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Hello all,

 

Looking for advice on long term (6 months) rental of a car and caravan versus buying used and re selling. I am an Ex pat living in British Columbia, left the UK in 1987 and we are thinking of coming to Europe for up to 6 months and touring. I was a caravanner before emigrating and own an outfit here at home although it's a bit different from a UK outfit ! (pic of trailer attached)

 

I would like some input on the practicality of what we are planning. Could we, as non residents buy and insure a car ? What is the B & E driving test that is now required and would I need to be tested or grandfathered in ? This is a wrinkle I hadn't considered..... 

 

I still have a photocopy of my UK licence but not the original and it is for car and motorcycle. I passed my test at 16 and have been driving for over 50 years now.

 

We've also considered an exchange, an outfit in exchange for our house near Victoria BC for the duration or part of it.

 

Were open to suggestions so feel free to weight in......

 

Anyway, looking forward to any and all responses........

 

 

5th wheel.jpg

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Sorry, I can't help with the caravan hire but car hire should be simple and straightforward.  Your big hurdle will be finding a hire car with a tow hitch, plus you will have to get them to supply you with a number plate for the caravan (assuming they will allow you to tow one).

As a visitor your Canadian driving licence is valid in the UK during your tour and you will not require an international driving permit in the UK. Whatever your licence allows you to drive in Canada you can drive here. You cannot take a UK driving test without a current UK driving licence, for which you would need a UK residential address, but then you don't need to as a visitor.

I cannot think of anything that would prevent you buying a car (or caravan) but getting insurance with a Canadian driving licence and no UK residential address may prove impossible.

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Thanks for that quick response, we have friends in  who reside in the UK and may be able to purchase on our behalf, effectivley owning them, and insure "any driver" or "named driver" (assuming that is still an option).  Obviously things have changed in the last 30 or so years... Is the issuance of a caravan number plate controlled now ? When I last owned a caravan, the local towbar store would make them while you wait, in fact I have mine from my last caravan hung up in the garage here

 

Is the "B&E test now mandatory ?".

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4 hours ago, TR6 said:

Thanks for that quick response, we have friends in  who reside in the UK and may be able to purchase on our behalf, effectivley owning them, and insure "any driver" or "named driver" (assuming that is still an option).  Obviously things have changed in the last 30 or so years... Is the issuance of a caravan number plate controlled now ? When I last owned a caravan, the local towbar store would make them while you wait, in fact I have mine from my last caravan hung up in the garage here

 

Is the "B&E test now mandatory ?".

You are required to tell the insurers who will be the usual driver of a vehicle that they are insuring so insuring in the name of a British resident may prove difficult.  Some insurers are also reluctant to accept even a named driver with an overseas address.

 

Registration plates can only be issued by a registered number plate supplier although most car accessory shops are registered.  They are required to ask you for documents to prove your identity (for example your passport) and

show you’re entitled to the registration number (for example the V5 vehicle registration certificate).  Many suppliers do not do this but these are the rules.

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6 hours ago, TR6 said:

Is the "B&E test now mandatory ?".

As a visiting resident of Canada you do not need to worry about the B+E driving test. As you already tow a trailer, your Canadian domestic driving licence must cover you.

For UK residents who passed their  Group B test before 1st January 1997 B+E is retained automatically. In simplistic terms, those who passed the Group B test on or after 1st January 1997 must pass a B+E test if they wish to tow a car and trailer whose combined maximum authorised mass exceeds 3500kg.

More detail can be found on the UK Govt. website.

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Renting a vehicle with a tow bar should be possible but it will normally be 4x4 rather than a normal car. Six months rental will however be expensive but you may be able to do a deal. Fifth wheelers are sold here but I am not sure if you can rent them anywhere.

There are plenty of caravan hire businesses who should come up on Google.

I do wonder though if  a motorhome might be easier and cheaper but that may not appeal.

Hire companies will certainly be able to arrange insurance, but they are often expensive, if not then I would look on google to see what they have listed.

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A 6 month rental is probably more a leasing arrangement than rental, you become the registered keeper and insured person, potentially using your friend's address for communications. The insurance company would need to agree so a phone call to one of the specialist insurers would be worthwhile.

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Nice 5th wheel, do you camp exclusively on Vancouver Island or do you go to the mainland?  I have an employee based in Kelowna and he camps a lot in the provincial parks, says they are really nice.

 

I know my mum has insured me on her car, but I was not the main driver.  Have you considered renting a class c type motorhome in the UK?

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Thanks for the compliment, my son in law calls it "a house on wheels".  Yes, we considered a motorhome but its not our thing......... We moved from the Lower Mainland to V.I. just over a year ago and have just moved the trailer over so the answer to your question is mostly Vancouver Island now but we spent quite a lot of the summer cruising in our sailboat.  We are heading out to Tofino with the trailer on the the West Coast in a couple of weeks to do some "storm watching".

Yes the Provincial sites are great but difficult to get into due to the high demand. They are for the most part "dry camping" but some parks do have power. The U.S. State parks are usually full hookups and very good but who wants to go there right now???.  

We're considering a cross Canada trip next year all the way to Newfoundland, the Europe plan is post covid.....

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You can get number plates made and shipped via eBay with no V5 required (I think they are registered in Guernsey). I did it for my caravan. Have a look at camplify, people rent out their caravans and motor homes privately. 

Edited by halifaxdan
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