White Van man and Insurance

I know, John, I was just pointing out that you CAN get a CT on Uk plates, which your post "How did you do a CT on UK plates? Spoofer." seem to imply was not possible.

I have given complete details for registering an import in other posts so did not want to go into too much detail yet again! (The last time was only in March!) It is 2 months to register/correct faults, by the way. The rule is that it must have been tested for a CT.

When we did, in fact my OH's Fiat Uno failed. It was originally Swiss number plated and clearly left hand drive, had been registered in England then, on its last legs really, again here. It failed on brakes, was registered then went to the garage and back to the CT centre. So, as John says, it can be registered but with the CT advice of what needs to be done.

True but that would not invalidate the need for an MOT if you stayed on UK plates. One cannot pick and choose between countries and legislation. The vehicle is either legal in one country or the other, not a mixture of the two.

Actually Mark you can register a car with failed CT as I did because of wrong dipping headlamps. I think you have a month to correct the fault and have the vehicle retested.

Glen a lot of expats used British builders if they have a language problem and are unable to converse properly with French tradesmen unfortunately many British so called builders trade solely on this fact. The joke that many builders learnt their trade on the ferry from the UK to France and the level of expertise is dependent on the time taken on the ferry is well worn. I had an experience with a joiner/ cabinet maker who fitted our kitchen it fell apart, literally fell apart, i managed to get him back after threatening legal action and contacting the Connection newspaper but 6 months later i ended up ripping it all out and refitting it myself and making a far better job and i am an engineer not a joiner . As a field service engineer i turned up on customers premises in a smart tidy and legal vehicle that gives the right impression to the customer straight away, an illegal vehicle gives the impression of a dodgy character his work maybe good or bad do you take the risk with your limited pension most of us here are on

Correct, Robert. The process requires that when you submit all the papers to the prefecture it must include - if the vehicle is over 4 years old - a valid CT. As at this stage you have not been issued with a French number you have to have the CT carried out with your UK plates still on. The CT station will require the UK logbook & the European conformity number. This number can be found on later V5Cs under row K if the car is fairly new, I think 2002 or newer. If not, you will need to submit the actual European Certificate of Conformity which is available for most post 1997 cars.

Although the CT people can accept the COC number from the V5C the French Government still demands a PHYSICAL document to be presented at the prefecture although I have heard of a couple of cases where arguing with the officials has sometimes got round this. For the cost of a years road tax I would just buy the thing & get my CG first time!

You are officially given a month to get your vehicle registered & EU law allows an exception to the UK car/UK insurance rule just for this purpose.

(EEC Directive 2009/103/EC para 27).

"Steps should be taken to make it easier to obtain insurance cover for vehicles imported from one Member State to another even though the vehicle is not yet registered in the Member State of destination. A temporary derogation from the general rule determining the Member State where the risk is situated should be made available. For a period of 30 days from the date when the vehicle is delivered, made available or despatched to the purchaser, the Member State of destination should be considered to be the Member State where the risk is situated."

A French insurance company is only allowed to provide temporary cover to a foreign registered vehicle. To continue to do so must surely mean that THEY are doing something dodgy?

I came across this in my research too, from EUR-Lex, the website for European law:-


8 Article 2(1) of the Second Directive provides:

‘Each Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that any statutory provision or any contractual clause contained in an insurance policy issued in accordance with Article 3(1) of [the first Directive], which excludes from insurance the use or driving of vehicles by:

– persons who do not have express or implied authorisation thereto, or

– persons who do not hold a licence permitting them to drive the vehicle concerned, or

– persons who are in breach of the statutory technical requirements concerning the condition and safety of the vehicle concerned,

shall, for the purposes of Article 3(1) of [the First Directive], be deemed to be void in respect of claims by third parties who have been victims of an accident."

Statutory technical requirements, like a valid MOT?

I did a CT on uk plates hoping that my xenon headlights would pass according to Citroen uk they should have but the CT guy said no also Valeo the manufacturer confirmed that they are LH and RH orientated at £1000 each i was in a bit of a panic managed to get a pair of EBay for 300€

No you are correct Robert. :)

As far as I am aware you have to have a CT done on English plates when going through the matriculation process??? Or am I being naive?

Spot on.

Yes Chris and I think they do. I have registered four cars here and I’ve always been told by my insurers that I have six months to change the reg to a French one. I was a bit tardy with one that I rarely used and after a year they refused to reinsure until I’d registered it here.

How did you do a CT on UK plates? Spoofer.

You should be banned for that.

You are driving illegally David. You are not insured. For me that’s no different to being any other sort of criminal. Shame on you.

You are probably not insured Paul if you have changed your residence from France to the UK . Have you actually asked you French insurer if you are still insured?

Robert, if you don’t mind me saying so you are being naive. It is not for the tax authorities to prove anything. They just decide and then it is for you to prove them wrong. That is the case here and in the UK.

I think Robert that is just the same problem that Ryanair is getting bounced for in Marseilles. It's one thing to have one's principal business ie. where you do most of your work established in UK and have workers en attachement in France and another to set up a completely France focussed business in France and then to claim that your workers are not subject to all the social charges that would accrue otherwise. these are all the teething problems of the single market. it's not dissimilar to the problems of cabotage in the road transport industry. It doesn't make sense that a lorry running to UK should have to flan about in UK without work until such time as it has its return load to France. Nonetheless that was/is the case.

I may be over sensitive but I know from personal experience and familial connections that a lot of Brits simply bugger about playing fast and loose with the regulations regarding vehicle registration. They are aided and abetted by insurance agents who are quite happy to write "insurance" and to take the commissions thereon knowing full well that the contracts are not "kosher" I don't know about my own département but certainly in Poitou Charentes the hill billys get away with murder.

I think, Robert, that Melissor has noticed an increasing number of UK registered vans which their signeage confirms are owned by Brits who are now resident but who have not registered their vehicles here, meaning that the vehicles are operating illegally & the signeage broadcasts that fact. These traders (I don't think builders were specifically mentioned) may well have their businesses fully registered & their trade insurance duly paid so the question remains "why are their vans not registered?" The vans are far easier to spot but I'm sure the criticism applies to ALL Brits who have not bothered to register their vehicles. It is not the work ethic of these vehicle owners that is called into doubt but it does make one wonder that if they think it is all right to drive an untraceable vehicle, what other rules do they think it is ok to ignore?

You are right that there are dodgy tradesmen in every country - next time you are in the UK look out for foreign registered vans with UK signeage!

Some are just too mean to pay the costs. "170 euros just for the C of C?" (this amounts in most cases to less than the annual road tax paid in the UK) "The headlights are too expensive" (then look on Ebay, idiot!). "My vehicle is too old". Depending on age either have it inspected by DREAL or, if over 30, talk to the FFVE. Almost any vehicle can be registered here but it can cost. By the way, most European countries still demand to see a C of C as part of the import process including the UK who also insist on a speedo in MPH.

All true, but since when do two (or more) wrongs make a right?

Ah, Martin Niemöller. He did find himself in a concentration camp where he found that his turning his head the other way and not having a conscience had not protected him.

'They' is the perfect abstract/metaphor for those who we do not know. It most certainly does apply here because it is about denial. The point in this thread that is recurrent is that although there are people who care and others who call for laws to be upheld, there are others who clearly prefer not to see what they do not want to see.