Buying a car in the uk with french plates

hi, just in the process of buying a french registered car from a family member who has just returned to the uk. we are going in the opposite direction and moving to france. thought it would be a good idea to take it off his hands and as it still has a good 15 months controle-techniquie still left, i thought happy days.i have insured the vehicle and am now in the process of applying for the carte griese, but there seems some confusion on this as i am now being told that he should have obtained a new ct before he sold the vehicle. as it is on uk soil this is not possible. i was hoping to return to france at the end of the month in this car , however now i am not to confident as i do not want to get stopped at the border. is there no way i can drive back to france and then get a new ct when i arrive? any advice would be welcome as i have to be at the prefecture in 4 weeks!!! thank you for listening.

Hello Jonathan and welcome to Survive France!

I was wondering who told you that your relative should have had a recent CT. I know that you need one to sell a car in France (I think) but I didn’t think you have to have one to register the carte grise. I’m sure other people with longer residence in France will come along shortly with more information, but I bought a car in the UK with French number plates when I came over here 5 years ago and didn’t have a problem.

hi angela
thanks for replying, i do hope you are right, but my big fear is that since brexit, there will be a lot more checks on vehicles coming over from the uk. so, its back to another night of worry and stress. anyway thanks for your help.

To apply to register a car in France and/or to change the name on the carte grise… a CT is needed which is less than 6 months old at the time of making the Application.

This keeps being mentioned but, sadly, folk still get it wrong.

Another thing to check on…
I do hope the previous Owner has correctly completed the sale paperwork… :thinking: :thinking:


@state4 and @Stella
I would definitely take Stella’s advice, Jonathan - she’s more up to speed with current regulations than I am.
I had no problem 5 years ago but that was before carte grise issue was centralised and I went to my local prefecture (who may themselves have got it wrong - I would have no idea)

That’s my understanding as well. The current CT has to be less than 6 months old at the time of sale.

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My thought (clearly wrong) was that that regulation was a sale requirement in France. If it was sold in the UK and shipped back to France, the sale requirement shouldn’t apply :thinking: but I’m sure Stella is right about also needing it for change of carte grise - I’ve not found her to be wrong yet… :smiley:

I think garages can sell without a CT if stated in the advert and it was due within 2 months of the sale.

“Véhicule très propre, très bien entretenue, toujours au garage.
Les entretiens sont faites et Ă  jour (vidange + remplacement de filtre)
Kit de Distribution avec pompe Ă  eau Ă  jour
Les 4 pneus sont dans une bonne Ă©tat, disques et plaquettes des freins aussi
Vendu sans contrôle technique donc dans l’état
Excellent historique du véhicule.”

The Carte Grise of a vehicle must reflect the current keeper’s name and address, exactly the same as the V5 of a British vehicle.

Yes I realise that. What I was wondering was if the sale took place in another country and the car came back to France, would the carte grise change in itself need the 6 months CT or is it just a condition of sale under French law (and therefore only applying to France?)

Angela… I’m talking about France… for changing the name on the CG and/or registering a vehicle… a CT of less than 6 months is needed at the point of Application.

If the French vehicle is sold in UK and NOT brought back here… that’s another story, of course…

If it’s a French registered car having the keeper’s details changed between one French address and and not her French address, I’d do it the way ANTS says to do it to avoid any hassles.

If is it a change of Owner… it is different… of course… as not just simply change of address…

Thanks Stella - that’s very clear and is something I didn’t know!

Welcome from me too Jonathon, and also for opening my eyes. I have always been under the impression that the rule was that a car needed at least 6 months left on a CT to be sold.

I briefly thought to sell one of my cars recently with a CT till August. :roll_eyes:

Need to clarify, perhaps… if someone does buy a French reg car abroad,
provided the French CT is not expired, . the purchaser/new owner can drive the car back to France , and during the legal time-frame for Applying to have the CG changed over to the New Owner … but a new CT (thus less than 6 months) will need to be obtained for making that Application.

AHA! So that is a possible way forward for the OP then.
I knew Stella would have an answer @state4 :smiley:

hi stella, thanks for the advice, so just to clarify, the car I’m buying has french plates, the ct is valid until may 2022, i have insured the vehicle and my plan was to drive it back to france at the end of the month/ beginning of march. i was in the process of applyinf for the carte gries when this problem came to my notice. i do not want any problems at border control. oh, and just to clarify, i am not going back and to from france, i have been stuck in the uk since christmas under lockdown, but now i have an appointment coming up for my residents card, so have to return soon. anyway thanks to everyone who has replied.

I bought a French car with French plates in the UK, this was in 2015. The person I bought it from said it was still registered in France but when I went to register it in my name in France, they told me I had to re-import it and get a new control technique myself. I managed to do all this in one day! I was totally green about the whole thing but I just did as I was told by the person on the other side of the desk. My French friend, who I was staying with, couldn’t believe I managed it so easily. This was also before I had bought a house here and my French friend wrote an attestation stating that I was living with her and I registered the car at her address. I hope something here helps you. Good luck!

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My advice Jonathan is just pitch up at the boarder and get things sorted when you’re here. You’ll have insurance, the CT paperwork and the exiting CG. The car is legal in France so I can’t see why the border police or douane would be interested. As Stella says you’ll need a new CT before you apply for a new CG.

I think your PCR test, attestation, reason for travelling will be of a lot more interest at the port :slightly_smiling_face: I came through Cherbourg from Ireland a week ago, the controls were rigid.