Can you get MOT for your car in Italy?

Stephen and Rachel Image
08/24/2013 - 13:24

Amid the hubub of moving to Italy in our car, we forgot to check the expiry of the MOT, which expires shortly. Our car is UK reg and we understand that insurance is not valid if the MOT is not current. Does anyone know if we can get UK MOT renewed in Italy without returning to the UK?



"Does anyone know if we can get UK MOT renewed in Italy without returning to the UK?"I don't think it is possible - although some may suggest you don't need an MOT [Personally I think an MOT is essential - so an annual trip to Uk is needed].There are some firms in the UK that will give all year foreign insurance [Saga is one] - although most limit it to a max of 180 days a year, with a maximum stay of about 45 days at any time [I think] If in doubt - ask your insurer [but don't tell them who you are, just in case] 

I'm guessing that if you had an accident and the insurance company wanted to get arsey about it, they could claim that the vehicle has not been proven roadworthy etc etc so there could be an element of risk with a UK insurance company.My Italy car is SORN at the moment because its MoT has run out and they won't let me tax it without. I'm not ready to take it to UK for a month or two so I guess it's not legal at present, as I believe you have to have a current tax disc?But I almost always drive here so I have my UK car with me and use that instead.

To clarify.Your UK insurance is valid and you are legally covered in all of Europe.The additional risks beyond basic legal liability can and usually are not covered if the insurance company can find any way to refuse a claim. This could be out of date MOT, extra fitted spotlights, chassis lowered, wrong exhaust pipe etc.Most UK vehicles only have liability cover when in Europe anyway.When you return to UK you must book a MOT test for that day. It can be anywhere in UK and you can drive to and from the test centre on that day without a road tax disc and an out of date MOT.

".......... When you return to UK you must book a MOT test for that day. It can be anywhere in UK and you can drive to and from the test centre on that day without a road tax disc and an out of date MOT."I suggest what cardi meant to say is that before you return to the UK you must book an MOT for that day ........  and carry a print out of a confirmatory email of the bookingThe  authorities will pick up the fact that your car is not Taxed or MOT'ed from the ferry/train booking and/or the vehicle number plate recognition cameras at the port/eurotunnel terminalI would recommend that the MOT station is as close as possible to the point of landing - anything farther away [say near your 'home location' might be considered by the police as 'stretching a point' - i.e. getting your luggage home.  Also stopping for petrol/drinks/toilets is not 'solely for the purose of the MOT'] As an example - Avon and Somerset Police website  says;-"A vehicle can be driven on the road without an MOT certificate :

  • When the vehicle is being used solely for the purpose of taking it for examination for a test certificate. The test date and time must be pre-arranged 

.                   [my underlining/emboldening]Good Luck 

    Some clarification.The rules state that it must be a pre booked test. All garages know this and make note of the registration in the book. It is quite normal for police to phone the garage to confirm a booking.There is no rule that says the test has to be in any particular place and no police officer has the authority to say that your chosen garage is not acceptable as long as it is in UK. To suggest that stopping for a meal or similar en route to the garage is an offence is like something from Monty Python.There are no ANPR cameras at the ports. 

    Really???? Tyco say" .........    Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) for vehicles entering and leaving the facility We have provided these solutions to major airports and ports including London Heathrow Airport, Dublin Airport, Manchester Airport and the Port of Dover."

    TYCO is a private Swiss company which provides security. Their cameras do not link to any government database. The Dover Port police do not and do not want to link to any DVLA database as they have enoough work already without doing petty work for DVLA.Kent police could put ANPR cameras at the port exit but they don't as they also have more important things to concentrate on. Dorset police do seem to have cameras in the areas of the town but all that could happen is you would receive a postal demand from DVLA and you would just show proof of your entry into the UK. You will not receive anything if you actually pay the road tax in the meantime.As said, if you have booked your test you are fine

    Without being au fait in absolute detail, I do of course intend to book my MoT in advance and it will be in my home village, some 110 miles from Dover. If I can find the garage that did it last year, that is, as my local village is being torn apart and gentrified (hah!) so the garage has had to move out.It still isn't easy though, the local (large) Fiat agency refused to give it its first MoT last year as it is LHD and they couldn't get their heads round it, even though I told them to just do any work that was needed to pass it.My original intention was to replace the car every 3 years but that's hassle too, as UK dealerships tell me they can't supply an LHD model because of the European spec for lights and instruments. So it seems the bureaucracy is forcing me to have a RHD car for driving in Italy instead of the safer LHD option.Hey ho.  

    Buying a LHD Car in UK.Sir TK said"... My original intention was to replace the car every 3 years but that's hassle too, as UK dealerships tell me they can't supply an LHD model because of the European spec for lights and instruments. ......" There are companies that do supply new LHD cars, like this one;-                 [But for some reason they don't do Fiats, so you might need to change the make you choose]

    There are companies that do supply new LHD cars, like this one;- is the company I used for the present car. They act as an agency, sourcing pre-registered 0km cars from Europe. Mine came from a car supermarket - Cardoen in Antwerp. They used a car import firm to do the paperwork and I picked the car up from Antwerp.It worked well, but you still end up with needing an MoT for a European spec car and the testers are being made to be much more rigorous about lights and instruments.I guess if I do replace it, I'll just go RHD and put up with the difficult overtaking.

    This is all very interesting, but just confirms all I have researched and agonised over these past few months...  I thought long & hard about a kind offer to share a car by a member of this community, but I was very wary as I would not be insured & I decided in the end not to take the risk. I have now bought a 7 year old Fiat Sedici that is being driven to Italy in the next couple of weeks.  Great condition & low mileage, and... diesel!  I plan to drive to & from Italy once a year with this car to ensure it has an MOT and Tax.  Whether I change my mind & just keep up with the insurance after the year is up, well..... we'll see, but as SirTK, I am wary that insurance companies will 'catch you if they can' in the event of an accident.  I have insured with Saga, who appear to be the cheapest for 365 day foreign insurance, but do sting you for additional named drivers, however temporary.  I also took out their European breakdown cover.As I am spending over a third of the year in Italy at the moment, maybe more in the future (though not over the 180 days!), I just cannot afford car hire charges any more so I will take the risk with my RHD vehicle... It seems the most economic way to do it as without residency, I cannot buy an Italian car, plus I understand Italian car tax & insurance is a lot higher than ours.Sooo... if anyone in the Umbria region, south-west of Trasimeno, wants to borrow a car for a very small fee (basically, cost of insurance for a named driver) when I am not there, they would be welcome....  rather than it sit unused for weeks at a time. Let me know.I will also be looking for volunteers to help drive it back to the UK next September. Free ride & share the driving?!!

    Hi Maggie!  I am in the same boat as you with a UK car in Italy (being most of the time resident near Rome)  but things got rather more complicated since leaving my LPG car for a year where it broke down 100km from Calais.Nevertheless, I quite like driving across Europe except for the costs involved, which are substantial for one person just to get my car MOT'd etc.  Anyway I understand/sympathise with your situation and given the opportunity would be glad to make the trip to UK with your car (and/or back to Italy) , so don't hesistate to get in touch (338 6831 337).  

    For the last two years we have been arranging for someone to drive our car back to the UK from Calabria, get the MOT done, and then drive it back again to Calabria.   Yes, it's the biggest pain in the backside but there is no other way that we know of remaining on the right side of the law and the insurance company.Heaven forbid we're involved in an accident involving a third party I cannot even begin to imagine the consequences of falling foul of Italian law and not having adequate insurance cover.  I'm just not brave enough to take the risk.I still do not understand why Italian insurance companies won't insure other EU countries vehicles.  If anyone has the answer, or believes that this arduous process is unnecessary, and still remain within the confines of insurance company regulation please let me know.Thanks

    UK is no better than Italy in this respect and do not insure foreign reg. vehicles. This is mainly due to a lack of legal control by the respective governments which should force insurance companies to comply with EU directives but don't.In many other EU countries you can get insurance and in theory it is pending your reregistration but in France I have seen this done yearly over a decade with one vehicle.If you purchase vehicle insurance in any EU country that insurance is valid throughout the EU for legal liability purposes and unless cancelled in writing and proven to have been received is valid and you are covered. Having no MOT or road tax does not matter outside UK anyway.Having an accident in Italy with a non roadworthy vehicle will cause you grief for that but you will not be charged with not having insurance.

    Soooo... Now my car is in Italy and won't be back in the UK until the end of August 2014 when the MoT is due...  my tax reminder for the vehicle has just arrived...  Do I tax it for the next 6 months to be 'safe' or not?  I definitely would for the following 6 months so I would be covered for when it returns to the UK, but for this 6 months? Your thoughts & comments would be very welcome.....

    If you do not tax the car and do not SORN it then you will automatically be issued with a fine. It is not a criminal offence but a civil one and you would receive a CCJ if you did not defend it. There are millions of CCJs unpaid for this offence in UK.In my own experience DVLA will not pursue the fine if you explain that the vehicle is out of the country but easier to just declare SORN.SORN is a specifically UK thing and meaningless elsewhere. There is no reason not to declare it and it will save you money but, as you say, you should retax  the car before you return to UK.I am sure some will have bizarre interpretations of the law and will tell you you are risking ending your days in Brixton Prison.Your decision.  

    Sorry Cardi, I did not make myself very clear as usual(!)...  I would of course SORN it this time and at the end of April tax it again while I still have a few months of MoT left.  So you think it would be OK to do this?  It is of couse fully insured for European travel for the whole 365 days.  I could certainly use the £100+ it would save!!

    You can SORN it when your car leaves UK and get road tax a few days before you get back. If you look at earlier posts you can see that you don't even need to tax it before you return if you are taking it for a pre booked MOT test.When I used to drive vehicles across to Asia we always cashed in the UK road tax on leaving and bought it again when we came back.

    I left my Uk Car in Italy most of this year.The insurance would have reverted to basic liability after 60 days,I asked the question when renewing!. I sorned it after the tax ran out in August I could not retax it in August as the MOT ran out in late September.I drove back  a couple of weeks back having booked the Mot the day before I returned.Moted it the day after we returned and taxed it same day online for 12 months.I have had nothing in the post yet and doubt very much wether the prosecution would see it as worth the effort.It was never without valid Tax for the Months it was in the UK bar 10 hours which was sorted and back dated to beginning of the month.Always been insured and that leaves the MOT.Well If I have not posted anything in the next week ,there is nothing to report, Notice of Intended Prosecution required within 7 days and all that.My only concern was ,IF I was involved in an accident, what the concequences would have been.It was on my mind so I took the Palermo/Genoa ferry to reduce the risk.I will say the MOT was an oversight,I normally always have one and will be a bit more vigilant in future.  

    It seems thjere is a real 'Catch 22' conundrum about cars used in Italian second homes for residents in other EU countries.  As I understand it:-you must be resident in Italy to register a car in Italy-it is illegal to drive a UK registered car left for more than180 days in Italy-you must be resident in Italy to register a car in ItalySo there is no legal way to leave a UK registered car in Italy for multiple uses over the year even if you take it back to the UK each year for its MOT and keep it taxed in the UK, both of which we do. Conversely we would not be allowed to register a car in Italy as we are not resident in Italy.We also get special insurance that allows us to keep the car in Italy throughout the year.  We've tried to be fully compliant with all laws but suspect that this is logically impossible.Compared with some of the dafter things the EU initiates, having a basic 'EU car compliance test' document based on a test which could be taken in any EU country and be recognised by all insurers and national road tax authorities would actually help us behave more like joined-up Europeans. Not holding my breath...

    It seems there is a real 'Catch 22' conundrum Wholeheartedly agree. There's no logical reason why the DVLA shouldn't accept revisione in order to tax your car.It gets worse - I recently brought my UK reg lhd Panda back to UK for MoT and it failed because the foglight is on the wrong side. We had to have a separate foglight added in order to pass. However, for MoT it needs to be wired up to the existing foglight switch so as to get the telltale light on the dash - which means that the correct (for Italy) foglight can't work.Similarly, the headlights need converters to shine UK fashion, which makes the car much less ideal for Italy. Given that I only use it in Europe, the conversion to UK spec is just silly.All of which makes me wonder whether I should just go for a UK spec rhd car and be totally out of kilter, just to avoid the hassle.TK