Taking UK car to Ukraine

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
11 replies 7.5K views
beemadbeemad Forumite
3 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning
Hello everyone,
I am a newbie so please be gentle :).
We are planning to move to Ukraine for few or more years. My husband is from Ukraine and we absolutely like the country, it is a very beautifull country, but because of its bad economical, political situation it is not seen as a Good country. We have some property there, and my Mother-in-law is looking after it, but it's getting too hard for her, so we need to step in. We have 2 small children and want them to grow up (or at least to spend their childhood) on the seaside, away from 'nasties' in London air.
Now, we have this problem...
We have a car that was bought on finance. We had a van on finance, so decided to exchange it into the car, so we could all travel (the van has 3 seats, and there are 4 of us). we extended our finance for 4 more years, but our monthly repayments have halfed, meaning that we can pay them, while not in UK, out of the small income we have in UK. So our plan is to take car to ukraine, while it will be slowly repayed in UK. We don't want to give the car back to the dealer, as we have already paid over £7k for our van, and if we go to ukraine without a car, we will not have money to buy a car there, and we can't get a credit over there. And, you knever know, maybe after 6 months we'll run back to UK...
So now, we need help with the documentation.
Exporting a car. I think (but have to check it) under our credit agreement, we can't export our car. Even if we did, ukrainians won't allow us to import a RHD car, we will have to make changes to it, we could be difficult and costly. i found on the internet, that I (as a foreigner) can bring a car for 2 months, and then'll have to register it with local police and can keep it in ukraine for 1 year, but don't know how it will be after 1 year.
Insurance. To travel through Europe we need 'Green card'. Called my insurance company, Direct Line, it costs £30 for 2 weeks. Or should I buy it for 4-5 days, enough for us to get through Europe to ukraine. I understand we will need to buy insurance on ukraine border, as Direct Line doesn't cover ukraine. Anyone know how much it will cost, etc?
Road tax. DVLA says we will have to pay UK road taxes, even if we will not use UK roads:eek:. This adds £200 extra a year to our expences. I think we will still have to pay some sort of road tax in ukraine, seems quite illogical to pay tax in both countries.
So it seems a no win situation, we either have to leave a car in UK and pay for it, but not use it. Or, if we take it to ukraine, we will have to pay tax and insurance in both countries:eek:

Any help, please....
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Replies

  • c0rneLc0rneL Forumite
    86 Posts
    is not easy as you can only drive the car in Ukraine, or for that extend anywhere in Europe as long as it legal to be driven in the country is registered (i.e. UK). so technically you will not have any insurance to drive if you only get 5 days insurance. Another thing to consider is MOT. I am not sure if Ukraine police will stop you, they might check to see if the car is insured/roadworthy (certificate of MOT).
    I have a car that I drove back to Holland and left it parked in at my friends house (I had to return by plane due to some emergency- had not time to get my car back in time before the MOT expired -- and now I have my car over-there, no insurance, no MOT no road Tax(i cannot tax the car because I have no MOT) -- luckily for me the car is old car, so I am planning to sell it as spares in Holland. I cannot risk to drive it back because if police(in Holland) will stop me I will be in serious trouble

    this is another thing to consider, what will you do when you plan to return; another thing to consider is that DVLA will want an UK address, and it you technically live, and become Ukraine resident you will have an Ukrainian address.

    I did not even go into the leasing/finance agreement.

    In my opinion, you will be better off, handing the car back, take a loan and buy a car locally, and pay the loan back in the same way you will pay the car.
    this way, when the times comes, you sell the car back in Ukraine (I know for sure that the car depreciation in the old eastern block is far lower than the Right hand drive market) -- so you will be far better off.

    There are other things to consider if you take an expensive car there (without insurance)-- Ukraine might have lots of uninsured drivers, so if you get involved in an accident, you will have to pay, out of your own money (and the police might investigate your paperwork).

    There are cost of repairs as well, and some parts are only made for UK cars. I once drove in Germany, with an UK LHD Peugeot 205, the speedometer cable snapped, went to a local garage and they said that is an easy job (and not expensive) -- What they did not know was that because the fact that dash board was located on the opposite side, the cable for LHD was a bit longer (about an inch) for the LHD vehicle. And after I paid all the work they had to keep my car in for a week while they had the part sent from UK. This is only an minuscule example of problems you might experience.

    I would consider other options that will not involve taking an UK car abroad. Think at other options, there are other options that will be far more economical.
  • thamespiratethamespirate Forumite
    104 Posts
    delare it sorn the day after you leave the country , it will not be on the road in the uk , uk car tax is meaning less in the ukraine , as long as its not driven in uk , as far as the dvla are concerned the car is in a lock up garage ,will have to re tax it when coming back . thats what i would do, can not help with rest .
  • beemadbeemad Forumite
    3 Posts
    c0rneL wrote: »
    is not easy as you can only drive the car in Ukraine, or for that extend anywhere in Europe as long as it legal to be driven in the country is registered (i.e. UK). so technically you will not have any insurance to drive if you only get 5 days insurance. Another thing to consider is MOT. I am not sure if Ukraine police will stop you, they might check to see if the car is insured/roadworthy (certificate of MOT).
    I have a car that I drove back to Holland and left it parked in at my friends house (I had to return by plane due to some emergency- had not time to get my car back in time before the MOT expired -- and now I have my car over-there, no insurance, no MOT no road Tax(i cannot tax the car because I have no MOT) -- luckily for me the car is old car, so I am planning to sell it as spares in Holland. I cannot risk to drive it back because if police(in Holland) will stop me I will be in serious trouble
    Thanks. It's good that I've asked, as we haven't thought about MOT. So I gues we'll have to come back to UK, before MOT expires and my kids will see their grandparents:j.
    We don't know how long we are going to stay in ukraine. We have a plan to come back to UK next february (we are leaving for ukraine at the end of June) and restart our small business for few months. My husband makes beehives (hence my name:rotfl:) and the beehives usually sell in spring and beginning of summer. I gues we could buy a green card for the time enough for us to get to ukraine, and in ukraine we'll have to buy a local insurance, as UK one will be invalid. Then we could cancel a UK insurance, and declare our car SORN. And, before we come back to UK we could purchase car insurance, and get all the documents sent to my parents in UK, and they could send us a road tax. Our MOT expires next May. When we'll be back in UK, we could get a new one.
    Does anyone see any flaws with this plan?
    P.S. If I take car overseas, can I Really declare SORN, or they keep track of all cars that leave UK?
  • c0rneLc0rneL Forumite
    86 Posts
    mine is declared SORN and it is parked in Holland. you can drive it abroad and not needed to be taxed in UK (UK road tax only apply for driving on a UK public road)
  • InactiveInactive Forumite
    14.5K Posts
    c0rneL wrote: »
    mine is declared SORN and it is parked in Holland. you can drive it abroad and not needed to be taxed in UK (UK road tax only apply for driving on a UK public road)

    Not strictly true.

    It needs to be taxed if it is on a public road anywhere.
  • jammin_2jammin_2 Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    delare it sorn the day after you leave the country , it will not be on the road in the uk , uk car tax is meaning less in the ukraine , as long as its not driven in uk , as far as the dvla are concerned the car is in a lock up garage ,will have to re tax it when coming back . thats what i would do, can not help with rest .
    c0rneL wrote: »
    mine is declared SORN and it is parked in Holland. you can drive it abroad and not needed to be taxed in UK (UK road tax only apply for driving on a UK public road)

    Bad advice. The EU requires that a car being driven in another Member State is legally taxed in the country where it is registered.
  • jammin_2jammin_2 Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    A quick Google..
    Driving in Ukraine

    Bringing cars into Ukraine and driving

    Now that westerners can enter Ukraine without a visa, more and more people are entering Ukraine in cars. This article will acquaint readers with the basic rules for bringing cars into Ukraine and tell about what it's like to drive a car in Ukraine.
    Entering Ukraine on a car

    Any foreigner may bring a car into Ukraine. You will need to have the vehicle registration certificate from your home country, as well as your international passport. When you cross the border, you write the car's license plate number on your immigration card, and customs officers put a special stamp in your passport. The stamp is for "temporary import" of your car into Ukraine and will have your license plate number on it. This procedure is free.
    Leaving Ukraine

    Border police and customs officers will expect to see you leave the country on the same car as when you entered. In this case, they put another stamp in your passport with your license plate number. If you are leaving Ukraine temporarily without your car, you will have to explain this to them, but there shouldn't be problems. There will only be problems if they can see you have brought several cars in and are leaving without them, which would suggest that you have been selling them in Ukraine and should be paying import duties. Your vehicle information will be entered into the computer at your border crossing.
    Steering wheel issues

    Automobiles with steering wheels on the right side are allowed in Ukraine, but they may only be driven by their foreign owners or when the owner is a passenger in the car.
    Auto insurance

    Auto insurance is not yet compulsory in Ukraine, and you will not be checked for insurance at the border. Even if you were, foreign insurance companies would almost certainly refuse to insure your car in a "dangerous" place like Ukraine.
    You may buy 3rd party car insurance in Ukraine for as little as 130 UAH for 6 months ($26 USD). This will cover up to $5000 in damages to the other car in accidents where you are at fault. Fully comprehensive auto insurance policies might also be available for foreigners.
    Car accidents

    When car accidents occur in Ukraine, drivers are required to leave their cars on the scene of the accident until traffic police come and write up a report. This rule creates significant traffic problems in large cities. When drivers don't want to involve police and insurance companies, they agree on a cash settlement on the stop. One party will usually call a family member or friend and have them bring the agreed amount of cash to the accident site.
    Vehicle registration in Ukraine

    According to my contacts who drive cars in Ukraine, there is a two-month registration rule for cars I]info needs to be confirmed[/I. In other words, if your car will be in the country longer than 2 months, you are supposed to register your vehicle at the local DAI (Government Auto Inspection) office and receive a temporary Ukrainian license plate and registration number. This temporary number is valid for up to a year from your date of entry into Ukraine.
    Driving a car in Ukraine

    There are a few disadvantages to driving in Ukraine that car owners should be aware of:
    • frequent potholes; poor condition of many city and country roads
    • getting stopped frequently by traffic police
    • incompetent and reckless drivers (many bought their licenses instead of completing driving courses, and driving discipline is low in most cities)
    • driving at night (poor street lighting, people walk along the side of the road, especially in rural areas)
    • bad signs (no street names on street lights, etc.)
    Dealing with Ukrainian traffic police

    Ukrainian traffic police are always very busy on the roads. It is common knowledge that if you are stopped, they are looking for a bribe. They will try to look for something wrong with your documents or car if there was no traffic infringement. The typical bribe these days for "minor infringements" such as speeding (!) is 20 UAH ($4 USD). The absence of serious fines for driving violations contributes to the poor driving culture on Ukrainian roads.
    Traffic police will ask to see your vehicle registration certificate, driver's license, and passport (to check for the entry stamp). If everything is fine, they will probably ask for your immigration card. They have also been known to check for "warning triangles" and first-aid kits, which every car is supposed to have, and wheedle a bribe out of you if you don't have it. I have seen traffic police inspecting something under the hood (oil levels?). If everything is okay, they will let you go without a bribe, of course.
    In general, traffic police will not stop you more often for having foreign plates, and they are not prepared to chatter away with you in English. If you waste too much of their time, they will usually let you go. They have work to do.
    Driver's license issues

    Many drivers wonder, "do I need an international driver's license to drive in Ukraine?" I have yet to find out for sure, but my sources say you do not. You will probably not be bothered for your U.S., E.U., or U.K. driver's license.
    Selling your car in Ukraine

    With your "temporary import" entry stamp, it is assumed that you will not sell your car in Ukraine, which would qualify it for import duties. Also, you will be expected to leave Ukraine with your original car. You could theoretically find a buyer in Ukraine, leave the country with him or her and your car, and transfer ownership outside Ukraine. The new owner could then enter the country on the car and have it stamped into his or her passport. Ukrainians cannot enter the country with foreign cars without paying import duties.
    http://www.tryukraine.com/info/driving.shtml
  • beemadbeemad Forumite
    3 Posts
    Inactive wrote: »
    Not strictly true.

    It needs to be taxed if it is on a public road anywhere.
    jammin wrote: »
    Bad advice. The EU requires that a car being driven in another Member State is legally taxed in the country where it is registered.

    Thanks. But the thing is, that ukraine is not in EU, not a member state, so maybe...
  • jammin_2jammin_2 Forumite
    2.5K Posts
    beemad wrote: »
    Thanks. But the thing is, that ukraine is not in EU, not a member state, so maybe...
    But you will be driving through EU Member States to get to Ukraine.
  • c0rneLc0rneL Forumite
    86 Posts
    jammin wrote: »
    Bad advice. The EU requires that a car being driven in another Member State is legally taxed in the country where it is registered.

    in an earlier post I stated that I have my car trapped in Holland; I am aware that I cannot drive the car any more; I said that the situation is far more complicated. The car is parked off road at my friends house and I have not a way of getting the car legally back in the UK-- the only legal alternative I have is to have it towed (off road- not even an wheel on any road). This is expensive -- so I will choose to sell the car as spares to a scrap yard in Holland.
    But as someone posted, the car will be driven outside EU. So, technically, they can take the car off UK roads and not have to pay any UK road Tax; this will be the situation for 2 -3 -4 years; the problems, as I already posted will start once they will need to bring the car back within EU and UK.
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