are.

The insurance problem didn't really bother us for the majority of the trip as we didn't spend that long in Europe and we were still insured from the UK up to Turkey (or so we thought, the "small print" comment is probably true). Once outside Europe, we figured that any insurance wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on and we would be much better off paying our way out of a situation. This in fact only happened once (in Pakistan) where we shelled out a grand total of 30 quid to a guy whose car we crumpled. This was obviously our call and a lot of people thought we were mad (scare stories about the cost of lorries in India and the like) but that was our decision.

We kept the V5C form so there was no problems with border crossings and the like - as it's perpetual there's no expiry date. We removed the tax disc from the car as soon as it expired.

Now we are in Australia and planning to stay here for at least a year, the situation has shifted slightly. There's no buying your way out of trouble here; medical bills and posh cars see to that. The laws vary from state to state, but in NSW the official line for temporarily imported vehicles (i.e. vehicles under a carnet) is that they are automatically covered for medical bills insurance - no extra policies need to be taken out. BUT this only applies if your vehicle is legally registered in its country of origin.. AH! So now we really are stuck in a catch 22 - we are cannot register the car here as we are under a carnet, but we are not registered at home as we were told to export.... so we are not insured and have no hope of getting any insurance.

I would love for someone to tell me that I'm completely wrong, but I think that might be wishful thinking!

I would also love to find out more about Paul's discussions with the DVLA to see if there's any way to retrospectively solve this problem; more wishful thinking?!

So Paul, if you're there, I know this is not your problem and really nothing to do with your job description, but any new info you have would be very gratefully received!!!

Jenny, aka Mrs. Deity
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  #74  
Old 26 Mar 2010
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Jenny - is the MoT still current on Dino, by any remote chance? If it is, there is a possible solution.

BruceP - I stand by my advice. Having the MoT prebooked before you get to the UK avoids any issues with arriving at the airport/ferry port and then phoning up your MoT place only to get told "oh, sorry - we're fully booked up today - we can fit you in next week?"

Not sure what the letter of the law says on this, but I would imagine it's better to be able to say to PC Plod, if you are stopped, that the pre-booked MoT you are on your way to is for that day and not x days in the future.
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  #75  
Old 26 Mar 2010
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Been thinking about this some more. I asked about whether you still had the MOT because, if by any chance the MOT was still current from when you left the UK (which was less than a year ago) then you could declare the car reimported and then use the still-current MoT to get road tax/insurance on it from abroad without having to bring it back to the UK to get it re-MOT'd, which is obviously a huge huge sticking point.

But - if the MoT is expired - the definition of 'registration' varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, doesn't it? In UK-speak, a UK-registered car is still legally UK-registered even if it is SORN'd, with no MOT or road tax, unless/until it is scrapped or exported. Contrast this with a place like Australia or Germany, where rego is something you have to pay every 6 months and the vehicle loses its registration if it is not renewed.

I am wondering whether you might be able to think about relying on the UK definition of 'legally registered in its country of origin' ie declare the car reimported to the UK and then immediately SORN it, before taking out NSW insurance.
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