Hi everyone,I have a holiday home in Puglia

matt howarth Image
08/03/2009 - 11:09

 Hi everyone,

I have a holiday home in Puglia and I've toyed from time to time, with the idea of buying a cheap car to keep there. The current cost of car hire has made me revisit this notion (500 quid for three weeks!!!!) and so I thought I'd ask your advice.


It seems to me there is a bit of a catch 22 going on. You can't buy a car in Italy unless you're a resident, which I'm not. You also, can't buy a car in the UK and drive it to Italy, leaving it there, because it's full time home is supposed to be the country in which it is insured. 


Am I correct in both of the above statements? Have any of you managed to get around these problems?


any advice you can offer will, as always be met with great appreciation.







If £500 is your cost for car hire for the year I'd stick with that wether you manage to buy one or not( opions vary on the ability to buy a car Resident or not).The clincher in Italy is the Insurance cost which would set you way over that for a year (no claims not applying) My freind in our Village was quoted €1500 for 6 months insurance on a car he has got which he leaves heer for that purpose......needless to say he is selling said set of wheels and opting for Hire cars.

My understanding is that you are correct on all fronts.................crackers I know!The thing is £500 notes for three weeks is not THAT bad (relatively speaking) cos I assume it includes insurance and all that roadworthiness and all that?..........You could possibly get it cheaper at a local garage (probably thougha n old car?)...............pop along and have a chat with them, expain your situation.................something for you, something for them eh ?Good luck!S  

Hi Matt, Well you have a couple of choices.  The first is find a friend who you trust (& who trusts you) who can be the "nominal" owner of your vehicle. You then pay for tax, revisioni, etc. Secondly there are plenty of expat. insurance companies who will insure your Brit. (or other) reg. car in Italy. They don't care where it spends it's life. Also worth trying these companies in order to avoid expensive Italian insurance costs on your Italian registered car.You might try Italsure www.italsure.eu/index.php?pg=prod-car  and  Clements to start off with www.clements.com/expatriate/international_auto/overview.asp.I have no interest in either of these companies. They were just recommended on the old site. Pip pip

 If you're not a resident you can apply for a carta di soggiorno which should give you the required paperwork to buy a car.  It isnt compulsory (since March 2007)  but is the only real alternative.   Im assuming youre a european citizen. 

I thought about leaving a car at the holiday house for general use.It would have been a UK car - from this and other forum responses, getting an Italian car would have been 'difficult'. [although I did consider getting an Italian to buy, tax and insure a car in Italy]I had considered insurance - I would have used Saga [or similar] for the annual 'use abroad' facilityI'd considered the MOT problem - the car would be new [or nearly new] so wouldn't need an MOT for 3 years, when it would be returned to the UK and replaced - it would be a small/cheap car to keep costs down - something like the Ford Ka that I bought brand new about 18 months ago for under £5kThe downfall of the proposal was what you did with the car when I wasn't there - if I left it at the airport, there were charges and security to consider.  if I left it at the house, I had to pay for transport to and from the airport.All in all - the costs didn't stack up - so I hire

Agreed on the car hire.  I go over every month and given everything said above it's still more economical - and you get a spanking new car every time and no worries about it when you're not there (And you can rally it down the white roads.......shh)

I'm in the process of buying a lhd Panda to keep here (almost) permanently. I have secure parking for when I'm not here. I'm registering it on UK plates and Saga will insure it. Transport to the airport is no problem as I usually drive to and from UK in my main car. I'll take the Panda for its MOT in 3 years time and annually thereafter.Problems? Finding a lhd car to register on UK plates. Ask a Fiat dealer in UK for a lefty and he will quote you 6 months delivery, so mine is coming from Belgium via an internet based importer. I did visit the dealer so was able to point at the car and say "That one please".As for resale, I think these days there is a huge market for a lhd Panda - the ideal home away from home car - as there are now so many Brits living abroad.I'll report back any problems - like if the car doesn't arrive or something!Terry 

I've had the same quandary myself and I decided that I couldn't face the hassle of trying to make it work so would continue to hire. What I did do though is take out insurance to cover against the excess. What this means in practice is I pay £49 for a years coverage and just take the basic CDW insurance cover on the car hire (the cheapest option) If I should have an accident or something and the car hire company takes my excess I can just claim it back from my insurance. I don't have to declare every time I hire, just claim if I need to. Haven't had to use it yet (thankfully!) so I presume it will work as they say it does should I need it. I do it through https://www.insurance4carhire.com/  again though, I can't vouch for it's effectiveness having never claimed.

We live here and bought an Italian car for our own use. The insurance was ridiculous so we went for worldwide insurance through Clements so that we could drive it all over Europe without limits. This was for the same price as Italian 3rd party insurance.For our second car we bought from the UK. There are many LHD cars fro sale there and it seems that many people are leaving Spain and selling the cars they took there. We bought such a car from www.lhdautos.com and then insured it through stuart@collinsinsurance.demon.co.uk.We drove it down and now have a car which cost us less than we could but it for here and it was insured fully comp at 1/4 the price we could insure it here for. The car is regsitered to our sons address but it is insured to be in Italy permanently.We met a person last week who bought a 13 year old LHD Peugeot 107 for £300, drove it down and also insures it now through the above. They will simply fly and catch the train  to come over then use it whilst over here. (I'd prefer one with aircon though) 

In reply to by SanG

If your LHD car  resides permanently in Italy, presumably you will have to obtain Italian plates for it. If it still has UK plates,will you not have to drive it back every year for it's MOT? It appears from previous threads and postings that a car must have a certificate of roadworthiness of some sort, either Italian or UK, in order to validate the insurance. 

In reply to by Dylano

The insurance requirements is that it is kept in a roadworthy condition (not certificated surprisingly). We will have our car serviced to the standard of the Italian Revisione at a Revisione centre. The only difference is that we don't get entered on the system like an Italian registered car.

It sounds as if you have found a simple and cost effective way round the difficulties experienced by other posters. I would, however, like to read the comments of the experts in this field, before going down the same road!!

How will you be able to get your Road Tax? As all the system is online now Insurance details are automatically linked to DVLC, but if you do not have an MOT how will this work...

theres is a lot about this  below is a bit of the codice stradale with comments  books.google.it/books this is the ACI site... same law http://www.aci.it/index.php?id=593now i dont bother much with it and it concerns me little if people choose to do things inventively... but its obvious there is a catch somewhere... and it seems to me from what i have read and i am no lawyer that a vehicle is allowed here for 12 months... how do they know how long ...well if you bring in a vehicle you are supposed to declare it...and get a date stamped..if planning to be here a long time...  after twelve months it has to be taken away... if kept longer it can be confiscated... these rules only apply to non italian residents... thats where you can get caught out i belive... if you buy your home and live here as a resident these laws do not apply to you...ie an italian resident cannot keep a foreign plated car in Italy for twelve months... thats how i read it anyway.... so if using residency here to gain on some things and you have a foreign plated car then the two cannot be...you have to choose one or the other...comments????  

We have been officially Resident here for 18 months now, and I still have my UK registered Car here and use it all the time. Our Village has both a Caribineri and a Policeman in and both of them are aware of this fact. My car is taxed, insured and will soon have it's MOT (when we go back to UK for a visit). I know all the Printed Laws say that 12 months is the max allowed for re registering Cars in Italy, but I know of at least 4 UK registered Cars that are in my area that have been here for min 2 years 1 I know has been in Italy for 6 years.Many people have their vehicles registerd in the UK (via family/freinds residences) for whatever reason, and as far as I'm aware the practice is widespread throughout Europe, even an Italian friend in the UK has had his Italian Reg car over there for 2 years.The view of our local Caribineri is that if you have all the paperwork and the car is roadworthy then your OK.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

 gromit you are right...there seems to be no control and yes it seems there is no interest from street police... its the fact that someone asked if there were any rules which interested me... and prompted the post i guess the point is as regards the law is that anyone resident here not re-registering there car is as far as i can see breaking the law... because a resident of italy is not allowed to run a car fro even a year ...the 12 month rule is for non residents... a resident of italy has to run a car registered in italy with italian plates and paying road tax... i guess thats the main point about the rules is that as a resident you are avoiding paying the annual taxs on your car... and am not sure but it would make ant insurance compant have a pretty good get out should something occur that required an insurance claim... i agree its all unlikely...  but from reading through the laws...albeit...skimming it seems thats the way of things... 

Where we live there is a UK registered car which has been here for 20 years with no problems at all. The local police know that it is insured and regularly serviced. To be absolutely totally legal you would have to take your UK registered car back every year and have it MOT'd and taxed. As the whole of Europe is awash with vehicles which do not comply with the local laws having a car which is tested to Revisione standards and serviced locally and which is insured seems to be fine with the powers that be, it certainly raises it above the level of many local cars.When we drove the car over we did so with 2 dogs in with us. We were not stopped at all nor did we have our documents (nor the dogs) examined at any border crossing. With that in mind, who can anybody possibly decide how long you have had a car in any country. The main thing for me is whether or not we and any other vehicle, passenger or driver are covered for insurance if we were unfortunate enough to get involved in an accident and I am satisfied that we are.I really don't like having a UK car at all, we both wanted to integrate as far as possible but any Italian insurance is so prohibitively expensive it is little wonder that Italy has so many uninsured cars on its roads. Anyway, we will see how we go and keep the forum updated of any issues.   

we've lived in Italy for three years now. The initial plan was to try it out for 6 months. Hence, we drove over our Rover 75 (51 reg), taxed, MOTed and insured in the UK. But time has passed, and driving a RHD on the wrong side of the road became a day to day thing. This specific car, has attracted the attention of the local police, in terms that they kept staring at it each time they had a chance. But we were never stopped. Because of the MOT issue, we've purchased an Accord (V reg),on the second year. This car soon became a nightmare, as I was stopped at least once a month for paperwork checks in various parts of Italy (mainly central and north). This car ended up selling on the internet, because I overlooked the fact that the MOT was expired by ONLY 10 days when the police has last stopped me. I was fined 125 euros paid on the spot (they even had a card machine/terminal in their boot, so there was no way out of it). To make things even worse, they told me that I was not allowed to move it from that spot (which was a petrol station), only to have it taken on a platform back to good old England. Fortunately, we were 2 miles from home and after checking the codice fiscale and everything else to prove the address they did let as go, on the condition to keep the car parked in front of the house until transportation was arranged to ship it back to London. They actually said that we could keep it for ever parked in Italy, but not to drive it (when I told thm that will cost more to transport it rather than buying a new one). Our house being close to the police station, I was worried to move the car, and I have sold it on the internet. The third car we brought over was an IS200 (T reg). This one has been a joy: not falling apart over the Italian pot holes such as the Rover did, and also not attracting police attention what so ever (touch wood). Saddly, it has got four more months of MOT at the end of which we will have to part from her :(Finally, I will tell you why we keep going back home for cars, once a year (apart from visiting family and friends): To purchase an Italian car will cost more, but that's not all. Besides the price you pay for the car, you will also need to pay at least 300 euros for ownership transfer - this for a small car. If you go for something exeeding 2L it can easily cost over 800 euros (for a CLK200, E300 or an old Lexus...) The prices are calculated according to the car's Kw (not HP). The insurance is no more expensive then back home. The biggest of all, the mother of all problems with buiyng a car in Italy is that they do not sell as quickly as they do sell back home. I've seen my local dealers with the same cars for three years now. And if you don't sell it you are liable for yearly taxes for the rest of your life ! Obviously, , there is the option of exporting it to the UK, but once again, there is a charge of a few good hundred euros for that purpose - it does cost to have it removed from the Italian registrar. However, if your car was cheap or you are not in a rush to recover your costs, you could hand it over to a car dealer...to deal with it :)   They will sell it (or try to sell it for several years...) for whatever you want (obviously they will give you a price list to follow); and all they seem to charge is 150.00 euros - less some taxes, that will come of the selling price.For some, it might work out getting an Italian registered car, but for someone like me, that changed cars every 6 months back home, this will not be an option - when you buy a car in Italy, is like buiyng a house...you'll have it for a long, long time ! I hope this helps ;)