A contrôle technique question

We bought an almost 4 year old car from a Citroen dealer and they got a CT done for us as part of the deal???????

We are going to do the same in a few weeks. The thing you need is the temporary insurance. If it is from a dealership who does these sales regularly then they will tell you which one to use. We did our homework and found that is all we needed to be careful about, then sorting out the carte grise if you only have the old one, which can be a bit of a pain but if you have correct paperwork from the dealer then it should be fine. All the better if they do it, which some dealers in the UK are now doing but it means buying then waiting a while. The saving makes it worth it.

We bought a French registered car in the UK from a returning ex-pat. We ensured we had all the documents properly annotated and ran it in the UK (questionable legality as we were still fiscally resident in UK) for 2 weeks before we moved over to France permanently. On arrival, we registered the vehicle in our names and we still have it to this day, 6 years on.

So yes, perfectly feasible David.

That is about it. Some friends were given a car when one of the fathers became too ill to drive again. He had not actually driven for a couple of years, during which the CT had expired and so on. They did what Graham describes just a bit before Christmas, went to the Prefecture, sorted out the Carte Grise, had a CT done and then all was in order so they got the insurance and now use it very legitimately.

Sounds good Peter.

Funnily enough we are looking at cars today in the UK, registered in France to purchase. If I buy today can I leave it here in England and come back to drive it down in a few weeks as long as the CT is in order and it has a Carte grise ?

Do not want to fall foul of the loi!

Contrary to popular belief, it is not illegal to pass on a car without 18 months CT remaining. It is a right given to the acquirer but if you choose not to exercise that right, it doesn’t present a problem to the State in respect of which they would impose a sanction; only that you will be unable to legally register it in your name within the time limits required in respect of which there could be a sanction if you were confronted by officialdom on a bad hair day.

As Mark says, if you are presented with a contra visit document, this can be used within 2 months of issue to have the car registered in your name (save for the requirement to register in one month from acquiring the vehicle). After that, if a revisit to regularise the CT has not been possible and the car is not on the road, it matters not how long it will be before it is finally presented for CT and there will be no issues with the Prefecture since the car is already registered in your name, presumably within the time limits imposed.

But, as Ian says, the previous owner must complete the cessation document and return his part to the Prefecture otherwise that opens a whole new can of worms and you will not be able to register the vehicle in your name at all. This is the safeguard provided by the system to protect the previous owner. The new owner protects himself by retaining a copy of the cessation document signed by the seller/gifter and the registration document (cerificat d’immatriculation) crossed through and signed by the seller/gifter (in this case).

A friend has encountered this. The previous owner did not raise the cessation document nor the properly endorsed certificat d’immatriculation and my friend is now in the unenviable position of having a vehicle he cannot register and an absent previous owner who cannot remedy the issue. The vehicle is now only worth scrap. No amount of pleading at the Prefectory will sway their mind to change the rules for them and allow the re-registration to take place.

The only sanction my friend has is to park the vehicle in a very public place in the centre of Paris and hope that the fines filter there way through to the seller in the ever fervent hope it might spur him into action…

I suggested he didn’t hold his breath.

Not quite "any time" Mark.

I bought a 3 year old car privately. The seller wanted to get a CT to prove that the car was in good condition, but they told him that they couldn't do it because the computer system would not accept the vehicle details until it was 4 years old. But apart from that - any time!

If you have an accident without a CT, it could be more than a fine......

if the car is changing ownership either as a sale or gift a new Carte Grise will be issued and this will require an updated CT certificate done within the past six months

You bring the car, let the guy make a assessment & then you have 3 weeks to do things (if necessary). This is often the happened with old-timers and the CT people are very helpful if you show up with an old car of French production...

Presumably the intent is to protect the buyer. If you have been gifted a car like that and the previous owner signed the cessation (?) document to transfer ownership then surely there's no issue? When was the CT done?

I "gifted" a dead car to a garage once and the CT was not in the previous 6 months. I signed the document and that was that. Afterwards he was going to bring it back to life, being a garage guy and having the appropriate bits lying around, and presumably then he does his thing as regards CT etc.

You still need to have at least 18 months left on a CT to register the car in your name - or a failure notice within its 2 month validity. Neither is a problem as anyone can get a CT done on any car at any time, provided that they are in posession of the carte grise. The prefecture does not issue penalties for "late" presentation of documents. You can buy a car without a CT if, for instance, it needs renovation & register it 2 years later but if you are checked by the gendarmes because you are driving it on the road during this period they will fine you.

Then presumably you have the carte grise to show the change of ownership and cannot be culpable, therefore go get the CT done very quickly.

I have had a ct issue for my car whilst it had the Belgium registration . Completed the process to register my car in France. I now have my carte grise with French registration. My car ct was issued on the car with old Belgium registration in Lille. Do I need a new CT with my new registration numbers?

No. When your car has its next CT all will be put right. Until then the VIN on the paperwork is enough.


You can go into your CT Station… where you had the CT done… armed with your new carte grise… the CT Station will amend their computer records…
No, no need for a new test…:grin:

Incidentally… presumably you had insurance cover on the vehicle before you changed the registration… the Insurers will want to take a copy of the new Carte Grise and get their records straight… so get down to see them asap.