Is your local garage worth shouting about? We want to hear about it. | No thanks
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked?  
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - fordprefect
I assume the ANPR system ignores foreign registered vehicles or that traffic cops assume these are visitors to these shores and thus covered by foreign insurance and don't need UK tax.

I ask because a foreign plated car has parked outside a house near me for over 12 months, but shows no UK tax disc, which surely it ought to?

This also makes me wonder whether it is one of the alleged million-plus uninsured
vehicles on the road?

Are the local BIB likely to be interested in checking?

Tags: driving insurance warranties

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Mr X
In a nutshell...NO. They will tell you to report it to the DVLA.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Galaxy
People are driving around on foreign number plates for years and years and nothing is ever done about it.

Must get a set for my own car! :)

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - bathtub tom
Try here:

www.shopthem.com/
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Jinglee

DVLA does not prosecute vehicles that are not on their data base, and if you have foreign plates then you are not on the data base. MIB motor insurance bureau, will only do short term cover notes on foreign plates which means all those foreign vehicles will only have foreign insurance for a trip, lasting under 6 months or no insurance at all.

Guests to the uk, short term students, family over for a month, 6 month sebaticle to the uk. dont need to register the vehicles as long as they have insurance for the length of their trip.

Permanent residents to the uk, should not even be driving a vehicle on foreign plates until the vehicle is registered in britain.....The statement given is as soon as humanly possible but you may not drive it until application is completed. So all those foreign vehicles have been here less than 6 months, unless customs gives them an extension............ and theyre all visitors with foreign insurance hahahaha

And that is in or out of the eu regardless........

from the horses mouth

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - gmac
When you say it is untaxed, is it taxed for the country it is registered in ?

The rules state if you are exporting a car for twelve months or more then it should be re-registered but owing to governments allowing corporations to only give people short term six month rolling contracts no one can say for sure if they are exporting for twelve months or more...

Playing devils advocate here but as long as all the paperwork is in order for the country in which the vehicle is registered (provided it is within the EU) what is the issue ?
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - woodster
If you can find a traffic officer who is interested then it's definitely worth looking at, particularly if you can identify the owner's house/flat. Since you can provide the evidence that the car has been here for some time and the owner is clearly resident, then he/she can no longer rely on a foreign 'green card' insurance (since it is for 'visitors' only, which they clearly are not). Most cars like the one you describe are driven on such insurances as they are cheaper. Better Police officers realise that these people avoid (partially) prosecution and tracing for offences on the road and/or criminal use of the vehicle. The car can be seized for having no insurance if the driver produces a green card instead of UK insurance, starting the ball rolling for getting them complying with our systems. If the car has been recorded as having committed offences or used in crime the Police can still create a DVLA record of the reg. No. displayed, for their own use, and so it is still well worth an officer checking the vehicle. Sadly, some officers are not aware that this can be done and accordingly fail to check foreign plates against UK databases. Hopefully it's obvious that I know what I'm talking about here! I don't know the area that you are in but in many instances it's worth getting in touch with your local beat officer or PCSO. Frequently available from your local force's website. Good luck!
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - woodster
GMAC - no, you can't keep a vehicle here indefinitely, regardless of legality in another EU country. As stated above, drivers are more difficult to trace following say, hit and run accidents, and so perhaps we have a vested interest in using the law to full effect for the good of all law abiding citizens. This is not about persecuting a genuine visitor but about benefits for all of us. And why should we pay road tax whilst others avoid it? I earn money here, spend it here and pay tax here. All part of a working economy.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - gmac
The original question was not regarding evasion with regard to breaking the law.
Those people should rightly be traced and dealt with according to the laws of the land as they would be in many other European countries.

>>> Why should we pay road tax whilst others avoid it ?
Ask the same question to a Spanish pensioner struggling to run a 15 year old SEAT whilst his next door neighbour has a RHD Range Rover Sport V8 with "tax in post" on the windscreen.
They are not avoiding road tax provided they are paying it in the country where the vehicle is registered.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Collos25
A car may be in the UK for a year but if during that year it went home or back across the channel then the clock starts again.Some EU countries do not have road tax as we have in the UK,German cars are easy to check by looking at the plates as are CZ cars most EU countries have a tax and insurance system that is far superior to the UK's and unless you deregister your car bills for tax and insurance or summonses will be stacking up at the registered keepers address.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - b308
Andy, don't they have to go back for a minimum period of time?
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - malteser
Here in Spain, the limit for running a foreign plated car is six months. After that time it should be transferred to Spanish plates - a bureaucratic nightmare and very costly, due to import taxes based on the car's value.
This rule is frequently flouted by UK nationals, many of whom keep their un-MOTed, untaxed and probably un-insured UK cars for years!
How can a car which is not road-legal in its home country be legal in other E.U. countries - it can't be, so the validity of any insurance policy issued on such a vehicle is, to say the least, doubtful.
The Guardia Civil Trafico patrols are equipped with details of Spanish issued insurance policies, but unless the pressure is on from above, have been happy to adopt a laissez -faire approach to UK plated vehicles.
With the current financial climate it would seem, from anecdotal and observed, evidence that this situation is changing as many more UK plated cars are being pulled over for checking.
As with anywhere now, tax revenues are now more important than ever!
Mind you, many of the offending vehicles are sheds anyway, so lots remain unclaimed after seizure.
One good thing is that cars are obliged to show a sticker on the screen proving that, when required, the ITV (Spanish MOT), is current.
"Road Tax" or Circulation Tax is imposed and collected by individual Town Halls and varies from place to place. No evidence of payment has to be displayed.
Charges can be modest - our 1.9tdi Skoda is taxed at around 72 euros for a yea!
(Town Halls in Spain have substantial autonomy in running their district, including planning permissions - hence the "brown envelope stuffed with cash" culture which has blighted the Costa del Sol and exacerbated the housing downturn with many, many, thousands of unsold new-build properties)
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - bananastand
I saw a modified Porsche Cayenne, must have cost a mint, with the weirdest plates ever - just a couple of squiggles in what I guessed must have been hebrew. It wasn't arabic or urdu or thai. There was absolutely nothing else to ID the car. Wonder how many camera he set off! It was in the multistorey next to the new manc hilton.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - colinh
The Artist formerly known....?
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Happy Blue!
Unlikely to be Hebrew - all Israeli plates are simply numbers in three blocks as (xx - xxx - xx).

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Jinglee

it should never have come through customs and the police should be pulling it off the road immediately.

customs are supposed to issue a temporary plate on arrival at the port irrespective of length of trip

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - woodster
Andy - there is a confusion between how long a vehicle is in the UK and the status of the person. Once they become resident here (easily proven by employment, bank accounts, renting a property etc.) then how long the car has been here becomes almost irrelevant. They will need UK insurance. Whether another country's tax and insurance system is superior to ours is again irrelevant as it won't negate the need to produce UK insurance. I speak with authority when I say that many, many Eastern Europeans have found this out. On a moral note, doesn't it concern you that there are loads of cars running around being used as 'pool' cars, ill maintained, untraceable and effectively outside of the regulation that affects you and me?
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - CheapNcheerfull
"The car can be seized for having no insurance if the driver produces a green card instead of UK insurance, starting the ball rolling for getting them complying with our systems."

But if they produced a green card and ins for where it is registered ?

Let's face it the police will not be bothered to follow up.

My friend did the same, over here for more than 2 yrs on a French registered car. Was fully insured etc for France but used to go back to France within six months which I believe started the six month rule over again.

Even got a parking ticket once, but the warden actually took the name of the person driving the car ME, so had some sort of connection to UK details, but did we ever here anything about it, err NO.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Pendlebury
Come on guys this is the UK.
Why would a police officer bother to go through all the trouble of chasing foreign untaxed vehicles that make his/her life harder.
It is much easier to achieve his targets by using a camera to catch the law abiding people that he knows will roll over and pay up.
Targets met & a happy PC.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Enoughalready
Sitting outside my house right now is a Merc on French plates. It's been there for about 5 weeks now.

It is however my parents or rather was and I'm trying to sell it for them (they have it easy - I buy them a new car, they come over and swap it, drive off in the new one and leave me to flog the old).
It is insured and immatriculated (sp?) in France and totally legal. I do expact some curtain twitcher to report it at some time but what a waste of police time that will be.

On the flip side; as an island surely we can monitor vehicle details coming and going from the UK and have it tagged to the anpr system somehow to ensure unregistered vehicles don't outstay their welcome?
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Collos25
We could but we don't.If its a EU registered car then its classed as legal by the UK police.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - john96
I know the cops can tell if a car is BFG now, which is how military personnel in Germany register cars. EG I buy a car in Uk take it to Germany for work, it then gets BFG´d which involves a (free) MOT and a bit of a paperchase to get registered. The upside is that you then qualify for tax free fuel, which was last time I bought some, 39 cent per litre ( 95 RON ).
However I know that years ago, you could get away with not paying UK fines as the old system did not recognise the VRN´s used.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - LondonBus
I live in north-west London where there quite a few FRVs (Foreign Registered Vehicles).


It has been noticeable that Irish registered cars with either an expired or non-existant Irish Tax Disc get clamped by the local authority (much as a UK one would).......
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - stunorthants26
I knew a genuinely charming spanish guy who came to the uk and worked for 3 years, drove all the way in his exceptionally clapped out 205 TD. In all the time he was here, it was never once taxed and somehow, MOT is doubtful given the state of it and the clouds of black smoke.

I think his attitude was very much that he would get away with it aslong as he could. As it was, when contract was done, he packed up his banger and drove all the way back home having never been on 'the system'. Had he not been such a darned decent guy id have prob shopped him, but in the end, its down to the system to catch people, not me.
Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Jinglee

NI vehicles can be registered in the uk mainland, and still display the NI formatted plate

3 letters 4 numbers. for them it is as simple as a change of address at the DVLA Local office

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Jinglee

oh no its not it must still comply to the uk requirements for the road.

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Thavorn Thai

I know of a car dealer who drives his ex-Motability purchases thousands of miles on disabled tax discs prior to re-sale. Whether demo-ing to a potential buyer or using as staff runabouts, they are driven on public roads without trade plates or road tax.

Untaxed foreign cars - are they ever checked? - Collos25

Report him if you think its such a big deal.

Join the discussion

Cars For Sale




Reader Offers and Prizes

Latest News & Road Tests

Buying Advice

Honest John's Newsletter

Connect with Honest John

Facebook YouTube