Insuring a British car in France

Good afternoon everyone
I am thinking of keeping my British registered car here in France. Can I insure it here? Will it cost an excessive amount and am I allowed? How do I tax it. Any help greatly appreciated.

Lesley, firstly, YES you can insure a British registered car here in France - BUT you will need to be in-the-process of getting the registration changed to French.

You can shop around for Car Insurance and/or you can contact @fabien who is our resident Insurance Guru.

Some folk think they can leave a car on English registration, while living here in France - and, frankly, that is a NO-NO. This has been thrashed about, from here to there and back again…

Anyway, there is nothing to stop you keeping your car - I drive a RHD myself and personally, I find it easier to do that. Just get all the paperwork together and go for it…

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if you are resident in France, you have to get it re-registered in France. Most insurance companies will give you 3 months cover for a UK car, to give you time to do it. No road tax in France, so if your not taking it back to UK before re registering, declare it SORN - it’s purely a UK thing.

If you care to tell us what vehicle you are talking about … make model year etc… I’m sure someone will chime in with rough costs of making your British car French (yeah). One of the threads did include such info, I seem to recall.

If you swipe on down the Cars/Motoring/Insurance category you should find lots of useful info…

Thank you all so much. It’s a Peugeot 3008 Allure 1.6 Year 2016. I will be the main driver but I’d love to add my son aged 22. He’s been driving for 5 years. So much great advice.

I’m told that this is the list of documents needed to perform a French Registration of a British Registered Car:

-le quitus fiscal
la demande de certificat d’immatriculation
la facture d’achat du véhicule
le certificat d’immatriculation Anglais ( Carte grise Anglaise V5)
une pièce d’identité
un justificatif de domicile
Copie du permis de conduire
Attestation d’assurance
le certificat de conformité
Contrôle technique

Diesel or petrol ? Manual or automatique ?

and, re Insurance … do you both have proof of years of No-claims ?

Diesel and automatic. I’m sure I can get proof of no claims. Thank you

Mmm… diesel might be costly to Register as France is going off Diesel nowadays… and I think they are levying a higher rate on Diesel than on Petrol, but let’s see if anyone can give us an idea of costs for your particular vehicle.

French insurance (unlike the UK) covers the car and usually includes any licensed driver although for younger drivers, the may be a higher franchise (excess).

Hi Lesley,
Easy enough to bring over, import and insure, (I have done it) but just an extra expense and time consuming and not necessary unless you have a strong attachment,sentimental value to your car or your car is LHD.
With a RHD It is also not practical as well as dangerous in a lot of situations, especially when needing to overtake (even with a willing passenger ready to guide you.)
Not forgetting autoroutes and parking and any form of ticket dispensing machine where you will be unable to reach as sat on the wrong side.
Something also to bear in mind, when it comes to trading in or selling, your RHD car will be practically worthless here in France.
I would sell your RHD in the UK and get a good/fair price for it and buy a LHD when you arrive in France.

So unless you are bringing over a LHD my advice (having been there) is don’t bother.

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You got me with the highways… definitely one of the major pain point I cannot agree more :wink:

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Horses for courses, folk will make their own choices. Right Hand Drive works best for me.

More than 20 years on the roads of France, Spain and Portugal, with never a problem. In France, I am generally on my own as OH hates being a passenger. I sit alongside the ditch (best position on most of the rural roads) and overtake only when safe to do so (as anyone would). Motorways are nothing major. Some folk sit much too close to the car in front, which blocks their view. I take a slightly longer, more relaxed approach.

Many, many of our French driving pals have RHD classic cars (fast ones), in which they zip hither and thither, without a care in the world. I no longer try to keep up with them and let them fly ahead. But, like me, they do not find RHD burdensome in any way. :thinking:

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Interesting approach, you could always drive your RHD car side saddle to get the best of both worlds!

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That’s possibly what some of my French friends do… :rofl::rofl::rofl:

I’m quite happy driving a RHD car, I know where it is safe to ovetake and have never had a problem on the motorways, also I have a toll thingy, so don’t have to keep getting out of the car to get a ticket or pay

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“Something also to bear in mind, when it comes to trading in or selling, your RHD car will be practically worthless here in France.”

Not sure I can support your statement Tracey.
Yes there is a limited market for resale of ex GB cars/Van’s etc but equally there are many in the ex pat community that desire these vehicles.
2 years ago I sold my 10 year old uk Ford CMax which was fully imactriculated in the French system for 2200 euros, in England the equivalent car was selling for 3/4 hundred sterling.
I have a Ford transit that l keep because I cannot bare to part with as I have been a transit owner for 45 years. She is 14 years old and again fully in the french system. In the uk I would barely get above scrap value but here I know of at least 2 ex Pat’s that would willingly take her off my hands for 2000+ euros but she is not for sale.

We kept our fairly old rhd car when we moved here and registered it easily, just had to change the headlights. Then we bought a lhd after a year or so, expecting the old car to conk out sooner rather later. But it kept going and having both was useful. Our local car mechanic soon got to know the car and loved the novelty of the rhd. We tended to use it for local journeys, to the dechetterie, for bricolage materials, for transporting bulky items. Driving it along narrow roads with a rocky wall on the right was child’s play. But overtaking on the old nationals in particular was a nightmare. Autoroutes weren’t too difficult - French drivers don’t tend to hog the outside lane. Once we had a ‘thingy’ for the autoroute péages, it was easy to drive alone on the autoroutes (except when we forgot to take it from the other car). When the time came to take the old car to the casse we were sad to say goodbye - it had served admirably for years as our brouette. We expected it to be crushed, but as we left they were busy writing ‘do not crush’ on the roof so parts of it, at least, must have gone to a new home!

SORN specifically applies to cars in UK, not legal for France.

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Thanks again for the info. I have driven this car over here for many years for visits and constantly for the past 3 months. We recently had to have it repaired and I really disliked driving a LHD. It’s a fantastic car and to buy the equivalent here is over twice the price hence my wish to keep it.

Is it expensive to re-register it into the French system?

I will now look into everything you have all suggested. I hope to keep it for quite a while and when the time comes, if I can’t sell it here, I’ll sell it in the UK when I go back to visit. Thanks again.