Re-registering your car

Hi everyone. A few weeks ago, we decided to buy a car. Not that momentous a decision, you might say, but it meant that we had decided that a life in France was a possibility, almost a reality. We could almost touch that dream.

At the time, I was told I would have to drive to Narbonne (1.5 hours) or Carcassonne (1 hour) or worst case scenario go to Perpignan (2 hours) as the car had originally been registered in the Midi-Pyrenees.

I’ve driven for over 30 years back home in Ireland, but just had a few weeks of nervous, white knuckle driving here in France and the thought of making one of the above journeys was causing me some anxiety. I decided to play dumb and went all of 20 steps from my house to the Mairie, waved the paperwork at Madame, who promptly relieved me of said paperwork and a cheque for €228. Yesterday, to my amazement, I received my new Carte Grise by registered post.

So anyone out there who has acquired a car, check with your Mairie first before driving a hundred kilometres to a Prefecture or Sous-Prefecture.

So true! I always advise people to do this, having sat in the Sous-Prefecture in Beziers myself for two hours, only to be shouted at and sent home to get another bit of paper I had missed. So make sure you have all the right bits of paper and go through your mairie. As I remember these include the Certificat d’homologation which is about €100 plus TVA from your car’s manufacturer in France, certificate from the impots saying you dont owe any impots, the fee based on your car’s chevaux fiscaux, and the form filled out correctly with things like your car’s kerbside weight. Plus UK registration document and Controle Technique. There may be others I have forgotten.

I went to my mairie and told them how nasty the people in the sous-prefecture had been and they were immediately sympathetic (old enmities there…) and took it all off my hands.

This is useful

By the way this was a UK car I was re-registering in France - some of these docs not needed to re-register French cars. Also beware - a friend was quoted a sum in the €1000s to register a new British car which is considered a gas guzzler.

Thanks Josette and Terry. A few more “nuggets” of information for all our members here!

You can also do it on line apparently:
I can’t vouch for them as I’ve never used them and I haven’t checked their credentials. But at first glance they do seem to have official backing.

It’s generally also worth looking at which is a mine of info on everything to do with our relations with “l’administration” and a source of official documents and forms which you would otherwise have to get from the mairie or the prefecture.

Hi Sheila,

The mairie in your village will help you with a number of things as well as the carte grise. Whenever you need some help with official paperwork check with the secretaire. The mairie can transition the paperwork for a permis de sejour renewal and, if the "madame"is proud of her mairie-like the "madames"in my village mairie, she will readily make phone calls to try to help you deal with the paperasse of the bureaucracy. The mairie has also helped me connect with foreign residents who needed to learn French as well and locals who wanted to learn English.

Good luck with your new car: it took us 5 months to find what we wanted. It is a big decision.