What needs changing when you register a RHD UK car in France?

Can anyone give some help with this question ? I’m about to start the process of registering my UK VW Touran here. I know that I’ll have to buy new headlamps for the correct dipping of the beams … but what about my speedometer ( ‘odometer’ ) capsule. It shows the speed on the dial only in mph. There is a kmph reading but its only a digital display in the middle. I’m going to do the rounds of a few garages that do Control Techniques and ask their opinion … but thought I’d ask here as I know there’s a couple of members who are knowledgable. Thanks for any relevant up-to-date advice :slight_smile: !


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The new CT actually states that beam deflectors can be used so you might not have to buy new headlights. If you have a digital speed readout in kmh that will be fine. You might have to change the position of the rear fog light, my VW only has one and on a RHD car it would be on the wrong side.

Last week I went into my local Peugeot garage and asked about this and was advised that only the lights would need changing. Estimate for this was 820 Eu! So I plan to have them changed in the UK where I can get cheaper 2nd hand lights and then come back to have CT completed, then re register my RHD car.

Don’t go to the Peugeot garage, ask at the local CT center, the new regs state that beam deflectors are legal.
Why do you expect to find that the U.K. will be a good source of secondhand LHD headlights for your particular model?

If LHD lights are needed (hopefully the are not as David states) - you can get them from ebay.

Is there much difference when driving between RHD with beam deflectors and LHD without beam deflectors?

Depends - if you use true Fresnel beam deflectors the beam is swung to the right and you won’t loose brightness but the offside lamp will still be set high, however if it is too high it can be adjusted at the CT.

If you use the more common beam masks then you will loose a bit of brightness.

Some cars can’t really use either - my Mazda has tracking lights which swing with the steering and auto-levelling (which all HID or LED lamps need) so it’s hard to place a deflector or mask in the right spot.

Hi, Thank you for letting me know that CT says deflectors are legal. I would buy on EBay - there is a company where I can get them for around £200 each and have a local UK garage that can fit them easily.

The CT station won’t adjust anything, except set the light control wheel to 0.

Wendy… might I suggest that you ask your local CT folk to do a pre-test, have a quick look… give you some advice…something…

In other words, speak with them before buying anything…


Nothing else is as good as a headlamp system designed to dip the headlights to pick up the nearside kerb. The first car that I owned with Xenon headlights that were switchable to use in Europe we’re fine to get through the roadworthy test but less satisfactory in use. The main beam was fantastic but when the lights were dipped they did not pick up the kerb, they gave a flat beam that did not dazzle the oncoming traffic. For the driver it was like switching the lights out. I eventually changed them for LHD units. The U.K. price was £1,295 plus VAT each but luckily I found a pair on German eBay for €800. The difference was amazing. It seemed a false economy to me to remove an important safety feature to save a bit of money.

If they are on eBay why do you need to be in the UK?

Yes will call in this week, my plan was to get the upcoming MOT done in the UK, then get the lights changed and get the CT and re reg.

Presumably leaving you to find a mechanic to adjust - but (as in the UK & MOT testing) most signs I see for CT’s seem to be attached to service stations so I presume that they could do the work (for a fee, obviously).

Agree, what I was (perhaps clumsily) trying to say was that it would not be the same with an adjusted RHD headlamp as it would be with the correct LHD headlamp.

Which seems to be your experience as well.

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Paul… the CT stations in France are independent… they do not do the work, nor send a “failed” vehicle to anyone… even the chap next door… :thinking: but, yes, there is always a mechanic about town… :relaxed::relaxed:

However, Garages can undertake to take a car to a CT station and subsequently do whatever is deemed necessary by the Tester… that is done at a price which finally depends on what work the garage has to do… this often works out well…

If you get the MOT done in the UK you can use it register your car in France but you will need to go through your first CT in 12 months time. If you get your CT done now you will have two years before the next is due.

I must have a closer look - it’s one of the things I don’t really need to bother with (but always handy to understand the process).

But I could swear that all the “Controle Technique” signs I see seem to be co-located with service centres - perhaps being “stuff to do with vehicles” they just look sufficiently similar to fool me on a casual glance.

It’s not much different in the UK, most MOT testing stations are also general garages - you do the MOT, if it fails then some work will be needed either by that garage or elsewhere but only the most trivial of adjustments are done actually as part of the MOT.

Thank you all for your various replies. I think I will still get MOT and headlight changes done in the UK as my friend runs the garage, and I have a little other work I know needs doing too. But to then be able to use the MOT to re register will be great and then have the CT done next time when I am a little less frazzled by all the other relocation bureaucracy!

Just be aware, that although “they” are supposed to accept a UK MoT to get a vehicle re-registered in France, it doesn’t always happen so smoothly and you may well be asked for the CT anyway. Likewise the CoC, loads of stuff on here already.

Actually Paul… if the UK MOT testing stations are also general garages too… that is very, very different to how it works in France.

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