Drive a French registered RHD car?

Just a heads-up for anybody who has a reasonably valuable RHD car insured with a French insurance company. Have a word with your agent and check what they think it’s worth. I have just been dealing with somebody whose RHD, French registered car was insured with MMA. The car was involved in an accident where the driver pulled to the side of the road and stopped to allow a commercial vehicle to pass and the other driver did not move over at all himself but carried on, damaging the offside of the stopped car. MMA have assured the car driver that the other driver is 100% to blame for the accident but have written off the car because they valued it at 50% of an equivalent LHD car and therefore it was deemed uneconomic to repair. A similar LHD car of the same age would have been repaired. There are a few expensive RHD BMWs and Mercedes around here and I wonder if their owners are aware that in the eyes of their insurance company ( if they act like MMA) their cars might be worth €25-30000 less than they think. It might be worth checking and for those insured with MMA moving their insurance to a more accommodating company.


Seems a fair valuation, for a French reg car that only a minority French folk would be interested in!

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Thank you for your kind words. At least you are buying a car that you know will only be worth 50% of its purchase price within two years.

Another excellent reason, in France, to buy a LHD car…
RHD might be cheaper but in the long run, it may bite you back…

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The trouble is that they will only give you their valuation - which is likely to leave you with a forced downsizing of your motoring through possibly no fault of your own, unless you really can source a RHD replacement in France for half the price (probably only an outside chance).

Are there any specialist insurers who will give a sensible valuation or is there such a thing as gap insurance in France?

My thoughts exactly Graham, but I would add, safer too :+1:

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The car is valued for what it’s worth Paul, a RHD car, (French reg or not), is not desirable, so not valuable in France!

good advice @Aquitaine

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Your very welcome Dave, no bother, I try to be kind, and realistic :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes I get that.

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to do this (value a car much lower than the real like-for-like replacement cost) but where the shortfall is 50% that’s a major pain, unless you can easily pick up a replacement in France for the amount you will get from the insurance.

I’m sure if it was that easy then a) people wouldn’t mind getting a smaller payout and b) there would be a thriving industry buying 2nd hand RHD cars in France and re-importing them to the UK for a tidy profit (maybe there is, I don’t know).

You can get “gap” insurance in the UK which is supposed to cover the shortfall so that you can replace your beloved motor even if the main policy does not pay out enough to buy an exact replacement.

I just wondered whether that was a thing in France (even if it is, of course, it might not cover buying a LHD equivalent of a RHD write-off, nor buying a new RHD car in the UK and importing to France).

I have had to make claims in the UK, and never had what the car, etc, was valued at, and I’m sure it’s the same senario in France, we are at the mercy of the companies :unamused:

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Exactly, that’s why someone spotted a “gap” in the market and started offering gap insurance (is there an emoticon for cheesy grin?)

:rofl: don’t know, but there should be :smirk:

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If it does you any good I drive LHD cars but I completely disagree with your idea that a RHD car is dangerous, inconvenient at times possibly, an advantage at others even, but dangerous?, no. My post was to warn people about a possible expensive situation not to allow others to use it as an excuse to try to score cheap points. As Graham quite rightly points out it’s another good reason to buy a LHD car.


slightly off topic but I once owned a kit car for which I paid £7,000. However, I’d got it at a bargain price as it was one of few made by the designer and thus a rarity, pushing up the value but the owner wanted to sell in a hurry. In insuring it in the UK I tried to get it insured for £10,000 but the insurance company said they wouldn’t insure something for more than you paid for it. I argued the toss, suggesting that if one found a Da Vinci in a flea market and paid a fiver, is that all they would insure it for? And if one bought a raffle ticket for a tenner and won a Porsche, would they only insure it for a tenner? The insurance company insisted that nothing could be insured for more than one paid for it, even if it were gained at a knockdown bargain price. I’m not sure if that’s the same over here but worth considering or asking the question if you have an expensive car that might have been, say, inherited or bought from someone down on their luck.

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On this point I would agree with David - the only time I feel disadvantaged driving a RHD car in France is overtaking on a straight or gently left curving road - but overtaking is almost never a necessary manoeuvre, if it’s not safe don’t overtake.

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Sandy - The insurance market regarding this practice has changed now. If you had a vehicle with a value more than what was paid then you take specialist insurance for it. Everyday cars are different - they are insured on a book value (even if you won it in a raffle).

With my Daimler, I paid £800 for it. However, it is insured for £2500 as that is the value placed upon it by a specialist in the marque and has been accepted by my classic car insurer. It is called ‘agreed value insurance’ but there are usually conditions to obtaining it such as independent valuation by a specialist.


Don’t get upset Dave, I wasn’t trying to score any sort of points, just expressing an opinion. :slightly_smiling_face:

It gets boring Bill.

:+1: :wink: Nil Carborundum etc.