Taking UK-registered car to France for 9mths but still UK resident

Hi all,

I’m moving to the south of France next month for at least 9 months, and wondered if I might pick your brains a bit. I will still be UK resident for work, tax and insurance purposes - and am looking to fly back to ensure I am not out of the UK for more than six months in a fiscal year. I need to have a car to get around in France, therefore, I am looking to bring my UK-registered car with me. However, I have read online that UK cars can only remain in France, with UK plates etc., for up to six months - although whether this is in a calendar year, fiscal year or sequence of time I’m not sure. Also, insurers I have looked at do not seem to like to insure a UK car in France for more than three months at a time.

I was just wondering whether anyone has any ideas as to the best course of action in my situation? Am I best of driving back to the UK instead of flying back? Will I be able to find insurance to cover such a prolonged stay? Who are relevant points of contact? Will the end of the Brexit transition period change anything? Should I just lay my case before - and at the mercy of - the French equivalent of the DVLA?

Appreciate your advice on what I realise is quite an unusual predicament.

Many thanks,


Not an unusual predicament at all.
Will you be living in your own premises? Have you considered buying a car here and insuring it? Driving down France on the Autoroutes will cost significantly in toll fees as well as fuel costs and overnight stays so it might be worth considering.

Hello Jimmy and welcome to the forum.

Is your full name Jimmy or James Hawkes???

The forum registration requires full name (First and Last Name)…

I shall be happy to amend your registration if you will simply confirm your details here…


Thanks for the response, Graham. Would like to keep hold of my UK car if possible, but that might be the only alternative if not. Is it possible to register and insure a French car whilst being non-resident?

Thank you for the welcome! I’ve updated my name :slight_smile:

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I hate to open a box of spanners to throw into your plans, but how will you remain a UK resident for work, tax, and insurance purposes?

Admittedly checks are few and far between but if you are here for 9 months in one go then either you are a french or EU resident, or you will need a visa after 31/12/20. After the end of the transition period the British can only stay in the Schengen zone for 90 days in every 180. Of course, if you are arriving next month you could become a french resident and get a carte de séjour before the end of the transition period. But that’s a fairly major step to take!

You are looking at things from the UK perspective, but you also need to look from the French perspective. And they are not always the same.

The other spanner in my box is that are far as French law is concerned, if you are physically in France while you are working (unless posted worker with exemptions) then you should be paying tax on that income in France. Again checks are very few, but if you do get identified then the french labour laws are draconian.

And after 31/12/20 you have no right to work in France unless you have a full working visa.

So actually your car is the least of your issues. From what you say (and the detail may change everything) what you are planning is no longer allowed post Brexit. Freedom of movement and the right to live and work in any EU country no longer exists for UK nationals. Brexit means Brexit.

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