Steve Trinder from Assistance Le Cloup Location, who help with management of gites and other rented properties in the local area, has sent a "public service announcement" concerning the risks many UK citizens who live here full or part time and keep the UK plates on their cars, insured in the UK. There may be insurers who will provide cover for year round absence and it is possible that controle techniques will cover such vehicles. After reading Steve's warnings please let us have your experience.
"A good friend of mine, who works at the
Association of British Insurers, tells me that there is shortly to be a
crackdown. Forget Brexit, forget whether you're driving under a UK licence or a
French one - it's about car insurance.
There are many, many Brits living out here who are still driving on UK
registration plates. That's fine, as we know, if you're out here for a maximum
of 90 days at a time. UK car insurance policies generally cover you for up to
that period abroad, after which you are no longer covered.
But as we know, many of those cars spend their entire lives here, and so do
their owners. Many others are here for six months, and back in the UK for six
An inconvenient truth it may be, but I'm sorry, these cars are being driven
UNINSURED after those 90 days expire.
If you have an accident in France, the first thing your insurance company will
ask you is "we need proof that your car has not been in France for longer
than 90 days." If you cannot furnish a ferry/tunnel ticket which includes
the transit of your car, then you are in deep, deep trouble. Not only will they
not pay out on your claim and that of the other party, but you will also have
committed a criminal offence here, which could lead to a huge fine or even a
prison sentence for driving without insurance. Worse, if your accident (heaven
forbid) led to the death or serious injury of somebody, then your fines, legal
bills, compensation payments and an inevitable stay in a French prison will
almost certainly bankrupt you. Car gone, house gone, life gone. And all because
you didn't fancy changing your car plates and getting year-round insurance
Please, folks. If you are one of these people living here for more than three
months at a time and who STILL has British plates on your car, you are almost
certainly breaking the law. Not only that, you are putting other people's lives
at risk. And worse, you are fully aware of what you are doing. Which is
unforgivable. Get the car registered here, and get French insurance. There is
no excuse for not doing this, it is not difficult.