Wednesday, 21 January 2015 18:22

Importing your UK regsitered vehicle

Written by  our staff writer

Many people who move to France on a permanent basis will choose to bring their UK registered car with them and once over here it could prove tricky to sell a right hand drive car at a sensible price. Very often the owners of UK vehicles choose to keep their car running as long as economically possible.


Whilst it's fine to drive your UK registered car in France for a short period if you intend to make France your full time home or even plan to spend long periods here then you should register your vehicle with the French authorities. Six months is generally seen in the eyes of the law as the maximum time you can spend in the country before you must re register. The process can often seem a daunting one but if you prepare the paper work in advance then it should be fairly straight forward. Bear in mind everything in rural France has a tendency to happen at slower pace so prepare in advance!

So to do this you will need to:

Notify the DVLA

This tells the UK authorities that you intend to take your vehicle abroad on a permanent basis. To do this you need to fill in part of your UK registration certificate and return it by post to the DVLA. They will then send you Certificate of Permanent Export.

Visit your local French tax office - Centre de Imports

You need to get a certificate from the French tax authorities that proves your vehicle belongs to you and there are no taxes due on it. This is called a “quitus fiscal” and to obtain this a trip to your department’s tax office with your registration documents and proof of your French address is needed. In some cases, there may be import duties payable, depending on the age/mileage of the car.

Your local Centre d' Impots for the Dordogne is detailed in the addresses below.

A ‘Certificate of Conformity’

You can get this whilst in the UK or France from the manufacturers of the vehicles. Newer vehicles may well be supplied with a certificate of conformity (check your vehicle documents),  but if not then call your manufacturers and they will often have a specialist department which deals with certificates of conformity and will be able to advise.  It is fairly normal that they’ll make a small charge for organizing this paper work. Generally they’ll send you an application form for your vehicle which you’ll need to fill out and send back to them with a cheque  and then they will send you the certificate.


It may be difficult to obtain certificates for vehicles that do not have current EU specification (e.g. vehicle manufactured for the U.S. or Japanese market) and many older vehicles. These vehicles may be subject to different regulations and can often prove very difficult to get registered. Again a good starting point is speaking to your manufactures or in the case of classic vehicles speak to your owners club – other members may have had previous experience.

French ‘Contrȏle Technique’ (MOT)

If your vehicle is more than four years old it will need to pass the ‘Contrȏle Technique’, the equivalent of the UK’s MOT test. This is valid for two years but for the purpose of re-registering, shouldn’t be more than 6 months old. There are testing centres in most French towns and generally the test takes around an hour but ideally you should aim to leave your vehicle with the testing centre either in the morning or afternoon. If your vehicle fails then you have the opportunity to have a re-test. This should be at a reduced rate or may be free in some cases if you bring the vehicle back within prescribed time scale.

You will need to change your headlights over for French versions prior to the control technique. For many models, a fairly inexpensive excercise and for the mechanics amongst you a trip to the breakers may be the answer. However, do investigate this cost prior to importing your vehicle as the cost of doing this on certain models may make importing very uneconomical. Your local garage either in UK or France will be able to give you prices for headlight changes.


Visit the your Prefecture (local Council offices)

Once you have gathered all the above information then you can visit your local town hall – called the Prefecture. You‘ll be asked to complete a form with your and the vehicle's details, make a payment and they will then process your application. Normally they’ll issue you with a temporary registration document and the full “ carte gris” will arrive through the post soon afterwards.

The actual cost for the carte grise depends on the size of the vehicle and how economic it is - average prices fall within the 150 – 500 Euros range.
You’ll also need to bring with you proof of identity ie passport and proof of address, ideally a utility bill or tax demand (less than 6 months old) with your name and French address on it  and our cheque book or cash. Some Prefectures do not accept credits cards.

Get your number plates

Once you receive the new carte grise you can get a new French number plate made up – usually you’ll find this service in all the big super markets.


You are now French registered!

number plate




Useful A
ddresses



Préfecture - Dordogne

2 Rue Paul Louis Courier,
24000 Périgueux


+33 5 53 02 24 24

email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sous-préfecture de Sarlat

Place Salvador Allende
24200 Sarlat-la-canéda
+33 5 47 24 16 66

email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sous-préfecture de Nontron

12bis Boulevard Gambetta,
24300 Nontron


+33 5.47.24.16.99

email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sous-Préfecture – Bergerac

16 Place Gambetta, BP 825, 24108 Bergerac Cedex

+33 5 47 24 16 16 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Préfecture - Correze. ...

1 rue Souham,
BP 250,
19012 Tulle,


Corrèze

+33 5 55 20 55 20

email : correze.gouv.fr


Sous-Préfecture de Brive

Boulevard Jules Ferry,
BP 60365, 19108 Brive Cedex


+33 555 17 79 54

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Sous-Préfecture d’Ussel

1 Boulevard de la Prade

19208 Ussel Cedex

+33 5 55 72 12 12 64

email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Tax Office Dordogne

Cité administrative Bugeaud
Rue du 26e Régiment-d'Infanterie
24016 Périgueux Cedex


Téléphone :+33 5 53 03 14 8


Further information can be found on the official French administration website. with advice for foreigners.        


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