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Old 06.04.2016, 01:59
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License plate and insurance in England

Hi everyone
Hope someone from England could help with this topic, as I can't find any information online. I am from Switzerland and have moved to England this week.
I took my Swiss car with me, so I now need to get a English license plate and probably an insurance.
Do I for example just ask for a plate at an approved supplier? Am I obliged to get an insurance first and go to a supplier with my insurance information? do I need an insurance at all? If so, what is a basic insurance in England? As in Switzerland you need to have a Haftpflichtversicherung / liability insurance for a minimum, everything else is optional...

I'd appreciate every help on this topic.
Thanks a lot
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Old 06.04.2016, 02:40
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

You won't need a license plate as in the uk we don't work that way. I believe you can keep your swiss plates for ever.

But you do need insurance. It is against the law not to have it. They can and will seize and crush your car if you don't. And depending on the age of your car, a regular mot certificate to show it is roadworthy. Not sure when that kicks in for visiting cars.

Mandatory Insurance comes in two main varieties, tpft (third party fire and theft) and fully comp (fully comprehensive).

Fully comp is the best cover and most expensive. Tpft can be cheaper but is not always available. The minimum legal is Rta (road traffic act) cover but you are unlikely to find anyone who will offer it for less than the other policies.

With a foreign regd car you will probably not be able to get an online quote, so use a broker that has shops or a call centre. Swinton is one such.

Regards


Ian
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Old 06.04.2016, 06:17
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

When you moved to the UK you should have imported it at customs which I guess is the first step in getting a license plate for the car. You'd then need an MOT test and insurance and road tax. Once the car is UK registered you can send the Swiss plates back to the CH

In the UK it's not like here in CH, the registration plate stays with the car for it's life (unless you buy a private plate to show off)
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Old 06.04.2016, 07:52
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

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You won't need a license plate as in the uk we don't work that way. I believe you can keep your swiss plates for ever.
Not so. If the car is to remain in the UK it must be officially imported, just as a UK car would here.

The whole process is shown here https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicle...he-uk/overview

One point to note is that the number plates are not 'license' (or even licence, as we correctly spell it in the UK) plates. They identify the vehicle and are no indication of whether it's correctly taxed and insured. Annual 'Road Tax' is payable and shown in the form of a disc which may be displayed on the windscreen; a valid insurance certificate is required to get the tax disc, but is independent thereof.

The MOT test referred to is required only for vehicles more than 3 years old, and is performed annually and recorded separately again.
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Old 06.04.2016, 08:04
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

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Not so. If the car is to remain in the UK it may be officially imported, just as a UK car would here.

The whole process is shown here https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicle...he-uk/overview

One point to note is that the number plates are not 'license' (or even licence, as we correctly spell it in the UK) plates. They identify the vehicle and are no indication of whether it's correctly taxed and insured. Annual 'Road Tax' is payable and shown in the form of a disc which may be displayed on the windscreen; a valid insurance certificate is required to get the tax disc, but is independent thereof.

The MOT test referred to is required only for vehicles more than 3 years old, and is performed annually and recorded separately again.
U.K. Cars no longer have road tax discs, the change was about 2 years ago IIRC
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Old 06.04.2016, 08:05
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

Just to say the tax disc is no longer issued. The data base for car tax, "MoT" status (Now Department of the Environment), & insurance is on most traffic police cars.
The scanning device in the police cars reads the official number plates and informs the crew if the tax, MoT or insurance have expired. Then the police can stop the car and demand an explanation.

The Post Office will be able to help you if you are unsure about the formalities.

Follow the link Ace quoted ( https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicle...he-uk/overview ) and you should be fine.

More help on the German Forum, DiL, http://www.deutsche-in-london.net/forum/
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Old 06.04.2016, 08:22
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

As general insurance goes, the only compulsory insurance in the UK is car insurance, 3rd party. Anything else is optional. People normally get fully comp car insurance as its not much more than 3rd party, also house contents insurance, buildings insurance (if you own property) & travel insurance are worth getting. Personal liability insurance in the UK doesn't really exist, I'm sure you can get it, but it's not something people normally have.
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Old 06.04.2016, 11:45
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

Call the DVLA easiest option without 50 different suggestions on what to do.
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Old 06.04.2016, 12:29
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

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I believe you can keep your swiss plates for ever.
Only if you pay for Swiss insurance, and periodic Swiss inspections.

Tom
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Old 06.04.2016, 13:07
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

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I believe you can keep your swiss plates for ever.
When I registered my car in Geneva, I asked the lady about this and she said that if you leave your job in Switzerland (and therefore give up your residence permit) they normally allow 3 months after which your registration is no longer valid. Perhaps other cantons aren't so bothered, I don't know.

Having Swiss plates in the UK that point to a no-longer-existent registration probably wouldn't be a day-to-day problem unless you get into big trouble with the police (afaia they still don't bother tracing foreign plates for speeding fines), but it's always a risk the longer you spend in the country.

It's probably best to officially import the car when you move and get British plates for it, that way there's no chance of the Swiss authorities kicking up a fuss if you want to export it later with a long-expired registration. Just one question for the OP though: if you're moving to the UK on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, why not just sell your Swiss car and buy a new right-hand-drive one when you arrive?
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Old 06.04.2016, 13:16
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

How long have you moved to the uk for? If your not staying for long it may not be worth importing. You may just need to get insured to drive your car in the uk. But the DVLA or Postoffice should be able to help.
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Old 06.04.2016, 13:22
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

Isotherm didn't see Corrnetos reply. I agree, depending on the reason of keeping the Swiss car and length of stay - I'd just buy a right hand drive car in the uk much easier and potentially cheaper.
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Old 06.04.2016, 14:17
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

If you are driving a car from Switzerland on UK Roads, you will need insurance from Switzerland to cover it, as well as having paid the relevent Road Tax for Switzerland. Your MFK needs to be in date. MOT is what it is called for UK Cars.

To import it to UK it will need to be off-road during the process. Ensure you have relevant off road parking place.

To get UK insurance initially as you will not have a number plate, you quote the chassis number. In your application to DVLA you will need to pay the relevant RoadTax up front to them as well as their charges for the process. Then I believe you are allowed once to take it on the roads once to garage to get MOT.
Then after if everything successfully, the DVLA will send you a form to get a UK number plate and an updated MOT with your UK number plate shown. They will also send you a V5C that is like the grey ownership thing in Switzerland.

Note the Insurance on Left Hand drive cars is much higher, that is why many people do not import them to UK.

There are also adjustments that need to be made to left hand cars, like the direction of the lights and the position of the rear stop light. Extra expenses.

What driving licence to you have UK or Swiss?
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Old 06.04.2016, 14:23
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Re: License plate and insurance in England

I forgot say, have you checked the price of your Car in UK for right hand drive against what the price would get be in Switzerland for your left-hand drive?

Often cars are cheaper in UK, depending on make etc.
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