Look out for changes to the ‘contrôle technique’ from May 2018, in an attempt to make the French equivalent of the MOT more thorough and prevent unroadworthy vehicles from taking to the roads legally.
The present Contrôle Technique
The present CT should be taken every two years at a registered centre (Centre agréé de contrôle technique) for cars over 4 years of age.
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.
Original Certificat d’Immatriculation
You must take the original of your carte grise (certificat d’immatriculation) to your contrôle technique. A photocopy will not be accepted.
The New Contrôle Technique
The new CT will see more mechanical checks. At present, vehicles with problems can continue to travel for up to 2 months after a failed CT.
From May, 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.
Of course, the new tests will take longer and will cost a little more!