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Old 05-16-2010, 11:23 AM
 
4 posts, read 7,416 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi there,

We're moving to Greenwich this summer and I'm researching how we get our first car and insurance.

I'm reading I need to pass my driving test again so have started looking at what that means.

I also hear that "no claims" doesn't exist over here so expect to pay $$$ for car insurance.

Are there any expats on here that have recently bought a car, insured it, passed their test etc. who could share some experiences

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:22 AM
 
35 posts, read 68,128 times
Reputation: 30
Default Here for two years...

Hi,

Good luck with the move. I'm sure you'll enjoy Greenwich.

I'm English and have been here for two years.

Here's our car experience.
Yes you'll need to take a test. But if you're fortunate, like we were, you may just have to take the theory test, which is pretty straight forward so long as you study a little. It's like the highway code test.
We were prepared for (and pretty nervous about) taking a practical test again after so many years driving, but when the guy at the DLC saw we were English and had long time UK licences he waived the practical test!

If you're wife drives then try to make sure they know you're together when you go for your licences. Right or wrong they assumed that my wife was applying for her first ever licence, so would have made her take the practical test. They questioned, because I'm a 40ish man, why I hadn't had a licence before. Then they put 2 + 2 together and realised that I 'm english. Oh, and also 'was that your wife who came through earlier?' - 'Yes' - 'So she drove before?' - 'Yes' - 'In that case she doesn't need to take the practical test either'...

As far as insurance is concerned, we learned a lesson just last week which we wished we'd known two years ago....
We got insurance with a big name insurer just after we arrived here. The premium was sky high. We were told by the insurer that it was so high because we hadn't held a CT licence for three years. (despite having a UK licence and no claims in the UK for many years). We accepted that as the general rule and looked forward to the day when the premiums would come down.
Now - we're about to buy a house so looked at house insurance. Along with which we looked at car insurance too.
Another, smaller regional insurer, quoted HALF the car insurance premium.
When we asked - 'did you take into account that we haven't had the CT licence for 3 years' the broker said - 'That doesn't make any difference.'
So we could have been paying half for the last 2 years.

The moral of the story - Even though it's all new and confusing when you get here, take the time to shop around. Hindsight is a great thing. If we'd gone through a broker rather than going with the first deal just because it was easy then we'd have been much better off.

So I hope my mistake saves you some money!

One other piece of advice. Sounds obvious, but this is a foreign country - they speak english here, but do things differently. Sometimes those differences are subtle and that's what can catch you out.

That said - we love it here. I hope you do too.

S
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Cheshire, Conn.
2,102 posts, read 6,807,607 times
Reputation: 521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylko View Post
As far as insurance is concerned, we learned a lesson just last week which we wished we'd known two years ago....
We got insurance with a big name insurer just after we arrived here. The premium was sky high. We were told by the insurer that it was so high because we hadn't held a CT licence for three years. (despite having a UK licence and no claims in the UK for many years). We accepted that as the general rule and looked forward to the day when the premiums would come down.

Now - we're about to buy a house so looked at house insurance. Along with which we looked at car insurance too.
Another, smaller regional insurer, quoted HALF the car insurance premium.
When we asked - 'did you take into account that we haven't had the CT licence for 3 years' the broker said - 'That doesn't make any difference.'
So we could have been paying half for the last 2 years.
This happened to me, too, and I'm from the U.S. I moved to Connecticut from New York and was quoted $3600 - $4000 back in 1987 because I hadn't had a Connecticut license for a period of three years. I got a six-month policy, dropping collision, and made a few phone calls. An agency in Colchester laughed when I told them.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,577 posts, read 40,140,661 times
Reputation: 6947
That is horrible. Anything to get your money. Shopping around for insurance does pay. Good luck, Jay
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:40 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,416 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks everyone,

I'm thinking shopping around is worth doing and will try to bundle the house with the car for a better deal maybe?

As for studying highway code again, is there a place online I can download a copy?

Cheers

Mike
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
24,577 posts, read 40,140,661 times
Reputation: 6947
Check the Connecticut Motor Vehicle Departmant website. I would think it would be available there. Jay
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