Importing an Italian registered car into France

Hi all

Has anyone experience of importing an Italian registered car into France?

I understand the procedure for importing cars into France but for Italian cars the procedure is a little different.

I will explain my problem - if someone comes back offerinf assistance in this matter.

Thanks in advance


Ma, così vero! ;-D

in bocca al lupo! :-O

I will pass, beyond what our experience was... The comune seems logical. These two bureaucracies between them seem to be my idea of hell though.

thanks for your full & detailed reply Brian - you certainly seem to know the ropes on this one.

I managed to get almost to the end of the process of registering the car in our prefecture when they refused to accept the Certificat di proprieta because all I have is a copy of that - not the original.

The prefecture told me that everything else is in order and that if this C di P was the original then I would walk out with my CArte Grise (or at least the provisoire but you get my drift). They will not budge - original and nothing else. Of course I am no longer in contact with the seller so I can only think that perhaps I could obtain another "original" (if that makes sense) by applying to the comune where the previous one was issued - however I have read on another forum that this is not possible because - and this is lovely - the original "original" was proof that the car no longer exists - so there will be no record of it !!

Any help or suggestion would be gratefully accepted.



ha ha, Brian, yes as we've said so many times when people complain here that things are difficult in France "try Italy"! I knew you had to buy and sell using a notario but wasn't aware of the number plates/comune bit! Still not sure what the problem is though...waiting to get more details...! ;-)

Oho Andrew, look at my answer based on what my OH did for our neighbour in England.

You will need your official Dichiarazione di Vendita (Declaration of Sale) giving details of who the parties involved were (for instance, a dealer or previous owner) and the sale price signed by a notary. That is because no other form of receipt or proof of ownership constitutes legal ownership in Italy. Before leaving Italy with your car you will need proof of valid insurance to drive it out of Italy and for the first few days in France. So first you contact your insurance broker here and ask him/her to fax you the Certificate of Insurance immediately. You may not be able to insure the car through the Italian registration number but you can quote the chassis number and this is acceptable for the journey back to France. Some Italian insurance companies might offer two to five days insurance cover at a reasonable price which would be an alternative that would allow you to get to your insurance agent here. Assuming your car still has valid road tax, it will obviously carry Italian number plates. Number plates in Italy are issued by the local authorities and those must be returned to the Comune (Council) as proof that the car is no longer in use on the road in Italy. For re-registration you will need the original registration document, the LIbretto, the Dichiarazione di Vendita that was signed and stamped by the notary. If you have it, you will need at least a photocopy of a document that gives all the details of the car's official type approval, the Foglio di immatricolazione. Finally, you may well need the official document called the the Certificato di Proprieta, that states that the car has been 'demolished' which is how it is classified as being taken of the Italian roads for export . The catch with that last one is that you would be expected to surrender your plates and would be without until you get your carte gris here from the préfecture.

My wife is a native Italian speaker (Swiss not Italian) and helped a neighbour do this in England who was born in Italy but grew up and has always lived in England and whose Italian was not up to doing this. However, within the EU each country ‘knows’ each others’ registration and deregistration procedures and it appears we are normally obliged to go through the complete process at both ends. Lots of UK cars come, are sold and eventually scrapped here because there is seldom any attention paid to formal deregistration as a rule, although we apparently should so that the numbers can be cancelled. Forget that, there is no comparison. With Italy it is different because it is absolutely demanded and the French will probably say nothing if you do not have all documents. However, try to register here and then notify the Italian Comune where the car is registered once all the palaver here is done. As our friend in England, they may allow you to ‘destroy’ your registration plates yourself. If the car remains on the road and you ever have a serious accident there is apparently a chance that the chassis number that the Italians know will show that your car has been classed as missing and then you will have a bureaucratic nightmare on your hands.

And some people think French bureaucracy is bad. That is one of the reasons we chose never to live in Italy.

mine was imported by the dealer I bought it from, wasn't aware that the procedure was any different from other EU countries, a friend bought one from italy too (again the dealer had brought it in and done the paperwork though), we're awash with spanish cars here in the SW. what's the problem? tell us more... ;-)