Insurance for non-owned car


We wondered if anyone has actually had success getting insurance, in this specific situation.

Has anyone ever taken out insurance for a french-registered car, which is owned by someone else and registered in someone else’s name?

We’re being loaned a car, the owner plans to terminate the insurance in a couple of months at the end of the contract. We’ve been told by one insurance company in France that it can’t be done.

Thanks in advance for any responses from folks who have done this.

@fabien will know about this, I’m sure he’d be able to help you.

(re your Friend… I think it’s not that easy to terminate a Car Insurance… but, again, Fabien will know and advise…)

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I think the main sticking point will be the carte grise which belongs to the owner of the vehicle and is the legal document so unless the vehicle is sold to you officially and your details appear on it, he will always be the legal owner and thus responsable for said vehicle. I personally would buy a vehicle myself if I were in your position, it would in your name and have the french address on it and if you are not resident, it can be insured and left at the property when you are absent (remembering to disconnect the battery and put the vehicle up so the tyres are not in the same place for a long time). If you did go ahead and borrow the vehicle and had an accident, there would be serious repercussions for you and the owner. Not really a good idea in my opinion knowing how fraught dealing with french legal stuff is and costly too. Also if the owner says he is terminating the insurance and still legally owns the car, he is breaking the law as it must be insured at all times, even just the basic cover.

I thought, in France, it was the car that was insured. If you "borrow " an insured car with the owners permission then you are insured to drive it ( obviously if you have the correct licence). The owner can only legally terminate the insurance with a certificate of cessation/destruction

I thought that too Mark unless the law has changed. I used to loan my car to a friend regularly and had this confirmed by the insurance company, Macif. Also, you can’t stop insuring a car if you own it and it can be driven. A friend of mine took the wheels off his car and took out the battery and was then, apparently, allowed to stop his insurance.
Izzy x

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What does your friend plan for the long-term??? is he planning to sell the car… or to give it to you for free ?? (you mention he is “loaning” it to you…)

Surely the easiest thing is your friend continues to pay the insurance and you reimburse them for the time you have the car?


Yes, that might be the best option. Thanks!


Hi Stella, friend will loan it for two years or so. After that, we don’t know.

As I understand it, you can only terminate an insurance policy if you have proof that you have taken out another policy, or proof that the car is sold or scrapped.

As others have said… your Friend can’t just “cancel” the Car Insurance …

suggest your Friend talks with his Insurance folk who will advise him how to proceed…

Who will be paying for Servicing the car and any repairs/tyres etc ???

Strikes me this “loan” needs to be sorted properly… he either gives you the car or sells it…
things will be more straight forward all round.

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I thought, in France, it was the car that was insured. If you "borrow " an insured car with the owners permission then you are insured to drive it ( obviously if you have the correct licence). The owner can only legally terminate the insurance with a certificate of cessation/destruction

Mark is correct in his assumption that the “usual” scenario is that you just drive the vehicle and it’s insured by the current owner until it’s sold or sent to the scrape yard and then with the certificate of cession the previous owner can cancel the contract (and if it was sold to you then you can insure it under your name).

It’s also important to understand that insuring the vehicle under your name whilst it’s also insured under the owner’s name WOULD BE ILLEGAL. Although you can insure a vehicle that is not under your name it is illegal to insure a vehicle (or property) twice for the simple reason that insurance is made to compensate a loss and no one should be able to make money out of an insurance policy by law and therefore insuring a vehicle twice opens up the possibility of being refunded twice for the same claim hence making money on a claim and that’s why it’s completely illegal. The scenario you’ve described is possible, the current owner should call his insurance company and “halt” the cover and only with a copy of the letter that says that the cover is no longer granted should you insure it under your name (and in that scenario you should turn to temporary insurance rather than regular insurance but it’s really not a scheme I would advise). Hope that helps?

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I would be very careful here. A leasing or a loan between individuals and without a third party involved (like a website such as getaround connect) is a massive legal risk. Everything is then blurry and you risk operating outside of the law although it’s an area not well defined but the definition of the law is simple => if you charge for a service then you are responsible for said service. Which means the owner of the vehicle DOES NOT HAVE the option to not being insured as he is both the owner of the vehicle AND would be “charging” you to use the vehicle so this seems like a rather slippery slope in my opinion.

Surely there are ways of paying for the “charge” for using the vehicle that would keep @MaryW and her friend clear of the “slippery slope”? For example a crate of wine surely would just be a gift to a friend and would have nothing to do with car insurance / use of car?

Yes, using websites which are made for this (and therefore includes the insurance) :wink:

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“ and if you are not resident, it can be insured and left at the property when you are absent”
Your statement would , whilst possible, be completely illegal. The law states that only those with a principal residence in France can legally register a car here. Using a utility bill of a holiday home/ residence secondaire to prove residence, when the applicant is not fiscally resident in France is fraud!

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Sorry but the people did get it insured to stay in France at their holiday home, I saw it with my own eyes and it was kept on UK plates as well. I get what you say but people will always buck the rules and if they get caught, well more fool them. The insurers were a local agency too. It dosn’t matter now because I believe the bloke died and they no longer use the property which they did not actually own in the first place but used as a grace and favour property via a wealthy friend.

The insurers will always take the premium but when it comes to a payout then the policy becomes invalid. English residents used to keep UK registered cars here and drive them back to the UK to get them MOT’d, the cars were taxed for the trip, then put on sorn when back in France. How these people slept at night is beyond my comprehension!

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Actually, I’m sure this has been researched and the official govt reply posted elsewhere…

Non-resident in France, Second-home owners in France … can register a car here in France… and leave it here while they are at their (overseas) Main Residence. It must be legal of course (CT/Ins).

If they take said car to their (overseas) Main Residence, they must comply with the laws of that country …

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Yes that’s half true (as with many “rules” :shushing_face:). It depends who you are dealing with.

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