How to sell a Right Hand drive car in France?

This is my first posting so I hope that someone out there may have found themselves in the same situation as I am in and can offer me some advice or guidelines.

I have a BMW estate car (petrol) with long controle technique still on it. I brought it from UK when I moved to live in France and have been through the re-registration and Controle Technique process and now have French plates on the car. However, I now find it is too big for my present needs and my daughter ( in UK) has offered to sell me her diesel powered car which has a lower mileage. Having been through the registration process with it , I am more knowledgeable about what it will involve if I bring hers over to France to replace the car I want to sell.

I am guessing that there is not likely to be much demand for a French reg right hand drive car here in France and so wondered how best to market it. Driving it back to UK and trying to sell it there is going to add to costs.

Have any of you been through this process? The car still has 'life left in it' and it seems a shame to sell it for scrap. It has been regularly serviced and I can provide all the relevant paperwork to a prospective buyer.

Any advice or suggestions would be most welcome!

Many thanks


1 Like

Good grief. However, I bet THEY give you a receipt and it goes in the till, not a back pocket!

That looks very interesting! You say Senegalese border guards- well every time we want to go to the UK we have a helluva time getting a UK visa for my non EU wife- usually costs about 800 euros by the time we've been to Paris, done the interview, spent the night in a hotel etc etc etc!

David, I've done the West Africa trip six times (see ). Ebola and Senegalese border guards put me off this year!

Roger- I was in Albania a few years agoand all the cars seemd to have German plates- sprayed over with Albanian registrations, but you could still se the old German markings. It was entirely unclear whether the cars had been legitimately purchased but there did seem to be an extraordinary number of high spec and fairly recent models considering that the majority of the population seemed to live in abject poverty! I believe that many cars stolen in the UK end up in Africa and other places and not in RHD drive countries. Some of my friends here buy old cars in France and drive to Africa in them to sell at a large profit and more than financing the holiday. The trade has dropped off recently- I wonder why?

I think that the advice given by the other members more or less covers all the advice I would give. As a garagiste I often have both LHD & RHD cars for sale on behalf of their owners who do not want to handle the sale themselves. With a RHD car the owner & I look at UK websites (Autotrader is very good) to find an average selling price for that type/age & mileage, maybe add a little for the cost of headlights, then agree a selling price. The car is then advertised on various websites & exhibited on site here.

I have seen prices of RHD cars on expat sites being advertised for close to LHD prices which I cosider bizarre - a £60 ferry ticket & a pair of headlights does not usually double a car's value, but it is not my decision & if the car does not sell the owner will work that out for himself!

I have also received emails from people telling ME that the price of a car is too high, usually with a sarcastic comment. I sold a RHD Nissan Almera not long ago. It was in beautiful condition but was a petrol car with an auto box. Within an hour of the advert going out I had a sarcastic comment but it did sell for the full price the following day. I replied to Mr Sarcastic thanking him for his interest but the car was now sold!

Slightly off-topic .... I was in the Russian far-east recently and was amazed at the number of RHD cars (including taxis!) there -- cheap imports from Japan. Take it to Irkutsk? :-) :-)

Firstly, Google "sell right hand drive car in France" and you'll get the names of several British owned car sales firms in France who'll give you a quote . Second use a British web-site to find out how much you'd get for it in England. Thirdly go along to the French car sales firms where you are thinking of buying a car and tell them how much you'd like in part exchange for one of their cars. This is the path I followed with my 11 year old Nissan X Train with nearly 200K on the clock and I got the sum I asked for in part-exchange for a new Dacia Laureate.


How right you are - I have just sold a RHD sports car - despite showing photos with the top down clearly showing the steering wheel on the right and describing it as "Conduite a droite"I received loads of calls from buyers who had not noticed. Maybe because at first glance it looked a good price.

But I still got double what the car would fetch in UK - selling to a French guy who spends part of his time in London.

And nearly forgot, nobody reads the ads properly, so expect a fw calls from people thinking you are bonkers to be selling a LHD car so cheap, even though I am sure you will have 'conduite à droite' in big letters all over your listing. And then be prepared for grumbling! We go so fed up with time-wasting calls, we ended up masking our phone number and doing email contact only.

I have sold a RHD car on Anglo Info and another two locally to Brits. If you have an old sports car the French will buy them as they are very expensive here. The MGF is a cheap and easy one to sell.

We sold a RHD Zafira in the summer. We used Leboncoin and it took quite a while to sell. Price-wise don't expect anything like the equivalent of similar LHD car - we looked at the French price, halved it and then were prepared to haggle a lot. And do be prepared for a lot of calls offering you 500 euros and could you meet in a dodgy outer Paris suburb to do the neccesary (we live in the Vosges - er no!).

There are very few Brits in this area which could be a factor, but it wasn't easy or quick. Whem we sold an ancient RHD Golf, it went within 3 hours of the ad appearing.

So it is do-able, but do be prepared for a bit of a faff!

Gordon, the French used car market is in free fall at the moment with new cars being very heavily discounted. That said, France still remains the most expensive country in Europe, if not in the world, to run a car.

If you are thinking of taking the car back to UK, factor in the cost of re-registering the car in the UK as part of your expense (google it, it is a tedious and expensive process). I sold my RHD Skoda Felicia here in France 2 yrs ago It was 10 years old and had several minor problems. I first tried the various expat sites mentioned in other postings but no bites. So I then advertised it on le bon coin for €750 and had loads of responses and sold it quickly to a french guy. In hindsight, I think I could probably have got at least €1000 and possibly even €1200 for it, but I deliberately put it low because I didn't think any french person would buy a RHD. But I think there are so few cars in that price bracket on the market that they will consider it. Also, another tip if you are buying a new car in the UK: buy your new headlights from Germany (you can find several suppliers on ebay Germany), get them delivered to UK and fitted in the UK the day before you leave to drive down to France. The headlights will be about half the price of new ones bought here in France and the fitting cost will probably be much cheaper as well. We have now had 4 RHD vehicles over here in France and have absolutely no problems with driving them.

It is possible to sell a right hand drive car here. I have sold a couple with little difficulty. Your market is most likely English residents (although I do know of a friend selling his to a frenchman so all is possible)

Advertise on this website and also on other expat sites (Angloinfo for example) and there are a couple of facebook pages where you can post pics for your region. These are the free option and then there's Ebay..... uk and france and Leboncoin (which is very french but you never know)

Mostly though be realistic about the price. See how much they sell for in the uk and pitch it at about the equivalent in euros (plus a bit perhaps) - I know cars cost more here but you won't sell an english car at french prices.....At least you won't incur the cost of a trip back to the UK where you will get less anyway.

best of luck

It's a;ways worth trying to sell the car in France as you might find someone who has (sensibly!) run a LHD car in France but is returning to the UK. This is Option 1. You do not say exactly what the car is, its age or recorded distance.

Is the car that your going to buy from your daughter also a RHD? I guess so as it you state that you are going over to the UK to bring it back. Why not look at Option 2 - putting the car on eBay UK and making it available at the time you plan to go over to collect the diesel car - what is it BTW?

We keep a RHD here in France for trips back to the UK as there is very little driving from our home to the autoroute and thence to St. Malo. My wife hates being in the passenger seat of a RHD car in France and loathes being in a LHD car in the UK.

If you want any further advice, I'll try and help you - I spent a great deal of my life writing about cars and latterly was an automotive agony uncle!

Presumably you still have the LH dip headlamps for the car you want to get rid of - hopefully your daughter's car is a common one in France as RH dip headlights can be prohibitively expensive in France. I get about three or four messages per month about this topic from French Property News.

Message me if you would like any further advice. You will undoubtedly receive a deluge of replies all stating something different. Try to avoid the inevitable quagmire!!!

You do not say where you are, I am in Aude and could be interested in buying the car, could you send me some details, , thanks


I forgot to mention that when you do advertise the car you are more than likely to receive some enquiries on the lines of "It`s just what I am looking for but I am working away from home - send me your bank details and I will collect the car after I have paid you"

Needless to say just ignore those kind of enquiries!!


Go on to the LA Centrale French web site to see what the selling price is for the same year and mileage (kilometres equivalent) then discount the car by about 10% - place an advert & see what happens. Also on the web site there is advice on how to sell a car - for instance the Control Technique must be no more than 6 months old - you also need a "Certificate de Situation" which you can down load which proves the car has no outstanding finance.

Sites like Anglo Info have sections dealing with how to buy & sell a car in France. They also have a section where you can advertise the car (at a cost of course).

You may find the hassle worth while as second hand cars sell for more than the same year & model in UK. You may also be able to sell to a Brit about to return to UK - you never know until you try!

Good luck!