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I will be moving to Italy shortly and can buy a second hand left hand drive Italian registered car here in UK. I prefer to move by road with more posessions than flying.

Before I commit, what documents will I need to ensure it is an easy re-registration excercise? Could they be out of date? Is it legal to drive the car in Itlay before it is actually registered there in my name? Does anyone know how I can do an outstanding Finance check on the car?

Any pitfalls I should know? I would be grateful for any help at all

Tony (Scotland)
 

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Any pitfalls I should know?
Well... yes indeed, quite a few.

First of all, Italy has (yearly) a road tax, therefore it is a good rule to ask the seller to show you the receipts for the past road tax payments.

Secondly, car insurance is mandatory in Italy. So before you get behind the wheel, get an insurance in your name.

Furthermore, only the registered owner of the car can sell it, and the bill of sale must be drafted in Italian and signed in front of an Italian Consular officer in order to be valid in Italy.

Italy has a Honorary Consulate in Glasgow and a Consulate-General in Edinburgh, where you can get more detailed information on how to have the bill of sale drafted and finalized.

Instead of a "log book", Italian registered cars must have TWO separate registration documents, the "carta di circolazione" which, other than the name of the owner, lists the technical specs of the vehicle, its previous owners, its first registration date, and the date when it was last inspected (kinda like the British MOT), and the "certificato di proprietà" which is the legal title stating ownership of the car.

If one of both said documents are missing, or the registered owner's name is not the same of the person who is seling it (Ask to see his ID), just pass on the bargain. You'll only find yourself facing a bureaucratic nightmare in trying to register in your name a car without papers.

Finally, in order to register the new ownership of car in Italy's equivalent of the DVLA (it's called "Ufficio Provinciale MCTC", or "Motorizzazione" for short), you must prove that you have a registered residence address in Italy (see my other posts on this peculiar aspect of moving to Italy) and bring a "certificato di residenza" issued by the "Comune" where you are going to settle.

Feel free to send me a private message if you want more details.

P.S.: Beware of scams on the internet about foreign registered left-hand drive SUVs and luxury cars sold in the UK at very cheap prices by scammers posing as repatriated owners allegedly because they can't register them. Don't pay a penny to anyone if you can't inspect the car and see the owner's ID first.
 
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