Paying for a French-Registered Car from a dealer-?Daft question?


We have a Credit Agricole cheque account obviously with funds available. If we give a car dealer a cheque will they want the cheque to be cleared before we can drive the car away?

Is there the equivalent of a cover note for insurance in France?




They would not register the car to the campsite asking for utility bills that we don't have in a Hymer.

However, we pick up the keys to the new house today & have arranged Orange line rental so hopefully I can get the Carte Gris before being persecuted!


I can vouch for that Mark, I got done 135€ !

Actually you only have one month to get the new carte grise!

i hope you will be ok, it is not the buying but the registration that normally you have to supply a permanent address ..check with the dealer if he can register the car with a temp address

John, logically since we do not yet have a house in France we may have a problem buying a car. However, that was not a problem opening a bank account so we shall see. The attestation from the site owner says we live where we live.

All the best,


you may have a problem you need proof of residence before buying a car: a recent utility bill (EDF or France Télécom) or rental receipt, house deeds or home insurance documents..

Thanks Steve & everyone else for your help & advice. I intend to pay a deposit using my UK credit card & the balance by CA bankers draft.

We have an attestation for our campsite address BUT no utility bills since we live in our Hymer & that was fine to open our bank account-don't envisage any problems since the dealer will have the cash, but I'll know more soon!

All the best,


When buying from a dealer, if you pay at least £100 (ie over €150 to be safe) using your British credit card then you get section 75 card protection from the card company, so if the car's a crock the card company have to sort it out.

So pay the deposit using your BRITISH CREDIT card (not debit card)

Thanks to everyone for your helpful replies.

I think searching Le Bon Coin for a car has been similar to finding a house-though not as bad. I've read the Which guide to used cars & mostly they're great until over 3 years old when they develop lots of expensive-sounding faults.

The dilemma has been should we get an old cheap one & take a chance on it breaking down leaving us stuck in our new house in its tiny commune-probably ring the church bells for help! OR buying a flashier ? more reliable, more expensive one that folks in supermarkets everywhere will park too close to thereby scratching or bumping 'my precious'!

Think I've found the one-like the house a compromise-can't wait to get in it-our 'own' shower for the first time since September 2014 AND a double bed at floor-level as opposed to the Hymer raised bed. Really fancy test-driving the new to us car-it's the same brand we had in UK that was super-reliable for us.

Thanks again for all the useful information.

All the best,


My daughter has bought two French cars since we've lived here. One from an independant 'all-marques' garage and one from a Peugeot 'mainstealer'. Both garages serviced, prepped & registered the cars in her name..... so when she drove away she had the Carte-Grise in her name.

( I still get cheapo 'right-hookers' from UK and then re-reg' them, lol)

Yes you do need a utilities bill etc and yes, cheques bounce every week, something which is more prevalent since the beginning of the British invasion in the '90s unfortunately. The french aren't blameless of course.That's why garages etc now take a cheque as a deposit whilst the sale is being 'processed' to see if the cheque does indeed bounce.

I paid the balance for my last vehicle by card which made it easier all round.

it may be an offence but thousands of cheques bounce every fact most restaurants and Tabacs refuse to take cheques any more ..dont forget though you do need a "utilities" bill to prove your address

You wouldn't need to wait for the cheque to clear Roger as it's an offence to write a 'cheque en bois' in France but the dealer will usually get you to pay a deposit to 'secure' the car then the dealer will arrange for the car to have a new log book etc and then the remainder of the amount is paid on delivery of the vehicle.

It depends on the garage though.

Any luck with the house hunting ?

yes he will want it try a bank draft..and you can get immediate cover by calling a broker or insurance company direct

They accept a "cheque de banque" normally you have to put down a deposit with your credit card, whilst the car is being prepared, you can ask your bank for a "cheque de banque" this is a special cheque whereby the cheque is turned into cash immediatley at the time of deposit at the bank. Takes normally 3 days for the bank to prepare

Honestly the safest way to go, the money is taken out of your account immediatley too !!!!

Hope this helps xx

What did the dealer say?

You are welcome. As I said before...good luck. Just one other thing ..because we were only insuring the car for 3rd party we did take extra insurance for 3 months in case of any legal dispute over the car. Hubby thinks its pretty standard AXA policy.

Thanks Christine,

That's exactly what I needed to know.

Just need to find the right car for us now!



We have done just that in the last couple of weeks. Saw the car & gave the dealer a cheque for deposit. They then serviced the car & put it through its Controle Technique & we arranged insurance while this was being done. We then collected the car, all the paperwork for the carte gris, paid by cheque & drove it away. You need the insurance before they will let you drive it away. You have 2-3 months after that to get the new carte gris at your local sub prefecture. Good luck!