This is a thread on classic cars in the Community Forum from February 2007. This is just one of many interesting topics for the foreign community Living in Crete - part of the Brits in Crete web portal, the comprehensive guide to residing in Crete. Are there import duties and taxes? What are the import regulations? Are the Greek local government offices prepared? Are the roads in Crete accessible for a low slung car body? Does that mean a road map of Crete is needed? For some of the answers read on:
Hi, we are at last in a position to escape to live in the sun. I was wondering if any of you have imported an MGB sports car. I am hoping to bring mine with me. It is a 1976 model, how do the authorities view old classics as far as tax etc. I just feel that it would be rather nice to have over there. Maintenance is no problem as I have been in the motor trade all my life. Thanks in advance.
I know nothing about tax/re-registration treatment of "classic" cars but a practical thing to bear in mind is ground clearance which may restrict where you can take the car. Main roads themselves are generally OK but often one finds, where you are driving up hill to a junction, the point at which you join the other road has a considerable 'hump' big enough to catch the underside of the car. I drive a 206GTi which I suspect may have more ground clearance than a 'B' and have bottomed out quite a few times times. Even coming down hill to a junction I've scraped the underside of the nose a couple of times and there's a very short overhang on the front of a 206.
Also, in Crete many of the "country" roads, i.e. unsurfaced roads, develop deep ruts caused by traffic or water cascading down them in winter; add a few rocks carried on to the road by heavy rain and there can be problems for the "low slung". Trying to straddle a rut means you're likely to scratch the side of the vehicle on the thorny stuff at the roadside.
If you stick to Crete's main roads you may be OK but, on several occasions, we've turned off a main road following a sign to a village we want to visit and within 50m the road has turned into little more than a goat track. Stop, consult map. The only alternative shown is to stick to (allegedly) good roads that take a long roundabout route. A couple of times this has meant driving 20+Km to reach somewhere less than 3Km away.
I don't think Greek authorities have the concept of "classic" cars, they're just old. There's some useful info re: vehicle imports on the livinginCrete.Net site but I don't think it covers special treatment, if any, for cars like your "B". The Greek Embassy in London may be able to advise.
Have some friends here who at the moment are trying to register their beloved collectors car.
When they arrived here they went straight to customs who told them they would be contacted about the relevant details. A few months later they were told to bring all their paperwork and the substantial fee.However there was one document they did not possess, which because of its age the car, have not got. Now they have hit a "brick wall" so to speak and although they have been in touch with the cars manufacturer, embassies etc. can get no further. Dont want to be a killjoy but I think you will have great difficulties getting your car registered here (in Crete), they don't want old cars, not even a few years old. You can only drive it here legally for 6 months in any year and then it has to be either impounded at customs or driven out of the country. You would not be insured or taxed and UK plates stand out like a sore thumb.
And the owner of the vehicle also has to be out of the country for the same period of time.
A good friend belongs to the Classic Car Club in Chania (CCCC) . The site is in Greek, ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΣ ΙΔΙΟΚΤΗΤΩΝ ΠΑΛΑΙΩΝ ΑΥΤΟΚΙΝΗΤΩΝ ΚΡΗΤΗΣ and has a wonderful car crash picture of a century ago! Usually once a year they (CCCC) have a show of classic cars in one of the warehouses in Chania. I met the president of the club a couple years ago and he was married to a girl from North Carolina.
My frind Dimetrios has an old Mini maybe 1960 something. Also, the classic club holds road rallies or road tours. The have a planned route and everyone drives that route and stops at different places for lunch, drinks, etc.
Your question about bringing your MG might be hard to answer, but the Crete government does have a special license for the older cars, bikes, trucks, military vehicles,etc.
We have a 1957 TR3A currently undergoing a body off rebuild prior to it moving to Crete later this year. We had anticipated problems importing the car but not hitting a brick wall as described. I guess we will need to get our Greek solicitor on the case prior to even planning the moveso that we can ascertain exactly what papers are required and perhaps test our papers prior to moving the car.
Anybody out there with a classic who can help?
For all the details of how to navigate the bureaucracy in UK and in Greece, go to our "Importation of a Car to Crete" page. The rules as stated apply to all of Greece.
Above Question and Answers text was taken from chatter and factual reporting in the Brits in Crete Forum. This information continues to be valid in 2014.
- Classic Car Club in Chania, Crete
- For experiences in Driving in Crete.
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- Check the Brits in Crete Forum for recent discussion on these subjects. - If you are not a member, join the Brits in Crete Forum first, it is free and when there put in a search for your key words. ( eg "driving in Crete")
- Link to the British Embassy, Athens.
Updated June 2014