Moving to France > Registering, importing or buying a car in France
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Registering a British car in France


The procedure for reregistering a British car is as follows.

Contact the Customer Service Dept for the make of your car and ask for a Certificate of Conformity (attestation d’identification) which proves the car complies with required standards in France. The cost will vary depending on manufacturer. Newer vehicles may include this in the documentation

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€)

Start off at the Hotel des Impots
Take with you…..
Registration papers
Certificate of conformity
Contrôle technique (CT) If the car is older than four years, this proof of roadworthiness must be no older than 6 months .
Any other paperwork relevant to your car - this IS France!

They will give you a Quitus Fiscal form to complete and hand in at the next stage which is the nearest Prefecture or Sous Prefecture ’Céret, Prades, Perpignan).

At the Prefecture or local Sous Prefecture, have the following paperwork ready, in order to obtain the French registration (‘carte grise’).
English registration papers
Certificate of conformity
Utility bill or some other proof of address
All forms issued and filled in
Any other paperwork relevant to your car!!

Your registration document is particularly important as they 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.) In the past, you might have been asked to take your vehicle to the DRIRE technical centre in Rivesaltes, so that they could check that the vehicle numbers tally with the information on the form; but this . 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. Don’t be fooled. Go up the stairs and you’ll find the DRIRE. Seems to be more often closed than open. Check opening times beforehand.

The whole process is actually much less complicated than it used to be.

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)