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Driving a french registered car from uk to Italy

Posted by daviddauti - Created: 7 years ago
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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by daviddauti - 7 years ago

That is a very valuable info Laughingboy!

I wish I had checked the page about 3 hours earlier when I was looking at the carte grise!

But I bought some time till tomorrow to have some enquires so that would come handy. 

Secondly, I might take your advise to register the car in UK first.

Thank You very much for your input

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Posted by laughingboy-409220 - 7 years ago

Sorry, don't know why my entire post is showing as a link! but no harm done I suppose.

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Posted by laughingboy-409220 - 7 years ago

If you have the carte grise, you will have the info you need to check online - this is the French govt site for checking a vehicle for any debts and issuing a 'certificat de non gage'


Unfortunately, the fact that you bought a car from someone other than the registered owner could be a big problem if you wanted to register it in France. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the system is designed to protect everybody by ensuring that nobody sells a car that they don't own, so unless you can produce a certificat de cession signed by the registered owner as per the central computer, your application will not be processed. Secondly, a fee is payable for each change of ownership - so they make sure that people avoid paying the fee by not bothering to record changes of ownership! Easiest would be to contact the owner named on the cg and ask him to do the paperwork for you - if he's French, he will understand why.

But none of this matters if you're not going to try and register it in France. I still think your best bet would be to register it in the UK initially. I believe that DVLC are far less particular - they certainly won't ask for a certificat de cession, and I think that as long as you can provide some sort of receipt and a log book for the car, and a UK address (not sure you even have to prove your address with utility bills in your name, as you do in France) they will be happy. You would have to get it MOTd of course. Other than that, if you can get insurance on it you will have to take a chance and hope you don't get stopped for a document check along the way.


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Posted by daviddauti - 7 years ago

Thanks laughingboy for your thoughts.

Actually I dont intend to register the car in France in my name at all. I will only drive through France to Italy initially. I am originally from Albania and that is where the car will be registered and  why I chose to buy a lhd. The problem would be to insure for the journey to Italy while it is not registered in my name on (carte Grise). Also I am finding it dificult to run a check for any outstanding finance or police interest for the specific vehicle. The google search brings up only uk or us car history check websites that don't recognise the french reg and VIN.

The car seemed a good buy at the time but maybe I was being a bit optimistic!

The other thing, the current seller is a trader and the car is not on his name, would that be a problem to consider?

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Posted by laughingboy-409220 - 7 years ago


Why not simply 'import' the car into the UK?

I know you say you don't intend to use it in the UK but if the car is destined to be registered in Italy and you just want to make it legal for the journey, trying to register it in France seems a lot of hassle to go to. Plus, as a UK resident you can't legally drive a non-UK reg car at all in the UK. Put it onto UK plates, get UK insurance, your problems are all solved and you can drive it legally in any country.

 However, if you really want to register it in France in your name, the procedure is clearly set out here:


Basically you will need a CT (MOT) test certificate issued less than 6 months ago, the old carte grise endorsed by the previous registered owner, and the certificat de cession duly filled in by the previous owner and yourself, then you will need documents to prove your address in France, and the one-off registration fee (there is no annual car tax in France). If you don't have an address in France you can't register a car here. You also do definitely need all the documents mentioned, the CT definitely has to be less than 6 months old or you will need to get a new one, and you need to be sure that the person you bought it off is the registered owner (not his friend, nor his brother, nor sombody who bought the car but never registered it in his own name) or you will have problems. And if it was me, I would also check that there is no finance or debts registered against the car before I handed over the cash.

Good luck, I hope it was a bargain!