Don’t forget to update your ‘contrôle technique’ (MOT)

Obligatory in France since 1992, any vehicle without the CT (contrôle technique) risks fines of up to 750 euros, according to how long the vehicle has been on the road without it.

For example, the fine is 135 euros if recently expired, going down to 90 euros if the fine is paid within three days. Beware if you’re a slow payer or just don’t have the dosh. It increases to 375 euros after 45 days, and if still unpaid, can go to court where it can reach its maximum amount of 750 euros!

Failure to respond at all to fine could lead to immobilisation of the vehicle, or even impoundment. confiscation of the ‘carte grise’ (log book) or  towing away of car.

Every Two Years

The first  CT ( Contrôle Technique) on a brand new car should be done within 4 years.  After that, it should be carried out every two years at a registered centre (Centre agréé de contrôle technique) It is a surprisingly simple process, considering what most of us know about French admin!

Mot in (Controle technique) n France

ATTENTION: The CT centre is NOT a repair garage. If your car fails its CT, you must find an independent garage to repair the vehicle before putting it in for a second test. This is so there is no temptation for a CT centre to find a few extra faults!

No Reminder

You receive no reminder so should note it down in your calendar. ‘I forgot’ is unlikely to avoid payment of the fine of 135€ and the confiscation of your ‘carte grise’.
However, you should be given 7 days to carry out the CT and produce the certificate at a local gendarmerie.

How Much?

The price of the CT depends on the type of vehicle being tested: petrol, diesel, gas, hybrid, electric….  They should be clearly displayed in the CT centre.

Points that are Checked

  • Vehicle identification. For example, license plate.
  • Braking equipment. For example, platelets, disks.
  • Management. For example, steering wheel, housing.
  • Visibility. For example, windshields, mirrors.
  • Lights, reflectors and electrical equipment
  • Axles, wheels, tires, suspension
  • Chassis and chassis accessories
  • Other equipment. For example, seat belts, horn.
  • Nuisances: pollution, noise level

Original Certificat d’Immatriculation

You must take the original of your carte grise or certificat d’immatriculation (log book)  to your contrôle technique. A photocopy will not be accepted.
You will receive a stamp on your carte grise with the result.

  • Letter A : Result favorable
  • Letter S : Unfavorable result for major failures
  • Letter R : Unfavorable result for critical failures

Cars that do not pass will be classed as ‘unfavourable‘, giving the owner two months to repair and re submit, or ‘critique’ meaning that it cannot legally go back on the road until repaired.


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