Advice re road tax please

11/05/2009 - 04:46

Hi I've got a query - can anyone help? We have been travelling in Italy since Sept 1st in a camper van UK registered with UK road tax. This runs out 30th november. From 8th November the van is not being used as we are leaving it here for the winter. We return to Italy March 10th and then will be driving it back to the UK. So...Does anyone know what we should do about the road tax in this situation?Many thanks, Jan (not Angie)



depending on the age of the camper - you may need a valid MOT to re-tax it  You should really re-tax it for the week or so until its laid up for the winter - but if you re-tax on your return to UK in November it will be backdated to the start of the month. Is there anyone who can get to your mail and do the re-tax for you?  - assuming you have valid insurance [and MOT if required] - all they need is the 'reference number' on the renewal notice to do it all on line [but they do need to tick the box on line to say they are the owner] 

Register the Car with the DVLA as SORN (not on the Road) and then get Tax Disc sorted before you come back. The only problem is the MOT which must be curent when applying for a Tax Disc.If the MOT will be expired you will not be able to get a valid tax disc, but you can bring it back to the UK for that purpose if you have it booked in prior to entering the UK for an MOT, abd then get your disc sorted when back in the UK.

Gromit said;-" you can bring it back to the UK for that purpose if you have it booked in prior to entering the UK for an MOT"You could be in big trouble if you try this, as you cannot legally drive it without an MOT as the insurance requires the vehicle to be taxed and MOT'edThe number plate recognition cameras will pick you up at the port [or Eurotunnel offload area] and you will probably be 'pulled in' by Plod - so I wouldn't suggest you try it. Look at where it states "Using your vehicle when you return from abroadIf you take your vehicle abroad, it must be continuously taxed. When you return from abroad, you must have a valid tax disc to be able to drive your vehicle home or you’ll be committing an offence. There are no concessions."

In reply to by alan h

Hmmm.I actually rang them up about this. As it actually also says on their website:"Driving an untaxed vehicle to an MOT testYou can drive your vehicle to and from a pre-arranged test at an MOT test station as long as you have adequate insurance cover in place for the use of that vehicle.This is also for vehicles being driven to and from a pre-arranged test at a Vehicle Inspection Check (VIC) test station, an approved weight testing station and reduced pollution test." They admitted that I would be fully legal once I entered the country (from a ferry) if I had an MOT booked within a reasonable time. I think they are worried about exposing a useful loophole.There are plenty of Insurance companies who will insure your vehicle in Italy whether on not it has an MOT.  And most brits I know only tax their vehicles when they bring 'em back to blighty. You pays your money & takes your choice  Salve    

Just going on what my freind did from France. He was OK and not stopped. Insurance says vehicles must be Roadworthy, he brought his old Ford back that was kept in Normandy and his MOT was 8 months out of date, but Insurance was still valid. Sugest you check with your Insurance Company prior to coming back if not happy.

Logic says that this cannot be legal?There is something that inherently seems wrong with this car insurance and MOT 'thing'. I can't understand for instance how there is  only a single insurance broker (Stuart Collins?) who will give you a full years cover. The small print to my recollection suggests that 'things should be alright', but wether that covers you if you are in a SERIOUS accident, I'm not so sure!Equally, driving a UK registered car here in Italy for years also seems inherently wrong as one is SUPPOSED to re-register here aren't you? So, again, if you have a SERIOUS accident ,insurance coverage may not come through?When you look at the ridiculous cost of cars and their insurance here, why doesn't everybody just buy the car in the UK, insure it there, say money and then flout the law?S

Off the top of my head:Clements International, & Italsure do expat policies. There seem to be others with a good googling ;o)I only know of one person who had a claim & she said there was no problem. I can't remember if she was with Clements or Italsure.In here is an interesting post from an old forum member called liketheroman (are you still around?) about insurance here: comment about people buying UK insurance & running UK registered cars is precisely what happens!I am a bit out of touch with it all now as I have an Italian registered scooter insured with an Italian company!! I hire a car locally when I need one

Asking a sales person from an insurance company about the legalities of driving a car  without an MOT and Tax, over a thousand miles from Italy, and believing he/she is talking on behalve of the legal team, if one was to have an accident is asking for it. I know that one is allowed to drive a car to a "near by "mot station without tax, but given how the police are policing new traffic offences, birmingham or nottingham or bristol could not by any strecch of the imagination be called "near by" So i would advise you,or anyone cotenplating driving back without a valid MOT or roadtax to ask to talk to someone in the insurances legal team first,and not just a plain telesales adviser, as insurance companies are more inclined to worm out of paying up, and you having an accident on the continent  without tax or a valid MOT, would seem a very easy thing for them to do. Infact if they do agree, get it in writing, its not worth the risk just because so and so did it........

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

The MOT station doesn't have to be nearby just pre-arranged.Quote.Driving an untaxed vehicle to an MOT testYou can drive your vehicle to and from a pre-arranged test at an MOT test station as long as you have adequate insurance cover in place for the use of that vehicle.This is also for vehicles being driven to and from a pre-arranged test at a Vehicle Inspection Check (VIC) test station, an approved weight testing station and reduced pollution test. I only know this because I have imported vehicles from abroad, sometimes they have been previously registered in the UK & sometimes in Europe. I wanted to know if I was legal driving from the ferry port to my home if I had an MOT booked. After a bit of shuffling at DVLA I was told I would be.I am not really advocating either course of action but if you do find yourself returning to the U.K. without an MOT or tax ring & book an appointment at your local MOT station to cover yourself.Salve  

 there are loop holes...but are they when you get down to it real loopholes... to own a vehicle here in Italy you pay road tax...based on its size..etc etc... its without doubt a pain for all of us that do so...   when you think about some of the road conditions here and the fact you often have to pay to use them... however it is the way the Italian state collects money to distribute amongst the various responsible entities which maintain the roads.. by following many of the options above you are avoiding this tax..and to my mind anyway most of the people that run vehicles in this manner are the loudest complainers when it comes to the road conditions here or the fact that their comunes do not have money...the insurance schemes have been or are clearly set up for those that find themselves employed abroad with difficulties of long term coverage and Italian law is quite clear on how long as a resident of this country you have to fulfil various obligations, ie driving licence , vehicle re registration and health... no matter what way you twist it if you want to live here permanently you have to take on those options.. . seems pretty silly to want to live in a place and avoid all the normal conditions of living in any country in the world where civic responsibilities regarding paying into the country of your choice are avoided... taking into account the guiding principal here of love of all things Italian i would have thought there might have been a queue outside the various taxation offices... 

 There seems to be alot of hope on this thread.  The law in Italy states that a car irrespective of whether it is kept on the public road or not must be taxed and MOT'd at all times.  Theefore if you are planning on driving an  unMOT's car from ITaly to the UK you will be committing an infringement of the law at least in Italy and if you are stopped you are in trouble - up to the point where the police can impound your vehicle.   I doubt the French would see it differently.  Driving a car to an MOT appointment may be ok in the UK where you dont pay road tax if you keep the car on private property, but I doubt it would cut mustard here.  

 it seems that this is a sort of open debate regarding EU or UK regs when actually people are living in Italy and are governed by Italian law... accept that... then you accept what you can and cannot do... i am not a saint in this respect i did keep a UK registered vehicle on the road and in my possession  for longer than Italian law allowed ..  basically because it was one of my favourite cars and had hauled us and our belongings safely to Italy...  and i spent  two years trying to get it re-registered here and legal... no hope..Japanese import and Mistsubishi were not that helpful.. eventually it was given to the local scrap dealer... because in essence i could not even keep it on our grounds without paying the yearly bollo and couldnt pay that cause i couldn't import final word...well maybe on the risks.. is that should you be involved in an accident where injury to a person or even death...remember Italy has one of the highest rates of road accidents in Europe...something like 3000 deaths and several times that amount of injuries that are non fatal... there are two roads that are taken against people...both civil and criminal... if you arrive at one of these sorts of prosecutions the insurance company will do all in their power to get out of the extreme costs likely to be involved...  you will be a foreigner ..always a disadvantage in any court of law here.. your insurance company will no longer be your friend as they are about to end up most probably  paying out ..not their favourite pastime ...and they will no doubt be able to prove that you committed fraud somewhere within your application my mind an acceptable risk for those moving here is to have your car taxed, insured and mot'd for 12 months before you leave your home in order to allow yourselves time to sort out all the usual Italian things... and to be able to avoid a hire car but have transport... at the end of that 12 months ditch it...either scrap or back to the UK and sold...unless its worth the price and time of re-registering.. ...   but check this out long before its legal road certificates run out to leave yourself options of safely getting rid of it... 

Thanks for all the replies, didnt think it would provoke such an interesting debate, some may not have noticed from the initial post that it was a friend of mine posting who has left her camper van (Colin) with us for 4 months until she returns to drive it back to the UK, during which time the UK road tax elapses. She will now renew it to cover the period that the van is with us and to cover her drive back to the UK. (it is MOT until May 2010).A

 realised afterwards that my posts could have appeared to be a dig based on the original question and meant to say so...but have only just got back home...  your friends to my mind are pretty well outside of what i am talking about...  and i thought they were given reasonable advice re what to do in their situation ...i was answering or giving my thoughts on the debate raised after... as you say an interesting one.. to add further comment on the following arguments we also had a trailer made before we left the UK which was built basically to trail behind a big 4 x 4... a standard chassis with an aluminium covered body almost like a horse box .. anyway we also tried to get this registered here...oh no... not standard... despite having the plate with all the required details from the UK... it seems that you also need a log book for a trailer...  also because it could carry more weight than normal trailers.. a normal licence was not enough... and it had twin axles as well.. so we gave that away to a family from Romania who are friends and they have taken it there where laws are not so strict... so we have also bought a trailer here which requires separate insurance, a log book and its own licence plate...well two actually .. al at a cost of 200 euro or so on top of the trailer cost... and i even had to fir the plates myself.. the trailer arrived in two days the paperwork to legalise it took two i am fine with also fine with my yearly mots, road tax on two cars, insurance and whatever else they decide is needed.. i live here and thats the way the Italian state has decided.. not so happy with the five yearly or ten yearly licence renewal...but again its what we all that live here and want to be part of here have to put up with and its always nice to have a reciprocal story of how stupid the ASL medical examine/examiners are/were regarding your renewal visit...what makes me angry are the prolific whingers about all the problems here that still drive around in their BRIT cars with their BRIT driving licences  complaining about lack of services or this official not understanding why they need medical cover or god forbid residency with no money or no visible means of supporting themselves or even indeed having any or much clue about the language...  whilst holding down several jobs ... all paid in cash...  and then wondering why they do not fit in to the local community... let everyone take their own course in life... but give up if your choice is to totally ignore your host countries legal/taxation  system going on about what is so wrong here...  the worst crime to my mind being those that suggest all Italian workers or professionals are liars and cheats in order to drive business within a small clique of ... etc etc... will say no more

In reply to by adriatica

 Totally agree................I think the rules and regs here are (at times) stupid..............but they are the rules and regs here............if one doesn't like them.............go somewhere else................Lots of people complain about the world of Gordon Brown(aargh!) and what is wrong there, but ,.......... these same people are likely to be doing those same 'wrong' things here.I feel I TRY to do things 'with a straight bat'.....................but I also understand when people bend the rules 'cos we're in the EU you know!!'It would be nice to have a EU consistency me thinks ?

Well your glad you got that off your chest.. just don't hold back next time and tell them like it is...!!

MOT, road tax etc are only applicable in the country where the vehicle is registered and do not have any relevance elsewhere. In those countries you are subject to the rules of roadworthiness and not licencing. There are certain proposed rules which can see cross border application of driving bans etc but these MAY come in 2010. Coordination of road licencing could be decades away.If you arrive in UK at Dover with a pre arranged MOT in Inverness for that day you are legal until you get there provided your insurance is valid and the vehicle is roadworthy.ANPR camers at Dover are not police but are a private company which occasionally is used by police and DVLA for serious crime detection. Having an MOT out of date does not fall into that category.There is a lot of serious crime about. Hopefully police will deal with that and not some petty vehicle licencing rules.

Hello everyone - you may well be sick of the sight of this thread so apologies in advance.  I have purchased a UK registered car in advance of my road trip from Ireland to Sicily in the next few weeks and I just want to get my head around the legalities. The UK car is insured, MOT'd - however, I purchased it un-taxed and its difficult for me to tax this car from Ireland. As I intend to re-register the car and pay tax in Sicily (as a civic minded new resident) - should I expect problems driving an untaxed UK vehicle through France and Italy? In the arguably slightly unlikely chance the ''blue lights'' of gendarmes/carabinieri come on in the rear vision mirror to pull over - will they be distressed by my lack of care and attention to pay my UK road tax?  Or will they be happy enough to see EU license/fully insured/verifiably road worthy? Any informed commentary would be greatly valued. Regards Liamo

If your car is taxed until 30th Nov and will be off-road until March, SORN it on 8th Nov by Phone or online. I did this here in UK. then when I had the money to have it MOTd, I just retaxed it on that date and phoned DVLA to make sure I would be 'un SORNed'. As long as you have a valid MOT before travelling and retaxing there is nothing to stop you from not using your car in UK for as long as required ie if it was other way round and you were parking-up in UK for 6 months while you travelled abroad. The only problem for your friend is that it seems evident from posts here, that you are not allowed to be offroad without tax, Insurance and MOT in Italy, which is crazy but if it is the law of the land then....

there have been a huge amount of new road traffic and vehicle updates here in Italy, some are due to take effect jan 1 2011.. i believe some have been immediate... anyway a relevant section to this thread is the fact that its now illegal to own a foreign plated car here in Italy and use it on the roads ... not if your a tourist that is..  its legislation aimed at stopping the use by eastern european nationals living and working here of escaping paying vehicle tax and taking the national road-worthiness tests here.. so its more likely to be targeted towards cars plated with that type of number  but it will apply to all non italian registered cars.. its also something to be aware of that if staying in italy one has to have their presence registered in the comune in which they have accommodation..either owned or rented.. which pretty well then ties your presence down to a date.. again this is an oft ignored law .. although most of you will have noted that one has to present their passport if staying in an Italian establishment.. the details being sent off to the police registering your presence.. big fines if police visit and people are not registered.. 

"its also something to be aware of that if staying in italy one has to have their presence registered in the comune in which they have accommodation..either owned or rented..  .................. .. again this is an oft ignored law" Have visited Italy at least once a year for 25 years - much more since I bought the house - never registered once - I am a naughty boy

Let's suppose you are breaking all the rules i.e. no tax, insurance and MOT would you be allowed to tow your vehicle back to a pre-booked MOT testing station in England from Italy. Provided the towing vehicle was legal and using an A frame towing dolly that are sold on ebay quite cheaply.