Travelling France in a campervan

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for advice please and I am struggling to find it online. My boyfriend and I are wanting to travel around Europe this summer in a Peugeot J7 van from 1978. As the vehicle is over 40years old it is exempt from an MOT in the UK. Does anyone know if this is the same in France meaning we would not need an MOT certificate when travelling?

Many thanks

I guess you will just need a document saying it is excepted from needing an MOT. Translated into French would help.

It is called an attestation in French. The French like attestations.

It is a grey area though.

Can’t you just MOT it. Looking at the cost of a MOT in the UK…
……it is not exactly expensive. And they may pick up a fault you have not spotted……which will most definitely save you money if it goes wrong over here.

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Hello and welcome to Survive France

As long as you are still both UK residents, travel within the duration showed by your visa and passport, and the vehicle conforms to all applicable UK regulations regarding tax, insurance and MOT you’ll be fine.

Edit to add: I suggest you print out the relevant documentation regarding the MOT test exemption, translate it into the languages appropriate for your trip and carry it with your important documents.


My understanding is that you need to have whatever the regulations are in the country in which the vehicle is registered and insured - the insurance needing to cover international travel of course.

If your van is registered and insured in the UK, the regulations in the countries through which it travels are irrelevant.

If however, the van is registered and insured in France, I would have thought the insurance company would tell you if you needed additional testing!

Your post isn’t clear as to which country the van is registered in!

EDIT: Sorry @_Brian - it took me so long writing my post that it arrived after yours and yours said what I wanted to say a lot more clearly :roll_eyes:

Also, I should have said “Welcome to Survive France” to @Olivia_mh too… apologies for that!


As others have said… usual Docs for the Vehicle should be carried with you
Do check Vehicle Insurance to include Foreign Travel and Repatriation for Vehicle and for Passengers if necessary… (read the small print… :wink: )
Also, Medical Health Cover for all travellers should include Repatriation…

best of luck


Ok, thank you- that’s what I’m struggling to find.

The van is in the process of being registered in the UK. It is a French vehicle originally.

Hi Brian, thank you so much!

Ok that all makes sense thank you very much for your response!

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That’s great - provided you are following the UK regs, you’ll be fine :smiley:

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Olivia - one additional point: the vehicle needs to be registered where the owner/registered keeper is a resident.

Thus if you are a UK resident, then everything needs to follow UK regs. If you are a French resident (even if you are still a UK citizen), then the vehicle needs to be registered in France and fully compliant with French regulations regarding CT, insurance etc etc.


That’s just about the most ridiculous and stupid comment you have made to date. And that’s saying something.


Thank you….which bit ? :grinning:

If the OP gets stopped by the police for an infraction, accident, a drug/controle they will want to see a CT.

Or if the OP simply breaks down and ends up blocking the road or whatever. It is a 40 year old van. So that could happen.

In France you need a CT. Which they will expect.

If the OP pulls out their document showing it does not need a CT they may get confused especially with the document in English. So a little translation where appropriate will be appreciated. And they will be more sympathetic with you.

Or….you get an MOT done and you are sorted. Having an MOT may hightlight a problem that you did not know about. It is win win.

Driving a 40 year old van around in 40 degree heat….and the OP will get stuck in traffic jams which will put an awful lot of stress on that vehicle….is a recipe for disaster.

So yeah….I am struggling with the stupid bit.

Only on a French registered vehicle, this is really basic stuff to be getting so wrong.


Jeeess…I call an MOT a CT. It is the same thing. It is just the language I am used to.

Do you think a French policeman knows what an MOT is or the German, Spanish, italian equivalent ?

Give the policeman a break and help him out a bit with your documents.

It really isn’t. Frankly, your advice in this thread has been generally awful and you really should stop before you cause more confusion.


My sincere applogies.

In have never done an MOT in the UK. The only car I have owned in the UK was bought just before I moved. So yeah, I have no idea of the UK rules.

I thought it was a road worthiness test. But obviously is not.

I can only talk from this side of the water. I have bought 7 cars over the years, completed many CT’s….and stopped quite a few times by the police. I have a little bit of experience on that matter….the UK not so much.

Carry on camping.

The van essentially has a new engine and is something we have been working on for two years, we’re young and it’s all part of the experience- but thanks for the faith that made me feel really good👍🏼(not)


Thank you everyone for your advice. I didn’t mean for my query to cause any arguments or mean comments. I didn’t think that’s what this page was like so I don’t think I’ll be asking for help again. But thank you to everyone’s helpful comments.

Just as an aside, don’t leave anything precious especially paperwork/passports etc in the van when you go off sightseeing etc. UK numberplates would attract thieves more than french plates as they know the problems of reporting it by foreigners. My friends (french with french plated vehicle) were sat havinglunch with a view of their parked car at a nearby spanish town and thieves broke in at the same time and ransacked it for anything they could find.They never saw it happen either and there were other cars parked next to them.

You will be fine. Just make sure you can prove that you are legal. And smile.

Beware of the heat. It will be very hot. Choose your routes wisely. It is very easy to get caught in a traffic jams on autoroutes in Summer. Especially on the weekend.

Try and travel very early in the morning.

Thats a shame, it would be great to hear about your travels once you get going. SF is a great source of good information from mostly good people, but sometimes you just have to ignore the idiotic comments.