Car taken in exchange for payment of works carried out

Thanks Hi, wondered if anybody could advice please!!

My OH, who is registered and works as a gardener/handyman here in France worked for an English couple for several years and at the beginning they paid regularly on presentation of a Facture. Several months ago they decided to go back to England because of financial circumstances and asked if my husband would accept an (English Reg car) in place of monies owed. As we needed a smaller car we agreed and said car was handed over. When we went to get it insured for use over here whilst changing the registration over to French number plates, we found that there was no Change of Ownership paper with it so the Insurance Co., said they could insure it for 6 months only whilst we sorted everything out with the previous owner and produced a Carte Gris. After many telephone calls and conversations with PO, no paper work was ever forthcoming and we have no address for them in England! Hence out 6 months has now expired; and they have disappeared. We are now left with a car that we cannot use anymore and is sitting in the garage...........

Has anyone any suggestions/advice on how we can change the ownership over legally?

The person my OH worked for was involved in buying and selling cars in the UK.

Worried of Normandie!!

Thank you all for your helpful advice, especially Mark. Would we get the "cession d'un vehicule" form from the Prefecture?

Ben, I looked at your link & could not see anywhere where it says that the foreign "carte grise" must be in the name of the current owner. Of the many cars I have helped with, quite a few had changed hands before being registered here so the name on the logbook was not the name of the person registering the car. Provided "proof" of a change of ownership accompanies the paperwork - a hand written receipt will suffice along with the "cession" form - the paperwork will be processed. As a resident here it is impossible to register the car in the UK. It is illegal for a French resident to own a car registered in a foreign country but not illegal to buy one there & bring it back.

I take it you have never actually imported a car...?

This only works for cars previously registered in France i.e. already entitled to a carte grise.....*03

There is no problem at all!

If the car is Uk registered you need to register it here before you use it. The procedure for registering a foreign car is easy. You do not need to have a V5 in your name to do this. The change of ownership form for the French authorities is a "cession d'un vehicule" form. Put the old owners name in the old owner section & the new owner name (you) in the new owner section. then proceed with the import as normal. If you have any problems or questions please PM me. I have assisted with tthis on many occasions. If you really want a V5 in your name you can apply to the DVLA using a friends address, pay £29 & on receipt of the V5 declare it exported. This may have already been done so check online first using the DVLA website. Don't listen to anyone who tells you it is not possible!

Oh yes, the 6 month insurance limit is standard for all imported cars (except from hooky agents) as that is all the time that the companies can legally give cover to cars going through the import process - nothing to do with v5s or CGs.

Realistically? Don't bother, the guy knew exactly what he was doing; take this experience as one of those invaluable "lessons learned". Have no idea what the "Argus-value" of the car is, but I suppose it's not a brand new one. Given your story there's very little chance that you might establish legal ownership even if you track them through DVLA. It's registered in the UK, so the transfer of ownership would have to be done by UK-standards and after that you'll need to register it in France, including the whole process of "conformity", controle technique etc. before you can even think of obtaining your carte grise......So use the French law to get rid of it: park it beside your house in the street and call the local police to tell them there's a car parked outside your door for more then a few weeks and let them handle the paperwork.....

You may be able to trace them through DVLA with the reg number as they will be listed with them if they have another car