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Using a BFG car in UK

#1
Mornin all, first post, be gentle!!

My eldest is in Gutersloh and he bought himself a new car in August 2008, and unsurprisingly he has discovered he cant afford it. To try and help him out i have offered to "buy" it off him, no cash will change hands, i will take over the payments and it will become my car in August this year.

Now, a couple of questions, can i use it in the UK on BFG plates?
He tells me it was BFG'd but he has never had the headlights changed so i dont see how that can be right?
When he transfers the paperwork into my name and de-registers it does he need to have the car in Germany with him or is it just a paperwork exercise?
Is this legal??

These questions and many others have been generated due to him being a 20 year old with no common sense!!!

Cheers afor any help, advice or assistance anyone can offer,

Mick.
 
#2
Not sure what the rules are with keeping the car for a period of time before he can sell it or export it back to UK.

However you would have to go to a local DVLA office with the BFG docs and the pink registration document to get the car registered in UK again. He would then have to post\return the BFG docs and plates to the central BFG office in Germany or his local BFG office. I can't remember if new cars require the BFG light test? or was the car delivered with continental headlights?

To my knowledge you cannott keep a car in UK on BFG plates for an extended period of time. Usually enough time to get it re-registered in UK (a 2 week grace period I think)

This was the procedure I went through when I last left BFG 3 years ago so it may have changed now.
 
#3
helmik said:
Mornin all, first post, be gentle!!

My eldest is in Gutersloh and he bought himself a new car in August 2008, and unsurprisingly he has discovered he cant afford it. To try and help him out i have offered to "buy" it off him, no cash will change hands, i will take over the payments and it will become my car in August this year.

Now, a couple of questions, can i use it in the UK on BFG plates?
He tells me it was BFG'd but he has never had the headlights changed so i dont see how that can be right?
When he transfers the paperwork into my name and de-registers it does he need to have the car in Germany with him or is it just a paperwork exercise?
Is this legal??

These questions and many others have been generated due to him being a 20 year old with no common sense!!!

Cheers afor any help, advice or assistance anyone can offer,

Mick.
Mick the answer to your first question is no, once you've got the car registered in UK the plates must be returned to the BFG Registration Office, as they own them! He could have still got the car BFG'd but would have to have had a lighting check before he could purchase petrol coupons, clearly then he was just buying petrol with cash! I've been out of Germany for nearly two years and I'm sure there are a few forms he should have obtained before the car was returned to UK, but I could be wrong! No doubt somebody who is out there will confirm.
 
#4
Cheers for the help all.

The car came back to the UK in December/January and has since sat in the garage, due to other financial problems he cant afford to pay for it and insure it!! I have insured it in my name just in case it gets pinched, and i have used it a few times in the UK.
It will be one year old in August this year, my understanding is that he can then un BFG it and sell it, is that right?
Can i legally drive it in the UK? I know the BFG number wont appear on DVLA database or insurance datbases so i am concerned about being stopped.
Im trying to sort his finances but realistically he wont be in a position to keep the car, if we un BFG it now will there be a nice tax bill as its less than the 12 months i have read about on here?

Cheers

Mick.
 
#5
helmik said:
Cheers for the help all.

The car came back to the UK in December/January and has since sat in the garage, due to other financial problems he cant afford to pay for it and insure it!! I have insured it in my name just in case it gets pinched, and i have used it a few times in the UK.

Cheers

Mick.
Not sure about this. For the car to be BFG'd he requires to show proof of insurance, if I remember the insurance has to be in his name? With regards to driving it I would be very carefull. Can't remember if the BFG reg details are also now held by DVLA? if not there is a reference to BFG and the police can follow that route. If an accident occurs BFG could ask why the insurance is no longer in his name!

I sold a car in BFG totally pucker (sent the required part of reg doc to DVLA and transferred BFG to him) to another squaddie however he did not return the reg doc to DVLA to register in his name or complete the BFG stuff. Luckily I kept a copy of his name and address which I promptly gave to the RMP who knocked on my door at 3am one morning asking why my car had been involved in a serious incident in Scotland that evening! Wouldn't mind but I've never been to Scotland! Needless to say the reg was traced to BFG and me by Civ police & RMP.
 
#6
OK, the car was insured in his name when he first got it, then when he got into money troubles he decided to bring it home to the UK and park it up. The insurance has since expired, i think, is that going to be a problem??
Looking at the BFG rules on the net and the DVLA site it looks like it can be used in the UK, which is the biggest question i need to answer, but i dont know how long for. It was originally bought in Aug, then used in Germany until December which i think complies with DVLA rules.
We could un BFG it now but that will then cost the tax wont it?

Mick.
 
#7
If the car has been back in UK since Jan, I think you may have bigger probs from the 'tax-free' bit.

Seem to recall there was a case where a couple had spent a lot of time back in UK due to daughtes illness, and the Taxman tried to do them for not having the 'ftax free' car outside the country long enough. Don't forgat all VRN's are registered as you enter and leave the port. You may be bettre paying for his insurance and letting him take it back to Gutersloh until the 'time' is up. Then he can ship it to the UK, sell it to you and then you register it.
 
#8
This was one of my concerns. Why cant kids get the facts before they do stuff!! He was asked to check out the legal side before he put it in the garage, little git!!

Anyway, i think im getting an idea of how to proceed with this.

Cheers and thanks for all the help so far,

Mick.
 
#9
helmik said:
This was one of my concerns. Why cant kids get the facts before they do stuff!! He was asked to check out the legal side before he put it in the garage, little git!!

Anyway, i think im getting an idea of how to proceed with this.

Cheers and thanks for all the help so far,

Mick.
You might find these useful:-

http://www.bfgnet.de/Community/docs/Focus/BFG_VLO_Aide_Memoire.pdf

http://www.bfgnet.de/Community/docs/Focus/Import.pdf

And anything else:-

http://www.bfgnet.de/Community/BFGVLO_C&I.html

HTH

S54
 
#10
helmik,

Slap your kid.

then send the car back. Soonest.

By all means pay for the car, and the insurance, but it should go back to BFG prior to its one year. He can "sell" it to you once he has followed the correct procedure to bring it back to UK and registered it.

You need to find out if he has actually had a lights check... if not, then you may be in to a whole world of hurt.

Basically the only way you should be looking at this is your son keeping the car for the year, and then the swap over occuring once he has
1. applied for a C&I form to import the car.
2. applied for a de-reg from the BFG.
3. Insured and registered the car in the UK.

You, as a non BFG person, are NOT allowed to drive the car. I don't think the insurance will pay out either if you crash (even if in your name, and what not) as you don't have a BFG licence... thus no permission to drive a BFG car.

Go back to your son and ask some pointed questions about the car.

ie has it been lights checked.

By all means PM me with details, I have a few freinds who are all over this BFG stuff.
 
#11
Not quite right-a BFG driving permit does not give permission to drive the car, it allows the holder to drive legally under the BFG system in Germany. In order for a non-entitled person to drive a BFG vehicle in Germany, permission has to be sought. I think (and may be wrong) that the car can be driven by anyone in UK with the correct insurance (their own). However, I think to insure a car in your own name, you have to own it.

If your son has cancelled his insurance, chances are it will have flagged up on the BFG VLO computer and questions will be asked. Cancelled insurance can automatically de-register the car and open a world of pain with your son's unit.

Best advice is to help him with his insurance and finance but return the car to Germany until the 12 months is up. Any other route is liable to get him banned from BFG car facilities for 5 years and landed with a hefty tax bill.

Oh, and he must have a lights check to remain legal!
 
#12
* Only those persons who hold a BFG Driving Permit (BFG Form 57) are entitled to drive BFG registered vehicles.
* Owners who hold a national or international licence, valid in Germany, may drive their vehicle for 30 days on their arrival in BFG. During this time they are to obtain the BFG Driving Permit and register their vehicle with BFG VLO.
* Sponsored visitors visiting BFG personnel on holiday may also drive the car for up to 28 days provided they hold a valid driving licence.

http://www.bfgnet.de/community/docs/Focus/Newsletter_Edition_2_April_VLO_Voice.pdf
If one or more of the following events incur you must not, drive or park your vehicle
on a public road/place until you have rectified the problem:
· Roadworthiness test out of date.
· BFG light Test not carried out within the 30 day time frame.
· Failure to maintain adequate vehicle insurance.
· Failure to register you vehicle initially within the thirty day
time frame
· Failure to maintain registration on renewal.
· Failure to transfer a vehicle bought from another entitled
person into your name within the 14 day time frame.
All of the above may attract an administration penalty and or disciplinary
procedure against you.
 
#13
All, once again my thanks for all your assistance. I am in the process of working my way through all of this, just awaiting a phone call from junior to discuss things further.
Its left me more than a bit worried, i hadnt realised that a BFG tax disc is not really valid in the UK, i'm giving serious consideration to biting the bullet and unBFG'ing it, pay the subsequesnt tax bill and sell the car over here to pay off what he owes on it.
Would that be a smart move do you think??
If the car stayed here until its a year old in August what are the implications? I think i know the answer but just checking, or clutching at straws!!

Thanks again and sorry for the gap replying, these buggers in civvy street expect you to go to work sometimes!!

Mick.
 
#14
I don't know if it has changed, but you used to be able to take a car back to UK after 6 months and take a 2 year ban on buying another tax free car, which with the lads financial woes doesn't seem to be an issue.

Personally, and I know that this isn't strictly legal, I'd keep the car in the garage and get it insured in Germany and take the pain. Then I'd get the forms sorted to apply to bring it back to UK. You don't actually have to have the car present at the Tax Office when you import it ( they say you do but I have never heard of anyone having the car inpsected - the staff are just far too busy).

I'd also give the lad a slap.
 
#15
slap your lad, then ring your lads unit bfg office up for advice.
i bought a car whilst over there and came back to the uk after 8months, de bfg'd it and registered it here. never got a tax bill, ban from getting another due to not selling it before the 12months up.
a mate bought a car in cyprus, took it bfg then back to uk, before the 12months was up sold it. got a ban from buying a tax free car. arrsed? nah out the army now.
 
#16
Helmik,

You seriously need to de-BFG that car!

It is not allowed to be driven in the UK by you as a BFG registered vehicle. You are not a BFG entitled person. Upon arrival into the UK your son had 60 days to de-BFG it and register it with the DVLA, if it goes over the 60 days the vehicle must be returned back to Germany. At no point in time can your son cancel his insurance and allow anyone else drive that vehicle unless they are BFG entitled (ie: a spouse, MOD Civlian working in BFG or a soldier serving in BFG).

The problem is that he got it into the UK when it was under a year old. He therefore has breached the BFG ruling on tax-free cars and would be liable to pay a fine (which can be seriously hefty) and be banned for I believe 3 yrs, from buying another BFG vehicle. (Although it's been a year since I've dealt with BFG regarding the banning time frame so I'd double check that part). Think about it from their point of view - Your son payed a heavily discounted rate on that car, either UK tax free or German tax free. If he comes back into the UK and you take over payment or he sold it on then you or the other person would illegally be obtaining that vehicle because you weren't entitled to that discount. You can only take on that vehicle after it is a year old).

Unless your son had a fully filled out BFG form 73 (a beige/cream coloured folded BFG registration card) then he was driving illegally in Germany and will liable to prosecution. Also you will not be able to register the vehicle in the UK without this card as it acts as your log book for Germany. If the RMP or the Civvie Bill find out he will be prosecuted. The RMP know exactly how old that vehicle is, when or even if it has been registered, and whether your son had taken out or cancelled his insurance (your insurance is not valid).

The following paperwork is what you need to register this vehicle in the UK:

BFG Form 414 'Customs and Immigration British Forces Germany - which is the certificate of authorisation to export the vehicle to the UK, and can only be completed by the owner, spouse (or other person who has applied to G1 HQ UKSC(G) in writing). If you do end up applying to G1 you must also accompany the 414 with the G1's letter of approval. (The only way you can get this form is by your son attending the BFG office, filling out the appropriate paperwork which must be signed by him and then surrendering the BFG tax disc along with the paperwork back to the BFG office).

Certificate of Motor Insurance - both past for Germany and current for the UK.

European Certificate of Conformity - Sometimes not supplied on purchase of the vehicle but can be obtained by paying the dealer approximately 50 Euros.

And finally DVLA Form V55 - Application for a first license for a used motor vehicle and declaration for registration.

Once you've filled out this paperwork and taken it to the DVLA you may also be required to pay a registration fee which can be £50 upwards, but it depends upon vehicle age and make/model. After all this is done and dusted you'll receive your new UK plates and then must post the BFG plates back to the BFG office.

Do not drive this vehicle in the UK!!!! If you have an accident you are NOT insured!!! If the Civvie Bill pull you over in that vehicle you could be in serious trouble! Your son has seriously messed up in this case. He should have returned the tax disc to his BFG office and filled out the appropriate paperwork, which he will still have to do if you want to get it registered. I would seriously consider making him come back over to the UK, return it to Germany and sort it out properly before you end up getting knocked off for his mistake!

They can be lenient about exportation of cars but only if you approach them before being caught out.

Sorry to be a bearer of bad news, if you need anything clearing up or clarifying please feel free to PM me.
 
#17
Selling the car on before the year is up is NOT the way ahead. That WILL result in a 5 year BFG ban (which only counts for the time your son is in BFG. ie if he returns to UK after 2 years, he will have a further 3 years which will only kick in when he returns to BFG), and a hefty fine.

Pretty sure discipline action can be taken against your son too.

Return the car to BFG, and tell the prodigial to get the car sorted out. ie Insurance, and lights test. wait until the 12 months is up (4 months), and then transfer the car to your self and import it to the UK.

There is the possiblity (now adays) to "off road" the vehicle a BFG version of SORN. If insurance or running it seems to be a problem, your son could try that.

However, it may be an idea to talk to someone in the BFG office about this car.... I have a feeling there is a huge can of worms opening up on it.

He can't bring it back to the UK before the 12 months... on the simple grounds he isn't posted. There is NO reason for him to import the car.
 

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