Buying s/h car in France

Been here 15 yrs, had six or eight cars - but for the last 5 yrs or so I’ve not been in the buying/selling private, instead changing cars though buying from a garage. Probably last time I sold/bought a car here myself was 7 or 8 years ago. I could handle it then - printing off the forms and sending off to prefecture etc…
Now I am looking to buy a french-reg., car (RHD, came over from UK in 2015). What is the admin procedure? Can I still do this by downloading forms?
Also the car involved will require work to be done - I can do it, here at my house. Do I have to insure it, even though it will not go on the roads for 4 - 6 weeks? I’m not bothered about the chance of it getting nicked - pretty good security here at the end of a chemin with neighbours and very visible camera security notices. I just do not know the law regarding off-the-road cars.

I believe all vehicles have to be insured whether running, on or off the road or in pieces on the garage floor.
In reality you are having to insure the Carte Grise.

I always believed that but was recently told, here or elsewhere, that it didn’t apply if the vehicle was unable to run, no engine or wheels for instance. I did buy a 3 wheel van some years ago when it didn’t need a carte grise, only insurance. When I parked it in the garden for the final time the insurance company said it should still be insured. I ignored that and they didn’t pursue the matter, nor did anyone else. :grinning:

When the shxt hits the fan… that’s when one is glad that the necessary Insurance has been taken out. Often there is only an absolute minimum cover required, which is not expensive.

Lack of such Insurance can be mighty expensive if things go wrong and the world turns upside down.

Happened to friends whose home burned to the ground overnight… house, barns, the lot.

How happy I was to be able to assure the Inspectors (whatever you call them) that, yes, the vehicle was immobilized: no battery, no fuel… and yes, it did have the required minimum insurance… phew.

Worth noting that the process is online now.
The seller needs to notify ANTS (like the DVLA) that the car is being sold & to whom. They must also declare that the car has had a recent CT which must be less than 6 months old or less than 2 months old if it failed. Without this the seller cannot complete his sales side.
When he has completed the sale it is your turn to go into the ANTS web site to complete your purchase & pay the registration tax. This must be within a month if you are using it on the road but can be longer if the CT has expired & you are making repairs but as you would have been given a CT on the day of sale you could register it then. This would give you all the time in the world to make your repairs.

Thanks all for replies. I decided not to buy the car. I just thought the jobs needing doing would be too difficult. Not really happy about (1) getting too old to be crawling about under cars and (2) it was a Subaru Legacy 3litre Type R and I really fancied it.

What was determined to be the cause of the fire? Was there an implication that they were trying to pin it on the vehicle?

They were looking minutely at everything… for the cause and also for any excuse to reduce payout…

It was fascinating to witness.

EDIT: I should have said “any reason” rather than “any excuse” to reduce payout.

Let’s face it, if someone was responsible for the fire either directly or through negligence (whatever)… that person should share the costs…

Hum. “Insurance covers everything except your loss”

Well I must admit that I was eventually covered for every centime for my non-fault accident. :slightly_smiling_face: