|Moving to France > Registering, importing or buying a car in France|
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Contents of article "Registering a British car in France"
Registering a British car in France
The procedure for reregistering a British car is as follows.
1. *Contact the Customer Service Dept for the make of your car and ask for a Certificate of Conformity in French. (cost no more than £90)
2. Send off the maroon part of your Registration Certificate to the DVLA to say that you have exported your car, giving them your French address. If you do not do this, you may receive a fine for not paying your road tax in Britain.
*NB If you are unable to obtain a Certificate of Conformity, you may obtain an attestation de conformité (certificate stating that your car conforms to French road standards) from the DRIRE (car registration centre - more details below).
The DRIRE will issue you with a form which you will be required to fill in with your car details and send back, along with your registration document and a cheque, (67€)
3. When you arrive in France, take your *certificat de Controle technique (see below) and Certificate of Conformity to the nearest prefecture along with all the paperwork and ask for a formulaire de demande de certificat d’immatriculationOnce this is filled in, they will give you a French registration number and your carte grise, (log book), the price of which will depend on the power of the car.
(You will also need to go to the Hotel des Impots (tax office) with all documentation to declare the car and show all taxes have been paid (no cost here))
*If your vehicle is more than 4 years old you need a Contrôle Technique. This is similar to the MOT and costs around 50 euros. It can be carried out by any recognised centre and lasts for two years.
(Don’t forget to take your registration document with you. They will need to know the puissance fiscale (the car power category) which does not exist in England. Finding it can sometimes be a problem with less common makes or models of car but looking in the Argus - (the new and second-hand car price guide available in most newsagents) is a good place to start.)
You may be asked to take your vehicle to the DRIRE technical centre in Rivesaltes, so that they can check that the vehicle numbers tally with the information on the form. They may keep some of the documentation and return it later.The Drire
(The DRIRE office for the Pyrenees-Orientales is in Perpignan in the Immeuble Kennedy, 7 rue Mariotte, 66100 Perpignan but is not easy to find, being on the upper floor of the building Immeuble Kennedy which also houses a medical or dental centre on the ground floor. Dont be fooled. Go up the stairs and you’ll find the DRIRE. It is open to the public only on Mondays between 0900 and 1100 (information correct March 2006).)
proof of controle technique,
certificate from the DRIRE or Certificate of Conformity from dealer
all forms issued and filled in
The whole process can take from 3 to 12 weeks but is actually less complicated than it sounds
You do NOT pay road tax in France. It is included in the price of your ’carte grise’
Taking out insurance
If you wish to take out french insurance for your British-registered vehicle, you will need to set the wheels in motion to apply for French registration and the carte grise (registration document).
Most French insurance companies will NOT insure you with a British registration. There are British insurance companies who will insure you in France with your British registration (but not many) but they do tend to be very expensive compared to the price that you would pay in France.
Beware! Whilst you still have British number plates you are obliged to have a British road tax disc unless of course your vehicle is off the road) In the case where your vehicle is off the road, you need to fill in a statement of SORN or Statutory Off Road Notification. You will be able to do this when you receive your road tax reminder as there is a SORN section on the form.
To insure your car with a french insurance company, you will also need official proof of:
a) the termination of your british insurance policy.
b) your no-claims certificate (Your french insurer will take this into account)