Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've owned an apartment in Italy for 6 years and regularly visit but I don't live there full time. Tried to buy a second hand car last year and hit the 'non-resident' wall so am looking for solutions. Having explored several options and read many threads it seems every choice brings its own complications. So I welcome any sound advice from fellow Forum members who have jumped through this hoop before me.

Option 1: I can buy a LHD in the UK, drive it to Italy, Stuart Collins will provide 3rd Party cover for 365 days a year on an annual basis so no issues with the insurance. It's the MOT that concerns me, although SC's policy provides cover for vehicles with no MOT I'm worried what happens if i get stooped by the Carabinieri to check documents. I'd rather not drive back to UK every year for an MOT certificate and I don't think I can register the car for Italian plates after a year unless I'm resident, is that correct? So I think Option 1 leads me down a cul-de-sac where I have to risk that the cops in the small town where I have my place are satisfied with driving license and insurance docs only. Great if they do.


Option 2: I can buy a LHD in the UK with Italian registered plates and drive it to Italy. This means I own an Italian 2nd hand car in Italy which sounds like a good way around the problem of 'residence'. The issue here is no UK insurer will insure an Italian registered car. So my question here is; do I need resident certificate to get 3rd party insurance cover in Italy? Is Italian insurance ridiculously expensive or more in line with UK nowadays? Any other tips on going down this route?

Cheers, Nathan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I've owned an apartment in Italy for 6 years and regularly visit but I don't live there full time. Tried to buy a second hand car last year and hit the 'non-resident' wall so am looking for solutions. Having explored several options and read many threads it seems every choice brings its own complications. So I welcome any sound advice from fellow Forum members who have jumped through this hoop before me.

Option 1: I can buy a LHD in the UK, drive it to Italy, Stuart Collins will provide 3rd Party cover for 365 days a year on an annual basis so no issues with the insurance. It's the MOT that concerns me, although SC's policy provides cover for vehicles with no MOT I'm worried what happens if i get stooped by the Carabinieri to check documents. I'd rather not drive back to UK every year for an MOT certificate and I don't think I can register the car for Italian plates after a year unless I'm resident, is that correct? So I think Option 1 leads me down a cul-de-sac where I have to risk that the cops in the small town where I have my place are satisfied with driving license and insurance docs only. Great if they do.


Option 2: I can buy a LHD in the UK with Italian registered plates and drive it to Italy. This means I own an Italian 2nd hand car in Italy which sounds like a good way around the problem of 'residence'. The issue here is no UK insurer will insure an Italian registered car. So my question here is; do I need resident certificate to get 3rd party insurance cover in Italy? Is Italian insurance ridiculously expensive or more in line with UK nowadays? Any other tips on going down this route?

Cheers, Nathan
Hi Nathan I hope somebody replies to this thread it will be interesting to see what or if there are any other options, I'm about to buy a Italian registred car as I have residencey but feel reluctant in doing so as the car prices are ridiculas along with the insurance ,it anoyed me that much I thought i'd buy one from the UK and bring it over but I know standard insurance company's will only insure it for 3 months outside the UK then it got me thinking how would they know I guess you would have to inform them if you took it out of the UK? I didn't know about stuart collins so they will insure a right hand drive uk car for 12 months outside of the UK ? & the only problem is the mot once 12 months is up you'd have to take it back to the UK for that I wonder how the car road tax would work then would that cause any problems saying that I don't think all Italian people pay that here anyway .. Sara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Would it not be the best idea to get residency in Italy? The costs are minimal and you don't have to give up anything in the UK - and then everything is legal? Yes, the insurance is expensive, but as far as I'm aware there isn't any road tax, and the equivalent of an MOT is every 2 years. The cost of driving a car from the UK would not be cheap. I've been here for two years, but had a car for years before that - in the beginning a friend here offered to register and insure it in their name and I used to give them the money when the insurance was due. There were no problems whatsover with the police when I was stopped, which is often here. However I do find that the police aren't really interested in me once I show them my UK driving licence, and even now that the car is in my name I tend to show them the UK driving licence rather than my Italian ID card as I know they will wave me on quicker!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i need a car in Italy

Hi,

Stuart Collins is an insurer based in Swansea who provide cover for UK registered vehicles, RHD or LHD, kept abroad (EU only) on a 'permanent' basis. By all accounts they are considerably cheaper than insuring with an Italian company. When the MOT expires on your UK registered vehicle it does not invalidate the insurance policy and you are entitled to renew the policy annually without having an MOT in force. A vehicle should have a certificate of road worthiness to be fully legal but this can only be issued in the country where the vehicle is registered, hence many expats drive their car back to UK each year to have this done. Some folks don't bother to renew their MOT but one has to have faith in the carabinieri not wanting the hassle of checking UK documents in a language they don't possibly understand. If the police insist you produce the MOT and you don't have one in force I think they can impound the vehicle, so...it's a risk. But like Twinkle says you will probably get away with it and be waved on.

BTW - you can't get a 'revisione' (Italian MOT) done on a UK registered car, only Italian.

My place is in Sardinia so the option of driving back to UK is expensive because the boat crossing is 11hrs overnight and €250 each way for a car and a cabin. So I looked into applying for Certificate of Residence so I could buy a car there but it's not straightforward. You need to be there full time to get that through because the Police come round your house to validate that you live there and that can happen at anytime over a 6 month period. So i didn't feel confident to proceed with that.

Solution - I can buy a LHD Italian registered car in the UK, there are several on Autotrader, to sidestep the problem of not having "residency' with regard to owning one. If the vehicle is registered in Italy one should be able to get the 'revisione' (MOT) done every 2 years. Just need to know if I can get insurance cover at an affordable price with an Italian insurer.

Whilst writing this I've found a UK company online called ITALSURE that can offer a policy to cover a foreign registered car.

Will explore that option and report back.

Nathan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Thanks for the Stuart Collins info... I've been struggling for a solution to long term car hire in Italy for ages!! Have emailed for a quote. Fingers crossed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thanks for the Stuart Collins info... I've been struggling for a solution to long term car hire in Italy for ages!! Have emailed for a quote. Fingers crossed.
Saga also don't care about how long or how frequently you have your car abroad. Saga say they will not insure a LHD vehicle even if it is sourced from & registered in the UK. I plan to pursue this further;)

Also get a quote from Clements (clements dot com) International Car, Property, Health, Commercial Insurance for Expats | Clements Worldwide. They provide fully legal insurance for anywhere in the world.

There is a lot of rubbish postulated on various forums about what you need & don't need.

I think the definitive answer may be found on this thread from a motorcycling forum: w w w dot horizonsunlimited dot com/hubb/trip-paperwork/sorn-mot-registration-long-term-39472

Sorry about the crappy links but I can't post the proper ones as I'm a newbie:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ITALSURE provide annual insurance cover anywhere in EU, for any EU registered vehicle, FULLY COMP OR 3RD PARTY, and the quotes I've had from them are very competitive.

If you take a UK vehicle abroad and the MOT expires then it is not legal to drive it. Up to you if you take that risk, some people do and encounter no problems with the local law, other people say they have had their vehicle impounded.

I've looked at this problem every which way and the solution for me is to buy a LHD Italian registered vehicle (i.e. Italian licence plates) here in the UK. Insure it with Italsure fully comp around £850 a year, or £500 for 3rd party, drive it to Italy and leave it there. No hassles, no anxiety, all legal.

When the MOT expires you take the vehicle to a local garage for it's 'Revisione'. If you don't have 'Residency' in Italy this is the only way to legally own an Italian 2nd hand car.

Cheers, Nathan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Italian MOT on UK car

Hi,

Stuart Collins is an insurer based in Swansea who provide cover for UK registered vehicles, RHD or LHD, kept abroad (EU only) on a 'permanent' basis. By all accounts they are considerably cheaper than insuring with an Italian company. When the MOT expires on your UK registered vehicle it does not invalidate the insurance policy and you are entitled to renew the policy annually without having an MOT in force. A vehicle should have a certificate of road worthiness to be fully legal but this can only be issued in the country where the vehicle is registered, hence many expats drive their car back to UK each year to have this done. Some folks don't bother to renew their MOT but one has to have faith in the carabinieri not wanting the hassle of checking UK documents in a language they don't possibly understand. If the police insist you produce the MOT and you don't have one in force I think they can impound the vehicle, so...it's a risk. But like Twinkle says you will probably get away with it and be waved on.

BTW - you can't get a 'revisione' (Italian MOT) done on a UK registered car, only Italian.

My place is in Sardinia so the option of driving back to UK is expensive because the boat crossing is 11hrs overnight and €250 each way for a car and a cabin. So I looked into applying for Certificate of Residence so I could buy a car there but it's not straightforward. You need to be there full time to get that through because the Police come round your house to validate that you live there and that can happen at anytime over a 6 month period. So i didn't feel confident to proceed with that.

Solution - I can buy a LHD Italian registered car in the UK, there are several on Autotrader, to sidestep the problem of not having "residency' with regard to owning one. If the vehicle is registered in Italy one should be able to get the 'revisione' (MOT) done every 2 years. Just need to know if I can get insurance cover at an affordable price with an Italian insurer.

Whilst writing this I've found a UK company online called ITALSURE that can offer a policy to cover a foreign registered car.

Will explore that option and report back.

Nathan
Not true that you can't get a 'revisione' on a non-italian-registered car. I've had my UK-registered golf in Tuscany for the past four years, and have had a revisione carried out on it twice in that period, with no problem whatsoever; that, plus appropriate valid insurance (which acknowledges that the MOT from when the car was last in the UK has now expired) is all that is needed. Admittedly, I've never been stopped by the Carabinieri in all that time, and so have never had to test this in practice, but I believe that I have all the appropriate documentation were I ever to be stopped. Oh, and I even have (and have renewed every year) a permesso for driving through the restricted zone in town, and the traffic authorities have never had a problem with it being for a foreign registered vehicle (I do have to pay seventy euros a year for the privilege, but that is because I don't work here - otherwise, the permit would be free). I'm not sure what has happened to the law about foreign registered cars only supposed to be in this country for no more than six months within any twelve month period...even if the law hasn't actually been revoked, it appears no longer to count, as nobody has ever raised the subject with me; I suspect it has quietly been allowed to lapse...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Not true that you can't get a 'revisione' on a non-italian-registered car. I've had my UK-registered golf in Tuscany for the past four years, and have had a revisione carried out on it twice in that period, with no problem whatsoever; that, plus appropriate valid insurance (which acknowledges that the MOT from when the car was last in the UK has now expired) is all that is needed. Admittedly, I've never been stopped by the Carabinieri in all that time, and so have never had to test this in practice, but I believe that I have all the appropriate documentation were I ever to be stopped. Oh, and I even have (and have renewed every year) a permesso for driving through the restricted zone in town, and the traffic authorities have never had a problem with it being for a foreign registered vehicle (I do have to pay seventy euros a year for the privilege, but that is because I don't work here - otherwise, the permit would be free). I'm not sure what has happened to the law about foreign registered cars only supposed to be in this country for no more than six months within any twelve month period...even if the law hasn't actually been revoked, it appears no longer to count, as nobody has ever raised the subject with me; I suspect it has quietly been allowed to lapse...
That's interesting,

I shall def. try to get a revisione when I am in Italy & my MOT expires. Where do they put the stamp in the absence of an Italian "log book"?

Who are you insured with that "acknowledges that the MOT from when the car was last in the UK has now expired"? I am with Saga & they just say that as long as the vehicle is maintained the insurance is valid.

Best regards

Chris ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
That's interesting,

I shall def. try to get a revisione when I am in Italy & my MOT expires. Where do they put the stamp in the absence of an Italian "log book"?

Who are you insured with that "acknowledges that the MOT from when the car was last in the UK has now expired"? I am with Saga & they just say that as long as the vehicle is maintained the insurance is valid.

Best regards

Chris ;)
1. After the revisione has been completed, you get a document signed and stamped by the garage to state that it has been done and that the vehicle is roadworthy.
2. I can't remember who the insurance is with (my partner was responsible for organising it), beyond the fact that it was a 'standard' insurer...i.e not somebody who charges over the odds. The MOT issue was specifically discussed with them, and they were clear that as soon as the car is returned to the UK then it will need to have an MOT immediately, but that until then, they were happy for the local equivalent (i.e revisione) in order for the insurance to be valid. Somebody else in this thread has stated that it is illegal for any car to be on the road once its MOT has expired - this is incorrect; it would be illegal if the car could not be shown to have been checked and certified as roadworthy. It sounds as though this is effectively what Saga have told you, since proof of having completed its revisione would be the same as it having officially been certified as roadworthy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
but as far as I'm aware there isn't any road tax
Oh yes, there is one such thing that was once called "Tassa di circolazione autoveicoli", and now it's called "Tassa di proprietà" which every owner of a registered motor vehicle has to pay every year. Just because it's not mandatory anymore to put the "tax disc" on the windshield doesn't mean that the greedy Italian taxman will let you own a vehilce without squeezing every penny out of your pocket (taxes on petrol are more than 70% of the total price per litre in Italy).

The vehicle property tax is known as "Bollo", and is calculated on the power of the engine in kW. Both the Italian Revenue Agency and the Automobile Club of Italy have webpages to calculate the amount due for your car.

Beware that every motorist has to keep the receipt for payments for the last five years of the Italian road tax, and failure to show proof of past payments could result in a huge fine and impounding of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
1. After the revisione has been completed, you get a document signed and stamped by the garage to state that it has been done and that the vehicle is roadworthy.
2. I can't remember who the insurance is with (my partner was responsible for organising it), beyond the fact that it was a 'standard' insurer...i.e not somebody who charges over the odds. The MOT issue was specifically discussed with them, and they were clear that as soon as the car is returned to the UK then it will need to have an MOT immediately, but that until then, they were happy for the local equivalent (i.e revisione) in order for the insurance to be valid. Somebody else in this thread has stated that it is illegal for any car to be on the road once its MOT has expired - this is incorrect; it would be illegal if the car could not be shown to have been checked and certified as roadworthy. It sounds as though this is effectively what Saga have told you, since proof of having completed its revisione would be the same as it having officially been certified as roadworthy.
You can actually apply for a refund of UK road-fund tax as you leave the country! ;) When you come back the ANPR cameras at Dover or on a police patrol will pick you up as having no tax & MOT but as long as you have your MOT booked you are good to go if you are stopped.

Please let me know if you remember your insurer as it's always good to have another company to compare come renewal time!

Pip pip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,945 Posts
1. After the revisione has been completed, you get a document signed and stamped by the garage to state that it has been done and that the vehicle is roadworthy.
2. I can't remember who the insurance is with (my partner was responsible for organising it), beyond the fact that it was a 'standard' insurer...i.e not somebody who charges over the odds. The MOT issue was specifically discussed with them, and they were clear that as soon as the car is returned to the UK then it will need to have an MOT immediately, but that until then, they were happy for the local equivalent (i.e revisione) in order for the insurance to be valid. Somebody else in this thread has stated that it is illegal for any car to be on the road once its MOT has expired - this is incorrect; it would be illegal if the car could not be shown to have been checked and certified as roadworthy. It sounds as though this is effectively what Saga have told you, since proof of having completed its revisione would be the same as it having officially been certified as roadworthy.

1) EU law requires cars to be registered in the place of the persons residence. If you aren't resident you can use it for six months a year.

2) I'm going to make a simple guess guess the UK MOT requires an UK accredited garage. It's obviously going to require the car meet UK standards. That means the headlights pointing. Is there an Italian garage accredited with the UK?

3) Bollo is charged based on your resident province.

4) The fact you found an Italian garage willing to stamp your UK log just proves you found somebody willing to take your money.

5) The insurance company is in the same situation. The fact they take your money doesn't prove anything. If you get into an accident and they pay that might prove something. But taking your money doesn't prove anything.

6) Your insurance should have a tax surcharge for the local ASL. If the car isn't registered in Italy how do you do that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Hi - I am also wrestling with the same issue - how to 'own' a car in italy without residency. There is an option via Fiat for long term rental - more info on their website Savarent - Noleggio a lungo termine

It appears that you can rent a Panda for 3 years for €224 per month, which includes insurance/breakdown cover etc. I am still making enquiries with Fiat to understand all of the details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
1) EU law requires cars to be registered in the place of the persons residence. If you aren't resident you can use it for six months a year.

2) I'm going to make a simple guess guess the UK MOT requires an UK accredited garage. It's obviously going to require the car meet UK standards. That means the headlights pointing. Is there an Italian garage accredited with the UK?

3) Bollo is charged based on your resident province.

4) The fact you found an Italian garage willing to stamp your UK log just proves you found somebody willing to take your money.

5) The insurance company is in the same situation. The fact they take your money doesn't prove anything. If you get into an accident and they pay that might prove something. But taking your money doesn't prove anything.

6) Your insurance should have a tax surcharge for the local ASL. If the car isn't registered in Italy how do you do that?

1. You assume that I am not also still resident in the UK. I am. It is perfectly possible to be resident in any number of different countries at the same time. My car is registered to my UK address.

2. My insurers - like others quoted on here, for example Saga - are concerned only that the car be certified roadworthy in order for the insurance to be valid; that is what any local version of MOT does, which in Italy is the revisione.

3. True, I haven't paid bollo....but then, unless the car is registered with an Italian number plate, then I can't. So, what rule am I infringing?

4. As stated earlier, the traffic regulatory department of the Commune here is happy to issue me annually with my permesso to drive through the ZTL section of town; they have never enquired whether the car has been outside Italy for six out of the previous twelve months.....the issue doesn't seem to bother them one bit. My car is squarely on their records as being here, but with a foreign plate, and they appear quite relaxed about it.

As far as I can see, all relevant boxes are ticked.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top