UK car registration

Hi all. Not the usual question about 'how do you do it?', but rather, does anyone know how the ongoing cost of the 'Malus' operates in respect of registering older cars? I understand from my own cost in buying and registering a used French car that getting a Carte Grise can be an expensive process, and I can only put this down to the eco tax, but I can't find it explained anywhere. Is there an age beyond which this doesn't apply? What is the sliding scale? Specifically, if I were to pop back to the UK and pick up an eleven year old gas guzzler, will I end up paying through the exhaust for it?

I think that the form Ford sent you is so that you can apply for a c of c - they usually ask you for the details on the data plate which is usually under the bonnet.

The car is Spanish so doesn't have a UK logbook but a Ficha Tecnica and a Permiso de conduccion. I was sent a French form to fill by Ford and I can't find a CoC in the car's Spanish papers.

The information in the CoC is number coded Louise and each number has numerous translations on the CoC so it is a multilingual document. There isn't a "French" or an "English" or "Spanish" version as such.


You shouln't, but it depends on who you get at the prefecture - some employees interpret the rules differently which is why occasionally some people have managed to convince the employee that a c of c is not necessary as the EU number is on the UK logbook. (It is, but as yet this is not acceptable by the French Government).

I inherited my car in Spain and so I know there is no debt on it, however, I need an inheritance certificate which I am not sure exists in Spain and will, I suppose, need translating. I wanted to use the car for a couple of years until I can get something more suitable but wonder if it is really worth it.

I asked Ford France as I thought I needed the COC in French.

Hi Mark. This has not been my experience here in Carcassonne.

I have brought in from the UK and this requires the registration document - as you say. But I have also brought in from Italy and this required an additional document which they referred to as the ACI - which I eventually got and registered the car.

Another time I brought one in from Germany and this also required TWO documents - not just the registration document.

I fear that the differences are a function of the registration process used in the country of origin of the car.

Hi Geoff,

The paperwork required for import by the French authorities is the same from any European country & does not vary. This is laid out on the French government website below. Most of the required paperwork is generated or available here with only the car's logbook or export certificate being required from the car's country of origin.

It is listed here -

You can now buy a car from the EU country of your choice!

Unfortunately Louise the manufacturer can charge whatever "admin" charge they like for a CoC. It's all a little rich for a slip of duplicated paper. Did you ask Ford Spain what their admin fee would be? I think you can work out the CG charge simply based on your CV. Your Préfecture should just have a scale.

You're correct Graham there is no obligation on the seller to provide a CoC (unless the vehicle is new) but one would expect it to have been kept with the car's documents. I've imported new and secondhand from several countries and after the first debacle found it mostly painless.

Geoff - I've found that info can vary between different Préfectures, but as it can all be done by post these days, there is a list of documents to provide printed on their specific re-registration envelope. If any thing is missing, they will send the whole lot back to you and tell you what else they need. I have never had a problem with sending any Prefecture a blank check, but this can also be calculated from the Web. If there's a mistake, they will tell you how much by return.

John - this is not quite correct. I have had to import a number of vehicles into France from member states (Spain, UK, Italy, Germany etc) and in all cases, the cars not being new, I was obliged to provide an appropriate CoC to the Prefecture in Caen to obtain a French CG. The majority of these cars were purchased at auction and did not come with a CoC and is not obligatory for the seller to provide, either at auction or on a private sale. My biggest challenge was a Spanish reg Land Rover Disco, bought privately in the UK - it was a nightmare of paperwork to get a French CG!This was current up till last December. However, I agree that you do not have to pass a CT to register a vehicle.

Hi Brian, I read your reply.

I have brought in a couple of cars - one from UK, one from Germany and one from Italy and I undersand that in each case the documents required do vary slightly. What my Prefecture is unnable to give me is a list of documents required - specific for each European country from which the car is imported. For this reason, I have been reluctant to touch any car from spain because of the risk of any debt of the owner following the car.

Are you able to clarify any of these two points please. I would hate to buy a car from say Estonia only to find one of the papers is missing. I have looked on the French govt. website to try to find a list of documents from each country, but without success.



I have a car in Spain I want to register in France as was told by the Préfecture that I needed a French Certificate of Conformity and when I phoned Ford France they told me it would cost €150 and sent me the form by email. The Préfecture also refused to tell me how much it would cost for the carte grise, anything from €200 to €500 from what I could gather, and they told me I had to send them a blank cheque which, of course, I am not very happy about and think I will visit the office in person when the time comes.

You don't need a "French issued" Certificate of Conformity Graham. All new cars come with an EU CoC regardless of where they are sold (and have done for many years). They are issued by the manufacture and are not country specific. All the the information contained is numbered so that there is no need for translations. When you buy a secondhand car you should ask for the CoC with the logbook, CG, whatever and the seller should provide it. If they do not then for an admin free the manufacturer will issue one. I remember paying around 100 euro for one once.

Interestingly you do not need to have passed the CT to register a car, just to have done it.

there is a sliding scale based on age of car and emmissions - as well as engine size.

Generally the newer the car and/or the higher the emmissions/engine size, the more you pay.

the eco tax (ye right) started on 1/1/14 it goes on the co2 per km, It starts on vehicles made after 2008 and is on a sliding scale, just registered a 2010 transit with the latest clean engine cost 960euros on top of the reg fee,so if I had bought a pre 08 with a dirtier engine cost 0, It applies to all vehicles upon their 1st reg in france, If I had bought a new transit the cost would have been !!!! 8000euros !!!!!, but as I bought mine in belguim even with the " eco " I am still quids in on buying 1 in france

Hi Rob,

I just imported a 2nd hand car from Spain and there was no tax to pay, although I did have to get a quitas fiscal from the tax office to show I had declared the car was being imported when I applied for my Carte Gris. They will ask you for a proof of purchase document/invoice from the seller, amongst other things.

The certificate of conformity is the other tricky bit, manufacturers have started to charge for requests for these now and it can be anything from £100 upwards. The other way is to get the car tested by DREAL, but the CofC is an easier route.

Registration cost is charged, as someone mentioned, according to CV and also age. After 10 years it is halved.

I explain the whole process here Car Registration in France, although it sounds as though you already know most of it.

The other thing worth mentioning is that if it is a 3rd car and more than 10 years old, you can get very cheap insurance though this company

Hope that helps.

Hi Rob - If you are buying a 2004 LR RHD and intend to register in France, you will require a French issued Certificate of Conformity as well as your CT, but the CT is not a substitute for the MOT (as you probably know) and under normal circumstances can only be applied for if the intention is to change plates to French ones. The Carte Grise is dependant on HP and year and is not an expensive item. Good luck