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Re: registering and insuring a UK car in Bulgaria

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:08 pm
by truckyboy
register the car in bg, either put both names on the documents, and on the insurance, otherwise if its just in her name, you will need a letter of authorisation from her..for you to use the car..a bg insurance certificate should allow you to travel to other countries within the eu..If you change the registration back to a uk one..depending on brexit ..there would be other changes to be made..such as you will need an international drivers permit available from most post offices ..your insurance will also need a green card..just a couple of the proposals IF we dont agree the same as we have now.
of course you cannot drive your car to the uk, without current insurance or an m.o.t...BUT i believe you can get insurance for a british registered car within bg, albeit if only for 1 month to enable you to drive it across will also need tax, and to be booked in for an m.o.t. in the uk..all of this will cause i personally would get it all done in BG..and change it all over when you get back to the for your insurance from the KAT station..its all done there so take your wife as an interpreter..and try and buy a minimum insurance and vignette..just for travel.

Re: registering and insuring a UK car in Bulgaria

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:57 pm
by Liliputian
Thanks truckyboy for this advice. I didn't know you could put more than one name on the registration documents, and very interesting suggestion about the temporary insurance to drive the car back to UK for a pre-booked MOT - will look into these.

Another option I thought about is transferring ownership to my wife now via the DVLA and completing/submitting the export form from the log book, before we go out to Bulgaria. My thinking is that this would hopefully make the process of registering it with Bulgarian plates easier if it's already in her name on the documentation.

I'm still concerned there may be a penalty, probably a fine, for allowing the car to slip into its current position of not being properly registered, as they will I assume be able to see on their records when it entered Bulgaria (Jan 2018) and this should by now have been registered there (as well as not having current UK MOT and insurance).

Re: registering and insuring a UK car in Bulgaria

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:53 pm
by mememe
Do you have permanent/long-term residency of BG or are you still a UK resident? If the latter, then you cannot legally drive a BG-registered car in the UK, although your wife could if she has the appropriate licence and is still a BG resident.

If you do have BG residency, then all's well and good on that aspect - But after BREXIT, a UK driving licence and IDP may be insufficient to continue driving legally in BG if you have residency here. That's why the British Embassy has for some time been advising people who live in BG to exchange their UK driving licence for a BG one. I did mine a few months ago and now drive here on a BG licence.

So if I have understood correctly, you plan to try to register your UK car in BG, drive it back to the UK and then re-register it on UK plates?

IMHO, it seems to be getting awfully complicated with many potential problems along the way - and probably not insignificant cost. If it were me, I'd carefully evaluate whether it was worth all the trouble and if I decided it wasn't, then another possible option would be to put the car on a suitable trailer and tow it back to the UK - or get someone reliable to do it for you.

As far as I know, no reliable record is currently kept of non-commercial foreign vehicles from the EU entering or leaving Bulgaria. That's why you can see so many cars from the UK which have been here continuously for years and which haven't seen the inside of a UK MOT centre for almost as long. Again, that may well change after/in the event of BREXIT.

Good luck whichever route you choose, anyway!

Re: registering and insuring a UK car in Bulgaria

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:37 am
by Liliputian
Thanks mememe, I am a UK resident so thanks for the heads up re- driving a Bg-reg car in the UK - would I not be allowed to drive it at all, even for a few weeks until I got it re-registered in UK? (I thought there was a grace period, but may be just for tourists - my wife is also a UK resident so even though she is a Bg citizen she would probably be in the same boat as me)

I now know I can take out a Europe-wide insurance policy and they allow 7 days to regularise it (get it MOT'd and taxed back in the UK), so this would mean having a pre-booked MOT in UK and starting the policy on the day I pick up the car and getting it back and tested in a week. The policy is a bit pricey though - prob double what I'd pay for a UK-only policy, and chances are I wouldn't make use of the European part after the initial drive back.

I'm looking into the option having it transported back, and if all else fails there is the option of finding someone in Bg to take it off my hands (it isn't worth much but is reliable and it's served me well).

Re: registering and insuring a UK car in Bulgaria

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:32 pm
by mememe
No, if you are a UK resident then I'm afraid you can't drive a foreign registered car in the UK, full-stop. It's written in other places, but have a look at this DVLA .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) booklet which is downloadable on the link below. ... UHu-ydsfTs

Look particularly at page 3, which is pretty conclusive and says:-

"A UK resident must not drive a vehicle displaying foreign registration number plates in the UK."

As you say your wife is also a UK resident, the rule stands for her too - with no exceptions or periods of grace.

If the car, by your own admission, isn't worth much, then I'd just get shot of it if I were you - but I fully understand that you can get attached to cars.

Having thought a bit more, I'm not even sure if you would be able to register the car in BG in your name before you head off to the UK. I believe that to register a car in BG you need to be a 'legal entity' and as you don't have residency then you have no legal identity in Bulgaria. However, if you still have a company from when you bought any property/properties (pre-2012), then another way of registering it in BG would be to use that company for the vehicle registration. (Perhaps others will correct me here if I am wrong). If you don't have a company, then re-registering it in the UK in your wife's name before you leave the UK could be the other route to take, prior to registering it on a BG number in her name..

One further possible problem I've just noticed. How are you going to validly book a UK MOT when your car has a BG registration? As far as I know, you cannot put foreign cars through a UK MOT test, just like you cannot put a UK car through a mechanical test in BG. There is also no guarantee that DVLA will give you the original number when you re-register it, as they reserve the right to just give you an age-related one.

You really MUST get everything right and it will only take one awkward person, be they a policeman or a border official, to cause you innumerable, possibly insurmountable, problems. I haven't lived there for many years, but I understand that the UK police seize a car in the event of no or incorrect licence/insurance etc etc. What would you do then....?

So many possible problems and I honestly think that trailering to the UK it would be the 2nd most sensible option, with the best option being to sell it onto someone in BG who is willing to risk continuing to drive it around illegally. The risk of doing that may well become greater after BREXIT, of course.

Re: registering and insuring a UK car in Bulgaria

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:42 pm
by Liliputian
Thank you again mememe for all the thoughtful advice. The link and quote really puts an end to any plans for registering it on Bg plates as even if we overcame the residency issue the car would only legally get us as far as the ferry into the UK, and after that we'd be driving illegally. So as the transporter option is looking too expensive, that leaves either the UK/Europe-insurance 7-day regularisation option, passing it on to someone in Bulgaria (hardly any market value and probably too much hassle for them) or scrapping it (waits with baited breath to find out even that will be far from straightforward!).

Re: registering and insuring a UK car in Bulgaria

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:08 pm
by mememe
Yep - I think you can appreciate that the road to the UK in that car could be strewn with problems - and if it's not worth a lot then why beat yourself about the head over it?...

Try to get some more man-with-van-and-trailer prices for transportation but if still no joy, then stick it on a few of the BG forums or and see what interest you get. Some in Bulgaria, particularly ones who have little regard for BG law, are probably the most likely potential purchasers. (I'll start the bidding.... twenty quid! :-) )

But don't just trust my judgement though... Maybe someone else of the now few here might have a different take on it.

Good luck anyway.