Monday, May 14, 2012

Travelling season for me too.

Travelling season is upon us once again. I will be travelling for the next month, so there will be very few if any posts on this site.
Those intrepid European visitors are also travelling. They have been picking up their camper vans in Halifax for the last week or two and embarking on various odysseys.


  1. Very strange pictures.
    - The blue Sprinter has a German-made cabin (, but no license-plates at all.
    (Btw: Mercedes Sprinter and VW Crafter are manufactured in the same shop. They are totally identical safe engine, dashboard and front grille - and I sure would prefer VW!)
    - The white Crafter has a license-plate from Freiburg, Germany. But it is not legal, as German license-plates need to bear small round stickers between town code (FR for Freiburg) and vehicle code (VU930). One sticker legalises the license-plate, the other (only on the rear of the vehicle) shows when the next MOT test (sorry, I do not know the appropriate Canadian institution) is due.

    So both pictured vehicles lack legal license-plates. Would the camper people store them inside their cars so they wouldn't be stolen on the ship? Not really. Rather:

    In Germany you can de-register a car (for ever or for a limited period). Then all the round stickers legalising the license-plates must be taken off in front of the authorities.
    After that the car cannot be insured any more. Insureance and registration go hand in hand and are checked mutually. So de-registration saves a real load of money. I have a notion that some peaople might de-register their cars for the time they are abroad.

    This would really save money. That's why I think quite a lot of people might have this idea. But in case of an accident it would be really asking for trouble.

    Anyway: two photographs show two German cars without visible legal registration arriving at your harbour.


  2. Now for the second time - my first comment seems to have vanished in the internet.

    The pictures show a Mercedes Sprinter and a VW Crafter. They are both built in the same factory. Only front grille and engine are different.

    1 - The blue Sprinter seems to be from Germany. West-European license plate holders show a little ad underneath the license plate
    When cars are sold (even into other countries) people tend to keep the first license plate holder. So it can show where the car came from. Unfortunately I cannot read this.
    The camper on the blue Sprinter is from Germany ( As Bimobil does not sell as many campers in Germany as the other German manufacturers (Karmann, Hymer, Weinsberg etc.) it is very likely that the blue Sprinter was sold in Germany. As the blue Sprinter is quite new it is also likely that she was not sold outside Germany.

    2 - The white Crafter does show a German license plate. But it is invalid. German license plates ( bear registration stickers on front and rear and the equivalent to MOT test stickers on the rear number plate.
    A German car can only be insured if it is registered and vice versa. When applying for registration it is denied when insurance is not proven. If one denounces insurance after that, the insurance companies have to report that and police will hunt for the license plates and fine the owner.
    These stickers are applied and removed only on the premises of the authorities. If they are missing the car is not licensed. If the white Crafter was registered the registration sticker would show on the number plate right to the code letters for the town it comes from (FR = Freiburg).

    As they do not have legal license plates both cars seem to be not insured in Germany any more.
    On I read that quite a lot of large vehicles are operated continuously and commercially without insurance. So I have a notion that clever travellers de-register their cars in Germany for a trip on another continent. Hopefully praying that nothing may happen.