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Insurance question re French reg car and UK resident


Catalpa

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A friend (really!) is a UK resident and has a holiday home here in Normandy.

He bought a French registered car to keep at their holiday home; vehicle is insured with a French company locally.

He sometimes takes the car to the UK and drives it there - probably for 2-3 weeks at a time as they come back here frequently. He has no plans to re-register it in the UK because most of the time it's his runabout at the French house.

Do I remember - in the fairly distant past - reading comments that there's some DVLC regulation that prevents a UK resident driving a foreign-plated, non-UK-insured car? Or did I dream that?

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Insurance isn't an issue. But, EU/UK law forbids it. Otherwise if it was an option, canny Brits would register their cars in countries where you don't have to pay annual road tax, don't have to have an MOT every year, would stand a good chance of not being chased for speeding offences in the UK - lots of advantages... if one was allowed to do it.
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Kathy is right as per her link.

As the car should be UK reg to drive it in the UK so offence 1, presume it would also be deemed it should have an MOT so offence 2, no Road Fund Licence so offence 3 and no doubt insurance would be invalid so offence 4. Pity the poor motorist who is hit by this car in the UK.
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Eurotrash wrote:    Insurance isn't an issue. But, EU/UK law forbids it.

If it is EU law then how about the seemingly huge number of Brit registered cars we see around here all driven by French resident Brits?  The law must apply to them too?  It annoys us that these people just seem to get away with not bothering to re-register.

We had assumed it was just a UK law!

Mrs H

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I think the problem is that a normally law-abiding UK citizen with a second home in France and a correctly registered and insured French car that they are legally allowed to drive here doesn't stop to think that they need to research the legalities of taking it to the UK and driving it in their own country for a couple of weeks.

In fact the person concerned did have an accident in the UK last week. The police did attend the scene but no one was hurt and the circumstances were such that they could have happened to anyone so the police wished both parties all the best and departed. Friend is back in France this weekend, has gone into his insurers and filled out the relevant paperwork. The insurers are processing the claim because the local office does not, of course, have any knowlege of EU/UK requirements.

OH told friend today that I'd said I was pretty sure that a UK resident driving a French registered and insured car in the UK wasn't legal and he is horrified. Having horrified him, I thought I'd better check the accuracy of my recollections.

Not least because having lived here for nearly 10 years now, things do change and just because a rule was in force when I learned of it originally doesn't mean (I always think) that it still is. So thanks for confirming the situation.

Kathy, I've been meaning to send you a quick e to see how your eyes are now. All done and dusted, I hope.  [:)]

ps: thanks for the link to that thread, GG. Good information there.

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Technicalities of registration rules don't affect your insurance, they're totally separate issues. If you forget to renew your UK road tax, it's technically an offence and DVLA can fine you but your insurance couldn't give a hoot. The only reason your friend would ever have a problem driving his French car in the UK would be if he came across an officious policeman who was on the lookout for someone to prosecute. As infringements go, this isn't one to lose sleep over big time,

Wasn't it only in the last 20 years or so that the UK got round to repealing the law that said that all London hackney cabs must carry a bale of hay with them at all times (in case the horse pulling the cab got peckish) ? Did any cabbie have a bale of hay in the boot? Did anybody worry about it?
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ET something in my mind is telling me that there is normally a requirement in insurance documents that the vehicle is legally on the road - as in this case it is not then the insurance would be invalid.

As for insurance companies not giving a hoot think it is a case of if they can wriggle out of paying they will.
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But in the OP's case I don't see a problem. It's a French car so if the carte grise is in order and it's CT'd and insured and roadworthy, it's legal in its country of registration, which is what counts.

Yes of course insurance companies will wriggle out of paying if the can, which is why there are EU laws that prevent them from doing so without good reason. I've never seen a UK insurance contract that specifies that the vehicle has to be taxed and MOT'd at all times. Kept in a roadworthy condition yes, that's relevant because it affects the risk, but the fact that the paperwork might not be in order doesn't in itself affect the risk. Just like they usually specify that the driver must be entitled to drive - it doesn't make your insurance invalid if your licence has expired and you've forgotten to renew it, the important thing is that you have held one and are not disqualified from holding one.

If the worst comes to the worst and they find that the insured has broken the terms of the contract, by providing incorrect information on the application form for instance, they can't invalidate the insurance retrospectively - they are still obliged to pay out third party claims but they can try to reclaim the money from the insured.

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[quote user="EuroTrash"]

If the worst comes to the worst and they find that the insured has

broken the terms of the contract, by providing incorrect information on

the application form for instance, they can't invalidate the insurance

retrospectively - they are still obliged to pay out third party claims

but they can try to reclaim the money from the insured.[/quote]Thank you

ET, talk of this that and the other invalidating insurance is

frequently bandied about but is just old wives tales.

If an

insurance company wishes to cancel your policy then they have to write

to you at the last address you informed them of giving you at least 7

days notice and specifying the precise date and time when cover will

cease. Most will give you longer and write more than once if they

receive no response or acknowledgement. Until or unless that procedure takes place your insurance remains completely valid and your insurance company remain liable for 3rd party claims.

Even the lack of an MOT

doesn't give them an out, they would have to prove firstly that there

was a significant defect with the car AND that it actually contributed to whatever

happened, a dud headlight for instance would have zero bearing on an accident taking place in broad daylight.

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Succint reply from the Directline FAQs

Am I still insured if my road tax has run out?

Yes. However, it is an offence to use or permit your vehicle to be on the public highway, without valid insurance cover, valid road tax and a valid MOT (if applicable)

Sums it up nicely!
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