Getting a British car registered in France

We didn't bother moving cars for this very reason. I bought a French car when I got here and our Fiat was already LHD (never changed the lamps, no one ever complained in the UK). Yeh, the headlamp thing can make it pricey. :-(

Hello, Centre des Impots was a pleasant experience, the man was lovely but so far I am spending 800 euros just trying to get the car registered. 200 for the certificate of conformity, 100 the controle technique, 500 for the front lights change (need to order new headlights from Nissan, 200 each) 100 for 1,5 hour garage work....sigh...

Should have sold it in the uk as now it is worthless here.

emigrating or coming back home is very expensive and complicated. I would advise anyone considering changing country to think it over seriously! :)

Hi Tess, How did you get on with CT & Centre des Impots ?

thanks Heather, will do!

I would just like to add tho re insurance on UK plates. If u have a car accident, u have to manage the claims process yourself. It's a totally different process on UK plates. Been there, done that. I recommend you get your French plates asap!!

Hi Tess,

All you need to know is here -

You may need to change the headlights as very few CT stations will accept these stickers. Should you need to change them do NOT buy from the main dealers! They can be bought much more cheaply on or from a casse. Bizarrely, you can still register the car even if it fails the CT provided that you submit your papers during the 2 month retest period.

The one month rule is a little flexible if you have made efforts to start the process. Your insurance agent can continue your cover at his discretion usually up to 6 months.

For the headlights I used stick on deflectors last time round - no problem and they passed 5 further CT inspections. For my Almera Tino I bought another pair ( NEW HEADLAMP BEAM DEFLECTORS EURO HEADLIGHT CONVERTER on EBay ) for £6.69 including postage from UK. This is a lot cheaper than changing headlights !

The CT people did ours wanted a copy of the CoC (we had it done knowing it would fail on headlights anyway).

Once we had the retest done, they took a copy. To go in with the rest of the rain forest *rolleyes*

yes thanks :)

I m also a lot in Canet Plage and find the whole region beauuutiful!

I don't think the controle technique people will want to see the tax certificate. Enjoy your day. Let us know how you get on.

I'm a lot further south, almost at the Spanish border.

thanks for your (happy) itinerary!

I have booked a controle technique tomorrow before I go to the Centre des Impots/tax office: does it mean I should do it the other way round: tax office first?

thanks! (great region here)

Hi Tess, no need to worry about the 1 month, although it is technically required. I also bought a UK registered Nissan last October and also live in Languedoc Roussillon. No problem in insuring it with French insurance company before I picked it up from near Beziers. Since then I have been proceeding slowly through the maze. I ended up paying Nissan UK £111 for the Certificate of Conformity which arrived here quite quickly and before my cheque had cleared ! On Monday I went to tax office in Ceret and was able to produce all the documents they asked for. All went quiet for a few minutes whilst he studied my documents. Then he pointed out that the name of the man who sold it to me was not the same name as the last registered keeper on the UK log book. I had been expecting this and quickly produced another 6 documents ( like letter from Nissan UK to me about the car ) and explained the seller was resident in France and so would not be allowed to change log book to his name. Anyway, after 10 minutes he issued me with the import certificate and no fee to pay.

My next step will be to take it through a Controle Technique. With that I can finally get it registered - this can be done at your local Mairie if this is more convenient.

Hope this is of some help.

thank you.

went to the Mairie and it s not where you get the quidis it s at the Centre des Impots so I am going there tomorrow then when in receipt of CoC + Controle Technique and quidis I will bring all that to the Prefecture.

another point: the one month, the Mairie clerc said, is a deadline from the monent the police/gendarmerie stop you on the road so BIG SIGH! I'm ok!

Receipt and V5 is what they will want for the Quidis.

I bought it second hand but from a car dealer with credit so I have the recepit and finance plan with me.

If you paid for the car in the UK (and have the invoice ;-) ) then there is nothing to pay. The 'Quidis' just says you have already paid for the car. Exception (IIRC) is if you bought it within the last six month (I guess the idea being so you don't nip over the boarder to buy a car cheaper to avoid VAT here.)

You will need to pay when you actually register the car. That is based on the engine size and CO2 emissions.

thanks! :)

I am booking a CT today and running to the Mairie to get papers and pay the tax fiscale.

I hope noone will check but then if they do they d need to check when I passed the Eurotunnel which would be a thorough and crazy check just to prevent me from from registering and paying my tax, ie being legal, strange, but you never know with the French bureaucracy.

I thought you had six months to register once you are 'resident'. To be honest no one ever checked.

In my department (Lot) you don't even see anyone (sous prefecture.) They have forms and envelopes that they then forward to Cahors.

Your UK insurance should be valid for the life of the policy, although only third party cover. Speak with a French insurer (at an agency) and if you are in the processes they should be willing to cover you for a month (though they never said anything to us, but I am sure if you need to claim they may use that against you.) Also depending who you are insured with you may be able to extend any comprehensive cover.

Don't forget you need a 'Contrôle Technique' as well (even if your UK MOT is still valid) and you will probably either need to adjust or replace your headlights to pass it.


I am French and have moved back to France (new region, though), Languedoc Roussillon and brought my British Nissan car with me.

I first went to the Mairie and they did not give me any papers nor asked for payment of the tax fiscale or anything just told me to go to the Prefecture.

that was 3 weeks ago! since then I ve been a bit ill, and sorted lots other urgent things and now that I am trying to register it, and insure it with a French insurer (as my UK insurance ends soon) I discover that as an expat or a foreigner one has only ONE MONTH to register / immatriculate his/her car, ie: get the whole process complete.

Seen as the CoC certificate will take 20 days to reach me (12 days +7 days post), I am in a pickle! it will be past the 1 month.

So I am wondering: how do they measure and check the 1 month after...arrival? I could say I arrived last week..?

I am still paying my car loan,I have repayments for still a long time and am stressing: it would be worthless here, I could not even sell it for over 100 euros!

Any opinion is welcome,

thank you.

Honda UK did ours. IIRC it was about £8. Just emailed them and then attached a form to post.

Oh and make sure you keep a copy as they will take it when you register.

FWIW, in the Lot, the sousprefecure does not deal with registrations.

You fill in the forms and they will post them off for you. TBH, once we pfaffed about over the head lights (One garage wanted 1,300 Euros! Found them online for 300) it went fairly easy -- other than writing a big cheque for our malus :-(