Registering a car in the uk, and others, onto french plates

We moved to france last october and had been due to travel over and bring my car back in april. Due to covid, we weren’t able to get over then and still haven’t managed to get over for it.

We’ve already registered our family car here via a chap on a fb group who does them.

But is it possible to register my car whilst it’s still stuck in the uk?

It will have a new mot on it, so it seems that may be accepted to register it. I also read that the French number plates can’t be attached until after a ct as the lights need to comply.

I can’t wait until next year to bring it over as I’ll likely have 20% vat and 10% import duty on a 2006 car I’ve already owned for 2.5 years!

Thank you

I drove a two year old car from the UK down to France last year to register it even though the plan was for it to spend most of it’s time outside France. I registered it online no problem. It then struck me that as it didn’t need a control technique I needn’t have brought it here at all. A Homer Simpson moment, but the drive was fun anyway. So my view is that if you need a CT then it has to be here (obviously) if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.

This is what I’d thought, but a chap who registers cars as part of his business said we need to get it over here before we can get the Quitus fiscal as ANTS can check ferry tickets! How on earth they know how you got it into France I have no idea as it may have been brought via Santander!
But in any case, the Husband is flying to uk next Friday and returning next Sunday with my :oncoming_automobile:
At least that was the plan, with all tickets paid for, until I’ve heard the news we may be going back into lockdown!
Thanks for your response as this is what I’d thought we could do as the MOT is being done next Wednesday! I just can’t risk a big tva and import tax bill!

I’ve imported a car from Germany, from Italy, from Ireland and two from the UK and the tax people never asked me for any tickets Karen. One could be arriving via a land border from anywhere in Europe. In fact, one very nice lady in the tax office sent me away and told me to come back when the car was six months old otherwise I’d have to pay the TVA and reclaim the VAT from the UK. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d just get everything done before year end if I was you.

Any chance you could share a link to the fb group who helped? Might be easier for us to use them.

I use a chap from the “registering cars in France” Facebook group called mark rimmer. But in the files of the group are others who do this for a living. I think it cost me 35€ and it was a bargain as he ensured I’d got everything together in the correct format before he applied, it only took a few weeks to get here!

Mark is a member of this site too @Mark_Rimmer
Izzy x

The problem is that when you give advice on a public forum it has to be the safe, or honest, advice.
It would not be honest to declare a vehicle as imported while it was still in its original country & therefore has not been.
It only takes a small incident for this lie to come to the attention of the authorities & as I do not know which databases they have access to I cannot in all conscience advise someone to take a chance. It is not my call.
There are quite a few people who will tell you what they have done in the past without any detrimental consequences but this just means that they have not been caught.
The safe advice is out there but it is up to the individual to decide whether to follow it.

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A friend just moved here for a year so needs to take out French insurance and has to prove his light comply. Looks like its going to cost him €2,000 to get lights on his six month old Toyota hybrid as unlike some cars (eg. Recent Audi) don’t have facrory fitted switching option that meet CT requirements.

It turns out Caen - Portsmouth are taking cyclists and as the husband will be collecting documents required for the company’s tax return and he also has unavoidable work to undertake in the uk, he will combine The two and use my car to return to the uk in!

At 6 months old he will not need a CT or MOT. Stickers are acceptable to flatten the beam - much cheaper than new lights.
Poor information can cost a fortune!


If you are up for diy search google for projector shield mod I have just done the mod on my series 3 406 coupe lights as for some reason they are out of stock everywhere . Oven temp and time is critical , first one was difficult , second which was left in the oven for a few minutes more just popped open , the mod on mine took about 5 mins for each , just a case of of flipping over a plate inside the projector .

Forgot to add a link

Are you sure about this as he has been told by two insurance brokers that to get French insurance he must have lights that would pass a CT test and head light diffusers (aka stickers) would not.
Its a big cost as they renting a house here for a year prior to making a final decision on permanency, so might be back in UK next year…so €2000 will be an expensive just for a years use!

I was at our local Dekra Test Station earlier this year and watched the Tester check BeamBenders stuck on by a local garage (on behalf of a Brit)… once satisfied that they were correctly applied… the garagist waited his turn (behind me) to get the full Controle Technique done…

(Elsewhere on this forum… Mark Rimmer has already supplied copies of the pages which Test Stations are supposed to follow… information is there… quite clearly… but perhaps not all Test Stations read/understand what is written… )

You might get your friend to ask these insurance agents a question for me - “Got a coil light that comes on occasionally on a Renalt Clio 1.4 petrol. It seems to indicate a throttle body fault but it is only intermittent. Is it the butterfly or the pedal?”
In return I would be happy to advise them on how to insure a kit car that has been fitted with a 27 litre Hall-Scott locomotive engine…

Seriously though, this is an extract from the actual current regulation from UTAC-OTC, the organisation that sets the CT standards -

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Two different insurance agents using different insurance companies told my friend that the policy would only be valid with confirmation of suitable french conformimg permanent head lights

I reckon the Insurance Agents haven’t read the official text for CT’s… or misunderstood it… some Test Stations have made similar mistake… but the wording is quite clear.

Problem is, once a rumour takes hold… folk tend to take it as gospel… no matter that it is incorrect. :roll_eyes:

Of course the lights might fail for a different reason… and fair enough…

The official wording is what should be followed at the Testing Stations and, if the CT is then OK… the Insurance Co’s et al can hardly quibble… can they ???

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I’d suggest they speak to @fabien

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Hi John @strudball,

Custom made vehicles are always a tricky endeavor but to keep it simple. If the vehicle is already insured then it is insured. No matter what the CT is saying. There are 2 different topics that shouldn’t be mixed up which are the insurance and the law. If the car is in no driving conditions but you drive it anyway then it’s still insured (public liability toward others not the damages to your own car though) BUT you’re up for a massive fine (and potentially being prosecuted) by law enforcement.

The actions from law enforcement won’t void the insurance but the main risk remains law enforcement.

If the car is not insured then you can’t drive it, that simple. So you need to find an insurance company willing to insure the vehicle which they’ll only be able to do once you have the “certificat de conformité” from the DREAL.

Et voilà… all the possible scenarios have been listed :wink:

EDIT: Full disclosure, I’ve only read the latest couple comments so I may have missed other questions.