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How long before a newly arrived Pole can buy something on credit ?


spiritus 68 | 666  
28 Sep 2008 /  #1
A friend of mine has asked me this question.

He will be starting permanent work in a few weeks here in the UK and wants to get a cheap car ASAP.

How long would he have to wait before he can take out HP ? Is renting a car a possibility ?
Mister H 11 | 761  
28 Sep 2008 /  #2
Does he want a credit card or a loan ? How secure is his job ?

With credit the way it is generally at the moment, I would say that he needs to wait a while before taking out HP, loans or credit cards. He doesn't have a credit rating in this country, so he will be seen as a high risk (not trying to offend you or him, but that's what he will be seen as), so he will be best off trying to find a sub-prime lender IF he really wants to be doing this. Most banks off a sub-prime credit card to get people started such as Vanquis, Aqua and Monument Visa, but he probably couldn't use a credit card to buy a cheap car unless it was from a dealer who takes plastic.

The higher the risk he is regarded as, the more a bank will charge in APR. He could be looking at as much as 35-40%.

How much does he need ? If you can lend him enough to get him a car, that would be the better bet as leasing a car would be expensive and I reckon a loan or a credit card is dangerous so early on unless his job pays enough to clear the debt in two or three months.

Personally I would stay well clear of anything like a credit card or loan for someone in your friend's position.

Hope this helps.
Liza 3 | 111  
28 Sep 2008 /  #3
Generally you need six months employment and a steady history before anyone will give you a loan or credit card. My suggestion is that he finds a house and stays there (e.g. not move flats every six weeks), get on the electoral roll with the local council, and make sure his pay is direct credited into a bank account on a regular basis, and always keep it in credit (no unauthorised overdrafts). After 5/6 months, his bank should be feeling a little warm and fuzzy towards him, and may consider a loan, depending on the credit crunch.

Otherwise, as Mr H has said, he's going to end up with APR of 40%, and that's deadly expensive.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
28 Sep 2008 /  #4
He will be starting permanent work in a few weeks here in the UK and wants to get a cheap car ASAP.

He doesn't have to go to a bank, just try at car dealers - they offer credits as well.
Mister H 11 | 761  
28 Sep 2008 /  #5
I think that will come with too big a sting in the tail due to his lack of credit history.

As Liza said, get a salary funded bank account and a place to stay that is permanent, don't bounce any cheques on the bank and register to vote - my local council do a "rolling registration" which means you can register at any point during the year, rather than wait for the form that comes in the post around August/September time.

If this chap needs a car as urgently as it seems, then he should have thought about how he would get one before deciding to come here.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
28 Sep 2008 /  #6
Yeah, exactly. Planning ahead. If he is lucky, he will find assistance but many are just too busy to bother these days.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
28 Sep 2008 /  #7
Anyway, tell him to pick up Autotrader (for free) at any petrol station and I'm sure he'll be able to find some dirt cheap corsa or micra.

You must also know that insurance companies here are very likely to rob you blind if you don't have a British driving licence (no matter how long have you had your national licence) and/or no-claim account. Therefore shopping around is essential (internet is full of offers though). Also he may have trouble with insuring car that is over 15 years old.
Mister H 11 | 761  
28 Sep 2008 /  #8
Anyway, tell him to pick up Autotrader (for free) at any petrol station and I'm sure he'll be able to find some dirt cheap corsa or micra.

Just make sure he takes someone with him who knows about cars (if he doesn't himself) as it's easy to get ripped off buying a car from the small-ads.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
28 Sep 2008 /  #9
Yeah, generally buying cars in the UK is not much different than doing it in Poland.
OP spiritus 68 | 666  
29 Sep 2008 /  #10
You must also know that insurance companies here are very likely to rob you blind if you don't have a British driving licence (no matter how long have you had your national licence

Really ?? So regardless if this guy has been driving in Poland for 20 yrs they would still sting him on insurance ?
benszymanski 8 | 465  
29 Sep 2008 /  #11
Yes. Even though under the EU insurance harmonisation rules they are not supposed to penalise you if you have an EU licence and not a UK one.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893  
29 Sep 2008 /  #12
I had no idea about that. How odd, you would think that they'd be just happy that these people got insurance, rather than penalising them for doing the right thing.

Equity Red Star are a very good insurance company.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
29 Sep 2008 /  #13
Equity Red Star are a very good insurance company.

Hmmm, next year when I'm renewing my premium I'll ask you for some tips :)
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
29 Sep 2008 /  #14
You must also know that insurance companies here are very likely to rob you blind if you don't have a British driving licence (no matter how long have you had your national licence) and/or no-claim account.

Its true. My partner has a clean licence and 20 years no claims in Poland, but the no claims dont seem to count in the UK. They say you can get evidence from your insurer in Poland, but its overly complicated and doesnt really work. So when he bought a car in the UK the insurance quotes were really high.. the cheapest we found was Direct Line. After 1-2 years no claims in the UK it is considerably cheaper. Also if you bring a Polish car over here it is ridicously expensive to register it in the UK (which you need to do after 6 months), so not worth it unless the car is a pretty nice one.

I would advise the guy to save up the cash and buy a cheap car to start with. He wont get credit for a good while anyway especially in the current credit crunch climate. In terms of renting, many companies will ask for a credit card in the drivers name, so this could be a stumbling block.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
29 Sep 2008 /  #15
you can get evidence from your insurer in Poland, but its overly complicated and doesnt really work

I did it the other way around as I moved from the UK to Poland. I asked for proof of my No Claims Discount and was going to send it in to my Polish insurer who had asked for it. In the end I didn't bother because there was some confusion about whether they needed it translated into Polish or not and car insurance is so cheap in Poland (I am paying £60 for a year 3rd party only) I just didn't bother.
Mister H 11 | 761  
29 Sep 2008 /  #16
Also if you bring a Polish car over here it is ridicously expensive to register it in the UK (which you need to do after 6 months), so not worth it unless the car is a pretty nice one.

I'm not sure if many do that to be honest as the onus is on the driver to tell the DVLA that the car has been here longer than six months. No records of the cars that come in and out of the country are kept, so it's very hard to proove how long a car has been here.
Liza 3 | 111  
29 Sep 2008 /  #17
Yes. Even though under the EU insurance harmonisation rules they are not supposed to penalise you if you have an EU licence and not a UK one.

They do sting you... I've had a clean driving licence for 15 years, and even though I had proof of this from back home, and had a document from my home insurance company showing ten years no claims (the total length I had been with the same company), I still got screwed - even though it was Norwich here and back home! Converting to the UK licence didn't help...

As a suggestion, he could try joining a car share club if he only wants it for occasional use? I'm with Zip Car which is brilliant, as I live in London, and don't really need to drive often.
dnz 17 | 710  
29 Sep 2008 /  #18
You can get a decent car for under a grand in the UK, A 96-97 ish jag xj6 or perhaps a 3 series BMW or passat, Buying cars on credit is ridiculous, I bought an alfa 156 on credit when I was 18, It lasted 2 years before the engine and electrics decided to stop working and the warranty had run out and I ended up paying a fortune for it. If your friend is going to the UK no matter what his trade is he should be earning at least £1500 per month,

I picked up the car I brought to poland bmw325i with 80k miles on the clock for £500 and did 40k trouble free until some drunken idiot drove into the back of it at the traffic lights, Try autotrader.co.uk and as for insurance just call around, try confused.com or insuresupermarket.com. Fully comprehensive insurance is often cheaper than TPFT for some reason (well it has been for me), you can get a fairly respectable and reliable car on the road for less than 1k,
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
30 Sep 2008 /  #19
I'm not sure if many do that to be honest as the onus is on the driver to tell the DVLA that the car has been here longer than six months. No records of the cars that come in and out of the country are kept, so it's very hard to proove how long a car has been here.

I dont know about that, my boyfriend got a letter and calls and a notice posted on his windscreen a few weeks before the 6 months was up, so somehow they knew. Cos if its taxed in Poland you dont have a tax disc on the window, so its obvious. Then if you try and tax it here, they register it.

You can get a decent car for under a grand in the UK

I wouldnt agree with that, but depends on what you call decent and if you want to drive to and from Poland in it, it might not be too reliable unless you are lucky.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
30 Sep 2008 /  #20
so somehow they knew

probably your neighbours rang up the DVLA or council to complain. I would be interested to know what happens if you ignore these letters etc.. because I don't see how they can prove how long the car has been in the UK.

taxed in Poland

but you don't have car tax in Poland. You guys only display the registration sticker here. Plus why would you pay UK car tax on a Polish registered vehicle? Not sure I have understood what you mean...?
dnz 17 | 710  
30 Sep 2008 /  #21
I wouldnt agree with that, but depends on what you call decent and if you want to drive to and from Poland in it, it might not be too reliable unless you are lucky.

When I first came here my £500 BMW managed the Poland to UK trip twice a month for around 7 months with no problems whatsoever, If you buy something sensible BMW e36 or a bland japanese car you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever, Obviously something french or italian is out of the question but an Oldish (1996 - 2000) bmw or mercedes will go on forever.
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
1 Oct 2008 /  #22
but you don't have car tax in Poland. You guys only display the registration sticker here. Plus why would you pay UK car tax on a Polish registered vehicle? Not sure I have understood what you mean...?

that is what I meant, that because you have no tax disc displayed, people will assume you have no tax and report you, then you have to decide whether to register the car in the UK and therefore have to buy UK road tax. In our case we decided it was too costly so took the car back to Poland and bought a new one over here.
Mister H 11 | 761  
1 Oct 2008 /  #23
I dont know about that, my boyfriend got a letter and calls and a notice posted on his windscreen a few weeks before the 6 months was up, so somehow they knew. Cos if its taxed in Poland you dont have a tax disc on the window, so its obvious. Then if you try and tax it here, they register it.

Your boyfriend was shopped by someone (neighbours probably) as there is no real system in place to monitor foreign registered cars and it is purely down to someone telling the local DVLA office that a car has been around for ages and for them to look into it.

I'm not suggesting that your boyfriend was trying to avoid registering his car, but at the same time I don't blame whoever made the call for doing so.

probably your neighbours rang up the DVLA or council to complain. I would be interested to know what happens if you ignore these letters etc.. because I don't see how they can prove how long the car has been in the UK.

Personally I don't see it as a "complaint". Either buy a UK registered car if you intend living here for a long time or register a Polish car with a UK registration number and pay what the rest of us have to pay.

The DVLA would go by the date that they were informed about the car being here. Six months after that they would be able to take action, unless it can be proved that the car had been out of the country for a long period, which might re-set the six months back to zero.
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
2 Oct 2008 /  #24
Your boyfriend was shopped by someone (neighbours probably)

I think you are right, theres never enough parking in the street so it was most likely one of the neighbours. The irony is that the car we have now is twice as big so takes up more parking space. And no, we werent trying to avoid paying, it was still within the 6 month period and we always intended to register it.. unlike some of you dodgy folk on here.. Right, must go buy my TV licence!

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