French second hand car - advice please!

There are lots of posts on registering British cars, documents needed etc;
My ex has seen a car for sale on a FB site. It’s French registered and being sold by someone British.
I know that there have been lots of recent changes with registering ownership but it all seem so convoluted :frowning:
Can someone please tell me what documents he needs from the seller and are there any pitfalls to look out for.
Thank you in advance …

Hi Ann… this link tells the Seller what to do… and your Ex can check that things are being done correctly…

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Thanks Stella, I know that there have been lots of advice on registering cars bought in the UK, but I’m going cross eyed trying to sort stuff out for my ex who refuses to use a computer :dizzy_face:

It makes sense to buy a car that is already in the French system… but he will need to make sure that the English Seller really does get the paperwork right…

and that the CT is correctly timed. so often I hear the cry… “sold with a year’s CT”… Aaaarrrrgh

I have printed out all the information, that way he can trawl through it himself. He still has 10 months CT to go on his old car so I am trying to persuade him to run it until the Spring (scrap it ) and look around then. Maybe in some of the smaller garages, that way it’s them who do all the paperwork :wink:

Yes, he will need to do a new CT if he wants to sell it now… :roll_eyes:

It’s not worth it Stella, it’s old and has several dings, he is a smoker :face_vomiting: and the interior isn’t great with a few ‘smokers holes’ on the upholstery ! Only worth a few hundred euros …

so long as it is safe on the road… that is the most important thing… :slight_smile:

Hi Ann,

If it’s safe on the road, I’m wondering if I might buy it… I’m looking for a good but basic, older car. His sounds like it would be fine, dings/smoke/etc., as long as it runs. What do you think? I’m planning to be back in France, in August to sign paperwork to rent a place for a year starting in January 2019… Would you message me (at your convenience), perhaps?


Thanks Mary but I think that he will keep it until next April.
I’m also not sure what problems might be involved with changing registration for someone who is not ‘domiciled’ in France. I think that you have to have a permanent address here but I am sure that others here on SF with greater knowledge than me will be able to advise you …
Enjoy your trip and keep us all abreast of what you have found to rent etc; dont forget there are experts here who can give you advice about signing a rental agreement and obligations involved ! :slight_smile:

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Thanks Ann. I do understand.

Just to respond… I do intend to have a permanent address here. I don’t have a French bank account, so I am renting from some rather nice-sounding folks who are willing to accept my trust fund as proof of adequate income. It’s a small town in the country, so I will need a car. I’m glad you brought your points up, since I admit to acting a bit on faith. I so want to have that foot in the door. Living for a year in France would allow for exploring, getting a French bank account, and getting the paperwork done. Perhaps I’m too eager for this to work? Because, in order to pay for the first/last, I need to wire the money to the owners, to their account in the UK. In fact, the owners have not exactly mentioned a lease agreement. But once I pay the first/last (indicating my serious intent to rent) they are willing to provide a letter stating that I am renting, to the French consulate. I need this as part of the application process for the long-term visa.

Anyway. They seem like nice people. At the risk of providing too much info, here’s an excerpt from the message I’d received about a month ago via email:

…“It is an old farmhouse (there has been a farmhouse here since the 12th century, but our house is not that old - perhaps just 250 years or so) up our private drive. We are about a kilometre and a half from the village where … It’s a very short drive or a 30 minute walk down our leafy lane to the heart of the village.
You are absolutely right to rent a car, as our nearest town is about 20 minutes drive away. For car rental, you have a choice between the usual big names - Hertz, Europcar, Avis, which you should be able to pick up and drop off most places or you could rent a car from the local garage at Menigoute (cheaper but not flexible on drop off) to whom Simon can introduce you if you would like.”

So, I haven’t figured out what it would cost to hire a car from the garage at Menigoute…

But they do sound rather nice. Things sound about as good as can be, given my funding situation. Hope this isn’t too personal. But I will go now and look for the topics on renting. I agree, there are a lot of experts on SF who know a ton about renting and are willing to offer advice, and I should post this on those topic threads. Thanks for reading all of this :blush:


I can understand your excitement Mary, things seem to be moving along the way you want.
I would certainly pose lots of questions on SF about renting, above all about arranging some sort of contract between you and the landlords.
I am not meaning to pour cold water on your arrangements but please don’t get so carried away by things that you don’t arrange adequate protection ( financially and personally) by that I mean don’t put yourself in a situation where you could become the target of unscrupulous people.
There are lots of genuine people, lovely people around but forewarned is forearmed.
Maybe start another thread and pose questions about renting and contracts? I know that you have started topics in the past on various subjects . From my experience of SF I am sure that folks on here on here would be happy to help with advice , even if it seems similar to other threads posted. After all better to be safe than sorry!
Gosh I seem to be using some of my mum’s proverbs here, amazing how they stick in the mind :wink:

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