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Marriage breakdown. Can she keep her car if it was

  • edwren@hotmail.co.uk
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07 Aug 12 #347983 by edwren@hotmail.co.uk
Topic started by edwren@hotmail.co.uk
Hey all :)
A friend of mine has recently split with her husband. She has a restraining order against him so he cannot contact her as he was violent. He is now threatening to take her car away which is in his name but she has always used for her and the children (he has a different car). If he takes it she will have no transport for work or the childrens schools etc.
Does she have any legal basis to keep the car?

  • zonked
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07 Aug 12 #347985 by zonked
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I believe, the person who is the registered keeper of the vehicle would have the car and be the only person able to insure/tax it.

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07 Aug 12 #347994 by rasher
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How is he proposing to remove the car if there is a restraining order in place?

I presume your friend has legal representation, it would be wise to ask sol to correspond with her husband about the car. A friend of mine was in the same position only he was the male in the equation. He wished to take back the second car as it was in his name and he paid for it etc. He was advised by his solicitor not to do this as (a) he had a vehicle of his own (b) the vehicle in question had been used primarily by his wife (c) this was the only mode of transport his wife had to transport the children etc.

The car was viewed as an ''asset'' and as such part of the marital pot - it was awarded back to him as part of the final Consent Order but she had use of it for the two years it took them to get there.

  • Felixstowe
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07 Aug 12 #348001 by Felixstowe
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She can still tax and insure it even if she isn''t the registered keeper of the car, my car was registered to me but my ex had the insurance in his name as it was cheaper, he had a company car at the time.

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07 Aug 12 #348025 by cookie2
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Technically the registered keeper and the owner can be different people. The registered keeper is shown on the V5, but the legal owner is the person who paid for it. Usually the same, but can be different.

Legally, the owner of a vehicle can withdraw his permission for anyone else (including the registered keeper) to drive the vehicle at any time. So your friend''s husband could simply say, "I withdraw my permission for you to drive my car", and then if she carries on driving it, she would be guilty of the criminal offence taking a motor vehicle without consent, better known as TWOC or joy-riding.

Whether that is a good idea for him to do is another matter entirely. If he were to do that then she would obviously need to get replacement transport. That would mean either buying another car (from marital funds), renting a car (increasing her outgoings therefore strengthening her claim for spousal maintenance), or taking taxis everywhere (similarly increasing her outgoings). So if he did take back the car, he would be totally screwing himself over, just to spite her. If I were her then I would point this out to him in a polite (and slightly sarcastic) letter.

If he has even half a brain he would not go through with this senseless threat.

  • QPRanger
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08 Aug 12 #348082 by QPRanger
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I have bitter experience of this from the other side: we had a family car that my stbx drove mainly which she kept when we seperated. I bought the car and insured it, I was the registered keeper AND I had a finance agreement on it. When my stbx decided she wanted to keep the car but NOT make the monthly payments I went to the police who said that it was a civil matter and they would not get involved, unless there was a breach of the peace.

This left me in the ridiculous situation that she could get ME arrested if she caught me towing the car away, but if I managed to get it before the police arrived then the law was on my side!

The finance company have tried to repossess it now and she has refused to let them have it so they are now taking HER to court....

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08 Aug 12 #348086 by u6c00
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Felixstowe wrote:

She can still tax and insure it even if she isn''t the registered keeper of the car, my car was registered to me but my ex had the insurance in his name as it was cheaper, he had a company car at the time.


Don''t do this!

If your insurance company ever find out that the primary insured driver was not the primary user of the car it will invalidate the policy.

This means that should you have a crash and suffer some tragic disabling injury, or cause someone else to have one, you will not be insured.

I know it''s cheaper but it gives the insurance companies an excuse to weasel out of paying, and they are already very good at that.

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