Wrong side of the road

Yes, I remember years ago there used to be car manufacture export sales operations targeting US overseas personnel, in Germany for example. But that’s why it made no sense for US folk posted abroad to ship cars with them. They could buy a US spec car tax free in Europe and ship it home when they moved back. I Googled it to see if it still existed but couldn’t find it. Maybe the legal specifications for US cars and European ones have diverged so much now that a US spec car cannot be used here except on six month export plates?

Are the US Forces cars in the UK UK registered or do they have a US registration. The US Forces cars in Germany had American Forces Europe’s plates similar to the BFG plates that the British Forces use. None of the personnel posted to Germany used British or German registered cars.

Majority of BFG troops bought tax free from NATO Cars or NAAFI so they were RHD. and in a lot of cases were rejects from Vauxhall. Later a lot bought their cars from AUDI/VW dealers in RHD configuration. I used to buy LHD apart from the VX4/90 and my Sproggy both being RHD. The Sproggy is still mobile in Werl to this day. A mate of mine bought her.

Actually, the US forces had US plates and the BFG had BFG plates. After 9/11 they changed to German plates for both.

I wonder if that had certificate of conformity implications? It’s hard to imaging the Germans having cars on their register with different CoCs.

When I was was a student in Germany I remember seeing in the Badische Zeitung that some serviceman, can’t remember whether BAOR or US, drove some armoured vehicle, either an APC or a tank possibly, into a tram. Not local to me (and I was 17, a long time ago) hence the vagueness.

John, the registration authorities were military for the servicemen. So the German Traffic offices had nothing to do with it. When they changed to all German plates, the respective forces had a quota of German plates and these were allocated to the vehicles. The respective military traffic offices informed the German offices which numbers had been allocated and they flagged the registration number so the cops knew they were military personnel. We didnt worry about CoC’ in those days ( there probably wasnt any as such) bear in mind this was upto the end of the 90’s. A bit different now.

If it was in the Badische then it would be US. The BFG area began from Moenchengladbach going North. Below was only French and US.

It took me about a year of driving a LHD car in France to get used to judging ‘instinctively’ and ‘naturally’ the appropriate and safe distance from the RH kerb or border.

Before that I ‘instinctively’ drove too close to the midline, and I reckon many Brits have a similar experience of doing so. I imagine many French drivers have picked up on this tendency, can identify those who drive in this way, and adjust their own driving accordingly.

I might even account for some drivers wanting to overtake ASAP :thinking::sweat_smile:

You’re lucky @Peter_Goble - you can actually see the centre line! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Sorry you are wrong. Before 9/11 the BFG plates were white in black and quite distinctive. A bit after that the BFG plates were issued to resemble UK registrations for RHD cars and German registrations for LHD cars. The plates were not however linked to the DVLA or German licensing authority. The cars remained BFG registered.

The cars were still registered through the military licensing offices, the plates on the BFG cars mirrored the DVLA plates for RHD cars and and German plates for LHD cars. They were not registered in either Britain or Germany.

I need to correct myself, the US vehicles changed their plates after 9/11, the BFG plates changed long before that as a result of the IRA attacks in Europe.

After 24 years of service in BFG and US i wont argue with you.

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Good oh!! Because lately it strikes me that some members have been displaying the ability to argue with an empty room… :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Some of ‘em/us don’ t even need a room, Cat. Like the famous itinerant preacher John Wesley, we can inflame the hearts of hordes in the open air, or his brother Charles "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing…! :heart::fire::national_park::fire::desert::fire::mount_fuji::fire::laughing:

My first LHD BFG car with ‘German’ BFG numberplates was a car I owned in the very early ‘90s. I moved house twice during the time I owned it so in fact it had three different sets of number-plates while I owned it. In my barn I have the black and white number plates off the first car I bought and registered through the BFG system, they needed changing for U.K. style plates soon after. The next car I bought went straight onto U.K. style plates. From that I can work out that the changeover happened after mid 1986 and before early 1989. I still own two cars that were BFG registered, the LHD one had ‘German’ BFG plates and the RHD one U.K. style plates. The LHD one went straight from the ‘German’ BFG plates to French plates, the RHD one that was bought in the U.K. and exported to BFG had standard U.K. plates, OU04 xxx, BFG U.K. style plates, SK04 xxx and then French plates. Easy really.

I once bid against myself at an auction and still lost! :grinning:


Just going back to the original point.

I like to have my SatNav (from UK) always on even when I know where I’m going.
Every time I start the car it gives a warning sound and displays ‘DRIVE ON THE RIGHT’.

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A lifetime ago… our company cars had a large notice on the dashboard… reminding the driver… “Refill with Diesel” or “Refill with Petrol”… as applicable… :hugs: