Returning car from foreign country help needed

Associate
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11 Jan 2012
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Hi everyone I've got a real dilemma on my hands and need some suggestions as never been in this position before. Please bare with me.....


My in laws retired and settled in turkey. My Father in law drove his car across Europe to get there. The car is only allowed to be in the country for maximum 12 months due to it being a 'foreign' car. The car has to be out of the country by 24th April otherwise it is confiscated and becomes property of turkey. I have tried to extend its stay but it has been refused.

In the last couple of weeks he has fallen very ill. He has had a series of mild strokes and is currently under observations in hospital whilst they try to stabilise him. He is clearly unfit to drive the car himself and will be unable to do so for the foreseeable future.*

I am in turkey at present and have arranged with a lawyer to transfer all the import/export documents into my name so that I can drive the car home prior to the 24th April. This should be completed today.*

The car shall be covered with Turkish insurance for all of Europe.*

My next concern is the return trip home. Not only all the traffic regulations in each country, in particular France, but also my return into England. The car no longer has any road tax or mot as it isn't a requirement or relevant in turkey. *What should I do?

My thought was to book the car into mot station upon entry into England so that I'm covered in that respect and just chance road tax issue until I have a mot certificate. I think the car is sorn though? Does this make a difference?*

The car shall be stored up north. Is it reasonable to book the car into a garage in that area or should I book it in somewhere close to Dover if that is the route I choose to return?

*

Thanks for reading and for any suggestions you may have.*
 
Man of Honour
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Yeah as far as the MOT is concerned aslong as you book it in for somewhere near the entry point and the car was originally registered in the UK your fine on that aspect.

I would contact the DVLA in this case as they are the best able to advise you and maybe able to sort out tax and so on aslong as you have it booked in for an MOT on return.

EDIT: To quote from the DVLA:

MOT or insurance has expired

If you intend to renew your vehicle tax you should do so before your current tax disc expires. However, this isn’t always possible if you are waiting for insurance or getting an MOT for your vehicle.

You’ll be committing an offence if you use or keep your vehicle on the public road without a current tax disc. If you can’t get a tax disc, you must remove your vehicle off the road.

You’ll have 14 days to get a tax disc or make a SORN, while your vehicle is off the road.
Driving an untaxed vehicle to an MOT test

You can drive your vehicle to and from a pre-arranged test at an MOT test station as long as you have adequate insurance cover.

This also applies to vehicles being driven to and from a pre-arranged test at:

* a Vehicle Inspection Check (VIC) test station
* an approved weight testing station and reduced pollution test station

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/HowToTaxYourVehicle/DG_4022052
 
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Associate
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Get it to calais and have someone come over with a trailer, might save you alot of hassel, because if the car is sorned and out of the country it is meant to be scrapped/exported.
 
Associate
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Thanks for the replies. Im returning from turkey tomorrow and flying back again in a couple of weeks so I'll see what DVLA advise in the meantime.

Sorn means exported or scrapped? I just thought it related to cars no longer being used on the road?:confused:
 
Man of Honour
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You will probably find its not been legal in Turkey on uk plates as its not currently road legal in its country of registration.
 
Man of Honour
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Thanks for the replies. Im returning from turkey tomorrow and flying back again in a couple of weeks so I'll see what DVLA advise in the meantime.

Sorn means exported or scrapped? I just thought it related to cars no longer being used on the road?:confused:

Think hes means if you've SORN'd it and taken it out of the country then the car should either have been exported to another country (in which case you'd have to re-import it) or it was taken out the country for breaking down/parts/scrapped.

Does sound like the simplest way to sort it out if its SORN'd would be if possible to bring it back on a trailer and then go thorugh getting it back on the road once its back to where you live.
 
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[TW]Fox;21623598 said:
You will probably find its not been legal in Turkey on uk plates as its not currently road legal in its country of registration.

AFAIK its a bit of a grey area as Turkey don't give a **** about UK tax/mot aslong as it has insurance - thats not to say it won't end badly if they do look into it. (Obviously once the 12 months are up they will give a ****)
 
Soldato
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Have you looked into getting it shipped in a container?

Or is there not a process you can go through to register the car in Turkey?

Lastly what is the car and how old is it? Have you made sure it's actually worth the bother.
 
Associate
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Hi sorry about delay in reply just trying to deal with this whilst dealing with father in law condition. He is being transported to Istanbul via air ambulance as he has deteriorated.

Turkish police do not bother with foreign cars other than to confiscate if paperwork isn't upto date.

The car is a Toyota avensis estate 2005 90k on clock. 1.8 l

Not had chance to look into having it shipped over but will look into it. I imagine the costs will outweigh the value of the car.

Will look into trailer costs too.

Fox, you mentioned car needs to be road legal from provinance to be legal elsewhere? I take it I'll be running gauntlet if I choose to drive across Europe in each country then?

Thanks for all your help so far. Im hoping to get the car back as I've promised the old man I'll 'sort it'. I understand why those of you enquired the economics of it all but trying to explain to the mother in law that it can be confiscated at this time is a bit of a no go!
 
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Man of Honour
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It looks like a really hard subject to get concrete information about. From the UK perspective:

direct.gov said:
If a UK registered vehicle is taken abroad temporarily, it remains subject to UK law. This means that you as the keeper, must by law make sure that the vehicle stays taxed while it’s overseas. Providing the vehicle has a current MOT certificate and insurance, you’ll be able to tax the vehicle.

I'm pretty sure I've always read that in order for foreign registered car to be legal, it must be legal in its home country. I can find nothing to support this and cannot imagine how a French police officer would even be able to find out if the car had MOT.

I'm not going to recommend you drive it anyway but in a hypothetical situation I'm sure many people might do something like book an MOT in the UK and drive the car across Europe, into the UK and then to the MOT centre. It is legal to drive a car with no tax and no MOT to a prebook MOT test in the UK and unless its a complete nail I don't really know how a foreign police officer would know what an MOT even was.
 
Associate
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Turkey do not allow registration of imported cars. You need to buy their cars apparently. They allow 6 months Initially and a further 6 months on application. After that it must go.
 
Associate
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[TW]Fox;21625829 said:
It looks like a really hard subject to get concrete information about. From the UK perspective:



I'm pretty sure I've always read that in order for foreign registered car to be legal, it must be legal in its home country. I can find nothing to support this and cannot imagine how a French police officer would even be able to find out if the car had MOT.

I'm not going to recommend you drive it anyway but in a hypothetical situation I'm sure many people might do something like book an MOT in the UK and drive the car across Europe, into the UK and then to the MOT centre. It is legal to drive a car with no tax and no MOT to a prebook MOT test in the UK and unless its a complete nail I don't really know how a foreign police officer would know what an MOT even was.

Well that pretty much settles it. My fear is getting into England. I can book the mot but I'm then at risk of the road tax/sworn issues. Can they will they impound the vehicle for no road tax?

The trailer option at England seems to be the best option so far.
 
Man of Honour
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Well that pretty much settles it. My fear is getting into England. I can book the mot but I'm then at risk of the road tax/sworn issues. Can they will they impound the vehicle for no road tax?

You can legally drive a car that is declared SORN to a prebooked MOT or place of repair for the purposes of obtaining an MOT.
 
Man of Honour
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If at all possible this is defintely the least likely to cause problems option if you can get someone to meet you with a trailer.

It's also loads more difficult than you think it is because almost no car is legally able to tow a trailer with a Toyota Avensis on the back.
 
Associate
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Thank you. Once i discover the success of the operation I shall pick this part of the mess back up again and try to source a mate and a trailer!
 

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Soldato
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[TW]Fox;21626071 said:
It's also loads more difficult than you think it is because almost no car is legally able to tow a trailer with a Toyota Avensis on the back.

its hardly the heaviest of cars tbh circa 1400-1430kg , I would imagine anything a bit on the larger side ie 4x4 ish would be fine towing this on the appropriate trailer, even something like a 5 series or a Rav4 is allowed to tow 2000kg whereas most proper 4x4s are around 3500kg bear in mind whoevers towing will need a B+E licence or to have past their test circa pre 95
 
Man of Honour
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Because a trailer and an Avensis will weigh more than most typical cars maximum towing weight.
 
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