When we moved to France we only had our Volkswagen Sharan people carrier.
Travelling backwards and forwards to England with my wheelchair and buying items for the house, we decided the best thing to do was to keep the car. We wouldn't have recouped our money on the car so we reregistered it in France.
Other people have followed the following series of events and found the process fairly pain free! One couple had a brand new English car and didn't want to sell it; finding it suitable for their purposes.
My husband wrote his manual for reregistering your car in France. This is for the Cote d'Or but bear in mind it might be a little different in your department but the basics are the same.
Notify the DVLA that you have exported the vehicle. Do not send the whole registration document as this is needed during the process of re-registering in France. Also, return the tax disc if there are any unused months to obtain a refund (although this will probably be sent to your last English address).
Contact the car manufacturers to obtain a ‘Certificate of Conformity’. (The cost will vary depending on manufacturer) Newer vehicles may include this in the documentation
Arrange to change the car’s headlights and possibly the rear fog light to point the correct way. Cost will depend on the model of car and what needs changing. (My VW Sharan cost 270 euros because the whole headlight units had to be changed).
The garage may require some of the following documents;
Vehicle registration papers
Certificate of Conformity
Proof of your address (EDF bill or similar)
Obtain a ‘Controle Technique’ (M.O.T. equivalent) if your car is four years old or more. (Cost is about 55 euros). Documents you may require are;
Arrange French car insurance. Cost again depends on car and the individual driver. (My insurance with AXA cost 445 euros for the year and includes breakdown cover and driving abroad e.g.England. Documents you may require;
As above plus
Document from your existing insurance company showing the no Claims bonus you receive
Once French insurance is in place cancel UK insurance.
Go to the Hotel des Impots and explain that you wish to ‘immatriculate’ (import) your English car. You should be issued with a ‘Quitus Fiscal’ form that will be needed at the next stage. Documents needed;
Certificate of conformity
Next got to the Prefecture or local Sous Prefecture for the form to finally obtain the French registration (‘carte grise’). (This procedure cost me 270 euros).
English registration papers – kept by the official
Certificate of conformity – kept by the official
Quitus Fiscal (completed, in my case by the official at the Hotel des Impots) – kept by the official
Control Technique papers
Proof of your address
Again, in my case, the official completed the form and the ‘carte grise’ was handed over within 15 minutes.
On receipt of ‘carte grise’ return to the contole technique garage to get the documentation altered for the new registration.
Get the registration plates made up and fitted (Cost should be about 20 –25 euros) and return to the insurers for the papers to be amended to the new registration.
In my case the car did not pass the Control Technique on the initial visit but the paper issued, by the very helpful technician, was enough to be able to complete the procedures at the Hotel des Impots and the Sous Prefecture. Therefore, I obtained the registration and was able to get the French insurance and finalise the Controle Technique with the car already having the French registration plates in place.
If you have a non standard vehicle e.g. it runs on LPG, you may need to visit D.R.I.R.E to obtain a certificate stating that the vehicle complies with all French regulations.
- by Coral Luke
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Thanks for the info. I just read that since 1998 the procedure is more simple:
Depuis le 1er janvier 1998, la réglementation européenne simplifie les formalités et permet l'immatriculation directe en France d'un véhicule déjà immatriculé dans un pays de la CEE, sous réserve qu'il ai satisfait au Contrôle Technique.
does anyone have more info ?
Posted by: giles viney | 05 March 2008 at 17:26
It's difficult to know exactly where your quote came from but I think it might relate to regulations in place for so-called "véhicules de tourisme de type M1".
This page (in French) explains further the procedure for registering a car in France:
Everyone I know who went down this route said it takes some time and be prepared for the paperwork.
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 06 March 2008 at 08:33