Scrapping a UK reg car

We have a VW golf, 1998, we have all the papers (the crazy one from VW in German) and the UK SORN.

It works fine - but we don't want to / can't take it back to the UK to go through the whole MOT process again.

Is it possible to scrap it in France

(or does anyone want it!)

x teresa

I've been looking for an old cheap battered but reliable runabout for my 19 year old daughter who has been driving for 3 years now (conduite accompagnée and test over a year ago) and there is no way I'd get her one of the RHD cars I see on offer in France even though they look like a really good deal; it isn't worth the risk precisely because of the not being able to see properly and all her now automatic driving reactions being geared to gear-levers etc on the other side.

Wow, what a story.

I expect there are a lot of stories like that, and not just about cars, and not just with English.

Our rhd was brought over with us 2 years ago, immediately passed the CT (even with valid Irish MOT) and was registered pronto. We only brought it as it's a 2001 car and we will drive it into the ground. Let's see if it passes the CT this summer :-)

We live with it like everything else, and remain vigilant. I also ride a motorcycle, and drive offensively, taking nothing for granted regarding other road users, esp those dodgy sans permits in the supermarket parking lots!!!

All our 4 motorbikes are also now french. When in France.... (but i do understand that some people don't live here permanently and rightfully keep their car registered in their country of origin - can be a very grey area though)

I missed David's reply so I cannot comment on it.

You have it right, Elaine! Overtaking in your rhd car involves more calculation & consideration than it would if you could just ease your eyes slightly to the left without projecting half your car into the path of oncoming traffic. You are aware of the extra risk & allow for it. But there is no denying that there IS an extra risk. If there wasn't there would be a thriving export market of used UK cars to Europe.

There are many reasons why Brits bring rhd cars with them when they move here which I'm sure make perfect sense to those who do. Provided that the vehicles are then put into the French system rather than put on a SORN (complete with invalid UK address, expired MOT & dodgy or nonexistant insurance) I have no issue with it. Most of these people are aware of any problems & compensate for them.

My big issue is with the few who drive UK registered rhd cars here for years. If these are involved in an accident (& as a user of the same roads it could be with me) who pays?

A local Brit bought a very tidy car in the UK a few years ago & brought it over here. It rarely went out in the rain. This New Year he left the road on his way back from a bar & the car rolled a few times. It was taken to a local scrap yard. I asked the owner if he had any problems with his insurance as I supposed the MOT would have expired? None at all, he replied, "I take the car back to the UK once a year for the MOT". It is possible to check a car's status online with the DVLA -the car was on a SORN, had not been taxed since 2011 & the MOT ran out in May 2012. I doubt that he had any insurance but if he had it would have been difficult to explain how it ended up in a ditch in France when it should be in a private parking space in Essex!

The implication you refer to David is merely your own perception of what Mark wrote/said.

I drive a RHD and despite the booths being on the other side for me, I manage very well otherwise. Except, when I am alone and come behind a large vehicle. Unless it is absolutely clear to me that the road ahead is clear, I will not attempt to overtake, unlike the car Mark describes above.

I never allow myself to be in such a rush, that I need to take risks like that. I came to France to slow down.

Back to your point, I certainly cannot see how "not fit for purpose" or "a rhd car here is not without its problems" could be perceived as "arrogant enough". So rather than call you insulting, could you clarify if you are implying that Mark is arrogant?

Mark, thank you so much - this is just the information I wanted... I do have the CoC, but I'm convinced it's not worth it - the hassle or the cost. Thank you for doing the costings for me!

Just have to find my local scrapper and another job ticked off the list

x teresa

i think that's a bit harsh David

Yes, David, as in a country whose motorists drive on the right do this in left hand drive cars. It may be just because the petrol station pay booths, toll booths & the like are placed there, but I can't help thinking that road safety might also have influenced their popularity! ;)

Seriously though, a rhd car here is not without its problems particularly when single crewed although most drivers cope. I remember coming up behind a car following a tractor with large trailer & at first thinking that the driver was drunk or ill because of the way the car would swerve left into the oncoming lane then violently swerve right as a car/lorry came the other way. The car would then climb the curb on the right before continuing its scary antics. I then noticed that it was a rhd car - I could tell because the person on the left would disappear during the violent manoevers. This was in fact a 4 year old child who was standing, or trying to, on the rear seat & who would lose their balance with the car's movements...

Headlights for your car are 76 euros a pair (new) on french ebay, fitting in the region of 60 euros or less.

In the UK Golf prices for this year are about £300 so your example would not be worth much here. It would cost that to get it into the French system (136 euros for lights, 63 for a CT & 110 approx for CG tariff) providing that you have the c of c & there is nothing wrong with the car. You would still have a car which, being right hand drive, is not really "fit for purpose".

A proper scrap/ recycling yard will give you at least 150 euros for the car. All you need to do is arrive with the car, your UK logbook & your passport & proof of French address. Be sure to detach section 9 of the logbook, ask the scrappie to stamp his address in the relevent box & then you can post it to DVLA ensuring that the car will not come back to haunt you. If the logbook is not in your name you will need to fill in a french "cession d'un vehicule" form.

As a garagiste I get offered all sorts of cars some of which are not worth trying to resell so I have got to know my recycler quite well!

Hope this helps.

Thanks very much for your reply, and yes you are right, as well as the fact it would be quite a journey down to you from dept 53 !!

thanks Ray - can i get some more details about who you are and your company!

black box, no pic, new members always make me nervous!!!


Have you gave your car away as I am a new member and just starting my own company and would buy it from you

Hey Paul - it's not going to work for you as you'd have to spend around 800 to refit the lights, plus anything else required to pass the CT - which is the reason why we're trying to get rid!

It's a RHD UK car - so not legal to drive here now - it was all grand when we moved - and then time moved on!

x teresa

yes, thanks Elaine, i'll try that

x teresa

Bob we Live in the northern part of the 84! - yes it's the Vaucluse.

The car is illegal to drive here - it has no CT, and the lights are pointing the wrong way as it's a RHD - a UK car that we bought down with us legally when we moved here

Hi Teresa, I am looking for a car for my daughter who has recently passed her test, so am interested, but need some further information on the car ( Left or right hand drive for instance ? ) I have sent you a friend request , so that I can ask a few questions :)

A 1998 Golf?
Probably worth a few bob. They always seem to retain value. I bet someone up north will gladly take it off your hands. I know scrapping is possible but not sure how, and probably will cost you anyway.
Stick it on LBC for a few hundred (to avoid the tire kickers) and then offer it. Someone will love it I’m sure :slight_smile:

Sorry - meant to add we live in the north 84

Perhaps someone can help me?
Because I regularly move from France to the UK and vice versa I keep my car UK registered and have had no problems for 8 years.
However, in February this year in Provence, a white van driver ran into the back of me waiting at a roundabout and caused an estimated £3,000 of damage. He accepted responsibility and we filled out the insurance forms.
Two days later - lockdown - and since then I have heard nothing. The car drives OK; all lights, indicators, etc. work so it complies with the law.
I am just about to renew my insurance and as I keep an old car in the UK and an old car in Frejus the insurance company will not accept I can only drive one car at one and the premiums now ridiculous!
So with the problems of the repair I have decided to scrap the car as when I am in Frejus I hardly need a car as public transport is excellent. A few years ago I had an old English registered car in the UK but it broke down in central France and the garage that rescued me said it would not be worth repairing so they just scrapped it, gave me the official scrappage documentation and off I went. All accepted by the DVLA.
Has anyone any idea where I can do the same thing without paying the scrappage company which I believe is quite expensive?
If there are any handymen on here who feel they can repair the car they are free to have the car and we can transfer/exchange documentation as an English car. The damage is just the back bumper but it has lifted the boot lid so it won’t close and is held down by a rope. the only other relevant damage is it has unhinged the off side sill which is hanging off a bit but still there.
It just is not worth driving the car back to the UK where I have been offered £140 scrap for the car but at this time of year it would cost £350 to get it back to Portsmouth.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks, Martin

I’ve been travelling to France for many years and in all Departments with a right hand drive Subaru car. Just be patient and you won’t have any problems. What you have to watch out for are the motor bikes that suddenly arrive from nowhere only seconds after you have checked the interior mirror and wing mirrors.
I have a tablet on the windscreen that registers with the payment unit, lifts the Peage barrier and sends the charge straight to my bank account. Excellent when in winter the alternative is to go round the car in the wind and rain to pay at the unit!
I have only been involved in one accident when waiting to go round a roundabout with 3 cars in front of me. I was hit from behind by a van driver who must have been on his mobile. He accepted responsibility, we filled in the form in March this year and with Covid-19 nothing has happened. It would appear that since repair shops were allowed to open again the waiting list for repairs could be months.
So my options are to drive it back to the UK where I will get about £150 scrap. Or scrap it here in France where I believe it costs me £250!
I know there are some places that don’t charge but does anyone know where they are? The car is legal to drive so it does not need collecting. I am near Cannes but I could take the car anywhere within 100 miles. Any help would be much appreciated.
Martin on