Re-registering English Cars in France

I know this has been covered of sorts, but also things have changed… So - I am at your mercy here… help… Husband and arrived in France to begin our new life in October… All going swimmingly… thanks mainly to this site… thanks… Now… husbands car is older (7 years) - he has changed his headlights (a whopping 1500 euros!!!), had a control technique… he now needs a Form 846a from the customs people… The offices are few and far between and as far as I can see the nearest is St Malo… We shall trundle off there Monday p.m. (I did email them first but no response) and hope they can deal with us… Has anybody any experience at all of this process? Are we just taking a form away (why can’t we download it?) and completing it, or do they organise anything there?. He is fast coming to the end of his 60 days in France on his current UK insurance so he needs French insurance asap, but cannot do that until he has French plates… So any helpful advice would be appreciated. Regards, Jane

We went to the one at St Brieuc. If St Malo is the same you will need an appointment. You need to take the relevant paperwork (can’t remember exactly what) and the car as they will check the VIN. You will also need your cheque book to pay the TVA and duty. Good luck.

thank you… you wouldn’t know the exact address in St Brieuc would you, I would be incredibly grateful… How did you make an appointment - just go and then come back again? many thanks again.

I did this process last year - I covered it in this post:

3 Impasse des Longs Reages BP320 22193 Plérin. Tel 09 70 27 51 51. Email We went first without the car and made an appointment. I think you need invoice or something to give an idea of the car’s value, the UK registration document and the Certificate of Conformity.

thank you, that’s really helpful… I have all the paperwork in order… its just a pain to travel 2 hours to make and appointment and then have to return for the appointment… never mind, needs must… Thanks again for your help…

OK, be careful here!

First - are you intending to or are you already resident in France? This is important.

Before the english and welsh decided to commit hari kari to float away on a leaking raft, moving cars between UK and EU was a doddle: you just did it regardless of being resident or not. But now, thanks to the mindless ones, cars - new or second hand - moving from UK to France will attract TVA. However, unlike the UK, the French are very accommodating to UK people wishing to come and reside in France and make an allowance for such people to bring in quite a substantial amount of possessions free of TVA. In these possessions is an allowance for cars.

I cannot tell you what to do exactly, but I suggest a visit to the tax office and ask them exactly what the procedure if you intend to reside here. I would take along any paperwork that shows you are applying for a TdeS.

If you do not intend to reside here, then it is simple - go to the tax office with the original sale receipt and a CoC (valid in the EU) of the car where they will decide what TVA to pay and give you a ‘Quittas Fiscale’ which is a basic requirement along with CT to re-register the car.

Regarding your insurance, certainly with Allianz, you can easily insure your car with UK plates.

Hope it helps


as for insurance, you can always ask @fabien the SF resident insurance expert for his view on what you should be doing in this respect.
There is a link to him above the topic heading bar INSURANCE. The VEHICLE link next to it can help you too.
Fabien is well respected on SF and speaks/writes very good English so all should be made very clear to you.

Hello there, not all insurers can insure a vehicle in France under foreign plates and not all agents are capable of doing so (even with Allianz). It is possible to do but I would strongly advise you use the services of an agent or a broker that is used to insuring foreign vehicles (such as myself but I’m not the only one of course :wink:). Once you start a French insurance policy you usually have 90 days to finalize the import under French plates and your policy will simply be amended to reflect the new registration number & plates. Hope that helps?



Hi there… re Insurance… as has already been said… you can Insure on UK plates whilst in the middle of transition… and I would advise you to do this without delay…

@fabien is tried and trusted, I use his services myself…
but of course you can visit your local brokers… just do what you think best.

The one thing you must NOT do is delay getting the Insurance done !!!
The change in Immatriculation can follow on, smoothly… no panic…
but if you end up without Insurance you are up the creek without a paddle !!!

Deep breath, keep calm… and all will be well.

best of luck

Well thank you to all, so much information that I really did not know about… Just to confirm…

a) if your vehicle was manufacture before 31 Jan 2020 you do not need a 846a you just need a Quittas Fiscale as it comes under Euro Origin, but if it was manufactured after 31 Jan 2020 then

b) you DO need a 846a unless… you fufill the criteria of …

"If you are moving permanently to France having lived outside of the EU for more than one year, your vehicle can be registered duty and tax free if it is listed in the inventory of your belongings, drawn up in duplicate, AND meets the following three conditions:

  1. It is not a commercial vehicle
  2. You own the vehicle and have used it in the past 6 months
  3. UK taxes on the vehicle have been paid"

So basically husband needs option a) and I need option b) … but car isn’t included in the removals bit as they are not arriving till end of Feb (when Notaires get their a**e into gear!!) and house sale is completed but car is already here…

I really think I understand. little more now, but its not easy is it? Like the idea of Fabian and will definitely go down this route but just need that carte grise first to avoid any fines… I really do want to do things correctly and am not attempting to avoid paying what is due, but they don’t make it easy do they… ?

Many thanks for all of your comments - it means a lot…


but Fabien does :wink:
You can either reach out to him via the links or by responding to his post :arrow_up:


Only you know when the Insurance on the car actuallyruns out…

However, we in France know only too well that NOT to have Insurance is very, very serious.
I realise you probably think I’m nagging (and offer my apologies) but it is in a good cause.
Even if the car is “off the road” it must still be Insured… so do make sure it is.

best of luck

Thanks Fabien

I really would like your help

Look forward to hearing from you

Jane Walker

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I think in actual fact, they make it pretty easy considering where you are coming from. The UK voted to float off without any form of customs agreement or anything, therefore you cannot blame the EU for applying the rules. France is actually very sympathetic to the individual.

Again, I do urge you to look into the detail of moving residency as the TVA may well be a lot of money. Check that it might be possible to bring the cars in prior to the reaminder of possessions - it could be that you just need to list what possessions you are bringing in, and they are ticked off as the arrive.

As for 846a, where have you obtained the info you have? 846a is a green form issued by customs that all duties and tax are paid. It is from this form that the tax office will issue you a Quittas Fiscale. From my dealings, I think you will need this form for every car…

I have never found insurance an issue! Quite the reverse in fact! Yes, France wants continuity of insurance, and a good thing! Lax impositions on car insurance leads to the mess that is in the UK. So yes, do this asap please. I think you will be very unlucky indeed if you meet any opposition to the UK plates concern.

Regarding the rest of the car registration procedure, I say it is easy - maybe as I have done quite a few it is easy to say… You could consider an agent to take it on - here is one:

They might help alleviate the stress. I do not know if they can advise you on the cutoms element of importing TVA free, but worth asking.

Hope it all works out

You don’t need the quitus fiscale any more thé 846A is enough. The first car I bought from UK in 2019 I needed a quitus fiscale but the one I did in 2021 I just needed the 846A.

I wrote about the process here along with all of the info required:

If your V5 has entries thus at D2 you will not need to get a CoC. These codes represent the EU Conformity status and did away with the need to get a paper CoC. At 7 years old, your car should be well within the period when this coding became ‘operational’. It did the trick for my 2007 car.

And worth pointing out that if there are legitimate delays in the process of transferring, then most French insurers are accommodating and will extend the coverage beyond the original 90 days. Contrary to popular belief they are not ogres and many will understand and do what they can to help - they certainly did for me. However, don’t use this as an excuse to delay things - tempting though that is sometimes.

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Agree with above posting,there are insurance companies that are still happy to insure UK reg cars,so message for original poster is that there is no need to panic,not sure where you are in relation to St Malo but could put you in touch with an insurer that can help you, if you get stuck.

Our local Agents sometimes asked me to translate/help when a Brit was delaying/delayed with Immatriculation. As you say… the companies are helpful provided they are not being messed about.

Mostly, things went well…
However, there is one Brit who risks my wrath if I ever set eyes on him again. He kept promising to do blah blah blah (whatever was necessary) but, in fact did nothing at all and was simply taking the michael…
and I was innocently/in good faith telling the Insurers that he was “on the case and having unexpected delays…”

In the end his Insurers did pull the plug, but he had already flown the coop… probably chuckling at how he had pulled a fast one and got away with it…

Let’s put it this way, he’s not on my Christmas List. :roll_eyes: