where to "live"

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Yzbob, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Yzbob

    Yzbob Read Only Funster

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    hi all,

    I am thinkin of spending 5k - 10k on a motor home. (with a bathroom, oven/grill, double bed for someone of 6ft, and all the other standard stuff). it would be used around March and September for 6 weeks each time for the next few years. Mainly for kite surfing and possibly snowboarding. it would probably do at least 1 trip down to Morocco and could be all over Europe at some point or another, most probably only needed for 2 people but wouldn’t rule out a van that sleeps 3 or 4. Extra space would also be useful for all the gear.
    I spend most of my time off shore and give or take, I come back to uk for 1 week, would motor home for 6 weeks then spend 1 more week in uk, then go offshore again.

    my questions revolve around,


    1. is it worth doing at that price level for that time frame in your opinion?
    2. Where would be the best place for me to "own it"?

    I am from Scotland and have an address there that i use, i don't really live there as such, but I could keep the van there and register and insure it in the UK however that would mean wasting time and petrol getting to Europe and again getting back. hardly ideal and a lot of extra miles.

    I think there are relatively inexpensive secure places to store them for months at a time? so I was thinking maybe I could buy one in Germany (cause I've heard its cheap for buying) then store it in say ...France maybe? (Because its central) and just fly to it each time. If I did something like that…



    3. where would it be best registered, insured, MOT'd (or equivelant) etc ?
    4. do i need an address in that country ?
    5. can i have this done in 1 country and store it in another?
    6. are there any countries that it would be substantially easier/cheaper to do this than others?
    7. what sort of ball park annual costs do u think I'd be seeing for, insurance ( no penalties, age 30, 0 no claims bonus), tax/mot, storage etc.


    Any suggestions, opinions, advice, problems, factors to consider or things that I have overlooked (of which I'm sure there are many) would be greatly appreciated.

    I would definitely be opting for a LHD, regardless of where it was kept. I wouldn't be overly fussed about selling it on afterwards, it would last as long as it lasts, hopefully a while, if I got any money back once I was done it would purely be a bonus.


    Thanks a million for any advice

    bob
     
  2. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    You will fins a lot of answers at http://www.motorhome365.com/ It is a sister site to this one that deals with Full Timing issues.

    I keep mine registered in the UK but spend time touring the continent. My insurance only requires that I keep it Taxed and Tested in the UK so that means an annual trip back at present. In Spain and some other countries if the vehicle remains there for more than 187 days it has to be registered and taxed /tested there.
    Where ever it is registered you may find you have to be resident in that country.
    At present you can only have an MOT done in the UK for a British Reg vehicle. It must also be continuously UK Taxed and insured. If the vehicle is exported for more than 12 months It will need to be register in another country. see above for vehicles left in one country
    As for any countries that it would be substantially easier/cheaper to do this than others? This is something I have not explored.
    There is only one company that offer true full timing insurance that is with a UK contact address but no residence. That is Comfort insurance.
    For our 1992 Hymer S700 on a Mercedes 410D chassis it is £1003 per year. We also have a Smart car on a trailer. This is £800+ These figures are roughly 100% more than would be quoted for normal Motorhome use because we use the Motorhome as our residence 24/7/365. Basically the older the vehicle and drivers the higher the insurance. The no claims does not apply to Motorhome Insurance with Comfort . Insurance is based in a basic premium. If you have a claim then your premium may well go up. Another problem may be leaving the vehicle as we can only leave our for 36 hours unattended without the permission of the underwriters. Then it has to be in a secure compound with CCTV and an resident warden or security guard. My insurance only covers for 186 days a year in any one country other than the UK. Before going full time we stored ours in a dealers compound this cost £500+ per year. I have seen others at £350 but I do not know the security level offered.
    If you are maintaing a UK address then the scope of insurance is wider but some limit trip duration abroad to as little as 30 or 60 days.
     
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  3. deegee

    deegee Read Only Funster

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    I am interested in the replies you might receive as I am in a similar situation. I am currently looking for a van. One problem I've found is that some UK insurers want you to declare that you are UK resident (whatever that means?), but I also don't spend much time in the UK. I lived in a UK registered van in Morocco but the hassle of returning it annually for MOTs lead me to import it into Morocco (a bureaucratic nightmare).
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you will only be able to insure a british registered van with a british insurer so to buy in foriegn parts will mean insuring in the country of registration.....and for that i'm sure you will need an address, and possibly a driving licence issued in that country.

    usual UK insurers question will be 'how many years have you held a full UK licence'......cant see this being any differet abroad.
     
  5. Yzbob

    Yzbob Read Only Funster

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    deegee,

    so now u have a morrocan van?
    how do you go about insuring/ taxing mot'ing that?

    do you know of any european country that allows a "non resident" to insure tax and mot a van in their country if i got myself a postal address in said country?
     
  6. deegee

    deegee Read Only Funster

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    I had to register as a resident. I insured it with a Moroccan company, had it tested annually at the local government testing station (they basically just check it has 4 wheels!) and paid the local road tax. My residency status ended but I still kept the van legally until selling it.
     
  7. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    We have insured our rig in France - not a problem as we are based full time here (www.parcverger.com). We have some folk on site, however, who have chosen to live here and work from here, and they have a car registered here - could easily have been a motorhome - based on an attestation we have given them. The main thing is to determine where you want to base yourself, remembering that if you live in a country or have your principal residence (whether motorhome or house) in a country then you should be esidence for tax purposes in that country. In terms of France the taxation is not that different to the UK, so it does not represent a problem.

    There are plus factors in basing a "home" on the continent that include the fact that in France for example the equivalent to the MOT is for the most part every two years not every year, and you save the eternal channel crossings (let alone the travel back to wherever in the UK) as you can fly to a local airport from almost anywhere in the UK. As an example flights to Limoges (our local airport) are available all year from a number of airports, and during the summer from even more! But if you are based here why make the trips back more than whenever necessary... let the family come out to you for their holidays!

    Cheers!

    Bob
     
  8. Yzbob

    Yzbob Read Only Funster

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    hi Bob,

    Thanks for the reply, based on what I’ve been reading else where i am now coming to the conclusion that France may be a real possibility
    My thinking is at 5k - 10k price range its probably just as good to buy a camper that’s already in France and French registered as any money saved buying elsewhere would probably be spent in hassle & trying to import/register it to France. Would you agree?

    My biggest question now i think is, would I have to be a French "resident" to please the French insurance companies & French DVLA equivalent? Really I would just want to store my motor home in France, have it French insured/taxed/CT'd but I would probably only be in France for a few weeks a year and wouldn't want to be an official "resident" there.

    If i could do that then it would probably be the best solution. If not then I may just have to stick with having a British registered vehicle and take it back once a year, but getting insurance from a British company for a van that will hardly ever be in Britain is probably no easy task either.

    The information quest continues….

    Thanks

    bob
     
  9. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    Based on what you say you will have to stick to the UK. Yes, you can buy a campervan on the continent, but certainly in France or Germany you would have to have an address there in order to register it. Having an address involves having some document that confirms your address, which is no different to the UK where you have to produce a utility bill or similar to prove where you live.
    You say that you have an address in Scotland but are hardly ever there, but presumably you are taxable in the UK. Surely there's not much difference for you in moving your base to France? OK, you become taxable here, but you then have the other advantages that you have identified. Our insurance covers all EU countries, with no time limit, so with similar cover you go wherever you want when you want. Even with a cheaper policy that has a time limit, it would be that much easier to nip back to France!
    Bob
     
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