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Driving with foreign plates


pouk
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Hi,

I was wondering what the situation is regarding driving with english plates. Are there any french insurance companies that will let you insure a car on english plates?

Alternatively, are there any english insurance companies that give 12 month cover abroad? (apart from the one listed in another post)

Also are modified cars difficult to insure in france?

Thanks a lot for your help,

Regards,

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Some additional information would be helpful in order to answer your question:

Are you living in France now or are you intending to move here in the future?

Which departement do you/will you live in?

Are you only intending to visit France and if so, for what period?

What sort of car is it and what are the modifications?

 

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We are planning to move to our house in the Mayenne and intend to stay there for a year before returning to the UK.  What is our position as regards our car number plates, road tax and insurance?

 

In view of the relatively short time we will be here it would be easier to keep our UK plates and keep the road tax up to date.  However, would a french insurance company cover us or indeed are there any UK insurers that would offer cover for this kind of period?

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You can get French insurance for a British car, but the insurer usually insists the vehicle must be registered in France within a certain period, e.g. 3 or 6 months. So although if you bought a year's worth of insurance they would not know whether or not you had registered the car in France, if you made a claim they would find out and could refuse to pay out on the basis that you haven't met their conditions.

There is also the problem that you will probably have to renew the road fund licence some time during the year, and you cannot do that from a French address or with French insurance.

For foreign vehicles in Britain, DVLA says that something like they can be used for a maximum of six months in a 12-month period, otherwise they have to be registered in Britain. As far as we know on this forum, the French officials have no similar ruling, and many British people take advantage of this.

Most British insurers limit the time out of the country to 90 days or similar, but there may be some specialist insurers who will give you more.

This probably isn't the answer you wanted, I know it's vague, but that's how things are.

 

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According to the DVLA, if you are resident in the UK and wish to visit abroad in your car, then you may do so for a period of up to one year.  During this time, the vehicle must be taxed/MOT'd and insured as normal.  If your tax expires whilst you are abroad, you can apply to have a new one posted to an address in France, but you must also supply your UK address where the vehicle is registered.  (Note: a foreign MOT is not acceptable for relicencing). Any visit longer than one year, then the vehicle must be permanently exported.

If you are leaving the UK to live abroad, then you must export the vehicle and notify the DVLA of the fact before you leave.

According to French regulations, if you are resident here and bring an exported UK vehicle into France, then you may drive it on its foreign plates for up to one month whilst you complete the french import/registration formalities. This period is extended to four months if the vehicle requires a single vehicle type approval inspection.

So, in summary, if you still live in the UK but are temporarily visiting your holiday home in Mayenne, then you can use your UK registered car for up to a year provided it remains taxed, MOT'd and insured. If you no longer have a UK home, and you take up residence in your Mayenne house, then you must export the car then register it in France.

 

 

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Thank you for your answer, unfortunately goes back to the problem of not being able to get insurance from a french insurer as we would have british plates, and no UK insurer is interested for longer than 90 days as I am well under 50 so can't look to Saga.  Looks like there's no getting away from it and we'll have to go through the export process.

 

Thanks for your help anyway Sunday Driver

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I am sure that there is a way round this. We have an english neighbour in France who has lived there for in excess of 10 years, but still runs UK reg vehicles, all with french insurance. (I am not saying that she has had the same vehicle for 10 years).
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I wouldn't bank on AGF or any other insurer always paying out under those circumstances, a lot depends on the agent you deal with. I think ours could be quite cooperative if we bent the rules like that. We know him well and put a lot of business his way (we have French registered vehicles so it wouldn't arise) but I know that others would not.

They are certainly tightening up on things like this compared with the rather laissez-faire attitude of a couple of years and more ago. Most insurers will tell you now that you need to register vehicles in France within a certain period, and if you haven't done this, although they will continue to take your money, they have an automatic get-out if you make a claim..

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