Dear Editor, Although I am a Eurosceptic, there are occasions when the British over-enthusiastically apply European Union laws.
As long ago as 1982, the then EEC issued Directive 83/182, allowing vehicles registered in one European country to be driven for up to six months in a year, continuous or otherwise, in another European country before road tax became due.
Three years ago, perhaps in response to the number of Eastern European cars in Britain, the DVLA issued a press release on the subject which, probably deliberately, omitted the words “continuous or otherwise,” so completely changing the intention.
My own car was “impounded” in March after two short visits totalling just 67 days, having been seen in June, 2008, and March, 2009.
It apparently did not occur to the Northamptonshire Police that the reason it had not been seen for nine months was because it had returned to the Continent.
The Association of Chief Police Officers confirmed to the Automobile Association that any foreign car seen twice, more than six months apart, would be impounded.
The implications for expatriates and foreign tourists with limited English is horrendous, especially as this will soon be taken up nationwide.
Expatriates or Europeans who visit the UK more than once in a year should keep all their ferry tickets and other evidence and demand they are examined by any police officer who attempts to take their vehicle.