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Old 22.07.2009, 16:26
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Re-import UK car back to UK

Here's the dilemma:

Brought 14 year old UK car over here 18 months ago.
Used weird insurance loophole and insured UK car for 12 months with Swiss company.
Exported car from UK.
Did not import car in Switzerland but bought Swiss car instead.
Got Swiss license and 'grey slip' for Swiss car.
Left UK plated car on private land.....now what?!

The issue is that the car is now in limbo. It is not taxed or insured in either the UK or Switzerland.

I've started the process of importing it (having spoken with helpful insurers and garages and also customs). However, I'm reluctant to spend so much money to import an old car (which really only has emotional value).

So, thinking it'll be 1500 - 2000CHF+ to import (between parts, expertise and duties) I want to look into taking it back to the UK, either on a trailer behind my Swiss car or in a container.

Does anyone have experience of this? How expensive would either of those options be?

The local garage offered me 'plaques de garage' (garage plates) to take the car to the nearest major town, from where he thinks it could be put on a truck and taken to the UK. Would I be able to use the 'plaques de garage' to drive all the way to Calais? At which point, assuming I went through the red channel, took all the paperwork and had booked MOT, service etc I could then drive it straight to get processed?

Many questions, I know! I realise similar cases have been discussed on here, just want to make sure I'm doing it right/know my options.

No one (garage/insurer/Swiss DVLA) seems able to give me a straight answer with regard to the expertise!
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Old 22.07.2009, 16:34
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

How did you "export the car from the UK"? Do you mean the log book has been stamped 'exported'. Or is it in fact still a UK vehicle without road tax, MOT and insurance??
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Old 22.07.2009, 16:40
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

There's no stamp but when I emailed the DVLA they told me that the vehicle was listed on their system as 'exported'.
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Old 22.07.2009, 16:44
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

When our UK imported car ran out of registration the motor registry office gave us temporary number plates. There was a charge of around CHF 40 per day or 3 days for around CHF 90. This included a 3rd party insurance charge. These plates and insurance were valid within all of Switzerland.
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Old 22.07.2009, 16:47
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

I've never properly imported the car Marie. I know it sounds slack but, on arrival, I really didn't have any idea of what to do. Also, I sort of imagined I would have taken it back to the UK sooner.
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Old 22.07.2009, 16:54
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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I've never properly imported the car Marie. I know it sounds slack but, on arrival, I really didn't have any idea of what to do. Also, I sort of imagined I would have taken it back to the UK sooner.
Did you drive it into Switzerland? Then you imported it. Our car was on Swedish export plates and we called the motor registry and said that we had to registration and needed to make repairs to import it.
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Old 22.07.2009, 16:57
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

Really? Why are they trying to sting me for import duties now then?

Customs say it's longer than the 18 month period that I could bring it in as a personal item.

Who would I call to find out? I'm in Vaud.
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Old 22.07.2009, 17:36
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

I can answer 1 of your questions.

You can not drive it to Calais on the Garage plates. I bought a car in Gemrany many years ago, and as I knew the car dealer, I should just send him the License plates back by post. I had to go to Denmark before i could register it in my name, and I was not allowed to cross the border, as these plates were only allowed on german roads, and I tried the opposite direction as well.

What you can do is, get garage plates in France, and swap the swiss with french garage plates at the border, and drive to Calais. Did that too with danish-german plates, and it does cause a few questions, but now Switzerland is in Schengen too, there probably will not be any control.

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Old 22.07.2009, 17:53
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

how much is the car worth in the uk (not a lot I'd guess for a 14 year old car?) why not just scrap it here? I scrapped a uk car here, cost me 150chf for the breakers to take it.
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Old 22.07.2009, 18:00
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

Does the car still have UK plates or none?
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Old 22.07.2009, 18:04
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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Does the car still have UK plates or none?
if the dvla think its been exported then it offically shouldn't have uk plates on, that registration could have already been re-allocated to another car.
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Old 25.07.2009, 00:30
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

Still has UK plates on. I'm guessing I should take them off. It's sitting on private land (the Police said it was ok to leave it there).

I should probably scrap it but there's loads of life left in it and it has sentimental value! 60,000 miles only. Great condition!
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Old 26.07.2009, 23:10
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

Any British registered vehicle that is outside the UK for more than 365 days will be automatically reclassified as Permanently Exported by the DVLA.

The vehicle's registration number will go back to DVLA's pool. If you had a cherished number, they may have already sold it to someone else. In any case, the British registration mark that your vehicle had, no longer belongs to it so you should remove the plates from the vehicle.

If you try to bring the vehicle back to the UK, even in a container, it will be treated as a fresh import. Be prepared to pay import taxes and VAT when customs have a look in the container.

Within six months of returning to the UK the vehicle will also need to pass a BIVA test unless you can provide the DVLA with a UK issued Certificate of Conformity. You may be lucky and get a year plate like the one it had, otherwise it may get a 'Q' plate for questionable history. Q plates usually devalue a vehicle.
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Old 26.07.2009, 23:13
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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I should probably scrap it but there's loads of life left in it and it has sentimental value! 60,000 miles only. Great condition!
Loads of perfectly good 10 year old cars have been scrapped in the UK as part of the scrappage bribe.
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Old 30.07.2009, 22:49
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

I'm going back to the uk in august would you like to sell the car so i can take it thereand use it, or is it too past it?
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Old 11.08.2009, 18:10
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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I'm going back to the uk in august would you like to sell the car so i can take it thereand use it, or is it too past it?

read the thread!! the car has no legal number plates, its not registered anywhere, so you wouldn't be able to insure it, let alone legally drive it anywhere.

But if your willing to drive passed all those anpr cameras at the ports in a car with no legal registration your a braver man then me!! lol
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Old 11.08.2009, 18:18
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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Any British registered vehicle that is outside the UK for more than 365 days will be automatically reclassified as Permanently Exported by the DVLA.
Is it really your case? Didn't you ever drive back?

We drove our car with UK plates for nearly two years (but travelled frequently back and forth), and then we bought a Swiss-registered car like you did, but before then we sold it in the UK, with no problems.
I think the difference between your case and ours is that probably your Swiss insurers "imported" the car (?), whereas, if I am not too much mistaken, we had European cover with British insurers.
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Old 11.08.2009, 18:21
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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how much is the car worth in the uk (not a lot I'd guess for a 14 year old car?) why not just scrap it here? I scrapped a uk car here, cost me 150chf for the breakers to take it.
As far as I can read in the thread, the car is already in the UK. To scrap it, you still need valid DVLA paperwork, which the OP doesn't have.

Surely someone from the DVLA should give him sound advice!
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Old 11.08.2009, 18:30
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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There's no stamp but when I emailed the DVLA they told me that the vehicle was listed on their system as 'exported'.
You must have told them that you exported it.
Too late now, but you should have SORN it in the UK and then insured it and drove it in Switzerland.

Perhaps I am being naughty but I am driving a UK registered and plated car in Switzerland. It has been in Switzerland for over two years now.

V55 Registered is in an ex-girlfriends name.
UK number plates
SORN statement regsitered with DVLA
UK licence with address in UK
UK passport with address in UK
Named driver on insurance policy with fully comprehensive cover anywhere in Europe.
VW European Recovery Assistance meaning if car can't be repaired in Switzerland will be transported back to UK.
My only snags are No UK Road Tax (can't buy without MOT). No MOT because car not physically in UK to have tested.
Car is in road worthy condition, had checked by local garage.

It is ideal because I get no hassle at Italian/Swiss Customs and don't have to worry about those Speed Cameras.

I was in contact with DVLA and you don't need the road tax on a car if you are booked on that day and on your way to an MOT centre.
I just need to book an MOT on the day I drive off the ferry in Dover.

I don't know what car it is, but unless it is something special, a 14 year old car is not worth anything much and certainly not worth the transport costs. I could understand if you were going to fill it up with goodies and drive to England for a holiday.
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Old 11.08.2009, 18:34
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Re: Re-import UK car back to UK

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You must have told them that you exported it.
Too late now, but you should have SORN it in the UK and then insured it and drove it in Switzerland.

Perhaps I am being naughty but I am driving a UK registered and plated car in Switzerland. It has been in Switzerland for over two years now.

V55 Registered is in an ex-girlfriends name.
UK number plates
SORN statement regsitered with DVLA
UK licence with address in UK
UK passport with address in UK
Named driver on insurance policy with fully comprehensive cover anywhere in Europe.
VW European Recovery Assistance meaning if car can't be repaired in Switzerland will be transported back to UK.
My only snags are No UK Road Tax (can't buy without MOT). No MOT because car not physically in UK to have tested.
Car is in road worthy condition, had checked by local garage.

It is ideal because I get no hassle at Italian/Swiss Customs and don't have to worry about those Speed Cameras.

I was in contact with DVLA and you don't need the road tax on a car if you are booked on that day and on your way to an MOT centre.
I just need to book an MOT on the day I drive off the ferry in Dover.

I don't know what car it is, but unless it is something special, a 14 year old car is not worth anything much and certainly not worth the transport costs. I could understand if you were going to fill it up with goodies and drive to England for a holiday.

you do realise your car is completely illegal, and if you crash, or even get stopped by the boys in blue and they check your in deep deep shit?

Your not insured, to be insured in the uk you need valid tax and mot as well as not lying to the insurance company!!

I'll just say it again, if you have a crash YOU ARE NOT INSURED! god help other road users with you around!!!
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