Different VIN to Carte Gris

(Lynne ENDERSBY) #1

Hi, I am just about to purchase a vehicle which is approx 40 years old. It had a new chassis in 2007 and it would appear that the new VIN was not noted on the carte gris which shows the old chassis number. There have been 4 CT’s during this period and only the last one done a couple of days ago has highlighted this problem. Apparently the manager at the CT place said this is OK and not a problem, it happens all the time and provided the insurers are OK with it there is nothing to do. However having looked on a Govt website it is a criminal offence regardless of age of vehicle. Can someone shed any light on this issue and what I would need to do to put the problem right - many thanks


(stella wood) #2

Only my own opinion… but, before I bought anything… I would want to see the paperwork bearing the correct information…

I would expect the current Owner to get the matter sorted-out… and then the sale can proceed without any qualms… but until then… I would bide my time. :relaxed:

I will watch this thread with interest, as I have seen things go wrong in the past, simply because someone rushed-in… almost where angels fear to tread :upside_down_face::thinking:

(I’ve sent you a private message)


(stella wood) #3

Le code VIN lors de l’achat de véhicule

La vérification du code VIN du véhicule est une étape importante, particulièrement lors de l’achat d’une automobile d’occasion. Il faut s’assurer que tous les caractères constituant le numéro de série du véhicule soient lisibles et qu’aucune modification n’ait été effectuée. Il est tout aussi important de vérifier que chaque emplacement destiné à cet effet, au niveau du véhicule (moteur, ordinateur de bord, etc.), présente les mêmes numéros que ceux marqués sur la carte grise. A noter également que certaines lettres telles que le « I », le « O » et le « Q » sont interdites dans le code VIN, au risque de les confondre avec les numéros 0 et 1. Dans la mesure où certaines informations concernant votre code VIN portent à confusion ou vous laissent dans le doute, il est préférable de consulter un professionnel, voire de refuser la vente.


(Lynne ENDERSBY) #4

Thanks Stella - yes understand what you are saying but I don’t think there is anything underhand, just an oversight. Unfortunately the seller does not have a lot of time and I could lose out on a vehicle that I would like for the sake of bureaucracy. I was hopeful that someone had some experience of collector type vehicles where a change of chassis is the norm and how you go about rectifying the issue ie who do you go an see to get it all sorted. Have looked at various websites and the French is a bit mind-boggling as usual…


(Paul Flinders) #5

Do you know the seller personally or do you have a personal recommendation.

Otherwise being rushed into a purchase where something is “not quite right” would be setting alarm bells off for me.

Been there, done that, I’m afraid.

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(stella wood) #6

Hi Lynee…

I do have experience of Collection Cars… and a change of chassis is NOT the norm…and is, in fact, tightly regulated.

And, frankly, there is no such thing as an “oversight” if/when someone makes such a major change to a car. If the CG was not able to be amended at the time of the work, it will have been for a very good reason… :roll_eyes:

Plus… it is certainly NOT the norm to have the CG with one VIN and the car with a different VIN.

The Government site is quite clear on this point… buy at your peril !!

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(stella wood) #7

Are we allowed to know if what make of car this is… and if the car is being sold by a French person or a “foreigner” :thinking:


(stella wood) #8

Latest news on this, offered by my carclub pals… the Conformity of the car would need to be established by the local DRIRE or DREAL (whichever). If they are satisfied, they will authorise the CG changes.

And it is helpful if the CG for the donor car is available as well as the CG for the completed car.

and this should be done by the current Seller… everyone says… walk away if the Seller will not get this done.

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(Dominic Best) #9

Either get the seller to correct the paperwork before the sale or walk away. In simple terms if the VIN on the Carte Grise is not the VIN on the chassis the CG is not for that car whatever the number plates say! To say that these things are important is an understatement. For a start the insurance company will be insuring a vehicle that is not the one being driven.


(Lynne ENDERSBY) #10

English but returning to UK and not back until August which is a bit late for me.


(Lynne ENDERSBY) #11

Hi Stella - would it be possible for the number to be changed at the same time as the ownership change is carried out - I looked on the website and it suggested that errors on the CG can be advised online


(stella wood) #12

Lynee… I am not surprised that the seller is English… because, in my experience, too many English folk simply ignore French regulations…and leave someone else to pick up the pieces.

It is NOT simply “an error on the carte grise”. The Seller has NOT had the vehicle checked by DREAL, who would authorise the change of VIN on the carte grise… if they were happy with the “new” car.

It is worrying that the Seller did not mention changing the chassis, before this was discovered at the time of the CT… It should have been one, of a long list of things described and discussed with you.

And, it should be clearly marked in all the documentation that this car has been subject to major modification. ie chassis swap…(plus anything else that was done.)

The Seller should have a complete papertrail with 2 Carte Grises in Seller’s name … for the Donor and the Recipient vehicles… and these, with the car need to go for inspection.

If DREAL are not happy with the modified car… they can refuse to Register it and you would be left with a car you cannot drive.

It really is down to the Seller to organize this… it is not something that can be ignored.


(Lynne ENDERSBY) #13

The seller did not actually perform the work but he did advise the chassis had been changed -however did not know about the VIN problem. Thanks Stella for all your advice, I will proceed accordingly


(stella wood) #14

Oh dear… so who did do the work??? someone further back…up the chain??? or did he pay an Enterprise to do the work??

This could indeed pose problems… but, I’ve said it all , more or less…

The ball is in your court… (or rather… .it’s in their’s…:roll_eyes::cry: )


(anon88888878) #15

Lynne - DON’T buy the car! :no_entry::no_entry::no_entry:


(Catharine Higginson) #16

We had to ré-register a Landy that had had some changes made - not even the chassis - and had to go via the DRIRE. It took forever , was a flipping nightmare and I don’t think we would have suceeeded had we not had the help of a French motoring journalist friend who interceded / harassed / stumped them with paperwork on our behalf.
My advice would be to be extremely cautious!

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(anon71231711) #17

Can you change a VIN number? I thought the VIN number was the vehicle, so to speak. You wouldn’t give a vehicle a new chassis, you would give the chassis a new vehicle. Replacement engines aren’t an issue. You can change engine numbers.
So I would be asking, and I imagine the prefecture will be asking - where is the registration document that relates to that VIN number? Does it still exist, if not is it recorded as scrapped, or what, and if it was scrapped what it it doing still on the road? and if it still exists who is the registered owner? Can of worms?
Could be wrong but that’s my feeling.


(Dominic Best) #18

You are not wrong Anna, you are spot on.


(Lynne ENDERSBY) #19

Thanks everyone for all your helpful comments - have discussed with the current owner and we are off to the DREAL on Monday to try and rectify. The current owner did not perform the modifications and the prefecture at Perpignan handled the transfer to him in 2009 so trust we should have a papertrail. there appears to be very differing viewpoints out there as to older vehicles and the numbers tying up but I have taken on board all advice and will proceed with caution - Many thanks SF


(stella wood) #20

Best of luck Lynne… hope it all goes well. DREAL are normally very helpful (in my experience)…

What make and model are we talking about ?? anything exciting ?