UK car return to MOT expired..what to do

Post reply   Start new thread
:: New - Old :: Old - New

Pages: 1 | 2 | Next |

Forum home :: Latest threads :: Search forums
The Comments
10 Feb 2016 15:19 by Larry735 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Hello all,

Am new to the forum, and wonder if anyone knows how to solve a practical problem with the least cost..

So, drove the car to Spain from UK recently, but when road tax was due the MOT had expired. Problem, since you need valid MOT to renew tax.

Called DVLA, who recommended I SORN the car, and when entering UK make sure I have pre-booked MOT (can then drive legally straight to MOT garage, that is clear).

BUT, I just discovered that one should not drive a SORN car back through Spain..this begs the question of what to do.

a) Is it possible to get a MOT equivalent in Spain (or GIB) that DVLA would register so that the car can be "de-SORN" and taxed..then all would be well and the car could be driven back legally.

b) If not, can one get a temporary Spanish plate and drive back on that?

c) the final solution would be to truck it back I suppose (the least appealing option).

d) If the car was to be put on a SP plate, what is involved and how are the taxes. The car is a 2007 UK reg.

Many thanks for knowledgable advice.



Like 0      
10 Feb 2016 15:33 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

Truck it back is by far the best option in my opinion,for between 5 and 6 hundred pounds you have no other costs - no ferry, tunnel, tolls, fuel or overnight stops. And more importantly no worries.




Like 1      
10 Feb 2016 16:00 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4536 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

SORN it and flog it to Our Tony down the pub laughlaughlaugh




"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




Like 2      
10 Feb 2016 16:43 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

Roberto - I'm sure Tony could get Larry a dodgy MOT if you asked hime nicely




Like 1      
10 Feb 2016 20:34 by Larry735 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Some good suggestions..have to admit a MOT would solve the problem (would promise to show it again upon arrival of course)..because the SORN could then be cancelled by taxing the car.

Otherwise..truck it back makes sense.. What if the car was impounded by local police and must be released? Would they release it to a duly authorised trucking co?

Or, what about obtaining Spanish temporary green plates and drive back on those, is that an option?


Like 0      
10 Feb 2016 21:42 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4536 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

See my post 19th January here to find out what happened to Our Tony when his SORN car was impounded. I don't think he can fix you up with a dodgy MoT - he generally doesn't seem to bother with such niceties, and even if he could, I'm sure the UK authorities would know it's fake.

Don't know if they even still do the green plates during the re-registration stage, and if they do, how far (financially) down the line you get them, but I would have thought they would not be legal to drive the car through France and the UK anyway. But I'm no expert. 

Trucking sounds best option, preferably before the plod get their paws on it!



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




Like 1      
10 Feb 2016 22:16 by baz1946 Star rating. 2225 posts Send private message

I think you might find DVLA might have got a little mixed up telling you to sorn the car, as your car is in Spain I am of the understanding that any UK registered car that has been sorned cannot leave the UK, my many dealings with DVLA have had some funny mixed up comments from them.

You might also have a small problem with car insurance if you choose to drive it anywhere with no current MOT or Road Tax, if something happened your insurance company could / might say as your not fully road legal your also not insured.

I think Spain has had the means of checking UK cars on Spains roads for legal documents for the past 5/6 years now, maybe they have been a bit slow on checking these and are now up to speed as it's so easy to run a check these days.


Like 1      
10 Feb 2016 22:24 by Larry735 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Baz, Roberto, thanks for comments.

I think you're both right.. I called DVLA when realising tax was coming to renewal with car abroad and MOT expired, and they in fact did tell me to sorn it and then deal with it by prebooking an MOT and drive there when arriving back in UK with the car. Have since learned, by looking at DVLA site in more detail whilst searching for "MOT possibilities abroad" without success, that a car should really be sorn'ed in the UK. Totally misled and could just have driven it back at the time.. anybody have contacts for good reputable companies to recommend?



This message was last edited by Larry735 on 10/02/2016.

Like 0      
10 Feb 2016 22:47 by baz1946 Star rating. 2225 posts Send private message

If you're going to drive the car back to the UK you can legally book the car into any UK MOT station and drive to that with no UK MOT, but of course the Spanish and French cops could argue if you got stopped / caught that  you're not in the UK yet so you abide by our laws, also if you live say in Scotland and arrive at Portsmouth docks and then book your car into an MOT station near home, and then again got stopped the law likes you to drive unbroken journy to the nearest MOT station so you're not on the road technically illegally for any undue length of time, this is a grey area of the MOT laws.

Thousands do drive back home not even knowing they forgot the MOT etc and nothing happens, they keep on about our cops can check if you have a current MOT, this week alone 3 people have come to me with no current MOTs, one a Fireman out by 9 months and driving into London base daily, a young girl out since last May and driving though two heavy cop patrolled towns every week, another one 6 months out and driving to hospital most weeks 50 miles away and back.

Like 1      
11 Feb 2016 01:16 by Team GB Star rating. 1245 posts Send private message

Team GB´s avatar

Temporary Green Plates (Placas Verde) are normally used as part of the process of importing/changing a car to Spanish Plates - to get them you would need a sorn from the UK plus lots of other bits like passport, Spanish address, NIE, vehicle documents - proof of ownership, EU VAT information and a Spanish MOT (ITV) Etc Etc., All time consuming and costly. To get the Temporary Plates for export (baja) you would first need to have a Spanish registered car!! This would cause you grief when arriving back in the UK.

You have two choices, either truck it or take a chance driving - if you take a chance please make sure you are properly insured, if not, given an accident, it could ruin peoples lives 




Like 1      
11 Feb 2016 08:15 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

You do not say what type of car or if it is very special for you etc.or what it is worth

So another option is to trade it in at an expat dealer in Spain for a Spanish plate car then the problem goes awaysmiley

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”

Like 1      
11 Feb 2016 10:07 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4536 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Baz, you say "thousands" drive back home with no MoT and nothing happens, but the three examples you gave presumably didn't pass through a port of entry? (Not sure if you meant drive back home to the UK). Maybe they were just lucky. I'm pretty certain they use ANPR technology at all ports (it's almost incoceivable that they wouldn't), and of course they have full access to databases which will tell them instantly if a car coming off a ferry or through the tunnel is taxed/MoT'd. Whether they bother to act on that information or not is another matter of course. I personally do not know of anyone who has been stopped, but neither do I know of anyone who got through without a valid MoT or tax, so I have no idea whether it's another urban myth or not, that you'll get your car impounded on arrival if you haven't arranged to go directly to the nearest testing station.

But I wouldn't take the chance! wink



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




Like 0      
11 Feb 2016 10:56 by baz1946 Star rating. 2225 posts Send private message

Yes, your correct Roberto the three I gave didn't go via any ports and these cars were in the UK full time, but we get so much difference's with our laws at the moment it's more then likely if the cop wants to go further.

You may recall I sell many cars to a friend who has a large place in France, only one instance comes to mind when he got stopped at the exit port in Dover, while here he bought a Ford Transit Pickup, not of me but eBay up North, drove it down to me, it was a mess and was a sure bet to be stopped due to the state of it,  it had no UK mot, tax and he didn't insure it as it was going back, he got stopped at the port entry and told all this by the official, then told "Just go" he did and drove it 600 miles back to his B & B and never got stopped again.

Like you say the chance, Maybe it...Maybe not.

Like 0      
11 Feb 2016 12:05 by Larry735 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Meanwhile I tend to conclude that the best option will be to just truck it back to UK, off-load the car in a off-(public) road location and prebook an MOT before driving straight there. Or off-load the car at a suitable MOT garage...

A friend did get their car impounded recently (due to SORN), which made us aware of this issue, and the related question is what is required to get the car out of the police compound (other than having to pay the fine..). If you cannot drive the car due to sorn/no tax, can you tow it, can you use a test plate from a garage, can you get a temp green plate, could you even get a toll plate (at 2k/year it is steep, but this one is not a cheap car)..  

Like 0      
11 Feb 2016 13:27 by baz1946 Star rating. 2225 posts Send private message

Larry are we talking about the car compound in Spain or the UK? Spain I haven't a clue as it's never happened to me, the UK think of it and I have nearly had them all.

I understand you cant tow a car in Spain....Talking legally here of course.

The last one UK pounded they asked me for everything including how many hairs up my jacksee, others have told me they paid the fee and come away with nothing else to do.

If it's a UK road and your car has no tax, mot etc, then you cannot even tow a car because any car has to be road legal, you also have to use a pole to tow with, no more ropes...Again talking legally.

When you say "Test Plate" do you mean Trade Plates? these are for no road tax only,  definitly unbroken journey, registered to the garage and used solely by the garage, not to be lent out.

Looking like the truck lift is definitely the best, safest and maybe the cheapest option.



Like 0      
11 Feb 2016 14:47 by Larry735 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Baz that car was impounded in Spain. Some "Gestor" who deals with re-registration into spanish plates insist that the police will insist on this being done, and the registration tax paid (which can be quite a lot) before they will release the car.

We were hoping the car could be released either to a truck co against a transport contract straight to UK, or to a tow truck from a Spanish garage (for the trucking co to collect from there following a small repair unrelated to this)..

Anyone know from experience in Spain how to get the car returned from Impound?

Like 0      
11 Feb 2016 17:01 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4536 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

Our Tony reported to me that having paid the fine of €700 at the Post Office (they slapped another hundred and something on top, but he had no idea what for), he went to the pound and was told they would not release the car until he gets it registered on Spanish plates. As you can imagine, I don't necessarily believe everything Our Tony says, but this was direct from the horse's mouth, so to speak, not just a bar-room Chinese whisper. 

Not sure why he even paid the fine, except that he said if he didn't he might get picked up at the airport when leaving. I presumed he was speaking from experience! If that's true, then reg plate recognition is a no-brainer. Anyway, pleased to report that I heard this morning Tony's on his way back from England, with a "new" banger! Hopefully not one of yours, Baz??!!


P.S. Larry, did I miss something? Has your car already been impounded, or are you just considering the possibility of it happening?



"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




Like 1      
11 Feb 2016 19:32 by Sten46 Star rating in Hatton, Derbyshire &.... 246 posts Send private message

Two points:

I drove a car over and re-plated it in Spain. Insurance (Spanish) and ITV were done on the English reg and the chassis number.  At no time did I get, or have to get, any green plates.

You can legally drive a car with no MoT (no tax?) to a pre-booked appointment at THE NEAREST MoT station.

Could you argue that the nearest station to Spain is in Plymouth? (just thinking aloud, that bit!)




Like 1      
14 Feb 2016 18:30 by Larry735 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

I guess you could argue that Plymouth, or Dover etc if going through France, would be the nearest MOT station.. the UK rule as I undestand it from DVLA is that you can drive legaly to a pre-booked MOT test..not that clear that it must be the nearest one. Being "stranded" with expired MOT in Spain the safe choice seems to be to truck the car back to UK. alternatively to drive it back and hope you don't meet the wrong police officer.. one would would like to think that most would accept a direct route home. Very important to check that insurance cover is in place despite MOT, som insurers are fine whilst others may provide reduced cover it seems.

My friend's car that was impounded (and which raised the problem awareness) was released upon booking a ITV test (passed with flying colours), but under "house arrest" pending MOT payment of road tax in UK. It is plain stupid that DVLA do not accept a full ITV test that is every bit as rigid as a MOT test and in Spain conducted at official state of the art test stations (as opposed to UK sometime less stellar garages). At the very least it should be possible for a UK MOT test station to issue a MOT against a complete valid ITV test methink. Yes, have also discovered the advice that upon leaving UK one should have MOT and tax in place for the entire trip planned...but what if plans change..the current setup is inflexible.

The spanish sanction for driving "without valid permit to circulate" (i.e valid road tax and MOT) seems to be E 500 (half payable within 20 days so 250). Why your friend down the bar would have to pay 700 I dont know. On top comes payment for a possible towaway, that probably depends on distance.

Like 0      
15 Feb 2016 09:57 by baz1946 Star rating. 2225 posts Send private message

Anyway, pleased to report that I heard this morning Tony's on his way back from England, with a "new" banger! Hopefully not one of yours, Baz??!!

Some hope Roberto, to get all that way with one of mine, NO chance.

To Larry735.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, yes you can drive to a pre-booked MOT Station with NO current MOT, but also as I mentioned it is one of the grey areas of the MOT / Vosa / DVLA system, if you think about it whats stopping someone in July going on holiday from say, Scotland down to Cornwall on a pre-booked MOT and still not going to have it done, then booking another one to come home with, generally the people that do this know full well that the car needs a fair bit of money spent on it.....Think it don't happen? it does.

As for the other piece about the UK accepting a Spanish ITV, why should they? it's a UK legal requirement that any UK registered car complies with the UK Road traffic laws, if the ITV is done in Spain then who's to say that car complies in the checking of the UK rules, also the UK MOT is quite a personal thing with the tester who does the test, simply put what he says goes, sure you have to right to complain and get it re-checked by a Vosa station, who might pass it. But just because it's okay in Spain might not make it okay in the UK.

If one of my MOT testing guys say a car is unroadworthy and he should pass it because he, for instance knows the owner well, and later on it's found to be out to be in this said condition, not only will / might the tester have to take another test or lose his licence, but the garage could lose the licence as well.

When you sum it up if any person is driving an older car and they have no legal documents, whats the reason? Cant afford it? No insurance? Un-roadworthy car.

I get weekend Fred in the shed mechanics telling my guys they are wrong, quite often, they still get no MOT pass though.



Like 1      

Pages: 1 | 2 | Next |

Post reply    Start new thread

Previous Threads

la caixa bank charges - 6 posts
filling a swimming pool - 6 posts
Inspector home - 3 posts
Monte zenia - 3 posts
Quality of Photographs Advertising Properties for Sale in Spain. - 5 posts
claims on travel insurance - 9 posts
BREXIT - 7450 posts
Renting - 7 posts
New law for private rentals in Andalucia - 110 posts
Questions for someone who lives in Corralejo, Fuerteventura. - 0 posts
Looking to buy in Hacienda del Alamo - 15 posts
new to forum - 11 posts
Form 210 non residential tax form - 1 posts
Part time self employment - 1 posts
Supreme Court- Law 57/68- Creditor´s meeting - 0 posts
Property to auction - 7 posts
Buying a car to keep in Spain... - 4 posts
Transfering car from UK to Spain How to do it - 14 posts
Moving to spain - 12 posts
Parking at Gatwick Airport - Discount Code - 0 posts
intercontinental hotel al torre golf opening? - 1 posts
Printed plan of Cala Mosca Development - 0 posts
For sale Ovation Balladeer LX electro acoustic guitar - 0 posts

Number of posts in this thread: 28

DISCLAIMER:  All opinions posted on these message boards are the opinion solely of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Eye on Spain, its servants or agents.

1 | 2 |
Our Weekly Email Digest

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x