Temporary Car Registrations and Export Log Books

Most Countries have some kind of temporary or export registration document but how long can you use them for?

temporary log bookWhen buying a left hand drive car wherever you may buy it there is the issue of the ultimate registration to consider. The vehicle may be on some sort of formal registration plate from the previous owner in another country or if bought from a dealer it may be on a temporary registration document sometimes called a transit or export plate. Either way the expectation and the law denotes that it should just be that an assuming you are insured it can only be driven temporarily. So in the UK as an example on a new car you may get temporary “X” plates accompanied by a VX302 registration document like the one opposite. This means you a) need to remove the car from the UK within a 2 month period and b) need to re-register pretty much straight away as there invariably is a VAT liability to pay in the destination member state. However it does give you a temporary registration by which to drive your new left hand drive car. Many countries offer these in one form or another and some include a quasi insurance but that is not something to rely upon and getting on a local insurance policy as quickly as possible is the safest bet. The only way to do this is insure in a country where you have an address.

Another consideration is used vehicles. Not all countries operate temporary plates for used vehicles and you will often be able to drive away on the existing plate but again in some countries the physical plates are the property of the state and these are removed from the vehicle leaving it plate-less. Ordinarily these vehicles need to be transported and registered immediately. Where there is a plate and VAT isn’t a consideration you will have a little more time to do thing based on one assumption. If you are resident in the country where the plates are issued then you could insure and drive it but if not then again you need to re-register it. For example, a British national with address in the UK and one in Spain cannot feasibly drive a left hand drive Nissan Qashqai on Italian plates. As much as anything it is highly unlikely anyone will insure you.