Buying a used car through private seller in France


(Sarah Pain) #1

Ok, typing this for the second time as when I went to post, SFN kindly went into maintenance mode and not a draft in sight!


Anyhoo, about to buy my first LHD car here. My RHD I brought with me is dying and repairs far outweigh value etc. So I am fully aware of docs needed, things to be checked, what the Seller must provide/do etc along with docs declaring sale, no lien on car etc. What I am not au fait with is the practicalities of sealing the deal so to speak.


For instance, in the UK when I buy a used car, I find the car, do an HPi check, go see it with cash in hand(bag) and if I everything seems in order, I buy it, we sign the V5 etc and I drive home with a new toy. So can I do the same here, or is there a reason for a waiting period between viewing and driving it off or any reason I cannot do as I would do in the UK?


My reason for asking is the car I want at the price I can afford seems to be more readily available in other departments but not mine. Yes I could wait indefinitely for one to come up but I doubt my car will last that long and as most of the ones I have seen are at least 2 hours drive away, I had hoped that I could drive to it, view it and assuming everything is ok, buy it, drop my car off at the nearest pre-researched scrap yard and drive the new one home.


Any advice/info on the usual formalities would be much appreciated.




(DAVID HUNT) #2

I would buy from a local dealer .


(Sarah Pain) #3

So pretty much the same as the UK then? Just needed to make sure as I have come to understand the French are often not in a rush to do most things!!

I will also check with my insurer, I had thought it would be a case of phoning them once I have decided to buy the car and they can do it over the phone as they do in the UK but I had better check that with them.

Thanks John.


(John Brian) #4

You know about the docs required so that’s good. Two things will need sorting out, payment and insurance. You will have to find out what the seller expects with regard to payment; cash, personal cheque, bank cheque or bank transfer. If they demand a bank cheque you will have to know the actual price you will be paying as you will need to take it with you. Insurance can be a problem but hopefully your current agent will be accommodating and allow you to set up something before your trip. You will need to know the VIN and registration number as a minimum but you can probably phone through the details after you have viewed the car.