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Imports for Snowbirds?



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 19th 07, 12:52 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Geoff Lane
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Posts: 870
Default Imports for Snowbirds?

By "snowbirds" I mean people who 'migrate' south for the winter. I'm a
wannabe snowbird who's considering changing my trailer caravan for a
motorhome when I retire in a few years - if only because 'wild camping'
seems more feasible along the 'migration route' and winter grounds with a
motorhome.

Given the majority of use for the vehicle will be on the continent, it
seems sense to get left-hand drive; and given that motorhomes are allegedly
less expensive in The Netherlands and Germany, it seems sense to buy on the
continent at the start of my first Autumn 'migration' and then officially
import it into UK the following Spring. I suspect I could consider sourcing
a vehicle in any EU country - so France, Spain, Portugal, etc. are also "on
the menu"!

So, are there any pitfalls to that approach? For example, are there any
countries to avoid or problems with licensing and/or insurance for someone
with a permanent UK address wandering around Spain and Portugal for most of
the winter?

TIA,

--
Geoff
Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old November 19th 07, 05:46 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Lenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 989
Default Imports for Snowbirds?

On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 12:52:02 -0000, Geoff Lane
wrote:

By "snowbirds" I mean people who 'migrate' south for the winter. I'm a
wannabe snowbird who's considering changing my trailer caravan for a
motorhome when I retire in a few years - if only because 'wild camping'
seems more feasible along the 'migration route' and winter grounds with a
motorhome.

Given the majority of use for the vehicle will be on the continent, it
seems sense to get left-hand drive; and given that motorhomes are allegedly
less expensive in The Netherlands and Germany, it seems sense to buy on the
continent at the start of my first Autumn 'migration' and then officially
import it into UK the following Spring. I suspect I could consider sourcing
a vehicle in any EU country - so France, Spain, Portugal, etc. are also "on
the menu"!

So, are there any pitfalls to that approach? For example, are there any
countries to avoid or problems with licensing and/or insurance for someone
with a permanent UK address wandering around Spain and Portugal for most of
the winter?

TIA,


I've just ordered a Hymer from Campirama in Belgium they appear to
give the best deal on Hymer's and will sell VAT free so no hassle
claiming it back. They will also drive it to the port for you to avoid
insurance problems.
The reason for choosing Campirama was my mate brought his last van
from them & they are used to supplying people in the UK, he has also
ordered the same van as me & they gave us a better price for two &
threw in Gasglow refillable bottles (normally 600).

I take it the reason you want to delay registering it in the UK is to
save the hassle with the VAT. To do that you will have to have a place
of residence in the country of purchase & insure it in that country.
Although EU law was change in June so that you can insure a vehicle in
another country, there have been problems implementing it & will not
be operational until next year, even then you will only be able to get
cover for 2 weeks to allow you to import the vehicle.

We were going for a LHD but on the Fiat chassis it was only 1300
extra for RHD so went for that as it will make it easier to sell in
the UK (& SHWMBO preferred RHD).

We have gone for a Tramp 654SL Gold Edition, with UK vat comes out at
about 42/43K with approx 2k of extras, a bit better than Brownhill's
52K without the extras. How the robbing b***** justify 1700 delivery
1200 more than Hymer's standard delivery price on the continent
rather a lot to get a van across the channel.

Lenny

Dark evenings - for better visibility fit
The NEW Osram NIGHT BREAKER Headlamp Bulbs
90% Brighter beam, 10% whiter light.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old November 19th 07, 10:18 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Geoff Lane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 870
Default Imports for Snowbirds?

Lenny wrote in
:

I take it the reason you want to delay registering it in the UK is to
save the hassle with the VAT. To do that you will have to have a place
of residence in the country of purchase & insure it in that country.
Although EU law was change in June so that you can insure a vehicle in
another country, there have been problems implementing it & will not
be operational until next year, even then you will only be able to get
cover for 2 weeks to allow you to import the vehicle.


Thanks for the words of wisdom.

The reason for delaying registering in UK is because I won't plan to be in
UK for that time and didn't want the expense of two channel crossings just
to jump through bureaucratic hoops - but your point re VAT is worth noting.
I have friends in Portugal whose address I can use to register a vehicle
there or I could use my UK address - but I'm unsure whether either would be
possible.

That said, I'm a few years off becoming a snowbird and I'm just trying to
get my facts straight at the moment. An alternative might be to buy a used
LHD van from UK (there's fifty or so in Autotrader tonight that would fit
my proposed budget), but if I could get a new one from the continent for
the same money that would be better and the choice of LHD vans must surely
be better in countries where they drive on the right!?

Thanks again,

--
Geoff
  #4 (permalink)  
Old November 19th 07, 10:52 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans
Lenny
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 989
Default Imports for Snowbirds?

On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 22:18:33 -0000, Geoff Lane
wrote:

Lenny wrote in
:

I take it the reason you want to delay registering it in the UK is to
save the hassle with the VAT. To do that you will have to have a place
of residence in the country of purchase & insure it in that country.
Although EU law was change in June so that you can insure a vehicle in
another country, there have been problems implementing it & will not
be operational until next year, even then you will only be able to get
cover for 2 weeks to allow you to import the vehicle.


Thanks for the words of wisdom.

The reason for delaying registering in UK is because I won't plan to be in
UK for that time and didn't want the expense of two channel crossings just
to jump through bureaucratic hoops - but your point re VAT is worth noting.
I have friends in Portugal whose address I can use to register a vehicle
there or I could use my UK address - but I'm unsure whether either would be
possible.

That said, I'm a few years off becoming a snowbird and I'm just trying to
get my facts straight at the moment. An alternative might be to buy a used
LHD van from UK (there's fifty or so in Autotrader tonight that would fit
my proposed budget), but if I could get a new one from the continent for
the same money that would be better and the choice of LHD vans must surely
be better in countries where they drive on the right!?

Thanks again,


Belgium & Germany are the cheapest places to buy expect a 10% discount
off listed price appears to be the norm. Germany is best for S/H take
a look at http://www.mobile.de nearly every dealer in Germany
advertises here, bear in mind you will have to drive it back to your
country of residence with only 3rd party insurance, Buying in Germany
you have to take out German 3rd party insurance.

Also take a look at the following:-

http://www.motorhome-list.org.uk/importing.htm

http://www.ukmotorhomes.net/germany.shtml

http://www.motorcaravanning.com/vehi...ting_facts.htm


We weren't going to buy for another 2/3 years but the deal Hymer were
doing with their 50th anniversary Gold edition was just to good to
miss.

Lenny

Dark evenings - for better visibility fit
The NEW Osram NIGHT BREAKER Headlamp Bulbs
90% Brighter beam, 10% whiter light.



 



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