I am moving to France next week, and while for the first couple of months will be working on my new house, in April/May time will travel back to the UK to bring back my motorhome.
My question is this, I was told by an estate agent when I first started looking 12 months ago, that he insured his UK registered car using one of a couple of companies operating in France. This allowed him to avoid paying his road tax.
If I keep my motorhome in France is it best and cheaper to insure in France whilst keeping it on British plates?
Can you recall who this is with please, Jonathan?
not a popular view, but its easier to get 365 day a year continental use uk insurance, and just use it! many owners with difficult to register vehicles do this.
Thank you all for the responses, I think while my partner keeps her home in the UK I may keep it registered there for the time being, then make a decision as and when we/she makes the move full time.
Richard, if you have first residence in UK keep it there. If you decide to live permanently in FR insure it here. Its easier. I keep my car insured in Germany because I'm on 30% NC-bonus which is not possible to obtain in FR and my company is, after bad experiences with this AE circus, back in Germany (tax refund) because my clients are also from there. You will have to do your MOT (like I need to drive all the way up every 2 years for this TÜV) all this in the UK, - its important to be in accord to the terms & conds of your insure, but its worth it if you have a anger-problem with red tape ;-)
The OP doesn't quote a make or age for his camper-van, Newish vans have an European type approval issued by the converter and with this its straightforward to re register. Older vans need a Certificate of Conformity from the base vehicle Manufacturer most commercial vehicles were built on a pan Europe basis and certification can be had from their French head office and another from the Converter, each may cost 150€.
That being said if the CC is a grey import such as the Mazda Bongo or Ford Freindee from Japan then DREAL may be the only route.
I've re registered a German van in France and followed the stages it's only if either the converter has gone belly up or if the van was a one off that problems arise in which case a trip to DREAL is required, they are the authority who check the safety of the whole vehicle expect to pay IRO 400€.
A French van would have the advantage of the doors on the right side and Left hand drive.
The costs are relative if you have a newish 50 000€ van :-)
Registering a British reg Motorhome in France can very difficult and very expensive. Not only does the Chassis need to comply with the construction and use regulations in France BUT the Caravan part has to also. That means French electrics and French Gas installation.. So your idea of changing to French insurance may not be possible. In that case you will have to ensure that the vehicle is Mot'd , Taxed and Insured in the UK.
I bit the bullet and bought a French registered Camper a couple of years ago. Just paid 540 euros for insurance.
This can I insure my Car in France without re registering comes up frequently.
Q) Will you be resident in France for 183 days in 365 ?
If yes then you are importing a vehicle into a foreign country and must re register the vehicle upon its arrival, you are given about six weeks to complete the formalities.
When you are ready sit down with a stiff gin and look at a price comparison site for assurances like this one http://www.assurland.com/assurance-camping-car.html
You cannot drive a UK registered Vehicle with French Assurance in the UK without getting a ticket.
There are some agencies who will offer assurance without checking the re registration conditions but would they pay out on a vehicle being driven illegally here?