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Don't Fight Them - You Can't Win!

Posted by Dinny, 16 March 2006 · 3,855 views

Once you realize that it's useless to fight them - the Greek authorities, I mean - then you get peace of mind by just adapting. As far as my car is concerned, I decided that I might as well forget about being Danish, even a European Citizen. I would just adapt to a system that carries the motto: Who cares about legislation? Because the cost I would have to pay by fighting them would be much more than just letting them steal my money for the registration of the car, and I don't talk about cost in terms of money or expenses, but in health.

So, do they want to steal my money? WHO CARES, I'll just have to work harder to be able to comply with all their requirements.

From the moment I decided to give in, everything went smoothly. A couple of weeks ago I went to the customs office in Heraklion and managed to get all the paperwork done by the customs agent who doesn't speak one word of English. Sometimes he would call upon somebody else whom he would know capable of speaking the English language in order for them to explain to me what he wanted. And after a couple of hours, with a total check of my car to copy all the numbers on the engine, the chassis, the number plates, he got my phone number and told me that he would call whenever it was time to pay.

So, yesterday I got a phonecall - obviously in Greek - and I sort of "guessed" that it was Mr. Customs Agent telling me to come and pay. I told him "Oxi simera, avrio, endaxi?" and he said endaxi, then he passed the phone to somebody else to tell me how much I should pay. 1,150 Euro, all included.

And today I went to Heraklion to pay the customs duties on MY car as if I had just imported it from some other country. He kept me waiting for almost an hour to receive the money, but I had brought a book and I was in no hurry. Then when I had paid he gave me one set of papers for the K.T.E.O. - where I should get my car checked - and one set for me to keep. And that was it. Well, except that they took away one of my Italian number plates, maybe as a souvenir. dry.gif

Well, I thought that I might as well try my luck (16th of March has been my lucky day for a lifetime!) and went directly to the K.T.E.O. outside Heraklion, maybe I could get an appointment within not too long. What efficiency! I arrrived and presented the documents at 12.30 to an English-speaking lady and at 13.00 hrs I had the papers to prove that my car was OK and that the emissions test was fine too. Paid 44 for the revision and 10 for the emissions test. When I asked about the number plates I was told that I would have to go and get those in Mires, at the Mecanologic Office, or something like that. I'll see to that one of these days, I guess I will have to make a market research first as for the most convenient insurance company.

See how easy it is when you don't pretend justice to be done? biggrin.gif

I wonder if I will get my money back WHEN Greece will loose the court proceedings against them at the European Court? I was supposed to pay something like 300 Euro to get Greek license plates according to European laws concerning the free movement of EU citizens within the member states. But if I ever get a refund, I shall probably be able to buy myself a cup of coffee with that, seeing how prices keep getting up and up.

Who cares? I'm in Crete. And there's no tax on the sunshine. So far. cool.gif

Dinny, glad you're getting this sorted out. From reading this and other research I've done, my feeling is that it's probably best not to bother bringing a car, but just buy one on Crete. Anyway, got a couple of years to fully sort this out and work out the best way to transport ourselves, a few of our possessions and 3 cats. Can't wait, the weather's still freezing here - it's St Patrick's day, so my husband planted a few potatoes (it's tradition to plant your first potatoes then), but it's really too cold!
Hi Pam, Glad for you that you have this adventure to look forward to. I guess the "car question" can be cooked down to numbers: If you need it to bring as much stuff as possible (and cats!) then keep your car, preferably old but in shape, the tax to pay in something like 25% of its value. Consider that it will anyhow have to pass the K.T.E.O. revision before you get the plates, so if the car is not in good shape you'll have more expenses to get it fixed. I had to pay 1.150 Euro, but I wouldn't have got much of a car for that money had I decided to sell my Italian registered car. I would anyhow have had to go back to Italy to sell it, meaning still more expenses, so all in all, if you are not planning to go back and forth England-Greece-England a couple of times before settling down for good (this would enable you to get the "certificate of change of residence" from the Greek consulate back in the UK) then you might as well consider if it's worth paying the import tax on your old car - or get another car without problems. Good luck with your plans! :-)
Dinny, thanks for your reply. What we do about a car can be decided nearer the time. Unfortunately, I have another 3 years to go before retirement and as my job can't be done outside the UK I'm stuck here in cold, grey England. However, we do have a holiday planned for late May, when we'll be staying in Matala for a few days probably from 17th May - maybe we could meet you then?
Another Matala-fan? ;-) Sure, it would be nice to meet you, maybe you could drop me a line in PM to let me know more exactly when you will be here?

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