Families often ask AFF if they can take their car on an overseas posting if it has outstanding finance or if they have to pay it off before departing.

The good news is that if your finance provider is a member of the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), there is a motor finance protocol which was developed with the FLA and the MOD Covenant team.

The protocol ensures that service personnel face no disadvantage compared to other people in the sale and operation of motor finance agreements.

It will allow serving personnel and their families to ask to take their vehicle overseas, if it is comprehensively insured, or come to a suitable agreement if they don’t wish to take it.


The Swart family were assigned to Belgium and had a car on finance. They contacted their company and asked to take their car overseas.

Unfortunately, this was refused, but they contacted AFF, and we were able to send them information on the motor finance protocol and they found out that the company was a member. Using the information, they raised a formal complaint and were eventually advised they could take the car.

The family said: “We were in limbo and had to consider taking out a loan to pay off the vehicle and terminate the agreement early – which would leave a mark on my credit file – or pay half of the agreement and return the vehicle with no penalty.

“This would then have left us without transport and any way to collect my daughter from boarding school unless we used public transport or bought a second-hand car outright!

“AFF was brilliant in the advice and support they delivered, by providing us with the relevant information and then acting on our behalf when the complaint was rejected.

“About two days after they informed us they would raise this with the company, we got an email informing us that they had made a mistake and they apologised for any inconvenience caused.

“They were content for the vehicle to be de-registered in the UK and subsequently registered in Belgium for the duration of my overseas posting.”

Whilst the Swart case had a positive outcome as the company were signed up to the protocol, this is not always the case.

If a company has not signed the protocol, it can be more problematic and may be at the discretion of the provider.


A copy of the protocol can be found at fla.org.uk/media/news/motor-finance-solutions-for-deployed-service-personnel and you can check if your company has signed by looking at the Members’ Directory at fla.org.uk 

AFF TIP: When you get a car on finance or personal contract purchase, inform the dealership and finance provider you are an army family. Also check what their policy is on taking a car overseas and if they are a member of the protocol. If you experience any difficulties, contact moneysupport@aff.org.uk

Image credit: LoggaWiggler from Pixabay

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