Carte Grise in name of Expat who has gone back to England... any tips?

Bonjour All!
In a nutshell this is the situation. Chap lived in France with his wife and bought a new car. Many years later, she died, so he moved back to the UK and took car with him. He left it on French plates - and put it in the garage and bought a new one (oddly same model but newer and same colour). A couple of years later, decides he’s never going back to France and I buy it - for a friend who lives in France. I get it MOTed in UK (on chassis number as the system doesn’t cope with non UK plates) as CT had run out by over a year to be sure, and it’s insured by my friend. I run it around for a week or two in the UK to make sure its’ ok and then drive it to France, when immediately, nothing happened. It sat on the drive for almost a year, and recently went in for a CT so that it could get the Carte Grise changed. I won’t go into the reasons for the delay - but it wasn’t a high priority thing as my friend already has 2 cars.
So - the issues are:
1: clearly the car has been in Fr for longer than it should (bit is now CTed and ready to rock)
2: The Carte Grise is in a long since gone away address
3: errm… that’s it I think.
So does anyone have any advice as to how to slip through the wonderful French bureaucracy with the minimal of issues to get a Carte Grise in my friend’s name, even if it be that to fill in the gaps, I as a UK resident owned the car during the missing period?

Many thanks!

I’ve struggled trying to get a CG for a little classic a friend of mine bought around four years ago. At least three attempts and I’m sure it’s fixable but we’ve sort of run out of steam now. His problem is the guy he bought the car from never changed it to his name so my pal has a receipt from the most recent owner but a CG naming the previous one. So that’s rather long way of saying you are dead right to get advice here before plunging in. There’s no SORN thing here so with any luck you can just do a change of ownership.

I should add that car registration is possibly the favorite topic on here so you’ll have plenty of (possibly conflicting) advice. :grinning:

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It is not unknown for cars to be “forgotten” and not go through the official processes in the necessary timescale… and that can cause repercussions… but if folk are upfront there is every chance that things can be sorted successfully without anything too drastic.

I’ve known situations where it has been necessary to backtrack and get paperwork put in place… it is not impossible.

I reckon you need to get the paperwork for the Sale to you… (since you bought it while in UK) … then you change the CG to your name (??) or not (???)
… and then you are able to sell it to your friend here in France … :relaxed:

@Mark_Rimmer can you advise ??

Here is an article I wrote for a Facebook group -


Mark Rimmer·Sunday, 6 January 2019·

I seem to be getting quite a few requests for help from people who have bought french cars only to discover that they cannot register them. Buying french cars in the UK can be especially hazardous as it may be that the seller has either registered the sale to a third party on ANTS or may not be the person on the carte grise. If you are not able to liase with the title holder directly then if there is an anomily with the registration you will NOT be able to register or use the car - ever.

  1. Make SURE that you get the CARTE GRISE.
  2. The previous title holder (the name that is on the CG) should provide you with a code de cession. When this is done the seller registers the buyer’s details with ANTS & can then fill in a “cession” form online to print out (see 2). It is possible to register without but you will need to be able to contact the seller as you may need their personal details.
  3. You should both have a copy of a cession d’un vehicle form Cerfa 15776*01.
  4. You should be given a certificat de situation administrative. This is generated automatocally online by the seller, printed out & given to the buyer. It will (hopefully) confirm that there is no official reason why the vehicle cannot be re-registered.

Traders & garages have a variation of the above but should be able to provide paperwork showing a link - seller to garage, garage to another garage (perhaps) & garage to new owner.

With a private sale the person you are buying from must have the CG in their name. If not there is a good chance that ANTS will have the wrong buyer registered with them so when YOU go online & enter your details they will not match. Your application for a new CG will be refused.

The selling & buying process is covered in another file so make sure you read it & understand it. If you then have any questions, well, that is why you joined the forum so ask!

The above refers to standard purchases. Barn finds & inherited vehicles are slightly different.

I’ve one friend who got over this problem Mark. He brought the car to the UK (or Ireland, I can’t remember which) registered it there and then brought it back and registered here. All that was required was the CG and a receipt, continuity on the CG wasn’t a problem. My pal and I have considered doing the same (it was actually his brother who found the innovative method above) but the trip would be quite challenging in the Ami. The car train from Nice has ended and I’ve no idea and it’d cost around €750 to have her delivered to a ferry port.

What’s the barn find method? Maybe I could find the car in his “barn”.

Thanks all. Hopefully we have sorted the problem - but time will tell! I’ll post when / if we get the new CG back … but grateful for all your help.