Covid complications causing concerns

Martin and Nadine haven’t been to France since January, and Covid complications certainly are an issue and a constant worry. It seems sorting out a ferry crossing isn’t the only hurdle. Is it better to go or to cancel?

Requirements for driving in France – Breath Test Kits

On 1st July 2012, a law was introduced in France: all drivers had to carry a breath test kit in their car. Find out why and if or how that law was implemented. Read more about the driving requirements in France.

Kouign-amann vs Lardy cake

Kouign-amann is a beautiful, buttery, traditional Breton cake. During the current lockdown, unable to travel to Brittany, we have found an alternative: the British lardy cake. Read on.

Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Tracey, a British expat living in Brittany, contacted us to ask the following question: I am thinking of exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France. The car would be registered in Poland. Is this possible? How difficult would it be?

EXPORTING A UK BOUGHT LHD CAR TO EUROPE

Taking a car to France We did a little bit of investigating, and found out that many people choose to buy a LHD car in the UK and import it into Europe. This way they are hoping to save money. Indeed, it is usually cheaper to buy a second-hand LHD car in the UK than it is in France. This is still a very niche market. The majority of left-hand drive cars sold in the UK are brought in by British expats returning home, or by continental Europeans moving to the UK. Both types of vendors are looking to replace their car with a right-hand drive. As a general rule, the majority of LHD dealerships are located in the South of the UK, where the expats selling their cars are based.

However, exporting a UK-bought LHD car into continental Europe, in this case France, can be challenging and costly. Bear in mind that you usually have 12 months to bring your car to your new country after changing your normal residence.

MOVING TO A EUROPEAN COUNTRY FOR MORE THAN 6 MONTHS:

What to do if you move to another EU country:

  • register your car
  • change your number plate
  • show proof of car ownership and proof that the car has passed a roadworthiness test
  • pay car registration and road taxes in your new country.

What to do when you leave:

  • deregister your car
  • hand in the number plate
  • show proof of car ownership and a proof that the car has passed a roadworthiness test
  • put in a claim for a car registration tax refund.

If you have already paid car registration taxes in your previous country of residence, you may be able to apply for a tax refund there. In some cases, however, you may end up paying double taxes depending on the country you are moving to for less than 6 months.

Cars in France

 

MOVING TO A EUROPEAN COUNTRY FOR LESS THAN 6 MONTHS:

If you move to another EU country intending to stay for less than 6 months, you don’t have to register your car or pay any registration taxes there. You can keep your car registered in your country of residence. On the other hand, you may need to pay road taxes. Road taxes are due for the use of your car, in your new country. It is a good idea to always have your car registration certificate, certificate of ownership and proof of your permanent residency with you when driving in case you are stopped by the police and need to prove where you are subject to taxation.

Until you register your car in your new country, you cannot lend or rent it to a resident of that country if you are not travelling in the car with them. However, you are allowed to lend your car to visiting friends or relatives so long as they do not have their permanent residence in your new country.

It is advisable to check the rules which apply in your country and the country you are moving to.

IN ADDITION

You may incur penalty points or fines in the following instances:

  • if you have to register your car but you fail to do so on time
  • not paying  the relevant taxes
  • driving with a number plate from another EU country without proof of residency and a valid roadworthiness test.

Please refer to the website of the relevant national authority to check the exact rules that apply in the country you are moving to. It is advisable to bear in mind that with Brexit looming in the near future, rules and regulations may well change.

Bureaucracy

This is a very complex subject, which can also be quite confusing. Driving in France is such a pleasure, but remember that bureaucracy and administration are very intricate there. Therefore, if you can help out with an answer or other advice, please add your comment to this post below.

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