Can French resident drive UK reg car?

I read an interesting post on another group recently -
"Since posting this I’ve also been stopped by the Gendarmes while driving back to the UK. On producing my UK licence he pointed to the French registration on my car. French car, UK licence not allowed. Are you resident here? Yes. Can you prove it? Yes, here’s my residents card. All smiles now and we parted good friends. So for those with illegally registered French cars the licensing issue is now beginning to bite. If you live here you must either exchange your UK licence for a French licence or have a residents card to support your UK licence. "


Interesting comment…and UK Plod will say foreign reg car, uk resident, naughty boy.

Because he is a French National, resident in France and cannot register a car in Finland, yes the Assurance company are fully aware.

I suspect there is a time limit on how long the car can be “abroad”. As always the small print is key.

The reasoning behind use of vehicles outside the country of the owner’s residence is based on stopping tax evasion i.e. buying an/or registering a vehicle in a country with low tax rates for use in another country with higher tax rates.

Council Directive 83/182/EEC of 28 March 1983

Article 3

"Temporary importation of certain means of transport for private use

Where a private vehicle, caravan, pleasure boat, private aircraft, tricycle or bicycle is imported temporarily, the item imported shall be exempt from the taxes specified in Article 1 for a period, continuous or otherwise, of not more than six months in any 12 months, provided that: (a) the individual importing such goods: (aa) has his normal residence in a Member State other than the Member State of temporary importation;

(bb) employs the means of transport in question for his private use;

(b) the said means of transport is not disposed of or hired out in the Member State of temporary importation or lent to a resident of that State.

The Directive states a visitor may use a foreign registered vehicle for up to 6 months in any 12 on a rolling basis in another country after which the vehicle must leave or be re-registered. Whilst in the foreign country the vehicle may not be lent or hired to a resident of that country."

If the vehicle is not legally permitted in a country it may well be that any insurance is invalid.

I have always insured my UK vehicles to include foreign cover and, as a regular visitor to the continent, require that cover to be “permanent”. Having used several well known insurers over the years all have provided foreign cover but restricted it to a maximum of 180 days during the policy year. Saga used to claim their foreign cover was for the whole 12 months but have now changed to the 180 day maximum.

There is no doubt that there are people using vehicles in contravention of a number of Conventions regarding use in a foreign country and do not get caught but it doesn’t make it lawful.

You may be right John, but you only have to go over the border here into Spain to see the admittedly smaller number now of under the radar Brits, driving and using Cars with Brit Registration, they are the ones with “GB” plates and not “UK”

That’s a pity Michael. I think that behaviour undermines the integrity of all of us.