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


(Paul Flinders) #21

Typically one (or more) of the mechanics will be accredited testers. The functions are still separate and work is not done “as part of the MOT” unless of the most trivial nature - if work is needed it is done and the vehicle re-inspected.

I’m slightly surprised to find CT stations in France would not at least be co-located with a general garagiste, while it might not be necessary (from a legal/contractual point of view - free choice etc) to engage a mechanic in the same building or next door it is very convenient, especially of the CT (or MOT) reveals a fault which makes the vehicle unsafe to drive.


(stella wood) #22

Aha… now this I do have first-hand experience of…

If the car is deemed unsafe to drive… the Tester will not let the vehicle go, except on a trailer.


(Paul Flinders) #23

Now I can believe this is more strict in France :slight_smile:

I have a car which I don’t drive much which I put through its MOT last week - because it has been sat on the drive for a year both nearside coil springs had broken.

The tester’s view was “I can advise you the vehicle is unsafe to be on the road- but I’m not stopping you driving it away”.

Needless to say I left it there to be fixed.


(Martin Gray) #24

Going back to the headlamp questions, I looked into buying units in the UK for right hand traffic use. I found that they were more expensive in the UK, being aimed at a specialist market.
There are online car spare parts suppliers covering France that sell pattern lights - i.e. not original but made to the same spec. When you buy cheap lights in the UK these will be what you get too. A lot of the onlne suppliers source their parts from the same place, their websites are portals to somewhere else with the same look and feel.
Some units are easy to change, my Toyota required front bumper, radiator grill and ’ nner wings be removed :hushed: That wasn’t as hard as it sounds, but I had to work outdoors. It was -4C when I finished. …
The UK MOT is meant to be acceptable here, for an easy process I would go with a French CT. You know it will be accepted without question.


(Paul Flinders) #25

I just had a virtual drive around a few that are “local” to us in France. The Bosch service centre in Questembert also does CT’s as far as I can see, although there looks to be another centre which we occasionally pass which is CT only.


(David Martin) #26

CT stations are completely separate from garages. They are CT stations, nothing else. It’s a very long time since I’ve needed to get an MOT in the UK but there I used the local garage who were also MOT testers. In France garages and test centres are never under the same roof.


(Paul Flinders) #27

Maybe the Bosch place just drives round to the CT station for you?

As I said it’s something I haven’t thought about - CT stations look a lot like service centres after all but it is clear that the impression I gained was wrong, at least most of the time. I don’t find it logical that they would not be co-located but, as we have so often observed, France is not the UK.


(David Martin) #28

The French system is very like the system that I was used to in Germany. There the TüV station tested vehicles, it did nothing else.
There is another problem in France; they are hoping to introduce CTs for motorcycles before 2022 because at the moment they are not required. This is a huge problem as they have to set up the infrastructure of test centres and specialist staff. I’m sure that it would be much quicker if they could follow the British system and train up a few mechanics in each area but that’s not how it works here.


(Paul Flinders) #29

I know this doesn’t help the headlight question but, sticking with CT’s/vehicle testing for a bit longer, I understand that a lot of US states have abandoned regular mandatory vehicle testing (saying that it represents unnecessary expense for the motorist).

I wonder if any of SF’s American members have experience of this and whether the feel it adversely affects road safety?


(David Martin) #30

The lack of testing for motorcycles does not seem to be a problem. Most motorcyclists seem to ensure that their bikes are in a roadworthy condition, they do it to protect themselves, not because they have to comply with the law.


(Paul Flinders) #31

For bikes it is sensible to keep your ride in good condition - your life is much more immediately dependant upon their roadworthiness.

For cars, not so much perhaps - it’s not as common as it used to be but one still sees vehicles driving around and wonders how they could ever get through an MOT or CT.


(stella wood) #32

Hi Paul…

The Bosch garage you mention is not a CT Testing station, but it does offer a “pre-contrôle technique” checkup… and many garages make the same offer…


(Paul Flinders) #33

Again very different to the UK where the attitude tends to be “We’ll do the MOT and see what fails”.

I can’t help thinking that this separation of function only serves to increase costs for the motorist - but Vive la France as they say.


(stella wood) #34

I know it is a long time since I was in UK… but even then, concerns were being voiced about possible conflict of interest…when both activities were linked… worse, there were definitely “rogue” MOT stations whose bit of paper was not really worth anything…:thinking:

I had thought that the UK had already outlawed such liaison/stuff…to give credence to the MOT… but perhaps not… :thinking:


(stella wood) #35

Generally speaking… a motorist should know what the condition of the vehicle actually is (barring hidden faults).

Most people will not pay/will not need to pay for a pre-look… but they will walk around the car, clean the windows, fill the washers, check that the lights work etc …( oh my goodness, why did the car just roll into that wall… does the handbrake need adjusting…:thinking:) before the actual CT date… :sunglasses::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::relaxed:


(David Martin) #36

In my opinion it is likely to reduce the cost to the motorist, there is no incentive for the tester to fail the vehicle knowing that that will result in a few hours work for them. It’s one of those occasions where France is different but different does not mean worse or wrong.
One ‘problem’ with the lack of a CT for motorcycles is that there is no official check to see if the headlamp beam is properly adjusted. Owners who import older bikes without a CoC have to get a Attestation of Conformity from the manufacturer and this is done through the dealer network. They do check headlight alignment and that the lights carry the correct EU approval. Newer bikes with a CoC bypass this check.


(Paul Flinders) #37

If it is “a few hours work” it would probably be a major fail - and any centre frequently mis-calling major fails in their own favour would almost certainly be picked up, if only in terms of their local reputation (though there is a formal quality assurance scheme for testing).

It might be a bit harder to police minor things where the customer is charged an extra half hour’s labour to put them right, perhaps on a service which was being carried out at the same time

But in my case the additional cost of hiring a trailer to transport the car to another site for repair would have meant it wasn’t economically viable so I would have ended up scrapping the vehicle (and still have wound up paying for transport probably).


(David Martin) #38

You are obviously stuck in your corner. Some of us appreciate dealing with a tester that is totally independent of a repairs business. I left the U.K. 32 years ago so perhaps all the dodgy MOT garages that existed then no longer exist.


(Mat Davies) #39

Dont worry @Aquitaine the dodgy garages certainly still exist in the UK!


(Paul Flinders) #40

Yeah, can’t do much about the system here, one gets used to it :slight_smile:

As you say the French system is just different, not necessarily worse, or better.

I’m sure there are lots. Less than there used to be though.

Are there really no questionable CT centres?