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French Lad working in Ireland


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Apologies - this is driving in Ireland rather than driving in France, but I know there are a lot of knowledgeable people so hoping someone can provide some pointers.

The 24 year old son of some French neighbours has gone to work in Ireland - for at least a year, maybe longer. He's an eboniste, and has got a job at an Irish furniture maker.

He took his French registered white van with him, along with his Groupama insurance. I'm not sure how much research was done on the insurance aspect, but he's being stopped practically every day by the Irish police at some sort of checkpoint, and it's now been made clear that he can't go on driving the van on his French insurance.

His Mum contacted Groupama who don't seem able or willing to help or advise. He initially tried to see if any Irish insurers would insure the French van but they won't. He then tried for quotes on the basis that he'd buy a second hand Irish car, but out of the five insurers he tried only one would even consider him and wants Euro 4000 pa.

I'm not really sure what my question is - does anyone know of a suitable and less expensive insurer? Is there any way that Groupama can be persuaded to allow him to purchase supplementary months (which is what we used to have to do in reverse once upon a time when our insurer limited green card insurance to 60 days per year).

Any bright ideas would be very gratefully received; he's feeling increasingly uncomfortable in the situation and clearly a solution needs to be found. He has 20% bonus on the Groupama insurance.

Thanks in advance.
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Just did a Google search and the easiest for me to understand was the Europa.eu site, about car registration and taxes.

Available in French.

Re insurance, his company will give him a copy of his no claims. And certainly ours was in many languages, certainly English.

Rules in Ireland seem to be strict.
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Martin963 wrote : The 24 year old son of some French neighbours has gone to work in Ireland - for at least a year, maybe longer.

If he is there for so long doesn't he need to re-register the van there ?

Then he might just find that he can at least get some slightly more reasonable quotes.

How about an insurance broker ?

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Yes, if  someone is planning on staying over six months then their vehicule would have to be reregistered or a new one bought. Looks like


like the Irish authorities do not allow much time to do things properly.

Not on my iffy ipad now and here is the link it should be live.


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I don't understand why he would think that he could move to work in another country without re registering his van. When you say that he tried on the basis that he would buy a second hand Irish car was it the car or his van that would cost €4000?

I notice you are not full time in France, perhaps your neighbour has got used to seeing your UK reg car and others in France for long periods and presumed that there was no need to re register.
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Indeed.   I haven't seen his green card documentation from Groupama but a British friend living in France permanently has now had a look at his green card and apparently it doesn't appear to give any indication whatsoever that it isn't valid for the current year of assurance in any EU country,   although obviously I understand that a single document shouldn't form the basis for extended conjecture on the subject and clearly as far as the Irish are concerned it isn't sufficient.

The Euro 4000 per year was the only insurance quote that the lad was able to get in Ireland (for a car that he would buy,  no-one wanted to insure the van AIUI).   The other four insurers he approached simply refused to deal with him,  which he felt was because he was French rather than because of his age or history.

I'm going to suggest that they try to find a broker rather than going direct to individual insurers (if they haven't already,   I'm talking to the lad's Mum not direct to him).

Anyway,   thanks folks for the help,   and if anyone knows of a good Irish broker or insurer....   (well you never know).

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And I make no apology for this post.

The 'great' EU, freedom of movement and some people think that they can do as they do in their own country and that what applies chez eux is the same elsewhere. And not only that, but in some cases there seems to be a belief that that is part of the 'right' of freedom of movement.

There is NO excuse these days to not look stuff up and find official sites, the EU and in this case Irish. 

Obviously, neither parents nor child did it in this case.

And if he is getting stopped, then he should do something about it. He should reregister his vehicule and and get a copy of his french insurance no claims and then he would get insurance, of that I am sure.

If he was there for less than six months then that would be OK, but obviously he is not saying that he is there for less than six months ( because he isn't), and he may have been flagged up now. And knowing he is there longer, and I have read it as stating that he had 30 days after his arrival......... and I would have to reread to check.

Or simply he should get another irish vehicule.

I know we did not do everything right immediately, we made mistakes when we moved, quite a few, but heyho, in the early 80's getting info was hard, but we did things as soon as we found out about them.

I know a french girl, who works here in England. Has done for about 15 years, still on french plates as the car is her mothers and she goes home regularly. She believes that that is perfectly fine and her right!

And this lad, well, when we moved back to the UK, many insurers would not touch us because my husband holds an EU driving license. And we are english and speak english and moving back. I found one and we took that and even the following year it was a bit of a problem, but since it is OK. And the french no claims on the multi lingual form sent by our french insurers was accepted.

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[quote user="Chancer"]

[quote user="BritinBretagne"]I don't understand why he would think that he could move to work in another country without re registering his van. [/quote]


Were you never young BIB or were you born old?


I moved to Germany when I was about his age. Complying with the law was very high on my list of priorities. Perhaps that's why my username is not Chancer. It's nothing to do with age it's to do with responsibility and not being obsessed by looking for ways to avoid the inevitable.
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I understand exactly where you are coming from BIB, I guess I have the advantage over you of having once been young, unthinking and irresponsable, I have neither forgotten it nor been in denial, as such I can empathise with the persons situation, I have mostly young friends and whilst many who had better upbringings than me impress me with their maturity most are just as inward thinking and uncaring as I was and all of my friends.


Idun. Is it really a surprise that a young person does not look for all the downsides? Not everyone has parents that look out for them either, I had zero parental input or influence from the age of 15 and very little before that compared to decent modern familys but many dont have good and stable parents.


Not that many years ago it was only the young and irresponsable that took up opportunities in other countries, after Brexit the UK at least will be back to those days as will probably Europeans like the person in question, I wish I had an answer to their problem but have no experience to pass on, I wont criticise them however for doing something that I did not have the balls to do myself nor take pleasure from their difficulty, instead I applaud him, Europe needs more like him, I hope he finds a solution.


Back in 1986 I was working in for International Automotive Design at Worthing, there were 2 young French guys, both Parisiens, one of them was paying £2500 a year to insure his Citroen and that was a French insurer, they both drove on 75 plates all the years they were there.

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I am surprised that others are surprised that this lad did not know the rules.

A trawl back through posts on this and other forums will show a whole raft of posts along the lines of:

My insurance company won't insure my UK car in France because we are here full time and they limit cover to a maximum 90 days.

The DVLA will not accept my CT as a valid MOT


It is easy to say that people should know the rules, but as Idun says, many do not and the real problem is not that they don't take the trouble to find out, but rather it is a question of how do you find out what you don't know, when you don't know, what you don't know.
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Oh how I understand that in 1986. Getting info was very very hard from anywhere and anyone.

Simply, it is down to ignorance and arrogance to not get information now, no matter the age or nationality.

Had an argument with a Bank Manager the other day about my husband's EU license which she insisted was completely illegal and did a french thing on me.......... would not listen to where she could look it up, and she knew best and that was that. I was in fact rather amused by her although, she was completely out of order and pig ignorant...... and frankly unfit for purpose! Needless to say, we won't be banking there.

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Thanks to those who have been helpful.

@ teamdup - the family concerned are following this thread - the mother probably with the aid of a dictionary, as her English is not particularly good. I'm sure she'll be grateful - if perhaps a little surprised - for your oh-so-incisive character analysis, ignorant and arrogant were I think the words you used.......?

It's exchanges like these that I'm sure convince even the most Anglophile French citizens that Brexit is an excellent and long overdue idea.

I think I'll suggest that the family concerned don't refer any more to this thread given the direction it's taken. Renewed thanks to those who have done their best to give us ideas.
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Finally Imight have something to bring to the table rather than an understanding of his situation, there are one or two London based French expatrié forums and you can be sure that this will have come upmany many times, it may even be a sticky, he or his parents wont be met by judgemental criticisms by people who may have forgotten that they were once young,  we were all totally ignorant of everything until we learned by being told or asking, this lad's parents wont have any experience and his new friends and workmates wont either.


The contributors to thos forums will mostly be aged 25-40 and from those that I have encountered dont get hung up and turn on each other because they drive vehicles still on French plates and most of them that I have encountered still do especially if they will eventually return to France.


The chap probably lives close to a border crossing in Ireland and there are regular and robust vehicle checks to combat people avoiding VAT, Under ceratin circumstances its completely legit but there are time, age and mileage limits maybe some have even been using French plates to avoid being stopped, in any case because of where he lives he will probably have to do the correct thing whereas in London he probably would get away without, many of the contributors on those forums who are long term UK résidents would have insured and/or registered their LHD vehicles.


When I got here I sort of knew that I should register my car, I guessed it would be cheaper as well but my French wasn't good and nobody here had a clue, just shrugged shouders, every RHD car I saw and there were/are  a lot here was still on UK plates and when i asked of the owners they became anxious, it was soon apparent that to them  my virtually non existant French was considered to be fluency. It took me 18 months of battling like Martins friend before I thought that there might be a forum to help, I did not even have internet access for 6 months.


Was I ignorant? - hell yes! And I will be ignorant of many many things till the day I die but I have a thirst for knowledge.

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Oh dear ! I really do hope that the family concerned won't think too badly of some of the comments on here.

I for one, entirely endorse Chancer's last post (particularly para 3) and Andy's one that followed. Very frustrating for the young man and his family.

Of course re-registering his French van is to all intents & purposes a complete no-no. Headlight change and all the palava that is involved - kiss goodbye to €1k minimum.

Just one suggestion that they may already have thought of though. This chap clearly has skills that his employer was seeking and presumably he chose Ireland (as opposed to the UK) because he became aware of this recruitment need? Presumably also, he has had time to demonstrate his worth to that employer?

What I'm getting at in a rather clumsy way, is whether his employer might be able to help in some way? Perhaps putting a vehicle on the road for him (reimbursement of the costs by the lad of course) or alternatively putting a vehicle that he might buy himself on to the Company insurance? The reality is that unless a solution can be found, they'll lose him as an employee and coming up with an alternative might be good for both parties.

Best of luck to him anyway.

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My comments re ignorance arrogance were very general, concerning anyone who cannot be bothered to try official websites.

And my french friends are very very blunt, and would find my comments rather tame.

And asking his employer for help sounds like a very good idea.

Incidentally instead of criticising me, why not read everything I said and use the links. They had all the info, but there you gol
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I suspect your French friends were blunt with you because you yourself are so egregiously out-spoken. Our many French friends (not just the ones in play here) are very subtle and very gracious.

Personally I think it's a pity you don't have the grace or humility to do other than try and defend your uncivil remarks, but "there you go"..... I have already explained to our French friends your track record on this forum as teamdup and now idun
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I came to France to live in April 2007, having joined the forum the summer before.

No problem with finding all about registering my car.  Just asked Sunday Driver who spelt everything out, from getting the proces verbal at the tax office, to changing the headlamps, to getting insurance.

In those days, the time for registering was, I believe, 1 month.  My car took me 6 weeks on account of sourcing the lights and finding a garage and, like you, Chancer, I had barely 10 words of French.  And guess what, I played it straight, didn't drive my car until it was legal to do so.  Couldn't imagine what would have happened had I been involved in an accident and the car wasn't legal.

The info IS out there somewhere and there have been some good suggestions on here.

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I really don't get the trailblazing young man theme in some of the posts. Hundreds of thousands of young Europeans travel to work in other countries every year and thankfully most of them have done some research and realised what is required to live and work. One of them is my own 24 year old son who is on the west coast of the USA at this very moment and before the end of the month will be flying south west and spending the next twelve months in the Southern Hemisphere. He is young and adventurous, he is not lazy and unprepared. The rules for moving within Europe are at everyone's fingertips these days and no one whatever their age has an excuse for not being up to speed.

Chancer, I will have played rugby with several of your colleagues in Worthing and worked with the wife of one of them in Lancing before I moved to Europe in April 1986.
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On a related note, I think it's outrageous to say/suggest/imply that those of us who are getting on a bit, and do not condone wrong-doing, have somehow lost our marbles/sense of adventure/tolerance of the young, blah, blah, blah.

There are responsible and irresponsible folk of ALL ages, honest and dishonest folk of ALL ages, rule-abiders and rule-bypassers of ALL ages.

Let's not be ageist and use age as some sort of excuse to either do or not do things.  Isn't it fair enough to say that if you are old enough to drive, you are old enough to do so legally and correctly?

And, before anyone gets on their high horse on this one, NO, this is not aimed at the young man OR his parents.  This is merely my opinion and, AFAIK, I am allowed to express it.

When has it become unaceptable to point out that some things are better done comme il faut?  Only doing what is convenient for oneself is no way to live in our very complex society. You might be doing more than inconveniencing your neighbours, you could be fined and flagged in some police computer and you could turn yourself into an illegal immigrant or at least an immigrant who cares nothing for the laws of their host country.  So, come on out, all those who think it's fine and just a bit of youthful folly to do illegal things in someone else's country!

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BIB, I was struggling to recall whether IAD was in Worthing or Lancing as at that time I did contract work in both towns, flight simulators for Singer Link Miles, military armoured vehicle conversions for Hunting Hivolt, automotive engineering at IAD plus military and flight simulators for Redifons and Invertron at Burgess Hill and Crawley, we probably have known a lot of people jointly.


All of you that were responsable when you were young thats great, I am not criticising it, its just that I did not encounter a single responsable youngster till I was probably 23 and the first of the graduates were being fast tracked through my company, their confidence and worldy experience was like they had come from another planet, they stuck out as much as I do here in France, indeed when I was young I was the most mature and responsable one because I had left home so early.


Those of you that ensure your children are responsable again good for you but be aware that not everybodys upbringing is as good, as bad as mine was by constantly Learning, improving and adapting through life as much as a chancer I may be I am 10 times more responsable than anyone around here who have never done anything in their lives without being fully supported, the bright and ambitious young that break free probably like the ebenist get absolutely no moral or integrety support from their parents, they will have to launch out on their own, their family have no knowledge, there are no role models for them and indeed they will be ostracised by their own families when they return, probably 100% of them would not know or think about car re-registration and if they asked their insurance broker who again around here will not be worldly wise he will just say its OK, you are insured.


I feel really really sorry for the kid that he will have to re-register his vehicle, struggle really hard to find insurance, be completely shafter by the premium cost and will have to face it all again when he returns to France.


Not everyone plans things to the last detail especially the young, TBH it scares the hell out of me to think what society would be like if they did, there sure would not be many entrepeneurs, I decided to come to France at the age of 44, decision made in maybe 2 seconds, no looking back and no planning at all, I just packed my car and came, did not give any thought to car registration, health cover anything, all those came much later as and when the need arose, I needed a bank account, a mobicarte, the water electricity and phone reconnected all of which were done in the first month and then I never gave a single thought to anything else I had more than enough on my plate as does the 24 year old ebenist.

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Mint, I totally agree with you.

If one is stupid enough to drive without proper insurance then what happens if there is an accident and others are injured or worse?

It's not clever being a "chancer" and not thinking of consequences for others.

Would "french lads" insurance paid out if there was a need - I doubt it.

The Irish people riding round on UK plates for so long are being totally anti-social and should suffer consequences - if one knows about them they should be reported to the appropriate authorities - they could "inadvertently" ruin some innocent person(s) life.

Condoning such illegal actions are just as bad as carrying them out yourself.

Pushing blame onto others is equally bad.

Rant over.
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