Between a rock and a hard place

Hi All,

Perhaps a little help?

I'm sure that we are all familiar with article L317-3 of the Code de la route, which forbids the use of foriegn registered vehicles by French residents on pain of a 5 year jail sentence, 3750 euro fine, confiscation of said vehicle and a minimum 3 year driving ban, & over the years I have imported or helped import quite a few cars - it's not difficult unless the car originated from outside the EU.

I have a motley collection of old cars which one day I hope to restore or sell on & have a need to move them about, so to that end purchased, in a moment of madness, a 7.5 ton recovery truck in the UK. A friend arranged its collection from Durham & it is currently in his yard near Dover awaiting collection.

I have to arrange insurance to cover its 15 minute drive to the ferry & its continued journey to my house here. Once here I can then start the process of French immatriculation. I therefore only need short term cover.

Much phoning to various brokers proved fruitless - short term insurance when available does not give cover in France & normal cover will cost about £1500 per year, money I just don't have! Then I had a lightbulb moment - my Axa broker was able to insure my recently aquired UK reg Transit tipper for a month enabling its use while I sort out the immatriculation! I'm sure that the same could be done for the lorry! It seems that the rules have again been changed. At first it was legally possible to get annual insurance on a UK car here, then a few years ago it was reduced to a month at a time to enable the paperwork to be prepared but now (a new rule) it is not permitted for a French insurance to be issued to a foriegn registered vehicle at all!! This will have the benefit of getting rid of all those dodgy non mot'd UK reg cars helped of course by the recent ruling of "no C of C with the V5, no CT", but where does that leave the genuine importer?

The only thing to do is take out a years policy in the UK & try for a refund when the immatriculation process is complete - if you can afford it. Unless you have found another way?

I have since found that AXA's failure to insure my truck was NOT due to their change of policy, more on my translation! My agent was unable to provide cover on any UK reg TRUCK, not vehicle. They can still insure UK reg cars for a limited time prior to their immatriculation here.

Sidney, I think you are right with that, too! I did get the truck here in the end by persuading the previous owner to keep the cover for an extra week. I have since given up on the registration process & sold the truck to a frenchman.

Another spanner in the works could be that IF you don't have a UK address would a UK insurance company cover you in the first instance?

Hi Mark, This concerns me because I have purchased cars in the UK and imported them into France using French insurance companies. I am not sure how to get round this issue either. Can I ask how you found out about this regulation changing? Is it compulsory for all insurance companies or is it guidance for them? I am looking at buying a van in the UK and bringing it over within the next few weeks to this concerns me too.