You don’t need a French driving licence to buy a French car.
Mat, i,nsurance is the issue. As in the UK I’m pretty sure it will range from impossible to punitively expensive, to be insured on a foreign licence for more than a few months.
While British licences are not recognised in France after this December, even if the UK reaches an agreement with France there is going to be a massive backlog once requests to swap are accepted again (they’re not, currently).
As my car is sure to need replacing by the end of the year there is no way I can buy a French car knowing my licence is for sure going to be invalid quite soon. Much better to grab a UK backup that I will at least be able to use for short period(s) in France until the whole situation resolves itself. That way I will at least be legal to go out on the road if I need to and the car can go back to the UK when(ever) it needs to.
A practical solution to avoid hundreds of thousands of Brits being in this mess would be if recognition of UK driving licences could just be extended to end of 2022 instead to give them time to sort it out. The backlog is going to take at least that long to clear anyway.
Speak to @fabien
This was tried last year when expiring licences were “extended” by the DVLA for 7 months because of covid. However this wasn’t accepted outside the UK - which is entirely within the right of other administrations.
Not strictly true, the insurance company would have to demonstarte that the car was not roadworthy. However, that wouldn’t prevent most insurance companies trying to blow you off in the event of a claim.
In the UK people are far more realistic about how much cars lose second-hand.
Also change in taxation (road fund licence, fuel taxation…) over the past several years have depressed the price of larger engined cars in the UK.
The last two 3.0 litre BMW’s I have bought (I have a 1.5 tonne caravan that I tow) I bought in the UK at way less than half the price for an equivalent one in France.
Its a complex area of law.
An insurance policy is one of uberrima fides - of utmost good faith - and if the policy condition requires the insured vehicle to be maintained in good order and used on the road in a legal fashion, as declared by the policy holder, in the event that there is default, the insurer would no doubt be in a position to deny any claim against the policy.
correct @Jane. I probably put it clumsily. What I was hoping for was extending recognition by the French government of British licenses of residents in France until end 2022 while the exchange process is being negotiated and to allow time for the ensuing 15-18 month backlog of applications, to be.cleared.
I guess it’s more likely that they would extend the deadline for changing licences that remain valid in the UK. But those whose licences have expired probably have little chance of a reprise. The facebook woman Kin Cranstoun seems positive, so I will believe her.
There is one other potential fly in the ointment depending on how long your car has been out of the UK.
If it has been out of the UK for 6 months or more it should have been registered in your country of residence. If that is the case it could cause a problem in the UK and in France.
luckily quite recently and will beware of that thank you. Covid makes it harder to get lots of things done unfortunately. At least things will probably sort themselves out later this year.