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When you sell a car in France what gets done?

Posted by ivi - Created: 13 years ago
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Hello when you are selling a French registered vehicle in France what to do you have to do?  See a Notary?  How does the transfer of property get registered?  Never done it but looking on doing it and would be grateful about clues. 

Thanks in advance.

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4 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 4)

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Posted by Sam the clam-189505 - 13 years ago

small point about the Controle technique; It must have been carried out within the six months prior to the sale of the vehicle, or else a new one must be obtained by the new owner. Most buyers therefore insist on the previous CT being up to date. 

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 13 years ago

The buyer will also need the certificate de conformité.

There is the thorny question of payment when you dont know the buyer.  You have to be careful about counterfeit notes.

There have been some frauds where the buyer says he'll buy, gives you a cheque and says he'll come back in a couple of days when the cheque is cleared.

If the cheque is stolen, it will be cleared to your account, so you give the buyer the car and the papers, then, when the owner of the cheque protests, the funds will disappear from your account.

The best way is either cash, which you get checked at a bank or post office, or a bank cheque, which says that the bank will pay rather than a person


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Posted by harpo-187362 - 13 years ago


For once you don't have to get any 'legal' folks involved, it is a transaction between you and the buyer.  Take a look at this web site (one of many) which explains the process :


Basically you need to give the buyer four things:

Carte grise which you cross out with the mention "vendue le ....... à .......", sign, cut off the top right corner and give to the buyer.  This establishes the time at which ownership is transferred.

Certificate de vente, basic information about the sale, can download from the above site.

Certificate de situation, basically establishes nothing is owing on the car.  I got mine at the prefecture but looks like it is available on line at www.cerfa.gouv.fr

Controle technique, this must have a certain number of months left (6?) else the buyer can insist you have it tested again.

Suggest you keep copies of all the above.  The buyer is responsable for getting a new carte grise.


Think that is all there is to it.



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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 13 years ago

Hmmm AngloInfo has a fact file for registering a foreign car but I don't think we've ever seen anyone ask how to register a regular French 2nd hand car.

Basically you need to re-register the "carte grise" at the Préfecture. It is pretty simple and can be done by post.  If you read French, the administrative procedure is defined here.