Insurance when returning to UK

Friend returning to UK soon after renting here for year …and car has French plate, but it will be re-reg in uk, is encountering an insurance problem
French insurer says cover will stop when he leaves France as cover in uk is only for people going there on hols.
He is finding it difficult to get uk cover as it isn’t a uk reg’ vehicle…although they are returning to English home.
Any body had this problem or got suggestion.?
Is it a matter of just trying lots of insurers ?

I suppose it is too late and simplistic to pretend that it is a holiday, until such time as the reg is changed?

Failing that, parking it up while using a rental car to bridge the gap? How long does registration take in UK?

I know parking it up without insurance is not legal, but if it could be out of sight for a bit?

Much to my shame that is exactly what I would do. I also think it’s what the French insurance company would expect one to do :shushing_face:

Pretend…bit risky as if there was an accident you would be uninsured as it is a policy holders responsibility to know the terms of the policy and it is requirement to be a resident of the country where the insurance contract is located.
Fine if nothing goes wrong but in doo-doo if it did.

Changing an imported car to UK plates was very simple when I did it a few years ago and only cost about 25 pounds (have just discovered that the seldom used pound key on my French keyboard no longer works - Brexit?). Perhaps, before leaving France, your friend can make an appointment with the DVLA’s local office, or the one in his port of entry and get the plates changed straight away?

Have to say it was a sad moment when I exchanged my exotic Eastern Cape picture plates for boring old Brit ones.

I don’t know about an imported car. But just getting insurance on a RHD U.K. registered car is not easy. The insurance companies computer programs don’t like answers like no I have not always lived in the U.K. Then U.K. driving license no it’s EU and don’t start on no claim bonuses as U.K. companies won’t credit french no claims. I’m 74 driving since 18 in France for eleven years quotes came back £1100 upwards and I mean upwards £2000+. No I’m not trying to insure some fast expensive sports car just a Mercedes estate Good luck

contact Martyn Pickering 04 68 20 66 08 or 07 86 70 43 15 to arrange replacement insurance.

Strudball, I think it’s a case of shopping around. When we moved back to UK, about 18 months ago, we had no problems getting a UK company to temporarily cover our RHD French reg car and took into account our 14years French, no claims. Some big insurance company’s were very difficult but we found Saga to be helpful.

Don’t you guys mean LHD?

A Plan may be able to help - still a bit more old fashioned where you actually speak to someone and not the computer.

Not withstanding the insurance problem i have now been told and have checked that it is illegal for a British resident to drive a foreign registered vehicle in the UK. So you sell up in France complete all the new HMRC paper work to say you are returning back to UK so are no longer French resident. You cannot drive your French plated car in the UK legally until it has uk plates, (probably three weeks after getting off the ferry), if you do and Old Bill stops you they can confiscate the car and if you had an accident you are uninsured! Interesting problem!

Tell that to the tens of thousands of european UK residents who drive around in their foreign registered vehicles, avoiding speeding and parking fines, often uninsured. A bit like a lot of Brit residents of France :slight_smile:

The prohibition applies specifically and only to people who are legally residing in UK…so it would apply to say a Polish guy who is settled in UK driving a car on Polish plates (but not a visitor)… just as much as (our friend) who will have left France completely moving back to UK…and have to park up his car until the UK reg plates can be applied…and of course he has a risk driving from ferry to his UK address.

Isn’t the most pragmatic solution to sell up in France, take a one month holiday in the UK whilst the Car paperwork is in progress, and then declare UK residency to all concerned?


True. But I found the police to be quite relaxed about this because they could see, from subsequent drive-bys, that my van had not moved. They gave me a frendly nudge to get it insured. I don’t know when they first logged it but it was parked on the street for many weeks before they sent me the Billy Doo.

The notice did conclude with the Full Monty of what might happen if I never did get it insured, which I did, chop-chop.