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Moving Racing Cars Between Europe and the UK

 

We asked expert James Walker, General Manager of CARS (Classic Automotive Relocation Services), to give us an update on the transport of racing cars in and out of Europe after Brexit.

Transporting your car around Europe used to be straightforward under the long-established provision of freedom of movement of vehicles across the UK border and into Europe.  Since the UK exited the EU, it is necessary to consider how your car will be temporarily imported into Europe and what new driving regulations you will need to follow.  Likewise, those planning to bring their racing car into the UK must consider the new requirements.

The UK’s new relationship with the EU is a changing situation, with import and export arrangements still being straightened out and the various EU customs authorities considering how their new relationship with the UK is going to work (unfortunately customs rules are not harmonised across EU states), and vice versa.

The following are some simple answers to those questions commonly being posed by those that tow their own race cars to Europe on their own trailer.  The rules regarding the permanent export of cars are a completely different matter.

Is my Driving Licence Still Valid?

Your UK Driving Licence is valid in all EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.  You will require an IDP (International Driving Permit) to drive in Monaco (as well as many non-EU countries).  You can apply for an IDP at main UK Post Offices.  EU driving licences will be valid in the UK.

Do I need to register my Trailer?

Trailers plated to carry under 3500kg will not need to be registered.  Trailers plated to carry 3500kg or more (or trailers carrying over 750kg on a commercial basis) will need to be registered before you can drive them through most European countries (including France).  Registered trailers must display their own registration plate (separate from the vehicle towing them).  Information on how to register your trailer can be found on the GOV.UK website.   All trailers must be properly insured to be towed on the road in Europe.

Most European countries already require trailers to be registered separately, so there should be no issue for continentals visiting the UK.

Will I require a Green Card?

You will need to carry a Green Card, obtainable from your insurer,  for your trailer, your tow vehicle, and any registered vehicles being carried in your trailer.   You should carry registration documents for all vehicles and also your trailer registration (if applicable).

Will I require an ATA Carnet to take my race car into Europe or the UK?

An ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of non-perishable goods for up to one year.  UK road registered race cars will not require an ATA Carnet when going to Europe (you only need to carry a copy of your UK registration document and a Green Card).  However, it may be necessary to carry a separate list of any spare parts that you are carrying.

Non-registered vehicles will require an ATA Carnet.  You will also need to list any spare parts that you are carrying on your ATA Carnet (you are not required to list consumables on an ATA Carnet). 

An EU road registered vehicle being transported on a trailer will require a C110 form to enter the UK   This is available to fill out online at Gov.UK.  At time of writing we do not know whether a formal customs entry will be required.

All vehicles, whether they are registered or not, being transported by a third party (such as your race team) or a commercial operator will require an ATA Carnet (as well as a Green Card).

The information listed above is provided to the best of our knowledge.  These rules could have easily changed by the time you read this.  It has not been possible to test these practices since the UK’s departure from the EU, as the current COVID-19 pandemic has stopped the general public from transporting their race cars to the continent on a trailer. 

We strongly advise that you seek the most up-to-date advice before transporting your car.  We understand that there is a strong possibility that the EU will insist on all race cars being temporarily imported under an ATA Carnet (regardless of whether they are road registered) but this is yet to be confirmed. 

You can of course enlist the services of a reputable vehicle transport company to take the hassle for you!  I am of course more than happy to recommend the services of CARS (Classic Automotive Relocation Services).  CARS have formed a partnership with the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and are able to issue ATA Carnets on their behalf.  Contact Sukie Duhaney (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for further information.  With over 30 years of experience, CARS are ideally placed to solve your European transport needs - for further information please visit www.carseurope.net.