SORN, MOT, Tax, Insurance, address for long term traveling

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  • :S Hi, PLZZZZ I need some advice regarding the technicalities of traveling long term in Europe with my uk registered car. I quit my job last June and spent 6 months driving around Europe, hoping to find some agency work when I got back, however this didn't transpire so I am extending my Europe holiday for a further 2-3 years! At the moment I am looking at boatmail or using my Aunties UK address for my driving license, but is it necessary to change the address on the V5C as well? since the car will not be kept at this address. I just discovered this problem today and was hoping to take the car into Europe for the end of April, however updating the address on the V5C takes up to 6 weeks, so now I am short on time, plus I will not be able to send in the V5C until i get back to the UK in a couple of weeks.

    For insurance I am using Stuart Collins, which is quite a reasonable price. But for next year I am considering exporting the car to Europe, where I read insurance can be a bit cheaper and would cover more countries - I am considering driving in Russia next year as well. It is a RHD car, so any advice on doing this would be welcome.

    The problem of MOT and road tax?? I would like to avoid paying these and also returning to the UK yearly to renew the MOT. My insurance does not require an MOT, some people on here are saying they get around this by SORNing the car. Is this advisable or even possible, as I was planning to take the car into Europe before the tax and MOT expires and SORN it there, but there are some reports the car must be in the UK to SORN it..... This is true???

  • Personally, for two years, I would send in the purple section of the V5 off. This tells the DVLA the car has been exported. You keep the remainder of the V5 and you can use it to re register it when you return. It will also mean you don't need to tax or SORN the car.
    Be aware that strictly speaking (as we are still currently in the EU) a vehicle from one member state must be street legal to be on the road in another member state. Having a vehicle with no MOT and with an export marker on it long term will probably invalidate your insurance.
    It's not possible to keep your MOT up when the car is out of the country, and if SORN it's not supposed to be driven on the road. Also SORN cancels the road tax.

  • Check if you will need to change your headlights for driving on the right also. Spain will require this if it's not perminantly registered and MOT'D in the UK after a period of time and if requiring a Spanish MOT. I'm not entirely positive about anything I'm telling you, just advising caution. We had a UK registered right hooker that we left in Spain for 3 years and we eventually had to pay a fortune to get it changed over, new headlights and speedo into Kilometers

  • Thanks, but will this not cause trouble with police checks for crossing borders etc, they always want to see the V5C so then they will know the car has an export marker on it?

  • Only if they decide to check the UK DVLA online, as it shows the marker. You keep the rest of the V5 so the front page with your address is there for them to look at. TBH I don't think the Euro police will care, but if you have an accident they might if you can't prove insurance. That's simply showing the valid certificate, not calling the insurance company. The French police definitely don't call the insurance as we had an accident once (rear ended by another van) and only found out we weren't covered in the EU if it wasn't requested on the inception of the policy.
    Driving when SORN is declared with no MOT will not make your insurance any happier.
    Also, we have never been asked for the V5 at EU boarder crossings. For obvious reasons no employed truck driver gets the V5 to their truck, and nobody stops them!

  • Similar to your Russia bother, in the past I've had my insurer refuse to put Morocco on the green card they were issuing me, despite the fact there is a place for it on the document, and despite the fact that many continental insurers include it by default.

    I ended up forging a green card that did include Morocco to negate the necessity of buying local cover at the boarder. Easy enough to do on Microsoft Word, then print it onto a bit of green card from the art shop.

    As mentioned above, an EU vehicle can be driven anywhere in the bloc provided it is fully road legal under to the regs in the member country in which it is registered. This means you've tecgnically gotta have tax, insurance, and MoT.

    I also believe this rule only technically holds true for the car's first 90 days in another country, after that you're supposed to re-register the motor in that country (or leave). Don't think this is inforced on the continent ever really, other than in certain bits of brit-infested Spain, but I do know the the uk coppers occasionally go after eastern European registered cars that look like they've been around too long and demand to see boat tickets, etc, to prove the vehicle hasn't overstayed.

    Finally, an obscure bit of EU law states that you cannot legaly drive anything registered in another member state in the member state you are resident in. This means that if you got a (for example) French plated car, or got your British car re-registered in France, you could not legally drive it back into the uk, assuming you were still considered resident here. Also never heard of this being inforced though, other than to get resident eastern Europeans to start playing road tax.

  • Post by Languid Virago ().

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  • Expat froggy resident here who has either tried every way of running a UK reg vehicle abroad or knows someone who did.

    You are supposed to reregister a car once resident for more than 3 months, but most people don't as long as they have a UK address.

    Continental insurance is way better, mine is 12 months green card with no restrictions, includes breakdown cover more than 50 km from home for free. I bought temp insurance recently for a Uk reg car that was being permanently exported, even the temp European insurance included the whole of Russia right up to the Bearing straight and a small handful of North African countries.

    In the past forged documents worked for things like MOTs and road tax, but some counties do now have access to Uk police computers, some places like France are more sporadic, some departments check the UK police computers, others don't bother, you may get away with a bamboozle once or twice if stopped, but eventually you will get caught. Austria for example sent a speeding fine for German reg vehicle to the French insurance address of the owner, he had never changed the ownership documents to his name, this was 14 years ago, so some forces have had access to international vehicle data for a long time.

  • Just a thought, and probably one that wouldn't hold up in court.
    SORN is Statutory Off Road Notification. You can't get any more off the UK roads, so why is it unacceptable to the DVLA? :)

    Plenty of people do run around abroad with a SORN, you don't notice it so much now the tax discs are gone though. People get away with it as foriegn police forces don't know what it means or if it even exists.

    As long as the driver is licenced, the vehicle is in good condition with some sort of roadworthy certificate, and the vehicle is insured, they will usually not dig further.

    My old transit that burned out was SORN, no UK MOT either, I was in the way to a test station if you know what I mean, insurance still paid out.

  • Thanks guys usefullll.....! Whenever i was stoppd by police they ask v5c, passport and driving licence, and also for v5c always at the borders, once asked for the green card in romania as they were try to cause me trouble i guess. Usually was taking quite a while for checks, esp the time in spain so its possible they were checking dvla for tax and stuff. I think eastern europe they probably not checking if there is sorn or export on it tho....For this year i gonna tax and MOT, and for next year I plan for some festivals in West europe for march and april so I gonna be easy distance to the ferry to come back for MOT anyway. After that may consider export but I have read there is some trouble to export right hand drive vehicles, to change the headlights, and also to do the other countries MOT as its difficult to get parts and stuff for RHD vehicles in LHD countries. RE SORN there is a problem as its illegal to SORN a car that is outside of the UK, but people do it apparently, so I don't know if its possible as they should know when I take the ferry?? I was considering to drive the car til it breaks, then get an ambulance haha. But its volkswagen so maybe it will never break. I will consider trying to sell it though in a couple of years, sometimes its possible to get a good price for some western cars in different countries.

  • When I say export, I mean only as far as the DVLA records and paperwork goes. Send off the purple section of the V5.
    If anybody in another country notices it's missing if you are asked for the V5 (unlikely) say you didn't notice it's been torn off.
    When you get back, tell the DVLA moving abroad didn't work out for you, and you need to repatriate the vehicle. You may well just get the registration reinstated, as long as it's not saleable.

  • You do get British police liasing with Spanish police on the Costas doing roadside checks because of the number of stolen or uninsured cars being used over there.
    If they find an irregularity the Spanish police will impound it on the spot but that is very unlikely to happen anywhere except in the tourist hotspots