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road tax in France/spain/portugal


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Yep, and the MoT can only be carried out in UK, as the vehicle is UK registered.


Don't fall into the trap some have, and get a Spanish/French test carried out on a UK reg vehicle, because it will be invalid, so is likely also to invalidate your insurance.

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I would firstly ask “what is the reason you are asking such a question” ?

To have a UK vehicle legal on the road it must have a valid insurance and Mot (if required) before you can Tax it.

If your Tax runs out, your insurance will be invalid until is tax’d

If you intend to drive either in UK or abroad without car tax, please publish your route on this forum for all to see. We can give you a wide berth as we would not like to have a mishap with an uninsured vehicle.

If it’s a case your Tax runs out whilst abroad, provided you have a valid insurance & mot (if required) you can tax the vehicle on-line. You can then make arrangements with a friend to have your new tax disc forwarded to you. But I believe come October we won’t be issued with Tax Disc’s as all info will be held on DVLA’s computer for the police to check on.


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George Collings - 2014-07-05 9:49 PM




Could you quote the source for saying that insurance is dependent on road tax.

It might well be that an insurance company stipulates a vehice must have Mot for safety reasons but Tax is tax and unrelated to safety.


The argument that a vehicle not being 'taxed' would invalidate its insurance was discussed in this earlier thread:




To the best of my knowledge there is absolutely no evidence to support the argument.

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.....absence of evidence doesn't necessarily constitute evidence of absence, Derek.


Motorhome insurance is a contract which will contain conditions that may/will invalidate the policy.


It makes sense to read the small print and ensure you conform.


I most certainly have seen conditions in policies over the years which require a vehicle to be both MOT'd and taxed as a condition of insurance, and, as an example, the current Comfort Motorhome policy contains the following wording:


The motor caravan must at all times have a valid MOT certificate (unless not required due to age of the vehicle) and current UK road fund licence & tax disc.


Admittedly this condition is under the heading "long term touring", which is defined as less than full-timing, but the use of the 'van for at least 8 months of the year (in one or more trips).


I suspect the wording is going to have to change shortly when physical tax discs are no longer issued. ;-)

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Thanks for all your replies,The reason I asked because yesterday 2 portugal so called wild campers tried to tell me that they do not need british road tax abroad and when they leave the uk for there long winter visits abroad they send there tax discs in to DVLA for refunds, I have been wintering in Spain and Portugal for over 30 years and always had Tax Insurance and M.O.T if required.p.s they do not drive to the docks without the Discs but post from abroad. Thanks Fesspark.
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I suspect that the reason for Comfort require the vehicle to be taxed for "Long term touring" ( what a wonderfully exact phrase) is so that in the event of breakdown etc abroad its use on the road while in the custody of others is not compromised.


The original 1930 ish legislation making third party insurance compulsory sets a limit on the exclusions that insurance companies can make. Its almost 40 years since I learnt about such topics and researching old legislation is difficult outside of the legal profession. However a couple I can remember is that exclusions involving the time of day or where one can drive on a highway are not allowed.

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Based on my own experiences, there are quite a lot of funny people doing quite a lot of funny things abroad. This seems to apply particulatly to Spain and Portugal, where enforcement on such matters appears lax and somewhat haphazard. This laxity, and the haphazard nature of enforcement, seems to be a major appeal of these countries to these folk. "The authorities turn a blind eye", or "aren't bothered", seems a recurrent theme. I suspect that if they have the misfortune to be involved in a reportable accident they will find the legality of their vehicle being investigated and, once the facts are revealed, they will discover their mistake. The blind eye is then liable to become all seeing, and the authorities to begin to bother strenuously. UK law is complex enough. Foreign legal practise, conducted in a foreign language, would leave the average Brit at a considerable disadvantage, especially in the absence of legal/financial backing from a UK insurer.


Keeping UK registered vehicles outside the UK, and getting foreign "MoT" tests, and even having foreign issued insurances, seem not uncommon. SORNing while abroad, is another not uncommon practise. Most who do these things have their own opinions as to how the law should operate in their case, and reject any suggestion that this may be incorrect. "I will it, so it must be", if you like. They all know, deep down, that they are taking risks (though I'm not sure they have fully evaluated the nature of those risks), but seem to have persuaded themselves that absence of evidence is, indeed, evidence of absence, to borrow Robin's above phrase. Silly, but as the proverb goes, "You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". Funny old lot, aren't we? :-)

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fesspark - 2014-07-05 5:05 PM


Is it required to have british road tax on your m,home when you are in european countries ? Fesspark.



Taking a vehicle out of the UK https://www.gov.uk/taking-vehicles-out-of-uk/for-less-than-12-months


For less than 12 months


If you’re taking your vehicle abroad for less than 12 months (also known as temporary export) you don’t need any special documentation.


But a UK-registered vehicle exported temporarily remains subject to UK law. That means that you need to make sure it is taxed in the UK while it’s abroad.


To do this it’ll need a current MOT certificate and insurance.


You’ll also need to make sure you meet any international or national conditions for licensing and taxation.


Bringing your vehicle back untaxed


If you bring your vehicle back to the UK untaxed you can’t drive it back into the UK - it’ll have to be transported and a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) must be made straight away.



So yes you need Tax, MOT and insurance current at all times while abroad.


You will have to arrange a transport to an MOT station if you bring a vehicle back without MOT



For 12 months or more


If you’re taking a UK-registered vehicle out of the country for 12 months or more (also known as permanent export) you need to:


1.Tell DVLA by filling in the V5C/4 ‘notification of permanent export’ section of your V5C registration certificate (logbook).


2.Send it to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BD.


3.Keep the rest of your V5C registration certificate - you might need this to register your vehicle abroad.





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Presumably your own insurance policy docment will tell you whether your Insurer regards taxing the vehicle as a condition of cover. Policies may vary. Most require a valid licence to drive the vehicle these days which could catch some out, thinking of vehicle weight limits and trailing limits.


Likewise whether an expired MOT while you are abroad will allow them to repudiate a claim. Insurance companies are not slow to incorporate reasons to repudiate claims, so some might already do so.


Clearly you are unlikely to be prosecuted for being untaxed or without MOT unless this is discovered while police are investigating an accident .


Insurers cannot however repudiate the third party cover element (the so called Road Traffic Act minimum cover) of a policy while the vehicle is in UK, nor limit it in any way - so for example third party cover applies if you take your MH off road. I don;t know whether this also applies to the minimum EU covr which insurers have to include these days, perhaps it does.


If you are returning to UK with an expired MOT it would make sense to arrange an MOT appointment in advance for your day of arrival somewhere reasonable close to the port of arrival, and you would then be legal for the journey from the port to the MOT Test Station. You would also be legal for this journey if your tax has expired. And for your journey home if the vehicle fails the test. If you pass the MOT you will be able to tax the vehicle on line straight away.


Same applies if you are returning without tax during the month before your MOT runs out.


I'm not advocating driving without tax or MOT while abroad of course but apart from checking your insurance policy in case there are relevant exclusion provisions while you are abroad, I don't think this is anything to get too anal about.

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