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Classic bikes. Is it possible to keep UK registration.


Giscard

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Sometime next year I have to make the decision whether to bring my 3 classic British bikes to France, aged from 1949 to 1974. It would then be unlikely that they would return to the UK for several years.

The problem I have is that they have the original UK registration numbers, which is as important as having the engine and frame matching the original documents. Indeed one of these bikes I obtained as a basket case and was able to trace and claim the original UK number from a faded numberplate.

Is there any way that I can ride these legally in France without changing the registration and would anyone insure them anyway.

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I believe you could delay the inevitable for a year, by paying to put the registrations on retention certificate before importing, then if you decide within a year to revert back, you could reimport to UK and apply for your registrations to be reinstated. I think it is also possible to extend the retention beyond a year by further fee, though I stand to be corrected.
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Can anyone explain then how there are British registration cars owned by expats that have had the contol technique and are presumably insured in France that never return to the UK. Presumably someone will always ignore the rules and fortunately the gendarmes are not as vigilant (yet) as the UK police with the numberplate recognition cameras. I suppose in the more rural areas it is too much trouble to pick on the Brits as they are probably holidaymakers and can't speak the language anyway. There are also undoubtedly a few Brit vehicles driving around in cars that have not been registered under the French system and probably have lapsed UK documents. I suppose the clue was in the original question as to how do you bring a vehicle into France legally!

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This question of Brit cars kept here in France has been done to death on this Forum. Many of us suspect that some of these cars are kept here illegally, but conversely just because you often see the same car with a UK plate doesn't mean that the owner doesn't take it back to the UK for half the year. If you're that bothered you could have a look for a current UK tax disc or even ask the owner. [:-))]  but personally, I'd rather get on with my own life. Problems could arise if one of them is involved in an accident.

For your bikes isn't it the case that they would receive the original registration if you were to take them back to UK after several years? I had a "cherished" registration in UK and that's what happened to my car when I transferred the registration on to my next vehicle, it simply got the original number back.

Sid

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I think it is a different case when a cherished number is applied and the old reg is retained just for that purpose, though when its returned the old number is non transferable I think you'll find; however when exported the original reg could be delisted, offered for sale or given as 'age related' I believe (ie not retained in case you come back!), worth checking with your club. DVLA have really woken up to the value of registrations.[8-|]
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If the bikes are reregistered in France they will get French plates -

you'll probably need to go via the CG Collection route rather than CG

Normale, but that's another story (www.ffve.org for ref)

I doubt the DVLA would keep your old reg for you

You could keep the bikes on UK plates & UK insurance, and get a 'green card' for the weeks you want to ride them out. I don't suppose you'll be using them every day?

If you go for French insurance, they will probably accept them on UK plates only until you switch them to a French plate, if you don't they won't continue to insure them.

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Simplest way is to apply to the DVLA to have the old numbers put on retention.  This can be for 12, 24 or 36 months and the retention is renewable, provided you apply within the 28 days before the original retention period expires.

You can then export the bikes and register them here in France, if necessary, under the 'collection' scheme.  You can also organise inexpensive French insurance from one of the 'collection' specialist insurers.  When you eventually return the bikes to the UK, you can re-register them under their old retained numbers.

No ducking and diving necessary - everything legal and above board......[;-)]

 

 

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Thanks for all the input. I think on balance Sunday Drivers approach makes a lot of sense. I have checked with the DVLA and they confirm this is the way to go. Apologies that this subject has been done to death on the forum but as a new member it is difficult to know what has gone before and to search out all the relevant information, especially as that nice Mr Sarkozy could have recently changed things.

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An odd twist to putting my reg on retention, was that since the Insurance and tax had both expired but it still had a valid MOT, and I didn't know when I might want to use it again I asked if it was possible to put it on retention; the reply was that if the tax had expired, then it was, but since I had cashed the remainder of tax in I would have to tax it again in order to put the reg on retention! which meant insuring it again, then taxing it, and finally cashing the tax back in having lost a month in the process! Ho Hum[blink]
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[quote user="Sunday Driver"]

Simplest way is to apply to the DVLA to have the old numbers put on retention.  This can be for 12, 24 or 36 months and the retention is renewable, provided you apply within the 28 days before the original retention period expires.

You can then export the bikes and register them here in France, if necessary, under the 'collection' scheme.  You can also organise inexpensive French insurance from one of the 'collection' specialist insurers.  When you eventually return the bikes to the UK, you can re-register them under their old retained numbers.

No ducking and diving necessary - everything legal and above board......[;-)]

[/quote]

Thanks for that, you learn something every day! Not that I give a damn what N° is on any of my cars or bikes - and yes, we do have classics - but it's useful knowledge to have for club members.

But from reading the DVLA website, the n° has to go somewhere after 3 years....so if the OPs bikes are kept in France doesn't he need to find UK vehicles to put the numbers on after 3 years?

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The right to extend the period of retention is set out in [url=http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/uksi_20082850_en_1]The Retention of Registration Marks (Amendment) Regulations 2008[/url]. 

You initially request the DVLA to issue a retention document with a validity of up to three years, then you can subsequently 'extend the relevent period on one or more occasions' by writing to the DVLA enclosing the existing retention document together with the current fee.

 

 

 

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QUOTE.

Thanks for that, you learn something every day! Not that I give a damn what N° is on any of my cars or bikes - and yes, we do have classics - but it's useful knowledge to have for club members.
But from reading the DVLA website, the n° has to go somewhere after 3 years....so if the OPs bikes are kept in France doesn't he need to find UK vehicles to put the numbers on after 3 years?




 

You will find that when (if) you come to resell any of your classics, it will affect the value of them if they do not have the correct reg number.

That, like matching frame/engine numbers it does make a large difference to the price achieved.[:-))]

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I accept that certain markets forsome bikes and cars do reflect orig N° plates - but not for 'our' cars, the market isn't like that - or even for OHs oldest

bike as it only had to have a reg plate for the first time when he

rebuilt it, originally it didn't legally need a plate!

Sorry, must dash, urgent cry for help from garage below, engine change taking place & a third hand is needed...

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[quote user="Sunday Driver"]

Simplest way is to apply to the DVLA to have the old numbers put on retention.  This can be for 12, 24 or 36 months and the retention is renewable, provided you apply within the 28 days before the original retention period expires.

You can then export the bikes and register them here in France, if necessary, under the 'collection' scheme.  You can also organise inexpensive French insurance from one of the 'collection' specialist insurers.  When you eventually return the bikes to the UK, you can re-register them under their old retained numbers.

No ducking and diving necessary - everything legal and above board......[;-)]

[/quote]

me again... I've been looking at the DVLA forms (as a car club sec I try to keep up with legal stuff, even when, like here, it's not personally relevant to me) and it seems to me that if you apply for a retention certificate for a vehicle you have to send back the V5C - so how can you then apply to re-register the same vehicle in France? You need the V5C.

Or do you have to first transfer the cherished plate to another vehicle, get your precious classic on another n° and V5C and then you have a logbook to change in France?

Or have I missed something?

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Your 'precious classic number' is put on retention and you receive a fresh V5C with a replacement 'normal' number.  You then use this V5C to register the bike in France.

It's all explained in the notes to the DVLA form under 'What happens next'....

Once your application is approved, the following will apply.

The vehicle in section 2 will be given a replacement vehicle registration number appropriate to its age, unless you want to assign another appropriate vehicle registration number at the same time.

(...snip....)

The DVLA local office will send you a confirmation letter, usually within 10 working days. In most cases this will include your new tax disc, authorisation to display the new vehicle registration number and your amended MoT or GVT certificate (if appropriate).

We will send your new V5C and a Retention Document, (if you are retaining the vehicle registration number), within 20 working days of receiving your application. However, this could take up to 40 working days if you sent us a V62 or if we need to inspect the vehicle. If you do not receive your documents after 40 working days, phone DVLA Customer Enquiries on 0870 240 0010.

 

 

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