Can we still come without a sticker - UK Cars Insured in France at Holiday Homes!

Wondering if can be reassured by you?, Had a bit of a time recently and just booked a ferry trip to our little holiday home in the Vendee…never enough time there. A friend just advised I need a sticker. I feel embarrassed that never knew about the clean air car stickers needed. I know there are links but simply tell me please,can we take the risk without one, no time to get one now and just want to look forward to my trip. Will drive from St Malo to central Vendee …our car is a beloved 2002 peugeot 406 that just keeps going! We will of course get the international driving permits. Thanks

You won’t need one unless you plan to go through the centre of a large city with a clean air zone - I guess Rennes and Nantes would be the likely candidates - when there is a restriction in place.

For Rennes driving around the rocade is OK.

We’re about an hour’s drive from Rennes (and slightly more to Nantes) - hardly ever see a French car with a sticker locally when we’re over in France.


Thanks so much first reply! Sounding like my kind of news. The RAC site makes it sound really official and a bit scare mongering all these things…enough fear in the world!

Oh, you will only need International Driving Permits if we have left the EU by the time you are in France - but if we have you will also need a GB sticker (even you have a EU style number plate) and a “green card”.

Will be there for 31st but won’t take the risk! Thanks again, will relax now.

Yes, I’ll be over for half term week so potentially over Bexit day - I think the chance of that has lessened so I’m going to wait and see what happens re another extension before I buy a green card - we got one ahead of the March deadline which was, of course, wasted money.

Crit’air sticker, GB stcker and IDP are already sorted.

If you’re not going to be over until Hallowe’en you have time to apply anyway (not sure what rating a 2002 406 will get though).

Trying not to show further shame at not knowing what a green card is! I know I wanted one for the States years ago! And yes…would the car even be acknowledged?..its so reliable.

Insurance certificate, the one we got was, indeed, green but A4 paper.

Otherwise you’ll find your not insured (or only 3rd party) if you have a biff.

Reliability has little to do with it I’m afraid, but which emissions standard it meets.

A 2002 diesel 406 is Euro standard 3 and should get a “4” sticker - petrol should get a “3” sticker.

Hi again Paul, thanks for your patience. I just told my husband all this, i usually check and assume each trip (for years now!) that we have been adequately covered. He says we have fully comp european motor insrance including breakdown cover, we take that every trip and have never questioned it. Are you saying we need something extra to that?! Do ignore if you have had enough!

Check with your insurer what documentation you need post Brexit (if it happens) - your existing comprehensive cover and certificate of insurance is recognised in the EU because the UK is a member state and that will change when we are a 3rd nation - so you need an international certificate (aka Green Card), some insurers will issue these without extra charge, some charge you for the privilege, and you might find your cover is reduced to 3rd party once we are out of the EU so you need to pay extra to get back to comprehensive.

Ultimately, you have to ask your insurer.

Thank you for all your help, will get on to insurers first thing. Funny how asking about one topic highlighted something else we had been ignorrant about and not looked into. Had the home for 18 yrs there, we have (don’t laugh) a 34 yr old peugeot 205 that if we fly, we use as a run around, perfect…think may have had its last controle t but we respect it and it fires up every time. Neighbours love it too and know if we are in town!Just when I thought our plans to move over next year or so might come into being…this crazy Brexit stuff has put the breaks on whilat we watch and wait see.

Oh dear - that’s a separate can of worms altogether - you know that you can’t legally register a car at a residence secondaire? Even if that is your only address in France.

That one might fit somewhere betwwen if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and don’t open Pandora’s box. :slight_smile:

Good morning Paul…what? Omg…this has put fear of god into me! Think just going to have to sell up! It is a french registered car, fully insured through our bank Credit Ag in France, year after year insurance, they are fully aware it is a holiday home. Think going to wait until I tell hubby this …

It’s come up previously on the forum - I suspect @anon90504988 can confirm (or confirm my memory and/or understanding of the issue is pants).

This concerns the process at the time of registration. I do not know of any consequences of owning such a car after going through the registration. Personally I doubt that it would be a big issue but I would not want to second-guess the french authorities which is why it is best to take the safer option.

This is an answer I put on another group recently -

This question is asked often & so I have looked into this in depth. The safe answer is no, holiday home owners do not have the right to register cars to that address. This is the safe answer based on the following.

  1. You are required to provide proof of DOMICILE, not merely your address in France.

  2. The ANTS system requires the use of your income tax, health service or social security reference numbers in order for individuals to gain access. These are only given to those who live in France.

  3. Official french government sites such as contain guidance which state thet the address of your second home cannot be used for vehicle registration. One reason some people give to try & justify why it only applies to the french is that it is to prevent people registering their cars in cheaper departments - unlikely as to save less than 100 euros on a one-off registration fee you only have to buy & maintain a second property you hardly use!

4)These official government sites constantly refer to " l’adresse du domicile principal" & do not include “en France”.

  1. While those who cannot directly access ANTS can use a third party service they are still required to provide proof of “domicile”, not address, & although an EDF bill can be accepted, if it is offered up as your domicile then it would not be correct. The third party is required to tick a box confirming " J’ai bien pris connaissance que “les fausses déclarations et l’usage de fausses déclarations sont punis de 3 ans d’emprisonnement et de 45 000 euros d’amende”, article 441-1 du code pénal.

This is what that code says - “A forgery is any fraudulent alteration of the truth, likely to cause damage and carried out by any means whatsoever, in a written document or any other medium of expression of thought which has as its object or which may have the effect of establishing proof of a right or fact having legal consequences”

It is not this group’s position to second-guess the french legal system so I cannot comment on how this rule would be applied.

  1. (the official site of the European Union) also has advice on this subject - C2007/068/04 contains such phrases as " Every individual must register his vehicle in the Member State in which he is normally resident." & " According to the Court of Justice, where a person has both personal and occupational ties in two Member States, his normal residence, determined in the context of an overall assessment by reference to all the relevant facts, is that where the permanent centre of interests of that person is located; in the event that such an overall assessment does not result in its determination, primacy must be given to personal ties."

They also have a Q & A section in another window where you can find this -

  • I am Italian and every year I take a 3-month holiday in my second home in the French Alps, travelling by car. Can I register my car in France?

NO — You can only register your car in the country where you are permanently resident.

  • Unless the UK has some kind of special deal with France then the above applies to them too.

If you look in our files section you will find " Holiday home owners, temporary residents & their cars". In that I have published, in full, this direct question to the service-public site & included, in full, their answer, including the name of the person giving it.

Others who offer an alternative view claim that it is based on answers received from government departments but have failed to show these answers or reveal the name of the officials who have given them.

Until such time as I see an official document stating that foreign holiday home owners can register a car to their house here my advice will be as above - it is better to be wrong & inconvenient rather than wrong & put members at risk, but advice is just that - people will choose whether to take it or not.

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Very thorough answer Mark - I would give you two upvotes if I could :+1:

Thanks for all help, so quick. Feeling in shock and also upset about knowing our many years of driving the little car there, green insurance tag in window etc, has been a facade and not covered, scary…feel conned by bank too. Unsure what we will do with it…scrap yard I guess. Good news is, we have our ‘green card’ on way in post. Will get our driver permits sorted.Thanks Paul.

To be honest, Sally, I would not panic too much. Any offence has already been committed so getting rid of the body will not undo the murder.
If your insurance company is aware of your status & you can prove this then they have accepted the risk.

I know a lot of US citizens with second homes in France who have vehicles registered at those addresses. The ANTS system might need you to be resident to register but being registered with ANTS is not a requirement of the vehicle registration process, it can be carried out through garages and other agents.

Hi all…ok!! Hubby just had long tel call with our car insurers there, Credit Agricole, we are completely insured and legit! Not a problem at all, even though a holiday home, our only home actually we rent in uk. It is a french registered car and all is as should be. Hope my joy and relief is coming through!