Importing a UK car into France post-Brexit

Importing UK cars into France has always caused headaches, with readers having very different experiences of what should have been the same process even before the complications of leaving the EU.

Now, in this post-Brexit era, what are the rules and regulations? Please remember, here at P-O Life we are NOT experts and CANNOT offer legally binding advice.

What we can do is translate and summarise current (May 2022) guidelines from the French government.

So… here we go again!

Basic rules

Within 1 month of purchase/arrival, you must request the carte grise, or risk a fine. Generally, the fine is 135€, but if they’re feeling particularly disgruntled, it can go up to a whopping 750€!

The price of registering your car depends on the make, model, engine size, inside leg measurement (just kidding!). You can calculate how much your carte grise will cost via the online simulator.

The documents required for importing a vehicle depend on whether the car is coming from an EU member state or not. According to cartegrise.com, British vehicles manufactured before the 31st January 2020 continue to comply with EU standards and so you can follow the EU importing process.

Any newer vehicles manufactured after the 31st January 2020 are not considered as EU compliant and will require a different process.

Non-EU origin vehicles

Documents required

  • Official proof of vehicle ownership
  • Proof of French address (less than 6 months old)
  • Request for a carte grise form (available here)
  • Proof of a contrôle technique (less than 6 months old) conducted in an EU member state if the vehicle is more than 4 years old*
  • Certificat de dédouanement n° 846 A (customs clearance certificate)**
  • Proof of conformity, one of the following:
    • Certificate of European conformity, provided by manufacturer
    • Attestation d’identification (a document for French registration, as opposed to EU registration), provided by manufacturer or your regional DREAL (Direction Régional de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement).
    • Réception à titre isolé (RTI), provided by your DREAL.
  • Certificat sur l’honneur that you have the correct driving license and insurance for the category of vehicle. You need to include the following details:
    • Full name
    • Gender
    • Date & place of birth
    • Telephone number
    • Email address
    • RIB / bank details
*Exemptions for contrôle technique
  • Motorbikes
  • Collectors cars (pre-1960)

Source: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2880

**Certificat de dédouanement

Since 1st January 2021, England is no longer part of the EU and so additional formalities are required to clear customs. All imported vehicles will require the certificat de dédouanement n° 846 A (customs clearance certificate), to prove duties and taxes have been paid, before being able to complete vehicle registration in France.

To acquire the customs clearance certificate, you need to provide customs services with:

  • proof of car registration
  • invoice, in case of sale

Exemption

If you are moving permanently to France having lived outside of the EU for more than one year, your vehicle can be registered duty and tax free if it is listed in the inventory of your belongings, drawn up in duplicate, AND meets the following three conditions:

  1. It is not a commercial vehicle
  2. You own the vehicle and have used it in the past 6 months
  3. UK taxes on the vehicle have been paid

Source: https://www.douane.gouv.fr/fiche/achat-dun-vehicule-letranger-ou-dans-un-dom-com

EU origin vehicles

Documents required

  • Official proof of vehicle ownership
  • Proof of French address (less than 6 months old)
  • Request for a carte grise form (available here)
  • Proof of a contrôle technique (less than 6 months old) conducted in an EU member state if the vehicle is more than 4 years old*
  • Quitus fiscal**
  • Proof of conformity, one of the following:
    • Certificate of European conformity, provided by manufacturer
    • Attestation d’identification (a document for French registration, as opposed to EU registration), provided by manufacturer or your regional DREAL (Direction Régional de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement et du Logement).
    • Réception à titre isolé (RTI), provided by your DREAL.
  • Certificat sur l’honneur that you have the correct driving license and insurance for the category of vehicle. You need to include the following details:
    • Full name
    • Gender
    • Date & place of birth
    • Telephone number
    • Email address
    • RIB / bank details
*Exemptions for contrôle technique
  • Motorbikes
  • Collectors cars (pre-1960)

Source: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2880

**Quittus fiscal

You need to request the quittus fiscal from your local Service des impôts des entreprises (SIE). You will need to take with you the following papers:

  • Form 1993-PART-D-SD
  • Proof of purchase, if bought from a garage or business OR certificat de cession, if bought privately from another individual
  • Original registration papers from country of origin
  • ID (passport, driving license, carte de séjour etc.)
  • Proof of address in France (less than 6 months old)

Find your nearest SIE here.

Process

All applications are now made online. If you are of a patient disposition, you can tackle the online registration process yourself.

You can also avoid the whole process by going through a certified professional, who will complete the application for you. And if you don’t have all the required papers the first time of asking, they can even provide a 4 month waver certificate, meaning you can drive legally while you find those pesky forms.

If you have any further information or would like to share your experiences, please contact us at laura@anglophone-direct.com

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