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Taking a UK-registered car to Poland


Smokeyone 17 | 62  
9 May 2008 /  #1
Maybe someone could give me a spot of advice on taking my uk reg car to poland.
I do not mean the driving - but can I just keep it there - uk plate and all - is there
a tax disc system in poland or can I let my uk tax disc run out..would it be okay to keep uk insurance and renew in poland with a polish mot. Perhaps someone has done this and knows the pitfalls....it is better to try and get a polish number plate.

Thanks

PS I have given up with my phone problems.....
clarabelle - | 9  
9 May 2008 /  #2
Hi there.

I have a british car here in Poland because when I first came here I wasn't sure how long I was going to stay so I didn't want to buy a Polish car. There aren't tax discs in Poland (road tax is included in the price of fuel) but if your car is registered in the UK you need a valid UK tax disc. Also if your car is registered in the UK you need a valid MOT certificate from the UK. You can't have a british MOT done abroad so you will have to take the car back to the UK once a year. Your biggest problem will be insurance. I have never found a british insurer that will insure my car abroad for more than 90 days. If they get a whiff that you are planning on leaving it there permanently they won't give you the insurance. You will need to take out Polish car insurance which may be problematic if the car is right hand drive. It's slightly easier to get insurance if you have a left hand drive car.

If the car is left hand drive already then apparently it isn't that difficult to register it in Poland. I am sure there is plenty of bureacracy but the standards in the tests are slightly lower than in the UK. I have heard that the cost is 1200-1500zł but don't quote me on that! It's only what I have heard and could be way off!

I think it is pretty much impossible to register a right hand drive car here. You would need to have it converted which would be really expensive. Honestly it is a lot simpler just to buy a car here.

You are required to carry all the documents (registration certificate, insurance, MOT, drivers license, passport) with you at all times when you are driving. I have never been stopped by the police but apparently it isn't uncommon. I am not sure how knowledgable the Polish police are about what foreigners should carry with them but I wouldn't take the risk. I have been stopped en route to Poland in Germany twice (both times they were stopping all cars on the stretch of motorway) and they checked all my documents thoroughly and seemed to know perfectly well what I should have.

Hope that is helpful! Good Luck!
OP Smokeyone 17 | 62  
9 May 2008 /  #3
Hi

It is very helpful because I was actually wondering if I could take the right hand drive car to Poland as the tax disc ran out and then close to a year later fly out with a new tax disc for the journey home but from what you have said that's a no no. Unless of course I just take a chance as you do not need a tax disc in Poland. As you say converting it to left hand drive would not make financial sense.

My idea was to leave the car at my flat for almost a year and then drive it back to the UK for mot etc etc....
Mister H 11 | 761  
9 May 2008 /  #4
There aren't tax discs in Poland (road tax is included in the price of fuel) ..........

Very sensible, I wish the British Government would do something similar.

I know the Polish don't make the rules, but it does annoy me to see so many Polish and other EU registered cars running around the place, without having to pay road tax.

Most of them are very smart looking Mercs, BMWs and chunky 4x4s, so the owners can't say they wouldn't be able to afford to register them and do it properly.
clarabelle - | 9  
9 May 2008 /  #5
I really don't think you could do that. Remember that the DVLA knows if you haven't renewed your tax disc and if you don't renew it you have to declare the car off road. I think you could probably get in quite a lot of trouble if the car was declared off road and you were caught. It's up to you but I really don't think it would be worth the worry.
espana 17 | 910  
9 May 2008 /  #6
Polish and other EU registered cars running around the place, without having to pay road tax.

not only that i have a friend from poland who pay the insurance in poland but lives in england
is not fair that for me
inkrakow  
9 May 2008 /  #7
I have never found a british insurer that will insure my car abroad for more than 90 days.

AXA offer European Insurance (i.e. out of the UK all year round) and you can arrange it through a specialist broker. It's not that much more expensive than a standard one. I can PM you the details of the company I used if you think it would be useful.
clarabelle - | 9  
9 May 2008 /  #8
AXA offer European Insurance (i.e. out of the UK all year round) and you can arrange it through a specialist broker.

Wow that would be great! My insurance is up for renewal in a month or so, so that would be really useful!
Mister H 11 | 761  
9 May 2008 /  #9
I really don't think you could do that. Remember that the DVLA knows if you haven't renewed your tax disc and if you don't renew it you have to declare the car off road. I think you could probably get in quite a lot of trouble if the car was declared off road and you were caught. It's up to you but I really don't think it would be worth the worry.

This applies to cars registered in the UK only. The DVLA has no records for cars registered elsewhere, so they do get away with not paying road tax etc.

not only that i have a friend from poland who pay the insurance in poland but lives in england is not fair that for me

I don't know how insurance works between countries, my main beef is with those who manage to dodge paying road tax by not registering their cars as being in the UK on a permanent basis.
clarabelle - | 9  
9 May 2008 /  #10
This applies to cars registered in the UK only. The DVLA has no records for cars registered elsewhere, so they do get away with not paying road tax etc.

Mister H, I wasn't responding to your post but to the previous one (by the original poster)...I forgot to put in a quote so sorry for being unclear. Reading it again I can see how you would think I was replying to you...but it would make me a real idiot!

Anyway I'm going to suggest that while there are a lot of cars on the UK roads for lengthy periods of time without being registered in the UK, a lot of the cars with foreign plates belong to holiday makers too.

I also think paying for road tax through fuel is a better idea. It would mean that those who use the roads most/ drive gas guzzlers pay their fair share. And of course it would save fools like me paying it twice over!

Rearding the insurance, unless you use a specialist broker, you will find that car insurance is only valid in other countries for limited periods of time. Usually 30-90 days. Espana, your friend's insurance is probably invalid.
OP Smokeyone 17 | 62  
9 May 2008 /  #11
I was not suggesting not paying road tax on a uk reg car in the uk - I was thinking was a uk road tax needed on a uk reg car in Poland. If you drove out to Poland with a tax disc about to expire (the car has a valid uk mot for a year) and then flew out almost a year later after having bought a new tax disc in the uk to drive the car back for it's mot.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
10 May 2008 /  #12
I have never found a british insurer that will insure my car abroad for more than 90 days

If you want more cover than just 3rd party only, then yes that's a problem.
But why not just get a 3rd party only policy from any insurer in the UK? Did you know that any policy bought in the EU must cover you to the minimum legally required level in any other EU country?

i.e. if you buy any policy in the UK then you are covered to 3rd party level in Poland, whether they know you are leaving the UK or not.

Clarabelle has pretty much covered everything in her post. I registered a UK motorbike in Poland and it cost 550 zloty, I would expect a car to cost a similar amount but as has been stated you can't register a RHD car here.

Regarding the tax, I had a UK van in Poland for over a year. The problem is that in the UK you either have to declare a SORN (statutory off road notice) to say your car is off the road or you have to buy your tax disc. If you do neither then you automatically get issued a fine.

The DVLA say the vehicle must be taxed even if abroad - being abroad doesn't count as off road. However no-one outside the UK cares if you are displaying your tax disc or not so I can't see how they could catch you if you did declare a SORN.

My tax disc expired whilst in Poland. I bought a new one online. I drove around for many months in Poland without any tax disc and never had any problems. Of course as soon as I came off the ferry I got pulled over by the Police in the UK. I explained that I had been abroad whilst it expired, my tax is paid and the disc is at home (in the UK). They were happy with that (they checked on their computer), although reminded me that the offence is "failing to display a valid tax disc", rather than not having tax.

Regarding Polish MOTs, as has been mentioned this won't apply to you because you will need a British one - but yes they are indeed somewhat less arduous than in the UK. Last year my wife asked her cousin to get an MOT for her. An hour later he simply turned up with the certificate (car had been in our garage the whole time). This year when my wife asked him, the cousin rang an hour later and said "this time they want to see the car". So I guess standards are rising....

Having said that the MOT for my bike this March lasted the whole of 10 seconds whilst they checked that it had 2 wheels and headlights....
inkrakow  
10 May 2008 /  #13
I was thinking was a uk road tax needed on a uk reg car in Poland. If you drove out to Poland with a tax disc about to expire (the car has a valid uk mot for a year) and then flew out almost a year later after having bought a new tax disc in the uk to drive the car back for it's mot.

I just checked my insurance certificate last night and it says that the insurance is only valid if I pay both my road tax and have a valid MOT.

Did you know that any policy bought in the EU must cover you to the minimum legally required level in any other EU country?

The insurers I spoke to said that's only if you're going away for holidays - not if the car is abroad for over 90 days in a year. Norwich Union I think were the only ones who said it applied to any period not exceeding 90 days, so I in theory could drive back for a day every 3 months or so. Too much hassle though when a European insurance didn't cost me much more and I only have to go back 1x a year.
clarabelle - | 9  
10 May 2008 /  #14
But why not just get a 3rd party only policy from any insurer in the UK?

Because it's still not valid if you have the car abroad permanently and besides...I have a nice car. I don't think I would feel comfortable with anything less than fully comp!
Mister H 11 | 761  
10 May 2008 /  #15
I agree that some cars would belong to people on holiday and that's fair enough, but I am seeing cars with foreign plates parked outside houses in residential areas that have been here at least a year.

That is something different again and the DVLA need a process in place to get these cars either registered or out of the country.

As we've both said, they should just get rid of road tax and raise the cash through petrol instead.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
10 May 2008 /  #16
Yes if you can get European cover without a problem then of course that's great. I am dubious about this 90 day thing. I will check it next week. My insurance company tried to fob me off with the same thing. When I pressed them about it they said that my fully comp cover is only valid for 90 days abroad but I would have 3rd party level regardless as per my understanding of EU law.

Because it's still not valid if you have the car abroad permanently

Yes but define permanently. The clock starts again each time you take the car out of the country. So if you are going back once a year you are effectively just taking 12 month holidays.

But if you want to have fully comp then I agree that doesn't work. This is why I sold my nice car back in the UK and bought a cheap van to move my stuff to Poland. But now I am in Poland permanently I bought a Polish car.

Can I ask though, is it really worth the hassle if you aren't planning to use the car in Poland anyway? Or do you need to drive a car across to move your stuff?

they should just get rid of road tax and raise the cash through petrol instead

they originally introduced road tax to raise money for working on the roads. It soon turned in to just another tax, only a fraction of this money goes on the roads now. Plus already 90% of the cost of petrol is tax, so it doesn't really matter how you cut it, petrol is expensive enough though anyway. Dropping road tax is never going to happen now that they have started to use it as a way of encouraging less polluting cars. Now that I've taken my 2 vehicles permanently out of the UK though that's one less hassle for me... :-)
Mister H 11 | 761  
10 May 2008 /  #17
they originally introduced road tax to raise money for working on the roads. It soon turned in to just another tax, only a fraction of this money goes on the roads now. Plus already 90% of the cost of petrol is tax, so it doesn't really matter how you cut it, petrol is expensive enough though anyway. Dropping road tax is never going to happen now that they have started to use it as a way of encouraging less polluting cars. Now that I've taken my 2 vehicles permanently out of the UK though that's one less hassle for me... :-)

I remember when it was called the "Road Fund Licence", so yes it was originally to help pay for the upkeep of the roads. I think it is now called "Vehicle Excise Duty" or similar. Whatever it's called, the roads are still bad.

I agree that it is is very unlikely to be scrapped, which is even more reason for ALL cars that are here permanently should pay it.

I would have thought that this tax hungry Government would have noticed this, but they never do as it would go against their "foreigners comes first" policy.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
11 May 2008 /  #18
Yeah I agree with you. But again the problem is how do you decide when a vehicle is here permanently or when the vehicle is visiting? The DVLA say permanently is when the vehicle is here for 12 months or more.

Given that in the UK we have no compulsory registration system such as zameldowanie in Poland or anmeldung in Germany it is hard to say if the vehicle's owner is living here or not.

They could look at the records of cars coming in on ferries (if they have them?) but I am sure most foreigners return home at least once a year, and as mentioned the clock starts again each time you come in to the UK.

This issue, and the documented issue with LHD lorries causing accidents on UK motorways I don't think will get solved any time soon as the EU becomes more integrated...
OP Smokeyone 17 | 62  
11 May 2008 /  #19
How I understand the train of thought so far is -
take the rhd uk reg car to Poland but unable to reg car as rhd and too expensive
to change over to lhd...
uk insurance might be okay but only third party...
still supposed to purchase uk tax disc - could let tax expire and fly out with new one for journey home and new uk mot...however if you prang the car in poland could be big insurance problem if no tax disc - sorn etc - with ins co asking to see

dics etc...

New idea..get you uk rhd car reg & ins some where else in europe/ no disc needed- France or Germany !....and then drive to Poland....

Would this plan work...........................
No need for tax disc
Mister H 11 | 761  
11 May 2008 /  #20
Hi Smokeyone

I hope you're getting the info you need one way or another and sorry for wandering from the point a little.

It's just that it does bug me rather a lot to see so many foreign registered cars (not just Polish by any means) running around and no real checks being made. It's the system that's at fault and I wrote to my MP to say just that and her reply made no reference to my concerns about foreign registered cars and road tax.

Yeah I agree with you. But again the problem is how do you decide when a vehicle is here permanently or when the vehicle is visiting? The DVLA say permanently is when the vehicle is here for 12 months or more.

When someone brings a car into the country, there should be some form filling done and checks carried out. Anyone without a return ticket would be assumed they were here for the longhaul and made to register their car with a British registration number. Further checks would then have to be made to make sure any return ticket was then used.

It's a paperwork nightmare that the UK Government and DVLA can't be bothered with.

They could look at the records of cars coming in on ferries (if they have them?) but I am sure most foreigners return home at least once a year, and as mentioned the clock starts again each time you come in to the UK.

They would also need something in place so that people didn't just go home for the weekend to avoid paying more for their cars.

Again, it's something the Government/DVLA just don't want to deal with.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
11 May 2008 /  #21
When someone brings a car into the country, there should be some form filling done and checks carried out

I understand your frustration, but that just isn't practical. Imagine if every country in Europe required you to fill out a form and have checks done each time you went across their border? I used to regularly drive between London and Germany in 8 hours non-stop. How long would that take to go through France, a bit of Holland and into Germany with what you are suggesting? It would be a nightmare. Imagine the negative impact that would have on trade and the cost it would add to trucking. Also imagine the sheer cost of paying for such a system and to have people manage it. That would come out of our taxes too remember.

Also imagine the impact on tourism if foreigners had to fill out forms and await permission just for a week's holiday driving around Devon... They'd be more likely to do a week in the south of spain.

The idea of being in the EU is about free trade and movement of people. I don't think it's that the government don't want to deal with this, but how can you realistically deal with this? This is one of the side-effects when one part of the EU has very high charges for something (e.g. UK car tax) and other parts don't (e.g. Poland)
Mister H 11 | 761  
11 May 2008 /  #22
Also imagine the impact on tourism if foreigners had to fill out forms and await permission just for a week's holiday driving around Devon... They'd be more likely to do a week in the south of spain.

I'm not referring to holidaymakers, I'm talking about people moving here to live or at least live here longer than a few months. People who would ordinarily buy a car here, but why should they when they can bring their own and avoid many of the costs the rest of us have to pay ?

The idea of being in the EU is about free trade and movement of people. I don't think it's that the government don't want to deal with this, but how can you realistically deal with this? This is one of the side-effects when one part of the EU has very high charges for something (e.g. UK car tax) and other parts don't (e.g. Poland)

That's just an argument against being in the EU before stuff like this was ironed out properly.

The whole expansion to the EU was too much too soon.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
11 May 2008 /  #23
I'm not referring to holidaymakers, I'm talking about people moving here to live or at least live here longer than a few months.

The point I am making is it's almost impossible for the authorities to know when you roll off the ferry whether you are here for a holiday or to work for 2 years. Your idea was to check everyone when they came in to the country which would hit everyone, tourists alike - and that just wouldn't work.

Yes there a lots of things that weren't ironed out before we joined the EU. Lots of things are still a mess. Regarding joining the EU and its expansion, that's a whole other thread....
Mister H 11 | 761  
11 May 2008 /  #24
The point I am making is it's almost impossible for the authorities to know when you roll off the ferry whether you are here for a holiday or to work for 2 years. Your idea was to check everyone when they came in to the country which would hit everyone, tourists alike - and that just wouldn't work.

Yes I take all you're saying onboard and I know it wouldn't be easy, but something has to be done. This is part of the reason the British feel so walked over at the moment. If I didn't need a car for work, I would sell the damn thing and not bother. I wasn't saying check everyone, I was saying checks should be made on those without a return ticket who are clearly not on holiday.

If someone is coming here to live, then they should expect paperwork.

Yes there a lots of things that weren't ironed out before we joined the EU. Lots of things are still a mess. Regarding joining the EU and its expansion, that's a whole other thread....

It is a huge mess and this apology for a Government (I'm ashamed to say I voted for them) don't want to do anything to clear it up.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
11 May 2008 /  #25
yes I agree with what you are saying, but I don't see how any such policy could be enforced. Even if 5 Poles in an old car turn up without a return ticket they could always say they are visiting friends and will be a last minute return ticket when they go back in a week or two.

Personally I got fed up with life in England, council tax and hoodies. Getting burgled was the last straw for us. Moved to Poland 18mths ago and haven't regretted it yet...
Mister H 11 | 761  
11 May 2008 /  #26
yes I agree with what you are saying, but I don't see how any such policy could be enforced. Even if 5 Poles in an old car turn up without a return ticket they could always say they are visiting friends and will be a last minute return ticket when they go back in a week or two.

All systems are open to abuse, but this inaction from the Government isn't doing anyone any favours as it just fuels resentment between different communities.

Personally I got fed up with life in England, council tax and hoodies. Getting burgled was the last straw for us. Moved to Poland 18mths ago and haven't regretted it yet...

I hope you don't regret it and can fully understand your reasons for shipping out. Sadly, I don't speak a 2nd language, so I wouldn't be of much use in another EU country or I would give it a go too.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
11 May 2008 /  #27
All systems are open to abuse, but this inaction from the Government isn't doing anyone any favours as it just fuels resentment between different communities

Yep agree with you.

I wouldn't be of much use in another EU country

Before I moved to Poland the only thing I could say in Polish was "my soup is very good". Turned out to be quite a handy phrase - they like their soup here.
OP Smokeyone 17 | 62  
12 May 2008 /  #28
Forget about cars, what about european lorries, no need for road tax and extra fuel tanks so they can avoid topping up with our overpriced uk fuel. That's why some truck companies have an office in europe now.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
13 May 2008 /  #29
Now I have had some more time have just found the law I was talking about - it's the EU Motor Insurance Law first directive:

"all motor insurance policies bought in Europe would include minimum requirements in all EU countries"

insureyourmotor.com/car-insurance-20/laws-21/21.htm

"...in the EU your car insurance policy will automatically provide, at no extra cost, the minimum cover (third party liability) required by law.."

europe.org/motorinsurance.html
inkrakow  
13 May 2008 /  #30
The same page also lists Poland as a non EU country, so I'm not sure I'd rely on this information...

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