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Falling foul of car registration rules.
A driver has landed a large fine after falling foul of vehicle registration rules.
With most countries having at best obscure laws on the subject it’s easy to get caught out.
The man in question borrowed his girlfriend’s Luxembourg-registered car to pick up their child from nursery in Belgium. He was spotted by police and fined €850, on the spot.
The law requires that Belgian residents – of whatever nationality – cannot drive even an inch in Belgium in a foreign registered vehicle, with very few exceptions. Even company cars belonging to cross border workers are severely restricted.
All these rules are obviously designed to prevent fraud, whereby residents avoid registration fees and taxes – and licence fees, traffic fines and insurance checks – by using a vehicle from a different country.
The penalty in Belgium might be draconian – fail to pay in a month and the car is auctioned off – but spare a thought for even honest citizens going to live and work in Denmark. Within two weeks the car must be re-registered which incurs a whopping charge of 62% of its value (methodically assessed by the state, including all options).
If the car has done more than 6,000km and is over six months old however then the 25% VAT is not applicable.
The lesson is, check the rules, preferably before you decide to move. Keen as they are to collect this extra revenue, the details are normally available in English from the country’s main website. See Denmark’s rules here, and Belgium’s here.
Thanks to www.wort.lu/en for bringing this to our attention, the one, the only source of English language news in Luxembourg.
Black Sea gets closer.
SERBIA/BULGARIA. Traffic will be halted for two, two hour stretches today for blasting work on E80 Corridor 10 Project East between southern Serb city Nis and the Bulgarian border. From 9-11am and 2-4pm all traffic will be held at Ciflik near Pirot. Outside these times it’s one-way only. It’s good to hear work is ongoing: this mountainous section was hit particularly hard recently by the bankruptcy of Austrian constructor Alpine. Ultimately this 160km road will run between Belgrade and Sofia, the final link between western Europe and the Black Sea. The Serb section is due to open in 2015. Works are yet to be announced on the Bulgarian part, the so-called ‘Boulevard Bulgaria’ running through the north west of the country, Europe’s poorest region. Hopes are high it will be announced in an imminent ‘North West Plan’.
Roundup: FRANCE. Law makers are considering making front windows that let less than 65% of light through illegal. Currently the rules are vague. UK regs say 75% light must pass through the windscreen and 70% through the front side windows. BULGARIA/ROMANIA. Concerns that three month’s moderate usage has exposed fundamental structural flaws in the New Europe Bridge at Calafat-Vidin are unfounded according to a report (see DriveEurope passim). The twenty defects found last month are now under repair. GIBRALTAR. Asked in parliament what action he had taken over threats to impose border crossing fees, Europe minister David Lidington said the UK govt will respond to actions not rhetoric according to GBC News. Also, car queues have peaked at around 60mins so far this week, half of last week’s delays. However, long pedestrian queues have now started to appear.