Buying a car in the uk with french plates

Hi @state4

For entering France, you have Insurance and the existing CT… and the Carte Grise (albeit not in your name) … I think all you now need is the document to prove you have legally bought the car… but I’m sure others will chime in with more help.

@anon90504988 will confirm what needs to be done by way of documents from seller to owner and also regarding the CGrise (what, if anything, the Seller and the Owner should do…)

(re Selling/Buying cerfa 15776*01 is one form, staring at me from my study pegboard. I believe that form is still in use… but @anon90504988 will know…)

You’ve time to get it all straight… before you hit France.

and, if you get all your ducks in a row… once you are finally here in France, changing ownership should be easy-peasy…

best of luck.

With a french to french car sale the seller is obliged to provide the buyer with a CT conducted within 6 months of the date of sale (or 2 months if it failed) as the buyer will need it to register the car. It is not an offence if you don’t but it does leave both parties in a weak legal position if the car has a problem later.
The seller should register the sale on the ANTS website & obtain a code de cession which is handed to the buyer with the carte grise (crossed through & signed), one of the completed certificate de cession forms, a “situation administrative” report & a CT as above (if the car is 4 years old or more).
The seller can give the code de cession to the buyer within 15 days of the sale. The buyer does not need the code but it makes things a lot easier if they have it.

The buyer has a month from the date of sale to register their purchase on the ANTS website, access to which is only possible to those who are already fiscally resident & have an income tax, health service or social security number which puts them on the INSEE database. This means that new arrivals cannot register their car in the one month time slot & will need to use a third party to do this. It can be a friend or a paid service.
If using a friend make sure that they know what they are doing - a mistake can mean long delays & weeks of frustration!

I think getting into that debate would be a mistake Stella. Just drive in. I think this is being overthought.

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@John_Scully @state4

(Perhaps you misunderstood, when I said legally bought the car… I simply meant… you are the owner.)

It’s standard procedure, surely. If you buy a car from a garage, you have the Bill…

For a private sale, there is a simple form between Seller and Buyer… which is not rocket science…

The OP is worried about being stopped at the border… where they might not necessarily check the car documents… but it could happen there, and/or anywhere en route… who knows…

Having all the stuff ready, just in case, will let everyone relax and enjoy the trip…


No I understood Stella. It’s just in my experience it’s better to keep things simple. Getting into a discussion about who owns the car and where it was bought IMO brings unnecessary complications. I’d just sail through and if stopped produce the insurance and CG and not get into any discussion. But that’s just the way I’d approach it.


Frankly, I’m bemused by your response.

Keeping things simple is following the procedure and having the documents in one’s hot little hand. :thinking: :hugs:

I’m stepping back…


I’m just trying to say that keeping things simple is not answering questions that haven’t been asked. :slightly_smiling_face:


As I mentioned on another thread, having all the paperwork that might conceivably be asked for is a guarantee that none will be demanded.

Miss out one piece of paper and you will be stopped and that one piece is the one they’ll demand…


ok, thanks for the info


ok, thanks for your help.

You need a certificat de cession filled in by both parties. This makes your driving the vehicle legitimate and will enable you to get the CG in your name. Whether a vehicle is free or cost squillions you need a C de C, it proves transfer of ownership. I expect you can download it, it isn’t a complicated form but you do need it. I suspect you don’t for a foreign registered car you are importing, but for French registered cars you absolutely do.

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It would not be a wise way to approach it. The certificat de cession is essential for transfer of ownership of French registered vehicles, if you haven’t got one you can look forward to your vehicle being impounded, possibly for weeks, and being checked out intensively and extensively by the authorities.

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Oh I know Véronique, I have a friend with a car in limbo because the person he bought it from wasn’t the last person on the CG. We’ve had three failed attempts to get a new CG for him.

I’m all in favour of having all the documents when reregistering the vehicle, I’ve registered enough myself, one from Ireland, one from Germany, three from the UK (including a tax free export with no V5) and one from Italy where they have two CGs :roll_eyes:.

My point was that personally I wouldn’t get into any discussion about buying in the UK on French plates etc. etc. at the border. In over forty years over and back across borders I’ve never been asked who owns the car I was driving. I think the insurance certificate, the CT certificate and the current CG will suffice and if stopped I wouldn’t expand the conversation beyond those unless in the extremely unlikely event the official wanted to. Sometimes one can offer up too much information and end up in more difficulty than needs be. That’s all I was saying - in effect don’t make a meal out of the thing :slightly_smiling_face:

I should have said nothing, because now I’ve had to make a meal out of explaining myself :smile:


Hi Stella I have a similar problem brought a French left hand drive from a neighbours son in law in Uk as he had returned to Uk. Thought it would be perfect to leave down at the house. Well this was last July he changed documents but never received and told him to he rang in Nov and said now sorted, still not received email confirmation or Carter gris at my French house…I have a neighbour keeping a eye on my post. Do you know if there is a site I can check in my name? As my friends will hopefully being able to drive it down to our house this year as covid stopped them last year.

You each need to do the documents, chacun de son côté, Tracy. He should have just notified ants of the sale/cession. You should notify them of the purchase and pay for the new carte grise, you have a month to do that after the sale (if I remember correctly) :wink:

Thankyou Andrew, oh dear maybe a problem he didn’t tell me I needed to do anything. He did online back in Oct 20 and paid fee and I had already signed his documents. All he said was that they would send new carte Gris to my French address and email me when they had done. I’ve received nothing. I’m getting quite stressed now (typical woman :joy:) I’ve been trying to chase documents via my buyer all he has given me is the receipt of his payment. Is there a website I can go on to check, as I’m worried cos the moment the borders open covid allowing I will drive over the car as the mot runs out Sept 21.

Not sure that I fully understand your situation as you say that you bought the vehicle in the UK, then later refer to a buyer and an expiring MoT. French vehicles have a two year CT not an MOT and it must be less than 6 months old at the time of sale. As mentioned, the seller notifies ANTS of the sale within 15 days and the buyer registers with ANTS within a month. Nothing happens automatically. Finally, are you French resident or is your property in France a maison secondaire? Only asking as you need to be French resident to register a French vehicle. The Registering Vehicles in France FB group may be your best bet for a resolution.

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