Advice on import duty

That would mean every vehicle in that post code will fail. Left hand drive vehicles have the driver’s door that opens into a live lane. Surely your DREAL does not insist that all motor vehicles have the doors on the left hand side welded up?
I have heard the “left hand door” theory voiced quite a lot although it actually only applies to public service vehicles.

As I mentioned in an earlier post this particular camping car is French made and then imported to England (Rapido) so the hab door is already on the right. Whether or not your statement is correct seems debatable but perhaps should be qualified as refering to English made motor homes having the hab door on the left.

If my statement had not been correct, I would not have made it. What a curious thing to say. IAM not used to having my word doubted.

I most certainly am used to my word being doubted - I would encourage it!


“Been in burgandy since 2003”.
I don’t know about your word but I doubt that your spelling is correct! :wink:

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Hi Yelrow

We already have reports of some Test Centres which erroneously refuse RHD cars which use correctly placed beam benders…

So it might well be that the Test Centre of which you speak (with laid-up vehicles) is another example of lack of understanding/applying the guide-lines which should be applied by the Expert when Testing a RHD vehicle.

just a thought…


Hi All

We imported a UK VW camper in 2014 and had lots of interesting discussions with DREAL, we went to the Impôts in Albi to talk about a Quitus Fiscal to prove we had paid TVA in the UK. We could not provide one as we had bought the camper new in 1991. The Impôts were very helpful and said all we had to do was sign a statement that we had paid TVA and we were given the QF.

We have friends who imported a Compass motor home (2004) nearly two years ago and they have had horrendous problems with DREAL. To quote the DREAL agent it is too long too wide and too heavy. They finally came up with a list of about ten items to be addressed.

Most items were easy enough like changing lights, taking off the tow bar and frame which was fitted in the UK and had no French approval.

However three items almost had us stumped. The vehicle is on a Boxer chassie but it had been extended by ALKO and DREAL wanted a document from ALKO to prove the brakes were sufficient for the extended and heavier vehicle. Luckily ALKO Germany provided one in English and German which was accepted.

The second item was seatbelts the camper is six berth with lap belts on the rear facing seats and inertia reel full belts on the forward facing seats in the body of the van. The only way these could be accepted was if they were tested by UTAC (French Company) we spoke to them and it is a destructive test!!! So not going to happen, finally DREAL accepted that it could be approved if the rear seat belts were removed and the mounts condemned, not sure what they mean by condemned but hopefully removing the belts will work. It does mean that is only going to be licenced for two people in the cab.

The last one has been the most difficult, DREAL questioned the wing mirrors and even suggested that RHD mirrors were not suitable for driving in France. As Compass no longer exist we spoke to Erwin Hymer but they were absolutely useless and as the vehicle was too old could do nothing. I spoke to a really nice guy at Baileys in the UK and he told me there are three sizes of wing mirrors for a Peugeot Boxer cab and the medium size with arms of 15cm are correct for a vehicle of width up to 2.2m (ours is 2.17)

We could not convince DREAL they wanted an lettre justificatifs réglementaires for thé wing mirrors. More inquiries and we finally got Peugeot UK to write such a letter, but that was not acceptable to DREAL so finally back to Peugeot France and after a lot of false hope found the right department who provided the lettre and it was accepted.

So now to do all the minor jobs and take it back to DREAL for approval, I hope your friends agents know what they are doing we started this saga with a local garage who had done cars but had no idea what they were letting themselves in for with a camper so gave up after a year.

Best Regards



Nick - 10/10 for perseverance!

Today is a good day for our friends.
After submitting their Cds to the Impots at Perigueux as requested and supported it with a letter from their Mairie confiming they had arrived here on 30th December 2020 with the intention of becoming residents they have this morning received a QF from Perigueux for their camping car.
Now all is set to complete the immatriculation process.


Yeah !!! such good news… :+1: :+1: :+1:

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Try the umpire at the other end …

No rule book, apart perhaps that for Rugby Union, is more arcane than that for cricket. Actually, they are not ‘rules’ but ‘The Laws’. They make vehicle regs look like Enid Blyton.

An English spin bowler was consistently beating the bat and rapping the pads of the Aussie batsman. The umpire consistently turned down the appeals for leg before.

The TMS commentator, Jonathon Agnew, noted that this bowler had now moved to bowl from the other end. That great England and Somerset cricketing sage, Vic Marks, said, “He fancies he might get a different decision from the umpire at this end”

The first ball the bowler bowled from the new end rapped the Aussie on the pad -


Same ‘Laws’, same ‘event’, different umpire, different result.

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Not really sure what you are on about… but the words re beambenders on RHD, are clearly written in the official Handbook/Guide for CT Testers… :+1:

They are indeed clearly written. I think the problem is that they are not always clearly read. :wink: :upside_down_face:


That your comment that the same rules can be interpreted in diametrically opposite ways by two different people/offices/officialdom is correct - any rules for anything are subject to this, even the sacred Laws of cricket.

I reckon it is almost as @_Brian suggests… almost !
The general rules… OK … they do get read… but the extra-fine-tuning (ie just down the page)… that simply doesn’t even get noticed, at least not by everyone.

The “rules” (including the fine-tuning) are clear and cannot be misunderstood… not even by an English person reading the French wording… :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Let’s face it… the rules say beambenders are illegal**
** except for RHD vehicles
(not sure how one can misread/misunderstand this)
if the Tester hasn’t noticed the steering wheel is on the right… hmmm…

And even if they have been, as in my jocular example [so intended, anyway!], the person applying them may, as they say in the legal profession, “have taken a view”. Happens all the time.

@Mark_Rimmer, in an email exchange about my van, even mentioned a decision “depending which side of the bed ‘he’ got out of”. And Mark must have seen them all.

A good example is my car. There was no mention by the CT of dipped beam aim, tho’ it’s possible that the theory that Xenon bulbs don’t require correction is true.

There was no mention of the reversing light and rear fog being on the’wrong sides’ for driving on the right. I have had LHD rear lamp clusters in my Ebay watch list for many months now, in case. Seems I don’t need them.

There are no rules drawn up by hom sap that cannot be misunderstood, perhaps only by dint of wishing to be awkward or deliberately difficult/obstructive but nevertheless it happens frequently.

I only realised on the morning of my CT that my car only has a fog light on the right. During the appropriate part of the test, I stood between the tester and the left hand light cluster. The oppo in the car turned on the rear fog lights and the tester observed that the light on the right came on and didn’t ask me to move… The result was a pass on all counts :sunglasses:

I didn’t have that opportunity. Seems I didn’t need it. I was invited to take a seat in the waiting room, matey got my car in the ready position on his ramp, did his stuff and Lo! CT!

When he went thru’ the advisories I thought “I’m waiting for the catch - it’s not a Pass CT but …”

But it was, much to the astonishment of a couple of vehicle-savvy Frenchmen, on account of steering/suspension issues.

I’m coming back to this CT station if I have to drive from the far corners of FR.

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@Mark_Rimmer : Obviously, Flo and I will be moving over to our home in Carmaux long after the cut-off date. However, we still want to bring our 2005 coachbuilt motorhome with us (we really cannot be parted from it) - are we likely to be stung for VAT and tax based on it’s original value (£36,000)? or do they have some dark-art calculator?

We are well aware that we will have the DREAL hoops to jump through…

This might help - Achat d'un véhicule à l'étranger ou dans un DOM-COM

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