Driving a car in the UK after a no-deal Brexit

The UK Government has issued advice on what rules will apply to driving in the UK and the EU after 29th March 2019, if the country leaves the EU without a deal.

The guidelines, entitled “Prepare to drive in the EU after Brexit” were updated in February.  The apply to car drivers, but there is also advice available for commercial coach and lorry drivers.

Driving off a ferry in Dover

To summarise: [Read more…]

Why your bank may not help you if you pay by ec-card and PIN

Laptop with card reader - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / MultiartOne of the most popular ways of paying for things  in shops in Germany is by ec-card – a standardised debit card that is issued by most banks and accepted by most shops. The card, which has a both a magnetic strip and a chip on it, generally comes with a PIN and you enter the PIN when paying to confirm the transaction, although some older card readers still require you to sign a slip of paper instead.

The money is debited from your bank account in a similar way to a direct debit (“Lastschrift”), but the similarity stops here. Because whereas a direct debit can be reversed within 6 weeks, I recently found out that such protection is not offered when paying by PIN. [Read more…]

Why you need a VB-Nummer to register a car

FahrzeugscheinI’ve talked before about how the process of buying and registering a car in Germany.

Since I recorded that podcast there has been a change in the way that the insurance works, as I found out when I changed my car last year.

One of the best things about the German registration system is that you must arrange insurance for the car before you go to the Zulassungsstelle to register it.  If you do not, then you will either not receive any number plates to put on the car, or at the very least they will not have valid stickers on them, making uninsured cars very easy to spot on German roads. [Read more…]

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