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 Taking a lowered Kombi abroad

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belgiumbay

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PostSubject: Taking a lowered Kombi abroad   Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:16 am

I know this is a little of the point but just thought I would throw in a quick FYI from a european view point:

If you are off to the mainland (continent) and you have a lowered brazilian the interpretation of the law on SVA is slightly (actually massively) different than in the UK. If a vehicle does not have a European Certificate of Conformity then technically it should have a SVA fro any and all alterations that affect the ride, height etc.

One of the reasons we gave up trying to import Daphne into Belgium was because of the interpretation of what UK SVA covers compared to how Europe interpret it.

When we checked with the Autokeuring (Belgium governmentt MOT garages) and advised them before we had bought Daphne that we would be purchasing a lowered Brazilian (again belgium laws about how low you can go) we were informed that the van would need a UK SVA covering the lowered bus before we could drive it legally on Belgium roads as it had been converted post purchase.

Where that can cause a problem is if you are in an accident in Europe and it is not your fault seem the leagl situation is that without a re-done SVA there is a slight chance that the insurers of the other vehicle could refuse to pay anything towards the costs even if it was their fault. Your UK insurance would still cover you, but the UK insurer would not be able to claim anything back from the Euopean insurer.

Hate to sound like a Jonah but altered vehicles are a nightmare on the continent because of more stringent regualtory authorities.

So we have a seperate international insurance policy from Italsure which covers us above UK coverage when we are on the continent. Though the one we use is only available to expats but I am sure there must be similar packages in the UK.
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Tallulah

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PostSubject: Re: Taking a lowered Kombi abroad   Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:57 am

The plot thickens.....

So would this be the same for a Danbury lowered Brazi? Are they still considered 'post purchase' at thus point?

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belgiumbay

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PostSubject: Re: Taking a lowered Kombi abroad   Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:11 am

Good question Tall

While UK cover would still cover you and the theory goes that all vehicles which pass uk MOT are accepted on a limited time basis i.e. the fact that after 6 months any vehicle should be registered and tested locally.

In Belgium and France certainly there are National regulations on ride hide and the need to test any structural modifications, Holland less so Germany another set of rules. This meant that when we where trying to import into Belgium that as we had a vanwurks conversion we had to do a full type acceptance as a campringcar. In the UK there is no need for this, so therfore we automatically failed the Belgium MOT because Brazilians do not carry tare weight plates for the conversion.

As far as lowering is concerned basically the same laws apply as the UK that a vehicle has to be fit for the road, so if you lowered a bus dangerouly in the UK and had an accident then you would be laibale to legal action. One of the reasons why all insurance forms have the declaration of modification.

On the continent the situation is slightly different where legal limits are applied. For instance in Belgium you couldnt have a bus scrapping the floor like some in the UK do. Even new welding has to be fully documented and certified in Belgium and I think also in France. So that does leave the situation of a vehicle that is acceptable under UK law actually being outside of individual European regulations. This does not mean that the vehicle is illegal it isnt , just that there is a loop hole which European insurance companies (who make UK one look kind) could use to winkle out of paying up on a claim to your UK insurance company.

Oddly we used a loop hole the other way when we could not import Daphne into Belgium (we failed so many Belgium MOT regulations it was just not worth it where as we have flown through the UK ones) anyway in Belgium the number plate belongs to the driver not the vehicle so you can swaop plates on a vehicle legally as long as you have a reciept for the vehicle, that meant we could actually register Daphne in the UK as my fathers van and drive on the continent perminantly because the driver and hence the licence plate owner under Belgium law did not not spend more than 90 days in Belgium in any one period.

the joy of a common market
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Tallulah

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PostSubject: Re: Taking a lowered Kombi abroad   Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:27 pm

Thanks for the clarification, so the bottom line is that as long as you have a valid UK MOT it should have no affect on insurance providing you are only 'visiting' mainland Europe.

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Baydreamer

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PostSubject: Re: Taking a lowered Kombi abroad   Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:35 pm

looks like you get 6 months of travel then they hunt you down!! Very Happy

you may have to put a disclosure of your hire details now hehehe
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Tallulah

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PostSubject: Re: Taking a lowered Kombi abroad   Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:05 pm

We (currently) only hire for travel in the UK but may travel abroad ourselves at some point - we were thinking of driving over for the F1 Belgian GP.

Our private use and self drive hire insurances are also very different for cost reasons although if Tallulah gets hired for more than 60 days or so in a year (which we're certainly not expecting this year) it may become more cost effective to get a years worth of SDH insurance which would include personal use.

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