So you want to import a UK car?

(Dominic Best) #41

Wrong yet again! You do not have be a French resident to register a car in France. France allows people to register cars that they keep at their holiday homes here.

(Mark Rimmer) #42

Really? I wonder why put this on their site?

"Can we choose the address that will appear on the car registration?

Audited November 03, 2017 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

No, you cannot choose the address that will appear on the car registration.

Indeed, the title must be established at the address of the principal residence of the holder. If several cardholders are listed on the registration card, the address of the main cardholder will appear.

Therefore, you cannot register your vehicle in the department where you own a second home.

You will have to pay the corresponding tax to the department of your main residence."

We are so lucky to have you on this site to correct our mistakes!

(Dominic Best) #43

That is answering a different question! That is the reply to a French resident who has a maison secondaire. Different departments have different registration charges and that is to prevent people registering their car in the cheaper location. Totally different. France differs from the European norm by allowing foreign residents with holiday homes in France to register a car at that address. French residency is not a requirement.

(Mark Rimmer) #44

I see. So a foreigner can own a french car, legally take it back to his home country (the UK, for example, as there is no cross border exchange of information), drive it wherever he likes there & accumulating speeding tickets & other motoring offences whilst being untraceable by that country’s police? I cannot see how that would be acceptable.
Blevins-Franks have this on their website. Although it refers to tax they do give a definition of what the authorities regard as your main (principal)home.
"What makes you resident in France?

Under the Code General des Impôts, an individual is deemed to be a tax resident of France if at least one of the following four tests is fulfilled.

France is your main residence or home – your foyer. This rule embraces the idea of permanence and stability. Your foyer is the place where your close family (spouse/cohabiting partner and minor children, but not parents or siblings) habitually live, or, if you are single with no children, where most of your personal life is centred. Your foyer can be in France even if you spend much of your time out of the country. This is the rule the French authorities rely on most.
France is your principal place of abode – your lieu séjour principal. This usually means you spend more than 183 days in France in a calendar year, but beware, residency may also apply if you spend more days here than in any other single country. Days of arrival and departure count towards the cumulative total of days.
Your principal activity is in France; for example your occupation is in France or your main income arises here.
France is the country of your most substantial assets, your centre of economic interests – so if France is the place of your principal investments, or where your assets are administrated, or your business affairs are, or where a larger part of your income is drawn. "

" to prevent people registering their car in the cheaper location."

No, that is a separate paragraph & is for information. After all, the holiday home may well be in the same departement but the car must still be registerd to the principal address. Otherwise they would just say that your car must be registered in the same departement.

" France differs from the European norm by allowing foreign residents with holiday homes in France to register a car at that address."

Why only France & how come they are allowed to? I have given examples from official websites which seem to disagree so perhaps you can back up your statement by also quoting an official source which categorically states that overseas residents can own a french registered car.

(Dominic Best) #45

The U.K. resident us not allowed to drive the car in the UK. It has to be kept at the French address. Please stop conducting a vendetta against me and confusing other readers by posting incorrect information. France allows non residents to register cars at the address of their holiday homes in France if they are kept there. If you go back to the post that I made regarding driving licences, the one you decided to jump on to try to discredit me yet again, you will see that I pointed out the difference between the paperwork required for exchanging a driving licence that is only possible for French residents and registering a car in France which is possible by anyone with a residence here. If you continue to hound me I will have to repost some of the potentially dangerous false claims that you have made recently. The reason I presume behind this outburst. Mark the EXPERT didn’t even understand SORN, let alone the details of the requirement for residents to immatriculate their U.K. registered cars.
The best course of action for anyone is to search the French government sites in French.

(Mark Rimmer) #46

I understand SORN. I have either imported or helped others to import at least 87 without issue (88 if the most recent one gets past the “Analyse par le service instructeur” stage - I’m trying this one without a separate coc first!). How many have you done?

Please feel free to repost “some of the potentially dangerous false claims” I am supposed to have made.

Who is hounding who? Not that this is either the time or the place for petty squabbles but perhaps SF members will get a laugh out of them.

(Ann Coe) #47

Quite honestly I think that all these posts with conflicting advice will just leave the people who search for information more confused than ever.
IMHO if you live here full time then why go through all the problems of trying to import a UK registered car?
If its a holiday home then drive your UK car here, there will be no problems unless you intend to pass the 180 days barrier. :blue_car::red_car::oncoming_police_car::police_car:
Nette et claire ! If not just get on your bike ! :biking_man::biking_woman::mountain_biking_man::mountain_biking_woman::thinking:

(Mark Rimmer) #48

It shoudn’t be conflicting but there is always someone who likes to think that they know better. Sometimes they do but when it comes to motoring things I might know more than most - a combination of living here for 18 years, being a garagiste & always checking my facts against official websites. I’m not infallable though so where there is doubt I will either not say anything or research until I can answer.
I’m not sure that this is true of everyone though…

(anon54681821) #49

Mark I would just let it slide. I find your information very very helpful and went through same issue myself. The garage would not even sell me a car as i did not have residency at the time. My wife had to get it for me.

(Dominic Best) #50

I’m glad you understand SORN now, you didn’t a couple of months ago when you claimed that it was perfectly legal to have a SORNed car in France.

(Dominic Best) #51

You don’t need ‘residency’ you need proof of a French address. Anyone arriving in France with an imported car has one month to start the registration procedure, if they are staying they are resident from the moment that they arrive.

(anon54681821) #52

please refrain from directly talking to me or about my comments.

(Dominic Best) #53

Please refrain from posting inaccuracies then.

(Mark Rimmer) #54

With regard to SORN I have spoken to DVLA & asked them to clarify its validation.
When asked if it is OK to take a SORN’d vehicle abroad the answer was yes, provided it is on a trailer & is not driven or kept on public roads.
I explained that some people here buy cars in the UK but bring them here & re register them but sometimes it may not be possible or cost effective to do so. My advice is to hold off notifying DVLA of permanent export until a french carte grise has been issued as once the DVLA has been notified of an export then returning it to the UK would require re-importing. Is this a problem or a contravention of any laws? No,they said, provided the vehicle is not used in the meantime.

A quick chat with Mary of Team 22 & her manager in their SORN call centre confirmed that a SORN is active & will remain in place until the car is re taxed, sold, scrapped or permanently exported. A vehicle becomes ‘permanently exported’ when the DVLA receive the Notification of Permanent Export section of the V5C. Until that time a SORN will remain valid even though the car is not physically in the UK.

So, as I has stated before, if you buy a car to bring back to France & you can trailer it, put it on a SORN to avoid the UK tax & insurance liability & export it after it has been accepted here. But it cannot be used on the road.

So it IS perfectly legal. If you wish to check call 0044 300 7906802.

I stand by my post of a couple of months ago.


(Dominic Best) #55

The bottom line is that a SORNed car has to be off the road in the UK. That’s what it says. The hundreds or even thousands running around on French roads are illegal.

(stella wood) #56

It’s all semantics…:zipper_mouth_face:

(Dominic Best) #57

It’s the law Stella. This is what the web site says. Too many people use it as a way to remove their car from the automatic need to prove U.K. tax and insurance when running around in France.n

(stella wood) #58

As you said yourself… on another thread… it’s all semantics. :relaxed:

So, no need for this going round and round…

(Bill Morgan) #59

Or buy a French car, “You Know it Makes Sense”, :+1:

(Mark Rimmer) #60

“Mark the EXPERT didn’t even understand SORN, let alone the details of the requirement for residents to immatriculate their U.K. registered cars.
The best course of action for anyone is to search the French government sites in French.”

I’ve now dealt with your first comment but I thought that I would take your advice & contact the french government directly to see if they would confirm your claim “France allows non residents to register cars at the address of their holiday homes in France if they are kept there.”

I sent the following email to - "Chers messieurs, On me demande souvent de donner des conseils aux anglais
sur la possession d’une voiture en France. Une question que l’on me pose
est “un résident du Royaume-Uni peut-il faire immatriculer une voiture en
France pour ses vacances ou sa résidence secondaire ? Je pense que pour
immatriculer une voiture ici, il faut vivre ici de façon permanente? Je
vous serais reconnaissant de bien vouloir donner une réponse définitive à
ceux qui le demandent. Merci beaucoup,”

Their reply -

Merci pour votre message.

Vous trouverez les informations relatives à sur la page suivante de :

Comme indiqué "vous ne pouvez pas choisir l’adresse qui figurera sur la carte grise.

En effet, le titre doit obligatoirement être établi à l’adresse du domicile principal du titulaire. Si plusieurs titulaires sont inscrits sur la carte grise, c’est l’adresse du titulaire principal qui apparaîtra.

Ainsi, vous ne pouvez donc pas immatriculer votre véhicule dans le département où vous possédez une résidence secondaire."


V. Faussabry
Equipe messagerie"

This does seem to go against your claim!

By the way, thank you for referring to me as the EXPERT, very kind but modesty prevents me from taking a bow. I would not go that far but I sure as hell know a lot more than you.