How would you correct carte gris after 30 years?

Purchased a 1984 VW camping car. Naturally, I reviewed the carte gris and there was a discrepancy between certificate d'immatriculation and the control technique report. Seems the original VIN paperwork had WV2ZZZ... as (part of) VIN number. Well the "Zs" were placeholders because Volkswagen did not use these positions within their VIN designation; so far no problem. Well, the Prefecture wrote "7" for one of the "Zs." The French write a "Z" and the number "7" in similar ways and the control technique mechanic spotted the discrepancy. So there is an "administrative error" reported on the CT report. I spoke with the previous owner about fixing this problem and you can guess the answer ("I'm not spending an hour at the Prefecture's Office, blah, blah, blah...).

How would you correct the problem? Would you correct the problem?

When I apply for "classic car" designation, I assume some genius will object to the discrepancy.

Mike, Thanks for the help and advice. To address (pun intended) one item that has caused confusion, its not that I dont want to use a UK address. I am Australian and I live and work in Africa. I dont have a UK address

Mark, I'm closing this thread about the error on my carte gris. I went to the sous-prefecture today and was there ten minutes early (they open at 8:45). Met with the lady behind the counter, filled out a single form, showed her the original bill of sale from 1984 and BAM...finished. She was friendly, smiling, and very patient because of my poor french. At 8:55 I was finished. TEN minutes, no wait, friendly people in France. So much for all the moaning and groaning over poor services in France.

Steve Cox, I can't help you with insurance questions; too complicated since you are buying a German van, want to register van in France, want insurance for several months of the year, don't want to use a UK address (which I do not understand the logic involved in that statement). Too complicated. I would buy the van in Germany and register it in France (assume you want it registered in France and would allocate about 3-5 weeks to process the carte gris). THEN go to a bank or insurance company in France and get minimum insurance for the ENTIRE year (35 euros per month). The fact that you are only here for 3 weeks or 3 months or whatever is irrelevant. You will need a control technique and a place to park.

I am looking for minimal insurance (the vans old and not worth full comprehensive). I am more interested in 3rd party personal and property plus roadside assist - I think you giys call it TFT - frustrating bit is I will only be there 3 weeks then away for 3-6 months - in Oz a cover note would be enough but dont think they exist in France

Any suggestions on sites that don't require UK address


Thank you, Mark, for the prompt reply. Our friend, Steve Cox, will import a VW from Germany to France. (Good luck, Steve.)

As far as insurance, Steve, do some homework in France on (1) what coverage do you want (maximum or minimum coverage)? and (2) how much do you want to pay? There are too many variables to discuss here but you will find insurance coverage similar to that in many countries, that is, there are mandatory items and there are options at a price.

If you go to the FFVE website - - it will explain all. If your French is not too good you can use the "translate this page" if you use google UK.

I have just purchased a 1993 Ford Thunderbird which I will have to import so that will be fun!

Complicated (as usual) I am an Australian, living in Angola but the car is being brought in from Germany to France where I spend about 2-3 months per year but hope to expand to 6 months or more

I will do some research on classic car website in France and get back to you.

What country are you moving to (France or GB)? Can I assume you are buying the car in that country?

I have been a good boy and tried to search but all I found was classic car holidays. Through Theo's wonderful assistance, I may now be the proud owner of a 1983 VW LT 28. Wont see it till I get there from Angola in 3+ weeks.

How do I find out more about the "classic car" definition and do you have any advice on insurance- I am an aussie so most UK sites wont accept me - even though we fought in the war for you guys !! :-)


Classic cars are older than 30 years old and I think other parts to the definition. After paying a fee, control technique inspections are every 5 years and other restrictions are relaxed, such as, emission standards and others. Look around for their website or maybe Mark could elaborate.

Thanks Mark. Heading for the Prefecture soon. Have documentation from day one.

What does "classic car" designation do for you - is this purely "decorative" or does it have some impact on documentation/costs/insurance/ ??

Errors like this occur frequently. I have taken the carte grise & the CT to the prefecture & after a standard wait of about 20 mins (depending on the queue) been called to the window, explained the problem & left with a new CG. It is better to have it fixed or you will come across problems with insurance etc in the future.

If you are going to change the CG anyway have the error corrected then. It might be an idea to take as much proof of the correct chassis number as possible.