Re-registering a car in France

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Steve&Julie
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Re-registering a car in France

Post by Steve&Julie » Sat 05 Apr 2008 23:56

I know its probably been covered before, but if anyone can help...

I have noticed that it might be cheaper to buy a LHD vehicle in the UK and bring it over and re-register it. I have had a look at the information on the website but can someone confirm that if its the car that stays in storage while we return to the UK (ie. we are not living in France) do we still have to re-register it. Also, as the car would actually spend most of its life in the storage by Gerona airport, should it technically be registered in Spain?

Can anyone also give me any idea what they think it might be for a Renault Scenic 1.6 to be registered? Also, what about the costs of insurance, I know its really variable, but for example, if I have 6yrs no claims, been driving 10 years, the above car or similar, what would it be? Currently I pay around £140 for a fully comp policy from Esure but I think I was really lucky to get this, most quotes came in around £180 mark, is this a similar ball park figure for France?

Many thanks to anyone that can help so we can decide if its financially viable to go for it. With the full-empty return fuel rule which seems to be applying to all the agencies now, and paying 7 euros per day to drive into Spain, its getting really pricey to hire a car now!

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Post by john » Sun 06 Apr 2008 11:22

I'd guess that registering it in Spain is a non starter,as I'm assuming you have no permanent address there. (I don't think GRO long term car park counts!!)

I'm surprised that this LHD vehicle is cheaper in the UK than here,but there we go. Most of this has been covered before,but unless you have the original Certificate of Conformity,you'll need a long and tedious trip to DRIRE in Perps.

In the main Insurance is one of the few things that IS more expensive in France than the UK,but it's worth remembering that all Fr insurance allows unlimited driving in all EU countries,whereas that may not be the case on some basic quotes of the "el Cheapo" suppliers in the UK. But yes,I'm guessing that the quote here will be more than 140 quid (app 175€). As an example we pay around 300€ per year for our VW Touran (not that dissimilar to a Scenic),with all the "franchise"/bonuses etc.

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Post by Steve&Julie » Sun 06 Apr 2008 11:44

Thanks John, I have thought about this and I am now wondering if I have to re-register a car at all if it is spending 6 months of its life not actually in France but in a private off-street compound in Spain? We only get over every 8 weeks or so for a week so we are always between Spain and France. Anyone have any views on this and what insurance companies insure cars from UK to drive abroad?

We are just looking for a reliable workhorse for transporting sand/cement etc and putting the tow bar on.

Thanks!

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Post by sue and paul » Sun 06 Apr 2008 11:50

We have re-registered a UK import car. It cost us around 200€, eventually, at the Sous-Préfecture (Céret) for a Carte Grise, which I think is always the cost when you change a car here. We had difficulty with our Certificat de Conformité (obtainable from the manufacturer) because our old car was a small-scale production 1984 specialised vehicle. Presumably a Scénic wouldn't be so complicated. Eventually, from the UK manufacturer, we got the information (IN FRENCH) required by the DRIRE, Perpignan . Back at the Sous-Préfecture in Céret, we had to nip over to the Hôtel des Impôts to prove that there was no tax outstanding on the vehicle we had imported (a bill of sale might do here). Once we had their stamp, we went back to the Sous-Préfecture, and held our breath while more rubber stamps than you can shake a stick at went on our papers. At this point we paid the 200€. It is useful to remember when comparing costs, that there is no road tax in France - included in Carte Grise cost, maybe also in the insurance and fuel (?). We discovered also that we can 'lend' our car to , say, visitors, and they are covered on our insurance (Generali), provided they have held a full licence for more than 3 years.
The saying 'Rome wasn't built in a day' kept springing into my mind. I hope this is helpful.

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Post by Steve&Julie » Mon 07 Apr 2008 23:41

Thanks Sue & Paul, it sounds really complicated, especially when you are only there for a week or two at a time and can't speak much French. Think it would have to be when we can take our daughter with us and are there for 3 weeks in summer (probably they are all closed then knowing our luck). However at least I have some kind of idea of how much it costs.

I am still not at all sure that I have to re-register it at all if car is spending most of its life in Gerona!

I hope someone out there can advise me on this - thanks.

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Post by Colin L » Mon 07 Apr 2008 23:57

We have an old Volvo 460 available for the couple of hundred euros it cost me to put it through its Controle Technique. Showing its age but still going strongly with 2 next to new tyres and 2 very new ones. Air con doesn´t work and is beyond repair. It has a roof bar and snow chains but no towbar. It is well familiar with transporting cement, sand, pots of paint, flatpacks etc. We are keen to see it put to good use as a run-around rather than being driven to the knacker's yard. CT from January. Insured through AXA for I think about 350 euros. Let me know if interested.

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Post by Roger O » Tue 08 Apr 2008 07:41

You still trying to flog that, Colin??

One thing I do know, reregistering from one department 66 to another 11 took us all of 15 minutes at the Prefecture - but then... that's Carcassonne!! You should read the article on Carcassone in Le Point!! Even the ANPE here is efficient and friendly!! That says it all..

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Post by john » Tue 08 Apr 2008 09:05

Roger O wrote:You still trying to flog that, Colin??

.
I thought he was in deepest South America?!!!

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Post by Steve&Julie » Tue 08 Apr 2008 09:09

I suppose it helps being able to speak French Roger!

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Re-registering a car in France

Post by Polly and Steve » Tue 08 Apr 2008 12:21

Yes, I sympathise Steve and Julie; I've been trying to get the same question answered myself as we keep my 15 year old lovely Golf in our secure garage in Ceret as a runaround when we're there - like you, for six or eight visits a year at the moment.

I got very excited as I read an article in French News last November entitled Number Plate Regulations (the monthly English language newspaper I pick up when we're over) with a quote from the French Ministry of Transport "......yes, you can now quite legally keep your British or other EU member state's registration at least until you sell the car." This came about after a reader wrote in to say he was seeing an increasing number of cars still on UK plates displaying French insurance and controle technique stickers. (And it's particularly galling because here in East Anglia there are many Eastern European agricultural workers who keep their cars on Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian plates willynilly it would seem.)

I'm STILL trying to get clarification on this as it's a query that often comes up on the forum. The Certificate of Conformity is the stumbling block every time when trying to go down the re-registering route, particularly for older cars like mine and it seems to be the consensus when reading articles on the subject that the whole process could cost between 500-800 Euros. I'm still doubtful too that you would find a French insurer willing to cover you without the carte grise. I'm going to have one more go when we're over in May and if I can't sort it out then we'll be bringing the Golf back to the UK again before the end of August when its MOT, Tax and Insurance run out and we'll just have to bite the bullet and buy a second hand car out there.

Shame really.......as I've said before, buying a property was the easy bit!!

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Post by sue and paul » Tue 08 Apr 2008 12:48

Generali (Cabinet Mons et Giannotti), Argeles -s-M, tel: 04 68 81 02 10 speak English and are very willing to discuss things. Sue

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Re-registering a car in France

Post by Rose » Tue 08 Apr 2008 13:26

Generali in Argeles insured my car before I got my carte grise

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Post by sue and paul » Tue 08 Apr 2008 15:18

Nigel...Have just replied to your pm. Sue

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Post by groslard » Tue 08 Apr 2008 18:30

Colin L wrote:We have an old Volvo 460 available for the couple of hundred euros it cost me to put it through its Controle Technique. Showing its age but still going strongly with 2 next to new tyres and 2 very new ones. Air con doesn´t work and is beyond repair. It has a roof bar and snow chains but no towbar. It is well familiar with transporting cement, sand, pots of paint, flatpacks etc. We are keen to see it put to good use as a run-around rather than being driven to the knacker's yard. CT from January. Insured through AXA for I think about 350 euros. Let me know if interested.
Have sent you a pm

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Re-registering a car in France

Post by Polly and Steve » Tue 08 Apr 2008 18:44

Thanks Sue and Paul and Rose - Generali now on my 'to visit' list for May and fingers crossed. The two insurers I've spoken to in the past would only agree to insure me if I provided evidence of having started the re-registration process, so it'll be wonderful if they can take me on. Will let you know, and thanks again. Polly

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Post by sue and paul » Tue 08 Apr 2008 19:59

Generali Argeles advertise here, so you should perhaps give A-D a mention

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Registering your car

Post by JB » Mon 14 Apr 2008 21:26

Whilst I'm not suggesting you try this it is worth noting that my 18 year old car was exported from the UK and then ran around on its UK plates for 5 years (before I had it I hasten to add) without being registered in France. All the time it was fully insured by MACIF (V-helpful and reasonably priced) and also had a full CT.
What this does go to show though is that if you have enough 'front' you should have no trouble in insuring and CT'ing your car on UK Plates.
Another point worth noting is that I have now registered 2 RHD cars in France (A 10 year old Renault and a 12 year old Toyota) without a certificate of conformity for either.
My last tip is, whatever you do, do not let anyone have the original documents - let the authorities see them but insist on keeping them yourself and let them take photocopies.
Good luck and if they give you any guff about the battle of hastings remind them of how many times they have been invaded in the last 1000 years.
JB

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Post by opas » Tue 15 Apr 2008 08:54

Do you know someone in the DRIRE or the Prefecture? I have registered 2 RHD cars in France too and KNOW that you will not get anywhere without all the boxes being ticked!

Perhaps you have ommited to tell us something....perhaps they were originally exprted from France to UK and then back to France again???????

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Post by Steve&Julie » Tue 15 Apr 2008 09:05

Hi JB,

This intrigues me! Any tips as to how you do this - its great to know you managed it, but how do I? Can you put a bit more on or PM me?

Many thanks.

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Post by john » Tue 15 Apr 2008 09:22

As opas says,I too am sceptical.As he doesn't supply any names,contacts,evidence etc,I'd take JB's posting with a very large pinch of salt.

Unless he is talking about a Brit insurance firm to whom he has conveniently forgotten to inform that these vehicles reside in France, I wonder if JB will reveal who at MACIF insurance company insures GB plate cars here?!

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Post by mpprh » Tue 15 Apr 2008 09:52

There are quite a number of UK reg RHD cars that have been here many years. There is one nearby that has been here for 12 years, and there are others up to 8 years old.

If you have French insurance and a CT, the only offence would be not registering the vehicle. As there is no duty or VAT to pay on vehicles from other EU countries, the actual offence is similar to the minor one of not notifying change of address.

For people who have difficulties in obtaining French registration (imported from non EU source, grey import, modified, model never imported into France, camper van, etc.) the fine may be much cheaper than the cost of getting single type conformity.

I found no difficulty in getting Groupama to provide cover on a VIN before I registered one car that I imported.

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Post by john » Tue 15 Apr 2008 10:27

mpprh wrote:.

I found no difficulty in getting Groupama to provide cover on a VIN before I registered one car that I imported.

Peter
Pardon my ignorance Peter,but what is a VIN ? (apart from that stuff that comes in red,rosé and white!)

Do not assume that all GB reg cars that are round here long term are taxed,tested and insured. I saw one in Ceret the other day whose UK tax ran out in Jun 06. cetainly no Fr insurance/CT vignette on the screen either.

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Post by JB » Tue 15 Apr 2008 10:54

To all you sceptics out there I am indeed a real person, although a little out of the region, I registered my cars with the prefecture in Toulon, as I said without the certificate of conformity. There is a rider here, my plates are red 'IT' plates and as temporary registration they may not be so concerned with the certificate of conformity.
On the subject of Insuring cars on UK plates MACIF here in Toulon - Specifically Mr Jean-Marc Perrier of the Six Fours office insured both my cars on UK registration plates several months before the plates were changed for IT ones. The Control Technique was performed, again on UK plates - no carte grise - by the small garage in Ollioules and all the repair/maintanance work was done by Speedy Autos without question.
I can assure you that all the above is true. My experience of the FR prefecture 'experience' has been a patient smile, persistance and a degree of competance in the language will pay dividends when there are grey areas.
As a final point if anyone knows how I can get my old UK plates back when I finally return to the UK in 3 months time I would be most interested.
Good luck and keep pushing
JB

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Post by opas » Tue 15 Apr 2008 10:55

Only one? :wink:

Isn`t the VIN the block number ie the vehicle ID, that plate with a mixture of numbers and letters under the bonnet?

I wouldn`t doubt that insurance companies will take money from people to insure anything, the crunch (litteraly) comes when a claim is made.
A certificate of conformity is easy to attain for any normal car, either directly from the manufacturer ie Ford or by filling in a form at DRIRE(cheaper)

We have managed to re reg a car here in a total of about 5 hours. spread over a week....one trip to drire to fill in the form for conformity , a few days wait for it to be returned by post, a visit for a CT and a visit to the prefecture in perps, we were only in there about 40 mins in total....oh and off to the supermarket for the pates to be made.



EDIT . I have just read the above post, I knew there was something that hadn`t been mentioned in the orriginal statement about not needing cert of conformity. I do not know what IT plates are, but there lies the reason for not needing this conformity status.

I think if you trawl through the DVLA you will find the answer to your question about getting back your old reg plate on returning to UK.....I have it in my mind that the numbers(registration) are not re-usable, I am sure It was covered on another Forum . If I find it I will post it on here.

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Post by JB » Tue 15 Apr 2008 12:46

Purely for information the plates I refer to carry a number then IT and then the No of the department eg: XXX IT 83 in my case. They are red with white lettering. The IT stands for Immatriculation Temporaire (spelling notwithstanding). Essentially they are a temporary registration issued because of the specifc job I do over here.
That said the issues of Insurance and CT are still valid as I had both done with the cars on UK plates and without any formal indication that they would be changed.
My apologies if I have muddied the waters at all - never my intention.
Pip Pip
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Post by john » Tue 15 Apr 2008 12:56

JB wrote:. The Control Technique was performed, again on UK plates - no carte grise - by the small garage in Ollioules and all the repair/maintanance work was done by Speedy Autos without question.

.
As a final point if anyone knows how I can get my old UK plates back when I finally return to the UK in 3 months time I would be most interested.
No, I think there is no problem getting a CT done on a GB plated car. Obvious really,as it needs to have one before it'll be given F reg.You are still the ONLY person (out of several dozen) who've said they can get Fr insurance on a GB plated car,but fair play..if you've done it ,then good luck to you.

As regards your second point,we too are looking into this(ie possibly returning back to GB plates the RHD car we brought out with us here when we moved),. The DVLA site is pretty non specific about this,but my understanding is that you'll be allocated a reg correct to the year it was FIRST reg'd in the UK,but not the original one it had. If you get any more info,please share it with us.

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Post by JB » Tue 15 Apr 2008 14:44

For john and all others interested in re-registering their car back in the UK. The following is a cut and paste from an email I received from the DVLA on the subject:

Please note, applications will not be dealt with over the counter.
Keepers who tax and register their vehicle(s) using application forms V55/4 or V55/5 will have to produce proof of name and address. A new information leaflet INF148 'Taxing and Registering Your Vehicle Using a V55/4 or a V55/5' has been produced giving details of the identity documents required. If you fail to read this information before submitting your application it may cause a delay in your application being processed.
The following documents will need to be submitted to the Local Office:-
A fully filled-in application form V55/5;
Appropriate Identity Documentation confirming your name and address;
Either the V561 (UK Certificate of Export), the V5C Registration Certificate, the VX302 (UK Pink Registration Document), V308 (UK Blue Registration Document), evidence/details of previous UK registration if known (the Local Office may re-register the vehicle under the original mark) or any documentation you may have relating to the vehicle e.g. foreign log book;
The required fee for the tax disc(rates of tax disc fees available on our website);
A current certificate of insurance issued by a member of the UK Motor Insurance Bureau;
A current British MOT test certificate for:
cars, motorcycles, motor caravans and Light Good Vehicles if more than 3 years old;
passenger carrying vehicles with more than 8 seats and taxis (excluding private hire cars) if more than 1 year old.
A vehicle may be driven unlicensed on a public road if it is going to or coming from a pre-arranged MOT test and the driver is insured for the journey.
On receipt of a completed application, the Local Office will issue a tax disc and forward the papers to DVLA. You will receive a Registration Document for the vehicle within about 30 working days.

Blimey! Nice to see that the UK has been keeping its administrative 'end up' while I have been away, but it does look like I will be able to get my old number back and not be cursed with a 'Q' plate.

Hope this helps and I will close on this subject as I fear I am leading people astray.

Enjoy France and don't mention the rugby (too much)
JB

entente cordiale

Post by entente cordiale » Tue 15 Apr 2008 16:27

The VINis as someone correctly said the number on the plate on the engine etc, it stands for Vehicle Identity Number.

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Post by Santiago » Tue 15 Apr 2008 17:46

However, when I notified the DVLA that I intended to export my UK registered car, which was already in France. They deregistered it.

When I later decided I would prefer to take the car back to the UK than to register it in France , the DVLA told me I would have to import the car into the UK on a transporter and that I could not drive it, even directly to a pre-arranged MOT. I got scared that the ferry company would check the registration and not allow it on the ferry, so it stayed here.

So the question I would ask is that if you just keep a car here on UK plates and never renew the tax or do an MOT for several years. What state does the DVLA assign the car?

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Post by john » Tue 15 Apr 2008 18:05

JB wrote:Blimey! Nice to see that the UK has been keeping its administrative 'end up' while I have been away, but it does look like I will be able to get my old number back and not be cursed with a 'Q' plate.

(too much)
No JB ,I think this is precisely the point. You will no longer be allocated a Q plate,but neither will you be allowed to re-register the car with exactly the old number. If for example your car's number used to be Y 123 ABC,your new number will still be a Y reg,but not 123 ABC. I think your old number,as Santiago says ,is consigned to the bin of history. But,as I say the stuff that's on the DVLA website is rather unclear.

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