French Van, retirement and insurance

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by talaris, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. talaris

    talaris Read Only Funster

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    I am taking early retirement in two years time at age 55. Our plan is to sell up here and buy in France - probably Dordogne or Quercy - and live over there full time. We have an English van which I know I cannot really use there and in any event will be looking to change it by then anyway.

    So, plan is to sell our house and motorhome here before we go abroad, having sold up here and live in the van for 6 months or so until we find the right property. We intend to buy a new van in France in time but nowI am thinking of buying one before we go over there as opposed to renting somewhere whilst looking.

    What I don't want to do is bring it over here and register it in England,no point, as it will be going back to France as soon as the keys are put back through the office letterbox! we may need to spend some time in it here if the house sale goes through but doubtful as the house will on the market a year before we intend going.

    How do we insure it? Is it feasible

    Any advice welcome

    Thanks
     
  2. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    It isn't the insurance you need to worry about but the fact that whilst still a UK resident you cannot drive a vehicle in the UK with foreign plates. Having said I personally wouldn't worry too much about it as you'll be leaving. As long as you can actually buy it & insure it in France ( you'd probably need an address) I wouldn't worry.
    Just remember if you do do it, that if asked at any time whilst in the UK that you are a French resident. No doubt someone French based might be able to tell you more.
     
  3. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Yes, I have seen that quoted in many places. The DVLA even have it on their website, however, I have sent them several emails and letters asking them to clarify where this is mentioned in the road traffic act, they refuse to answer.
    There is also the tricky point, how does one establish where an EU resident resides, since we have freedom of movement!
    However, to avoid issues, get a French address first :D
     
  4. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    For this to work, you will need a French driving licence. I think you will need a French address to buy and insure a van in France too.
     
  5. talaris

    talaris Read Only Funster

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    Its kinda fraught as I thought. Seemed like a good idea but in reality what I expect I will do is either buy one and register here first, go, and the register as we will still have an "address" here although won't actually be living in that house.

    Or, keep our van, go over there and come back and sell it when and then get a new one there.

    French driving Licence - seriously - thought my UK one was sufficient?
     
  6. kalamitty

    kalamitty Funster

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    best of luck to you, i retired early at 59 when i was offered a house in wales near the wifes family, i had to sell my van, as i knew we wouldn't be using it for a few years, but its a great life no stress, no commutes in traffic, and take my time doing the house up. hope you get your insurance etc sorted, because lifes to short just enjoy each day.
     
  7. Fenman

    Fenman Funster

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    You don't need to change your driving licence to a French one unless ordered to by the authorities if you get caught with a traffic offence. In France you have 12 points on your licence and have some deducted for speeding etc. The opposite way to us.
    Your biggest nightmare moving to France at that age will be the cost of private health cover.:eek:
     
  8. olley

    olley Funster

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  9. Pilote87

    Pilote87 Funster

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    Sorry, but this is not true. It is quite legal to drive in France on a UK licence, even though resident (with a French or British address). Just realised that others have already answered this.

    Health insurance can be / is expensive, but there are various options available to reduce the cost. As a minimum, I would suggest hospitalization cover. Although the state do cover (on average) 70% of the costs (I think it is) the bill for a few nights in hospital will come out at a fair sum.

    I bought a lhd Burstner from Lowdham, brought it with me to France and jumped through all the hoops to get it registered here. The registration process was quite easy - it was obtaining the certificate of conformity from Burstner which was the most difficult part.

    I am quite happy to give you help and advice if you want to pm me.

    J
     
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  10. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Don't know why they won't tell you , then again getting anything out of them is difficult at best of times. It comes under EU rules & the actual directive dates , would you believe, from 1983.

    Here is a copy of an email reply from EU solvit in 2013 as I wasn't getting a lot of sense out of the dvla.

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for getting in touch with Your Europe Advice.

    The question you ask relates to EU rules concerning who can and who cannot drive a foreign registered car.

    You reside in Spain and you are a UK citizen. You wonder whether it is lawful for your children and their respective partners to drive your Spanish registered car in the UK.

    Thus, we are led to infer that your children and their respective partners are using your car, which is registered in Spain.

    We assume that the car therefore bears Spanish plates and that the car tax is paid in Spain.

    The question is therefore whether the car can be used in the UK under the current registration, and where there are any time limits, how long can this use be allowed.

    The short answer is that the car must not be lent to a third party in the circumstances you relate (in this case, the car is lent by you to your children (and their respective partners) whom we assume are habitually resident in the UK).

    Under EU law, cars must be registered where the owner is habitually resident. In this case, the car in question appears to be properly registered in Spain. However, article 3 Directive 83/182 forbids for the car in question to be lent to a third party.

    Different rules apply for vehicles destined for business use; this is not your case or that of your children, given that the use of the car in question is for a private use.

    If you google the article 3 Directive 83/182 you can download te pdf in english & bore yourself to death.:LOL:

    the above I'd asked of the dvla but it took them 6 or 7 emails to get to the point that the EU lot managed in one.
     
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  11. mustaphapint

    mustaphapint Funster

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    You definitely do not need to change your licence to a French one when residing in France. If fact if you try to swap it for a French one you will be told it is not required unless you have been caught for a traffic offence and as a French resident the authorities want to start deducting points from it. You will however need a French address to buy, register and insure a vehicle even if it's just a holiday home. We have homes and vehicles in France and the UK and regularly drive in both countries with vehicles from the other country. Technically illegal but we share our time between the UK, France and travelling, but if anything happened in the UK with our French vehicle we would give our French address and we would be on our French insurance and the opposite if in France with a UK vehicle. Apparently the UK authorities are OK with you keeping your UK licence so long as it is registered to a UK address you can be contacted through.
    Paul
     
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  12. mustaphapint

    mustaphapint Funster

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    And never ask the DVLA for any form of guidance. A thorn in the side of all long distance travellers by vehicle.
     
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  13. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    @gus-lopez In the circumstance listed, I would agree, however, a private vehicle wholly owned and registered by a member of another EU state, article 3 Directive 83/182 does not apply. For example, I happen to own a vehicle in Portugal, it is mine, registered by me, insured and taxed by me in Portugal. If I drive it here, it is still taxed and insured by the company in Portugal. There is no provision either under article 3 Directive 83/182 or the RTA that says that I cannot drive my car in this country. In fact, article 3 Directive 83/182 specifically states that I can under the temporary import exemption.
    By the way, DVLA directed me to that EU provision, and I pointed out their folly, that is why they are unable to reply. They state it is illegal to drive a foreign plated vehicle in your home country, whereas in fact no such law exists, or has been shown to me.
     
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  14. Phillybarbour

    Phillybarbour Read Only Funster

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    Seems easier to keep the current van until you have a new property in France to me.
     
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  15. talaris

    talaris Read Only Funster

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    Think that's right. its two years off yet but now that we have decided to go the planning and research starts.

    We are going to buy a house with 2/3 Gites so my wife can do that. That means we have a business in France for tax and healthcare purposes. I will not be drawing a pension for some years and will rely on other income.
     
  16. talaris

    talaris Read Only Funster

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    Thank you - i will later
     
  17. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    No that is not correct . It is specifically for importation , whether temporary or permanent , of vehicles, boats ,plane, bikes ,trikes & even saddle-horses.

    If you read page 2; Article 3; (a); (aa) it states quite simply the following.


    Article 3
    Temporary importation of certain means of transport
    for private Use
    Where a private vehicle, caravan, pleasure boat, private
    aircraft, tricycle or bicycle is imported temporarily, the
    item imported shall be exempt from the taxes specified
    in Article 1 for a period, continuous or otherwise, of
    not more than six months in any 12 months, provided
    that:

    (a) the individual importing such goods:

    (aa) has his normal residence in a Member State
    other than the Member State of temporary
    importation;

    (bb) employs the means of transport in question for
    his private use;


    Therefore (aa) means that as I assume that you hold UK residency then you can drive the Portugese vehicle in any EU state except the one in which you are resident , the UK.

    Why the DVLA never told you that as they eventually told me when I found the walking & taking one. It is in the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 .
    Below the email reply;

    Dear Mr López



    Thank you for your email received on 7/10/13. Your email reference number is 1570140.



    The Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 stipulates that UK residents are not permitted to use a non-UK-registered vehicle on UK roads. In the circumstances that you have explained, your daughters or your daughter’s partners will not be permitted to use a non-UK registered vehicle as they are residents within the UK.
     
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  18. The Wino

    The Wino Funster

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    Looks the best bet to keep some property in the uk rent it out but keep it in your name get ehic card for medical cover and keep vehicle etc uk registered. The medical insurance costs alone would contribute a fair bit to a mortgage!!
     
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