Trailers in France

Hi all, I have a condundrum perculiar to France and hope that someone out there can assist with the legal answer.

I brought with me from Uk, a box trailer which of course needs no registration in UK or in France if towed behind a UK registered car. It is over the 500Kg limit and braked, so for a French car to tow it would need a carte grise, certificate of conformity and controle technique but that is not a problem for me as I have not yet changed my car over.

Now I have no further use for the trailer here, I stuck AV on it and I have had a lot of interest. Last night a local french man offered to buy it. He asked about the carte grise and I explained that there isn't one as it isn't necessary in UK and I also told hime it was impossible to obtain a certificate as the manufacturer has ecased to exist. This did not seem to faze him and we agreed a price and we signed a 'contract'.

My question is, can I legally sell it without a carte grise knowing that if he intends to tow it, he would need a carte grise. Now I know some departments can issue carte grise without certificates, just an inspection, but where do I stand as a vendor if he can't obtain registration? I don't want him coming back in 3 months with the trailer saying he can't register it. I would rather take it back to Uk and sell it.

A couple of years ago I did sell a UK caravan without knowing the legal requirements but that was to a UK couple so a little different.

Just don't want to fall foul of regulations as of course ' ignorance of the law is no excuse'

Colin Granville

Lamagistere 82360

Thanks Catharine x


You need to get a certificate de conformite (sp?) from the manufacturer (normally around 100€)

Then just fill in the fr paperwork and bowl on up to the prefecture.

You can download the paperwork from the site.

Get the cert and then get back to me if you get stuck x

Hi Catharine,'

I would be really grateful if you could point me in the right direction on how to register my Richardson horse trailer as you mention that you have done so with no problems! We have just bought it from a friend in the UK . My daughter and I were so pleased but have since been told by various people that we wont be able to use it...........

Thanks in advance

Yes there are Colin but you will need to post in the Friendly Advice Group where I'm sure Guillaume will give you a definitive answer!

BTW and for info, trailers do not need a control technique.

Hi Liz

Who is the manufacturer and are you sure they no longer exist? It is dead simple once you have got in touch with them; we've re-registered two trailers and a horse trailer now with no probs.

Hi again and thanks for the replies. To clarify the situation, I don't actually live here yet as we have a house in Uk and we are still making regular journeys with personal effects - we plan a permanent move next May. I am pretty sure the intended purchaser wants to tow it, we did check that the towball was standard on his van. If I were to sell this trailer to an englishman, I presume there would be no problem so would it be illegal to sell it to a frenchman ???

The question I ask is who commits an offence, is it me for selling it or him for using it (without carte grise).

If there is any doubt I will take it back to UK to sell but obviously it costs to do that and he has offered a good price.

Any solicitors reading this forum?

Cheers all


No carte grise and sold "pour pièces" - he'd have to tow the trailer away on another trailer though ;-)

It is possible to sell a car without 6 months CT legally, you sell it for 'pieces'.

With a car, the usual situation is that the buyer arrives with a trailer to transport the vehicle. It is quite usual for this to happen in France which why you see so many on Bon Coin for ''pieces'. Don't see why it couldn't work with a trailer and also, as we don't have Carte Grises on UK trailers, is there anything on it to say that it once belonged to you anyway.

Also, does he intend to use it for towing - he may want to use it as a shed or something?

Agree with Jon on this, as far as cars are concerned you can't legally sell one unless there's more than 6 months contrôle technique left so I presumle it's the same for trailers, I'd take it back to the UK ;-)

Vehicles have to have at least 18 months CT left when you sell them (6 months for a van taking into account the annual emissions test), not 6 months. It has to have been tested within the last 6 months. If it fails you can still legally sell it as a car provided it is still within the 2 month retest window. A car does not have to have passed a CT, just have been tested. The same rule applies when importing a car from the UK - if the UK MOT was conducted less than 6 months before the registration date then it will be accepted for french registration, but when it expires a CT will have to be obtained. It does give you plenty of time to change the headlights!