Can we still come without a sticker - UK Cars Insured in France at Holiday Homes!

Hi Sally - phew- relief indeed.

That is certainly an interesting point… which may be useful for others who do not actually own the home in which they live, in UK (wherever) outside of France.

According to the Court of Justice, where a person has both personal and occupational ties in two Member States, his normal residence, determined in the context of an overall assessment by reference to all the relevant facts, is that where the permanent centre of interests of that person is located; in the event that such an overall assessment does not result in its determination, primacy must be given to personal ties."

Whether you own or rent the place of your “permanent centre of interests” does not change where it is. If you call it home & it is where you spend the most time then that is your domicile.
It is true that you can use a garage or third party service to register for you but you are only using their ANTS access - giving them a “proof of domicile” when it is just a holiday home is still a lie. Many are happy to just take your money anyway & should it ever lead to any future legal problems they can deny that they knew anything & relied on the applicant to be honest.
Dress it up any way you like but claiming that you are domiciled in France when you actually live in another country is still dishonest.
I do not think that the authorities devote much time to this but there may well be a circumstance where the registered keeper may need to be contacted.
Let’s say a holiday home is visited for 2 weeks in the summer. Just after this someone breaks in & steals the car. This can go unnoticed for some time during which the thief can commit all sorts of offences & if they are serious enough the gendarmes will visit the recorded address only to find the house closed up & the grass growing tall. Their enquiries would grind to a halt as there is no requirement for holiday home owners to register an alternative address with their mairie or even a neighbour.
Supposing the car was then used for a very serious crime - a car bomb in Paris, for example. The car, not reported stolen, will be free to circulate & park unchallenged, unlike a cloned or false plated one. A delay in establishing the car’s ownership could mean that the gendarmes waste a lot of time.
An extreme example maybe, but traceability is important for everyone - that is why cars have registration numbers.
So when someone suggests that lying in order to save a little inconvenience is OK I beg to differ but I am also aware that the clause in the ANTS system is relatively new & Sally would not necessarily have been fully aware when she registered the car.
As I have said, it is the actual process of registration that requires the declaration.

Hi Mark, thanks for your attention, as you can imagine after my relief from hearing confirmation from Credit Ag today re our definte cover…then your last response…my blood pressure rose again! Such a shame , husband spoke to a french and english person who said we are fully covered after hearing all facts. Hubby will call again tomorrow and email your response for their perusal, feels like we are saying they are wrong! but I don’t want to chance it. The whole thing has made me want to send our little motor off to a restful place in a yard. Dreams of your examples happening will not be welcome in my already busy life! Will aim to close on this now. Best Wishes…

I think you will find that you are fully insured if CA say you are. It is not necessarily the use of the vehicle that could be a problem as the only offence (if it can be called that) would be committed at the actual registration stage. As you did this before the process was online where you are required to confirm that you are not making a false statement it would be arguable that you were not aware & acted in good faith. I think (but cannot confirm) that this might earn you a little tut-tut & head shake.
As CA have accepted the “risk” I would relax.
I am impressed that you have taken your responsibilities seriously & hope that you will not lose too much sleep over this - it is really the post ANTS generation who don’t that I have concerns about.
I just wish that those who hold the opposite view would actually produce an official source proving their case, then I can change the current advice with a clear concience!

1 Like

I’m travelling at the moment so don’t really have time to fully address this but it looks like catch 22 to me. Can you keep a car registered in the Country where you permanently live permanently in an other country? In other words perpetually keep a UK registered car in your French holiday home or a French registered car in your UK pied a terre?

In order for your UK car to be used in Europe it needs to be “road legal” in the UK so be taxed, MOT’d & insured by a member of the MIB. Your insurance company might impose certain terms.
DVLA consider a car to be permanently exported if it is out of the country for more than 12 months so an annual trip back to the UK is required - necessary for the MOT anyway & an opportunity to transport those larger items that one cannot get on a plane.
The UK has a different view on foreign registered cars used in the UK. This is what the DVLA site says -
“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 do not 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 further adds -
"Using foreign number plates for longer than 6 months

You might be able to use a vehicle with foreign number plates for longer than 6 months if all of the following apply:
you normally live outside the EU
you’re in the UK for a set period as a student or worker
you claim relief from VAT and duty
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will give you a customs relief form when you claim relief – show it to police if you’re stopped when driving the vehicle."

Again, you would need to correctly inform your french insurance company.

Yes, it’s ruddy complex. I’m just not sure the French are right. I’d guess under some freedom of movement of people or capital or whatever one has the right to own a car in France whether one is resident or not. One can own a house, a boat, a company, etc. What’s so different about a car I wonder? A French insurance company may choose to not to insure you of course. The concept of domicile is also wooly with domiciled, ordinarily domiciled, centre of economic activity, family ties, etc. etc. One of the perqs of my old job was that KPMG looked after my tax affairs and I remember them telling me that domicile (as opposed to tax residency) was an arguable point. Looks to me as if there needs to be EU wide consistency on this matter. Maybe an EU wide registration number even. That would get rid of the authorities having to swop and share cross border speeding fines too. Is there a commissioner for transport matters? I’ll drop them a line :slight_smile:

There is -

Thanks for that Mark, an interesting read.

I don’t think it goes far enough though. For example “Every individual must register his vehicle in the Member State in which he is normally resident.” doesn’t make sense. It’s like having to register all your stereos or your mountain bikes in the state where you are resident. Just like stereos and bicycles people now have multiple homes and multiple cars in multiple locations.
And then the local laws are inconsistant too. I see that one has to register a car in the UK when it has been there for six months, whereas in Ireland one can have a foreign reg car there for 12 months. I don’t know how long you can have a foreign reg car in France. It probably depends on whether you are resident or non resident, domiciled or nondom or even ordinarily dom or nondom :crazy_face:

What I’d like is an EU reg but national greed for VAT and registration tax probably precludes that.

BTW, I read earlier of an interesting scam that systems like ANTS are actually facilitating. Bad actors in the UK are buying RHD vehicles there and reregistering them abroad, thus avoiding traffic offences, auto plate recognition etc. Since the car has never passed a port of entry it’s reg number isn’t recorded as “just arrived” and added to the ANPR watch list.

For example “Every individual must register his vehicle in the Member State in which he is normally resident.” doesn’t make sense.

Really, John? When I was a very small boy “where do you live?” was one of the first things I was taught to answer & I have had no problem answering it since. If you live in Croydon, UK, but spend a few weeks a year in Chalais, France, then you are normally resident in Croydon, UK.
I’m sure that most of us mere mortals do not struggle with which of our multiple residences we consider our main base although some might struggle.
I have say that anyone who cannot figure out which country they live in either have very complicated lives or they are in some way mentally challenged.

With regard to your BTW, I wonder how they register these cars? They must be holiday home owners who use a third party service & falsely declare their holiday home as their principle residence. You can do a lot of naughty things if you are a con artist.

As an aside, I would be very wary of what any insurers tell you (with the exception of @fabien who is the only honest broker I know!).

A couple of years back we borrowed a friend’s people carrier for a family holiday in Italy. The owner and James went to see the local insurance agent to arrange appropriate cover, including breakdown and recovery.

All duly signed and paid for. We broke down on the way home and had to pay to be recovered from the motorway. Insurers refused to reimburse us as the car was over 10 years old despite having sat in front of us when completing the paperwork and categorically assuring us that we would be covered in the event of breakdown. Lying bastards is all that I can say and it was AXA if anyone is interested. Grr.

1 Like

Mis-sold, obviously, by the agent, probably not AXA’s fault as I suspect their T’s & C’s were clear.

They probably were but perhaps they should have employed better staff.

Agreed, like with most businesses you’re actually delivered the service of the agent you’re dealing with not necessarily the company’s quality of service. For instance, banks are just as good as the employee you’re dealing with and if he/she changes the quality of their services might deteriorate very quickly (happened to me twice in 3 years ;)). I think that’s why it’s important to feel “safe” with the advise you’re being given by the agent you’re working with.

1 Like

One doesn’t need loads of residences for it become complicated Mark, two will do. Many, many people have two homes, after downsizing for example. A pied à terre in the old neighbourhood and a new home abroad. I want to use any car I have in any location and, for example, the DVLA only six months malarkey is daft IMO.

It may become even more complicated for me as I’ve spotted another car I might not be able to resist. A toy car, ideal for my twilight years. Now, how to register that, and where?

ANTS make it fairly easy. If you live in France you declare your income tax here, or are in the french health system. Perhaps even in their social security system.
To be able to access the registration service yourself just use one of the above numbers & you will be able to apply for a carte grise.
So all you have to do is go in to the ANTS web site & use your french numbers to sign in. If they let you in then go ahead & register your car.
The decision is made by them.

I’m an old hand at the registration Mark but this was my first ANTS experience. I have to say it was a doddle. From initial input to provisional CG in two weeks and only €2.70 to pay because it was a hybrid. Which frankly is a fiddle because it can only do 30-40 Klicks on electric.