UK Road Tax and Spain

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03 May 2011 00:00 by bennycb Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Hi,

I have spent the last two months in France driving my UK registered vehicle as everyone does in France/Switzerland, that is without UK road tax. Now I know this isn't technically legal but in france/Switzerland they dont have road tax themselves and therefore whenever stopped they check only MOT/Insurance (which I have) and then let you on your way and do not care about tax.

So my question is what are the practical consequences of having an insured and MOT'd are in Spain without any road tax (it is on SORN as not used on a UK road). I don't want the legal position as I know its technically correct but just the practical one - ie/ if caught will they do nothing/small fine/impound car, etc.

Providing they can't impound the car I'm happy to risk a fine as I am loathed to pay the UK government £200 a year for not using their roads. Re-entry to the UK wont be a problem as my parents can get the tax disc and send it to me in Spain just before I return. I can't see why the Spanish care to enforce this as they do not derive any revenue from UK road tax.

Thanks in Advance, 

Ben 





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03 May 2011 13:59 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

If you don't have UK road tax, your insurance would be invalid.  What would hapen if you were involved in an accident and injured/killed someone?  I think you'd be looking at prison...



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03 May 2011 13:59 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

If you don't have UK road tax, your insurance would be invalid.  What would hapen if you were involved in an accident and injured/killed someone?  I think you'd be looking at prison...



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03 May 2011 15:00 by bennycb Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thanks for the reply but I'm not sure this is correct. The insurance states the car must have MOT, though even not having this does not automatically invalidate the 3rd party insurance. If you have MOT and tax the car is definitely insured. Road tax is that, just a tax.

In the UK if you are caught without road tax your car can be impounded as it is not allowed on a UK road.

In France they do nothing as dont enforce it.

Im wondering what the Spanish position is

 

 





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03 May 2011 18:02 by fpegman Star rating in San Miguel De Salina.... 441 posts Send private message

fpegman´s avatar

If your car has not got a current UK tax disc it is Illegal in Spain as the law says it must be legal in the country of origin so if stopped by the Guardia Civil Traffico police or the Local Police the will fine you and impound the vehicle until it is legal in the UK then you will have to pay a very heavy fine to have it released  thats is if they have not scrapped it

The Guardia have a very good compuer system in there vehicles and can get information from the DVLC as to the state of your car the fact that it is on a SORN means it can not be used on any EU roads .



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03 May 2011 20:31 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 You got me wondering with this as I am driving over in June  for 3 months.  My tax runs out when I'm away and the tax office will only send the disc to my home address.  Obviously, the MOT and Insurance will be up to date but the tax disc I have will show an expiry date of August and I'm not coming back until mid September.  On another site, someone posted the Guardia were checking UK registered cars in their area for UK tax discs.  Any cars without a valid road tax disc were being impounded and owners were given a certain time (not sure how long but it wasn't that long, ISTR) to produce the disc regardless of MOT cert and insurance which would be quite difficult as will have no one at home to intercept the disc and post it to me (and with the Spanish postal system I may not get it in time to get back anyway).

Checking with the DVLA, I can only tax the car from the 5th of the month in which it is due (August) at a normal post office or online.  However, I can do it 2 months before it is due (ie beginning of July) at "a post office which issues advance tax discs".  However, it doesn't mention which post offices actually do this (I'm assuming main ones only).  In either case, I may have to postpone the trip until July or even August which will be a shame especially as the ferry prices go rocketing up in July and August.  

 





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03 May 2011 21:26 by fpegman Star rating in San Miguel De Salina.... 441 posts Send private message

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It is my understanding that the DVLC will post to an address in Spain they did for me 3 years ago I renewed online



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03 May 2011 22:18 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

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 According to their website they will only post to the address on the registration document.  However, I have found a link to the addresses of the post offices which will do it in advance so I am going to do it at the beginning of July and postpone my visit for a few weeks.  

This is from their website

What address is the tax disc or SORN confirmation letter sent to?
The tax disc and the payment receipt will be sent to the registered keeper's address currently held by DVLA and should arrive in the post within 5 working days. 

 





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04 May 2011 02:21 by kev2006n Star rating in Sussex and Playa Fla.... 343 posts Send private message

 bobaol, Cash the road fund disc in at the end of May and buy another one from 1st of June. We did it last year. Yes you are out of pocket whilst waiting for the road fund refund to arrive but much cheaper than soaring ferry prices. Kevin





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04 May 2011 09:02 by GuyT Star rating. 499 posts Send private message

Ben - I can't see why the Spanish care to enforce this as they do not derive any revenue from UK road tax.

Presumably the motive is they derive plenty of revenue from the absence of a correct tax disk. My wife was stopped last week by a routine Guarda road block. All went well, but the cop tapped the tax disk, which expired several days later on 30 April, and  remarked something like "only a few days to go". I have no doubt that had it already expired or been missing, there would have been trouble which would have eclipsed the cost of the disk in both money and time.

My new tax disk arrived on May 3 - forwarded b ya  friend. Meanwhile I'd printed out the email confirmation from DVLA that the disk had been renewed for the year, the cost, etc and that it would arrive withing 5 working days. I figured on using this as justification if stopped in meantime.





 


 



This message was last edited by GuyT on 04/05/2011.



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04 May 2011 10:21 by Jimbofinn Star rating in Chiclana De La Front.... 211 posts Send private message

Jimbofinn´s avatar

As has been said, having no tax will not invalidate your insurance for 3rd party claims, but your insurance company will most certainly state that they will not pay for any damages to your car/person.

Bobaol why don't you simply phone DVLA and explain your situation and find out what can be done to rectify your predicament.  I certainly wouldn't put off my travel plans for something that will be easy to sort out.



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05 May 2011 11:19 by mikeinspain Star rating. 9 posts Send private message

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Remember - if you're in a UK registered car and have no tax disc - and you're using Spanish roads permanently - you're avoiding paying Spanish road tax.





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05 May 2011 11:29 by mefa Star rating in Iznajar Spain. 12 posts Send private message

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At a meeting with the Guardia in my village they have shown me the link with the DVLA computer and a whole list of UK registrations which on their computer were either SORN or unregistered (exported from the UK, not matriculated in Spain) these vehicles are all illegal to use on Spanish roads, the law states that the vehicle must be legal for use in the country of origin before it can be used abroad. I asked about the insurance and it's no tax no insurance as I'm sure any insurance broker will be able to verify here on this thread. In the case of an accident with an insured driver while driving an untaxed vehicle (uninsured) the third party damages will be paid by the Spanish authorities and these damages plus costs and a fine will be reimbursed by the driver of the uninsured vehicle (incuding impounding the vehicle if needed to cover the cost), plus the driver will be given a letter stating that the vehicle cannot be used on the roads until taxed.   Also watch out for your UK photo licences expiry date on the front of the photo licence, the photo licence only lasts for ten years and then requires renewing, even though the actual paper licence has an expiry date well into the future, driving on an expired photo licence in the UK carries a maximum fine of £1000, if the Guardia stop you with an expired licence it's a €500 fine, discounted if paid promptly.


 



This message was last edited by mefa on 05/05/2011.



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05 May 2011 16:46 by simon999 Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

Regarding Road Tax in Spain.My car is UK registered and the car is over 25 years old. I understand that cars of that age do not require road tax in the UK.

Can I drive the car in Spain?





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05 May 2011 17:43 by bennycb Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thanks very much for the replies so far, it does indeed seem like it is a wise idea to get road tax! 

The trouble is to get road tax I need to first get to Barcelona where I will be staying to get an address for it to be sent to (currently touring France at no fixed address). I'd also need to send back MOT/insurance/V5 certificates to my parents to get tax (no 16 digit number for online tax as it is SORN and I did not buy the last tax disc, it was on the car when i bought it).

Therefore I might be making things worst for myself as if stopped on route to Barcelona I not only will have no tax but also no proof of insurance, proof of ownership or MOT either! Do the Guarda accept photocopies as proof of these things, if they checked on the DVLA computer they could verify these i guess?

Also regarding roadblocks, are these mainly at borders/on motorways so can probably be avoided by taking the non-toll country roads which I prefer anyway.

Regarding the insurance angle i phoned my insurers regarding the issue, they confirm that in the event of an accident my vehicle is covered COMPREHENSIVELY regardless as to whether it is taxed or not!. Even if the MOT had expired, unless it could be proved that the car was unroadworthy, the car would at least be covered 3rd party and possibly comprehensively at their discretion. No road tax does not effect insurance, which is why I am slightly surprised the Guarda would care about it, but given the useful responses on this forum they clearly could do more than just fine me and much as I can take a gamble on a fine I can't on being left at the roadside carless so hopefully will get to Barcelona OK and then get the tax...then just car parking to sort out!


 

 





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05 May 2011 18:12 by Manyarna Star rating in the UK- Heart is in .... 59 posts Send private message

simon999

05 May 2011 16:46
 

Regarding Road Tax in Spain.My car is UK registered and the car is over 25 years old. I understand that cars of that age do not require road tax in the UK.

Can I drive the car in Spain?

Cars redg n the UK as manufactured before 1972 are tax exempt but still get issued an actual tax disc Its just FREE of charge. The over 25 year rule stopped ages ago. I believey you will still need an Mot, insurance etc

BennyCb

Dont belive a broker--- email your insurer and get it in writing if you are considering still taking the risk not that it sounds like you have much choice.. If you have an accident in a car not roadworthy/legal for use in its redg country do you really think they would pay you out anything.  Insurers consider that cars which have no tax , mot etc are generally not well maintaned or have any records to prove they are and will look to reduce any payout they can currently.





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05 May 2011 20:12 by simon999 Star rating. 2 posts Send private message

 As I do not have to pay UK road tax as my 25 year old car is exempt and I have a Spanish report that my car  has passed the vehicle inspection test would I be allowed to drive it in Spain without displaying a disk and not be fined or my car impounded? 





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19 May 2011 14:21 by chordiant Star rating in La Torre Golf Resort.... 40 posts Send private message

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Having read most of the posts on this thread, I am amazed the lengths people will go to in order to avoid having a legal vehicle here in Spain.

It must be awful, each time a Guardia road block is reached. 'Will they notice'? 'Will they ask awkward questions'? 'Do they know my vehicle has been in Spain for more than 6 months'? 'Will they confiscate it'?

For goodness sake people - get legal, have the correct documentation and you will soon be on your way. 

I have been stopped twice in my (ex-UK registered) American imported vehicle - legal, ITV'd, Spanish registered, documented and all above board. I was on my way in less than a minute. Unlike the UK registered van whose driver was having a very hard time..!!

It's time to stop dancing around the edges and trying to avoid paying your way. 





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19 May 2011 18:38 by mefa Star rating in Iznajar Spain. 12 posts Send private message

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Well put Chordiant, if people live here they should get their vehicles matriculated onto Spanish plates, that way they can pay road tax and get ITV's in line with the law.   I wonder how long it would take for the UK police to stop me if I took my Spanish registered car to the UK permanently and didn't bother to re-register it, in fact I could have a Spanish car in the UK and a UK car in Spain, both without road tax.   Only drawback is that the Spanish authorities claim back the road tax eventually, as far as I am aware there is no SORN equivalent in Spain.  In Spain you cannot even scrap the vehicle when the road tax is not up to date. 

Just get legal.





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23 May 2011 08:33 by chordiant Star rating in La Torre Golf Resort.... 40 posts Send private message

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 It would seem that those who duck and dive to avoid paying their way, will soon be caught by the UK authorities.

A new law comes into force next month, which could prove quite expensive..! See here clicky.





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