Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

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knowal
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Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby knowal » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:51 pm

Friends of mine are planning on selling their Spanish house. They have been resident in Spain for around 15 years and have the usual documentation, tax resident too.

As preparations to move back to the UK they are buying a car in England. They are selling their Spanish car and intend to drive the UK car to Spain and use that until they sell their house and go to live in the UK. This could be some months.

I wondered if this exposes them to any legal risk with the Guardia. Perhaps the nub of the matter is in whose name the UK car has been registered. I don't know if it has been registered in their name, or if it is in the name of a relative.

Any thoughts, anyone?

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costakid
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby costakid » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:36 pm

I am sure as a Spanish resident you are not allowed to drive a UK registered car.

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby elusive » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:19 pm

Yes as costa says you cant own or drive (unless the owner is with you) a non spanish plated car if you are a spanish resident. I think if you bring one over you only have a short time to replate possible a month or so.obviously they wont want to do that so they have very little timespan to bring the car over before they move back.

Wouldnt it be far easier to sell their car as close as poss to when they move back instead of driving a new car all the way down here

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Miro » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:12 pm

I've thought about this too, for when the time comes, and it's complicated. We have to drive back, because we'll be taking our cat with us (and no, we would not entrust her to any moving company). I don't really want to end up with a Spanish left hooker in the UK to sell, but I also don't want to buy my next (UK) car before moving, in order to drive it down here first, with the associated costs involved. I could buy a UK car here, but the choice is limited, and I don't want to buy something cheap to just get us back to the UK, and then have to p/x for what I actually want. There's the added complication of insuring a UK car before I've got a fixed address in the UK, etc. etc. And of course, there is also the risk of getting stopped driving a UK car while I still have a Spanish licence (which kinda gives the game away as to my residency status) So on balance, I've decided the old faithful Spanish car (owned from new) is the one for the job, and I'll take my chances that some new A.commer will be looking for a nice LHD Spanish reg car to drive from the UK to Spain in!
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby elusive » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:28 pm

There are quite a few companies in the UK who specialise in buying left hand drives. An neighbour whos now long moved bought a left hand drive from one to drive down here.

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knowal
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby knowal » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:43 pm

If the UK car was registered in the name of a relative, they could be OK?
Obviously assuming that they are honest and up front with their insurance company.

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby gus-lopez » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:01 pm

No. It is illegal to drive a foreign plated vehicle in the country where you are resident. There are no exceptions like " if it doesn't belong to you " & "ok if the owner is with you " I had it all out with dvla & EU in 2013 .
A resident can only drive a vehicle plated in that country. There are exceptions but they only apply to professional drivers whose companies use foreign plated trucks & employee's of hire companies who may be required to return a cross border rental.
Only way for the OP is to dergeister as a spanish resident.
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knowal
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby knowal » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:01 pm

Thanks, Gus. :wave:
They can't de-register as residents until after they've sold up, or they'll get stung for the 3% retention.
I'll tell them to try to avoid the Guardia in the interim!

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby elusive » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:24 am

According to CAB spain you can drive someone elses if they are with you. Not much use to the OP though

https://www.citizensadvice.org.es/faq/c ... -in-spain/

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Terry Tibbs » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:15 pm

Just thinking around this... If it were me I'd explore the cost of a one-way car rental from the Spanish home location (or nearby) to (say) Santander, followed by ferry tickets (for foot passengers and cat), and then another one-way car rental from (say) Portsmouth to the new UK location. I realise that wouldn't allow for carrying lots of 'stuff' by car to the ultimate UK destination, but Jimbo the Scot could help with that. *Other movers are available.

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Miro » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:21 pm

It's a good idea...except that Brittany Ferries only accept pets traveling in vehicles (i.e. not with foot passengers). I presume this is something to do with getting to/from the pet areas / cabins, which I guess are close to specific on board parking areas.
Anyway, our moggie has a particularly nervous disposition, and I don't think she'd be happy with long periods waiting in her cage, and trudging around terminals / ferries with crowds of people around her, so it wouldn't be ideal even if it were possible. Don't fancy lugging her litter tray around, either!
As well as this, we will be needing a car once in the UK from day one anyway, and car rental could become a very costly option, so again, taking our Spanish car seems the best option for us, to avoid rushing into buying a car there.
By the way, for anyone considering traveling with a pet and booking a pet friendly cabin, on the Spain-UK routes they are booked up well past July already. We've provisionally booked a crossing from Le Havre for June; a deposit of £35 has been charged, but the balance is only due 6 weeks before departure - up until then, we can cancel with only loss of the deposit.
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Terry Tibbs » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:28 pm

... Or you could just get a new cat when you get to the UK ...

Only joking, before all the cat lovers jump on me.

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Miro » Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:43 pm

Another good idea - perhaps we could leave her with the feral family in the garden, who we're already worrying about leaving! :(
Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

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knowal
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby knowal » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:58 pm

They have no pets, only each other. :)
I've given them some friendly advice to avoid the Guardia. So they know I think it is illegal.

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby vinuela vinny » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Afternoon All

Happy New Year to all!

Very interesting thread.....

We are resident in the UK, but spend around five months each year in Spain, where we have two Spanish plated cars both properly insured, ITV'ed and taxed. We normally fly, but does the replies to the thread mean that we cannot take one of our Spanish plated cars to the UK occasionally, stay a couple of weeks, and drive it back with a full complement of grand children and goodies? Would driving the Spanish plated car in the UK be against UK legislation?

Any thoughts welcomed

Regards

Vincent

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Lyric » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:44 pm

That is ok, genuine tourist not a problem.

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Enrique » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:47 pm

Hi vinuela vinny,

Bit of a grey area.......................
If you're UK resident then you can't drive a Non UK owned registered vehicle.........same as Spain for Spanish Resident not driving a UK registered vehicle..........

https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicles-i ... ry-imports

So how do all the non-residents who have a Spanish car sitting at their Villas make out.................. :?:

I've taken a Spanish Registered car back to UK for a period of time and returned it to Spain.
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby Lyric » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:49 pm

Speed reading again - sorry

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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby vinuela vinny » Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:02 pm

Thanks Enrique, Lyric

Very interesting (as they used to say on Rowan and Marin's Laugh-In) and a useful point to know. As you say, doubtless it has been done and we would have done in the future, albeit innocently. We live and learn......

Regards

Vincent

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knowal
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Re: Friends in Spain buying a UK car - legal?

Postby knowal » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:47 pm

Vinny, you would think that it would be included in those wonderful 4 freedoms that the EU allows - freedom of movement is fine, but not if you are a UK resident driving a ES car! You can drive it in any other country in the world, but not in the UK if you are resident there.
However, I think you would get away with it, if you have a resident's certificate from Spain (green form or card) and flashed it at the UK traffic police. You'd have to tell them you lived in Spain, though.
It all becomes a bit of a difficult grey area when you have centres of activity, even houses in 2 countries.
From this GOV page:
You can usually use a vehicle with foreign number plates without registering or taxing it in the UK if all of the following apply:
.you’re visiting and don’t plan to live here
.the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country
.you only use the vehicle for up to 6 months in total - this can be a single visit, or several shorter visits over 12 months
It's all a bit of a minefield!


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