Buying a car in the UK

Travel Forums Europe Buying a car in the UK

1. Posted by Wozza (Budding Member 11 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Gidday. I'm going to be travelling to the UK for a working holiday (via China and the rest of Europe) this year. I'll be hitching through Europe (dunno what the hell I'm going to do in China, but I'll find out soon enough =P ), but I'm thinking that once I get to the UK, the cheapest way for me to take care of transport and accomodation will be to buy a van. Instant hotel, anywhere I need it! Heh. Okay, so it's probably not the most comfortable way to go, and I'll no doubt end up spending some time in backpackers' hostels and whatnot as well, but it still seems like a good idea if I can find a cheap van.
So, does anyone know what the story is with buying a vehicle in the UK (as a New Zealander?) Do you have to register it and all that kind of carry-on?

Cheers =)

2. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hello Wozza, welcome to TP!
(did anyone else do a double take on this one??)

3. Posted by dbgomes (Respected Member 72 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


i thought that wocca had done too many posts and his counter had reset or something....

anyway to provide any type of useful info for Wazza,

I too will be buying a car when i get over there. The main thing to be aware of is the M.O.T. which makes sure cars are road worthy (maybe someone who actually lives there can tell exactly what the rules are, i just heard about it from family) so if you are expecting a dirt cheap little combie van like you can get over here in OZ (and i assume in NZ) im not sure how easy it is to get something old and cheap like that?

something better to be informed of by the locals on TP.

hope all goes well


4. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey Wozza,

Here's a few pointers. A car in the UK needs to be registered by its owner to the DVLA. To own a motor here it must have a valid MOT (this is a yearly vehcile inspection to show it's roadworthy). You also have to insure the vehicle and have a valid Tax Certificate. To get an idea of the costs of 2nd hand cars go to
Info on registering it can be found if you search for the DVLA on google etc. You don't have to MOT a vehicle when you first buy it, just check when the next MOT is due. Hope this helps.

5. Posted by hendrix147 (Full Member 44 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

hey wozza
totally agree with daveh. only thing you will have to watch is insurance, your age could go against you. under 25,s insurance is alot more expensive and vans can be costly to insure to.
cheers si.:)

6. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The other insurance issue, and daveh or hendrix might be able to confirm this, is that the car can only be driven by the person whose name it is registered in; that is, the insurance only covers that person.

I believe that you can nominate other drivers, and thus the car will be covered when it's driven by these people, but if they are not on that list then the car's not covered.

7. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I think you're right James (if you are getting a mate to drive check he is insured to do so with the insurance company). If you're in an accident and he's not then it's big trouble. What i forgot to mention is that there are 2 types of insurance (hope i'm not teaching you to suck eggs here). 3rd party fire and theft is the cheaper one that covers any damage you may do to another vehicle in a smash, but not your own car). Fully comp covers everything). If you're buying an old banger and on a budget 3rd party option might be better.