Should we buy in the UK or France?

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Goose, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    Hi, again. We have peculiar circumstances and are hoping that maybe ...just maybe... someone has similar experience or a brilliant mind :BigGrin: and can advise.

    Our situation is different to most in that as Brit/Canadians we're looking to move from Canada to France. Originall y we were going to bring an American RV over but it appears it'll be a nightmare to register in France 'cos I can't see how we can supply a Certificate of Conformity.

    We now intend buying a motorhome to tour France and get a feel for whereabouts we'd like to settle. But to purchase and register a motorhome in France we'd need to first have a physical address (which would put the cart before the horse, so to speak). Is there a way we could purchase and register a motorhome in France without having a physical address?

    We could, instead, purchase a LHD motorhome in the UK using our UK address (property owned together with my folks who live there). And then we could come across to France and tour as planned. But that means duplicate costs of registering in the UK and then again later in France. And it also means being restricted to less choice in LHD Euramobil, Hymer, Rapido, Pilote etc vehicles available in the UK.

    Another obstacle is the conversion of our Canadian driving licences. France doesn't recognise British Columbia licences for reciprocation, but we could hand in our licences in the UK and get UK licences (and later convert to French). France recognises South African drivers' licences for reciprocation but ours have now expired since living in Canada.

    So what would you do?
     
  2. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Buying in England should be cheaper due to Euro exchange rate, used vans should be cheaper here.

    Swap your Canadian licence for English, dont know how or what weight grades you will get.

    Good luck

    Peter
     
  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    if you have relatives in uk then get uk licence uk insurance uk reg camper . keep it simple. you have an address in uk you dont in france. if you can get it registered in uk france should let you reg in france you do have to stir the crap they dont always want to agree with the rules of europe . many just stay with english lic .etc never change or reg their vehicles. i know some that have lived there for twenty years . cheers alan.
     
  4. Frankia

    Frankia Read Only Funster

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    Can't answer all your questions but I think I may put another cat amongst the pigeons.

    If you get a new licence in the UK it will presumably only be a car licence for up to 3500 kgs so will not be licensed for most Yank RV s anyway.

    Is it a new 'van you are considering or a second hand - Whichever it may be a good idea to buy from France and import to the UK. - If new the VAT will be cheaper if exported to the UK - If second hand it will at least be "homologated" for France.

    Whichever you decide it could be a good idea to contact Nick Legg at Bundesvan who can handle all the details including sourcing the spec you require.

    See Motorcaravan Importers, Secondhand Motorhomes - Bundesvan or 'phone Telephone: +44 (0)1803 606 335.

    Good luck with the move.
     
  5. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Peter
    I agree with Peter buy in England.....better price and choice is better...I purchased new in France as the secondhand market is really none existent as they are used till they fall apart and are very old.............and because of the problems we had changing the reg from Uk to France,.... it was just a lot of red tape

    Mel
     
  6. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    Gosh, thanks for the replies already folks.

    You might recall from my earlier post that we were going to bring an American RV across which would have been easy enough to register in the UK but very difficult to do so in France.

    Peter and Mel, you are quite correct, I have noticed that UK prices for many European built motorhomes are cheaper than the same thing available in Europe. I suspect we'd only get a Class B licence on conversion, restricting us to 3500kg. Exchanging our Canadian licences would restrict us even more...to driving automatic transmission only! We have South African licences but they've expired and I don't know if the Uk licencing authorities would accept them for a swop (which would be best for us since we've driven manual transmssion most of our lives). A number of Funners have recommended upgrading to a C1 licence which is probably what I'd do in the UK as it will presumably be easier than doing the equivalent in France.

    Frankia, thank for the tip regarding Nick Legg - will investigate. Would prefer a 2nd hand motorhome to benefit from the depreciated price but won't say "no" to new if the right deal presents itself.

    Alan, thanks for the advice. I find it interesting that folks continue to live in France with a UK-registered motorhome - paying UK insurance, MOT etc. I thought the French laws made that impossible?
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Often the advice is buy in Germany.
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    if you are coming from canada will your moneybe in canadian?
    the pound as dropped against the euro but as yours . or are you workig every thing back to pounds .
     
  9. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    Hi Brian, I should have mentioned France/Germany in the title thread because, as you know, it's vehicles on mobile.de I've been looking at. (By the way, you cracked me up with your quip aout the Euramobil Terrestra looking like a whale :Laughing:).

    Regardless, it looks like we will either have to buy and register in the UK or import from Germany and register in the UK - and later (perhaps) register it in France.

    Alan, our funds will be are in Canadian dollar which has appreciated fantastically against the pound :BigGrin: since we came to Canada in 2003 but has actually worsened slightly against the Euro during that time :cry:
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  10. weymard

    weymard Read Only Funster

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    I agree with other advices, convert your canadian license driver in UK license, buy and registered your RV in UK.
    In France it will be a nightmare to register an American RV imported from USA or CANADA.
    With your UK license driver you can convert it easily in French license driver, but I do not know if you keep your C , in Theory you can keep all attributes of your license driver , but each "préfecture" has his "politic" !
     
  11. madbluemad

    madbluemad

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    I think as others have said, make your trading base England and work everything from here.

    I dont know why you asssume that you will have trouble finding a left hand drive in the uk. There are plenty of LHD ARV'S for sale here.

    Jim
    :Smile:
     
  12. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Seems odd to me. It's easier to get from France to Germany. Have you investigated keeping it German registered, then it's just one move.
     
  13. stagman

    stagman Deleted User

    [

    We could, instead, purchase a LHD motorhome in the UK using our UK address (property owned together with my folks who live there). And then we could come across to France and tour as planned. But that means duplicate costs of registering in the UK and then again later in France. And it also means being restricted to less choice in LHD Euramobil, Hymer, Rapido, Pilote etc vehicles available in the UK.

    I think you would find a left hooker a lot cheaper in the UK than in France .I have noticed LHD Hymers falling at least £5k short of the RHD .Also on our last trip to France noticed an old Talbot base motorhome square cab type similar to the old Elddis etc at the side of the road for sale no make on it , and they were asking 20,000 euros .Don't know if that makes sense:thumb:
     
  14. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    get a uk licence ....if you hold a EU licence there will be no need to obtain a french licence when you move there ; how old are you ? affects things a lot ; do your canadian licences actually say automatic only?

    LHD motorhomes fetch less money in the UK than RHD , and you will find the prices as low as , maybe lower , than in france /germany due to the current rate of exchange

    I think it is cheap to register a vehicle in the UK [ anybody?] , but is expensive in france ; I suspect registering in the uk first is the way to go ; to give you an example registering a 3.5tonne hymer [ or any equivalent ] less than 10 years old will cost €400-€500 [ varies by departement ] ; over 10 years it halves

    if you don't have a residence in france it is still possible to register a vehicle ; you decide on what you want to consider your base , apply to the mairie , there are 2 systems ...one for itinerant workers , another for self supporting retired people of any age ; but as you are not french residents I suspect it would very different , and suggest the uk route
    french residents are not permitted to use foreign registered vehicles for more than 6 months ...equally true in other EU countries ; of course there are motorhomers who live in france but are elsewhere with it for 6 months each year ; but french registration is the way to go , no road tax , 2 year technical inspection , much better insurance including breakdown/ recovery / 12 month foreign cover including n.africa etc

    finally do try to buy under 3,500 Kg if you possibly can ..if you go over it gets very difficult ...insurance zooms , tolls , driving licence etc ; if you must have something bigger come back for further info

    oh , and do buy a vehicle which is sold in france ! then the homologation will be in the DRIRE computer [ the technical dept ] and even if not ,easily obtained from the importer
    basically, therefore , don't even consider anything uk made
     
  15. peter marshall

    peter marshall

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    UK or Europe

    Hi I did not read all the replies and somebody may have already mentioned my point, I noticed somewhere cant remember where:Doh:. That a UK couple settled in France and could not register their MH because the Habitation door was on the left hand side IE normal for UK but on the offside for France so had to swop for a suitable MH over there, I just thought it was worth mentioning. Pete:thumb::thumb:
     
  16. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    lots live in m,homes keeping uk reg ins.lic.
    if you take a rhd to france they do kick up abit about the habitation door depends on the conversion i say putone in the other side .easily done. that shuts em up done it loads of times for friends who have moved to france.
     
  17. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    not sure what your timing is , just to say that at the moment their is a dearth of good used motorhomes in france ; people are putting off their purchase of a new one until the financial situation improves

    so dealers are cutting back their stock orders of new motorhomes , perhaps the manufacturers are limiting what they will finance

    so manufacturers are cutting back their production to what they feel CERTAIN of selling in the current climate ...you can read about staff cut backs at places like hymer group

    so there seems , ironically enough , to be longer lead times on new vehicle orders

    just to give an idea of the position have a look here

    http://www.ypocamp.fr/htm/general_pages/concessionnaire-FRA-7-69800.htm

    this is the hymer/eriba dealer near lyon , as you can see on both sides of the main road ; this picture was taken in may , the busy season ; I was there in late september ....the part in the top of the picture was fuller , but the main sales area at the bottom contained ...only the sales office ; ok , you expect a seasonal variation , but an 80% drop???
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  18. stagman

    stagman Deleted User

  19. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    yes , I think so too , but

    they will haggle
    all vehicles come with a one year guarantee on all habitation equipment
    one year guarantee on all major mechanical components [ from a specialist insurance company ]
    their trade in prices reflect their selling prices
     
  20. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    A huge thankyou to everyone for the tremendous information and advice given. It's been tremendously useful and is much appreciated.

    lebesset:
    44. Our Canadian licences don't specify "automatic" but then automatic is the norm over here - manual transmission exists in very few cars. But I've been onto the UK authority website (the DVLA??) and it specifically says Canadians can convert to UK driver licences but the licences will be endorsed "Automatic only". Bit of a pain considering we've driven manuals in South Africa for over 20 years. :Angry:

    lebesset:
    If I were to buy a French-built LHD (say a Pilote or Rapido) in the UK, register it in the UK and then eventually register it in France, would the vehicle still be in the "DRIRE" computer or would it have been removed the moment it was registered in the UK?

    lebesset:
    I had a look at this French website today and was pleasantly surprised with the number of motorhomes available (mainly Rapido, Pilote, Frankia Bavaria and Burstner): www.leboncoin.fr Some of the prices were higher than comparatives in the UK and in Germany on www.mobile.de but plenty of the Rapidos and Pilotes were cheaper :Eek!:

    Alan, do you (or anyone) know of any Brits who now reside in France but who jointly own their motorhome or RV with someone back in the UK? I'm wondering if we could jointly own our RV with my sister in the UK, and whether that would overcome the requirement to register the RV in France once we become French residents?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
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