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Ingmar Timmann

Insuring a Spanish reg left-hand drive van in UK. Any recommendations?

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Can anyone give me any information or advice on the following: I'm trying to get insurance for a left-hand drive van with Spanish number plates in the UK. To register the van in the UK I need a British MOT, insurance and tax disc. I've had no luck trying to get insured with some of the big insurers (Direct Line, Tesco, amongst others) and ended up getting a quote from Bewiser Insurance for £753. So far, so good, it's expensive but what the hell. However, reading some of the customer reviews about insuring a vehicle with this company has left me frankly worried about having anything to do with them. Has anyone had any experience insuring a foreign-registered vehicle in the UK? I'd appreciate any help or advice with this matter.

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If you're planning to keep the vehicle in the UK permanently, it's probably better to get it MOTed and registered with UK plates. It's required after 6 months anyway, although I don't know how well enforced that rule is. As long as it remains on Spanish plates, you'd need to keep up with any requirements such as the equivalent of an MOT, failing which any insurance policy would be invalid.

 

If re-registering, you'd have to declare SORN immediately because you need the insurance in place before you can get a tax disc. However, once you have a registration number, you can insure it and then apply for the tax disc as quickly as the insurer updates the DVLA database. You shouldn't therefore be off the road for very long.

 

If you have to keep the Spanish plates then you won't find many interested UK insurers and none of them will be cheap. Have you thought about asking a Spanish insurer for additional foreign usage cover?

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Try Adrian Flux by enquiring about chassis number Insurance. Acorn Insurance also do this, as do many brokers. Brokers that deal with our Armed Forces arrange this cover on a regular basis, as those based in Germany for example do bring cars back.

 

Don't touch BeWiser unless you want problems (see online comments about them)


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Thanks marmaris30 for your reply. I did think of consulting my Spanish insurer to see if we could come to an arrangement that way, but it would mean driving back to Spain every 6 months to get a new MOT, which would be difficult. I think UK plates is the way to go, even though it means I'd have to go off-road for a little while - in the end it would be easier ... and cheaper!

 

Thanks unclebulgaria67 for the tips. I'll get on to Adrian Flux and Acorn Insurance first thing in the morning and see what they say. BeWiser have been back in touch with me looking for acceptance of their quote, As per your advice I'm not going to touch them - the whole setup seems dodgy and I just have a bad feeling about it.

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UB is right. You should have better luck getting quotes on the chassis number.

 

I recently got a UK registration on an imported bike and that was fairly simple to insure on the chassis number.

 

Keep an eye on the MID after you register it though - the insurance company cocked mine up and I narrowly dodged a fixed penalty from DVLA for not being on it.

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Just to let you know - in the end I went with Direct Line. It was surprisingly easy, although it isn't cheap. I'm paying £740 a year, which is still less than others quoted me (Bewiser, Swinton and one or two others). First I got a British MOT, got the insurance on the chassis number, went to the DVLA office, taxed the vehicle and filled out the papers to register in the UK. That went very smoothly - a week later I had a letter with my British number and I could get number plates made. It was great to have the DVLA office locally in Norwich, the staff there were really friendly and helpful. Unfortunately they're going to be closed down and all the DVLA stuff in future will have to be done online. I'm not looking forward to that...

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