Carte Grise problem... for "written off" car

This query appears on another Forum… so far no-one has replied to the Original Poster. Just wondered if anyone here wants to chip in…

"Advice sought!

I recently bought an old Ford Fiesta but have now discovered that the people who sold it to me don’t have the carte grise.

They originally bought it for parts but then did it up and put it through its CT. They are in touch with the person they bought it from but from her point of view she submitted documents to the prefecture on the basis that it was being sold for parts.

Anyone got any experience/advice on how to get a car re-registered with a carte grise after a renovation?"

I will pass on any useful comments.

If it was written off only a licenced repairer can re-reregister it.

Hi David…

This car was sold to an ordinary person “for parts” and (against best advice from many of us) the buyer has decided to rebuild it instead. Seems to me that they should not have then sold it on… but that is another story…

I’ll pass on your comment.

That doesn’t make sense. You always give the carte grise to the buyer, so that they can register the change of ownership. There are no circumstances when the seller sends the cg straight back to the prefecture. If the car is scrapped the carte grise is given to the vehicle dismantler, who has to be registered as such, and he has special forms that he uses to acquire the vehicle from the seller and register its disposal. If you sell to anyone else you give them the carte grise, with the certificat de cession, so they can do a change of ownership. Legally speaking you haven’t been able to sell a car for parts for around 10 years, I know people still write “pour pièces” on the cg but it has no legal significance and the prefecture will simply ignore it. Either you sell a car or you don’t, and if you sell it then the car and its paperwork become the property of the new owner, but in this case the seller seems to thought it was OK to take money for a car but not allow the new owner to take legal ownership of it. Is this a chain of Brits? Two buyers in a row who weren’t aware of the implications of “buying” a car without the correct paperwork, and a seller who didn’t know the process either - it has to be, doesn’t it?

Basically the issue is that you can’t leapfrog over owners. The prefecture isn’t interested in renovations or anything else, all it is interested in is seeing an unbroken chain of ownership, with each attestation de cession signed by the person whose name is on the carte grise who is also the person named on the previous cert de cession, so that (a) it proves the person who sold the car was the legitimate owner and had the right to sell it and (b) it ensures that the registration tax is collected each and every time the car changes hands. Currently, registration tax is due from the person who bought it and did it up but never did the change of ownership, and unless they start falsifying paperwork and pretending this person never owned the car, that will have to be paid before it can change ownership again.

I hear what you say… sufficient to say that correct procedures were not followed… and the current owner is left trying to pickup the pieces…

there is no intention (on the part of current owner) to leapfrog or do anything illegal… she just wants to register her newly bought car… and has discovered that the Seller has not done things correctly. (I think it is very iffy)

I’ve suggested she asks for her money back, if the Seller is unable to deal with the paperwork.

The only time I’ve seen a happy ending in this sort of situation a bit of paperwork editing went on and eventually a friendly garage was involved to overcome some of the official hurdles. The sort of thing that I would not touch with a barge pole.
I read something similar on another forum yesterday. There someone is considering buying a modified motorcycle but is having trouble finding an insurance company that will insure it. He has been warned that, as the Control Technique laws will be changing before 2022, that he could end up owning something that cannot be put through a CT and will therefore be impossible to keep on the road or sell. The person who has bought the car could be in a similar position.
One thing I don’t understand is how did the intermediate owner get the car through a CT without a registration document? That would not be possible around here.
It’s not only cars which change hands illegally. The maire in a neighbouring commune was involved in helping to legitimise the purchase of a local house. The current ‘owner’ had bought the house from someone in the UK and although money had changed hands they had not used a Notaire and the property had not been transferred. The big problem however is that the previous owner had bought the house from another Brit in similar circumstances. To legitimise the new owner’s claim to the property she needed to deal with the person whose name was on the deeds, not the person he sold it to. Apparently it was turning into an expensive legal nightmare. At least with an old, written off car there shouldn’t be too much money lost.

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If you look at the link David gave, it sets out the procedures that the law says must be followed. The seller didn’t meet their obligations, therefore the sale is not valid, therefore the buyer is entitled to their money back. No question about it.
Otherwise the person they bought the car off will have to somehow get hold of the carte grise, go back to the person whose name is on the cg which is presumably the person they bought it off (but if they never saw it, it might even not be), do the paperwork and register the car in their own nam,e before they can sell it on. At the moment they are in effect trying to sell a car that as far as the law is concerned, is not theirs to sell, since they are not the legal owner. You can’t sell a car that doesn’t belong to you because that is fraud.

EDIT - crossed with David’s post, but I think we’re essentially saying the same thing.

I agree with you David… the whole this is very dodgy…

Ordinarily, I would be leaping in to help… but not this time… apart from passing on the messages…(I’m finally getting to the end of my tether) :anguished:

There’s also the question of insurance. By law in France every car must be continuously insured even if it’s “off the road”. You can’t get insurance without a carte grise. Presumably this car has not been insured for all of the time it was owned by the people who did it up (how did it get to the CT station) and still isn’t insured. So it sounds like someone or perhaps a string of people who don’t feel that the rules apply to them. If the new “owner” doesn’t know them personally then their best bet is to extricate themselves and walk away, if they do know the people concerned then what can you say except, if you flout the law then you can’t reasonably complain if eventually you come unstuck.

How did they manage to get the CT without submitting the registration documents at the testing station?

I asked the same question. A real mystery.

All sounds a bit suss, why would anyone want to rebuild/restore and old, written off, Ford Fiesta?

Err… because it seems like a way to earn a few bob?
In the UK there’s nothing to stop you buying an old banger, doing it up enough to get an MOT and selling it. People do it all the time, AutoTrader is full of them. No problems over the paperwork, no need to tell the taxman. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the laws are tighter in France.

Hi everyone

The original Owner sold the car for destruction/parts… and… filled in the appropriate forms and sent a copy Form plus the CGrise back to the Prefecture (correct procedure for a car which is not destined to go back on the road.)

As a result the vehicle was “more or less” wiped off the face of the earth as far as paper work etc is concerned.

However, the Purchaser of the “parts car” decided to do a rebuild instead…then sold the car on… don’t ask me how that Purchaser got a CT…very iffy… and the New Owner is stuck with a car which, to all intents and purposes does not exist.

I have advised the New Owner to get her money back… if the Purchaser cannot get the correct paperwork somehow from the Prefecture.

Many thanks… you are all Stars…:heart_eyes:

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Well no, actually, because when you scrap a car the only correct route is to take it to a registered vehicle dismantler. The dismantler has special paperwork that you complete, you give them the carte grise and proof of ID etc, and they deal with it from there.

This ensures that the entire car is disposed of in an eco-friendly way, and doesn’t end up a rusting shell in the French countryside. If you want to scrap a car it has to be done properly. You can’t get rid of the paperwork without also getting rid of the car. I very much doubt that the prefecture has in fact recorded it as scrapped without a certificate from an authorised vehicle dismantler. I guess they are still waiting for the person named as the new owner on the cession document to rock up to finish the change of ownership.


This thread is now closed… the New Owner has asked for… and received… her money back (as per the advice from this Forum).

I can confirm to you that the CG and CERFA paperwork was indeed all sent to the Prefecture…stating that the vehicle was going for spares.
The vehicle no longer exists on the Database.

Rightly or wrongly… that is the current situation.