Useful Links

On this page I’ll keep adding links to tools and resources that are useful for anyone considering moving to France. It’s work in progress. If you have any other sites not listed here that would also be useful to others (and to me!) please share them by commenting on the page. Thanks!

Bringing your old car to France

Getting a certificat d’immatriculation (previously know as the carte gris)

As usual there’s some useful and condensed information on the expat sites. The two sites I used for reference are listed above. Of course there are others. When you’ve got a feel for the process in English, visit the official website. This has to be your starting point as you will need to find the appropriate prefecture (or sous-prefecture) for your postcode and go there to collect the necessary forms and begin the process.

Calculating Carte Gris Costs

Naturally, there are various costs associated with registering your car. These vary depending on factors such as the region of France, as well as the age, engine size, and emissions rating of your car, as well as whether you’re registering it as a passenger or commercial vehicle. You may also have to pay for Control Technique (like an MOT in the UK), replacement headlamps and fitting of said headlights. Again, that will depend on the make and model of your car (some cars are fitted with a switch enabling you to easily change the direction of the lights) and when you last had it MOT’d in the UK. If your current MOT is less than six months old there’s no need for the Control Technique, although the person on the desk at the Prefecture may need reminding of that fact, so if you know in advance of coming to France that you plan to keep your car it’s a job well worth doing.

Working all these things out in advance is pretty complicated so the easiest way we found was to use the simulator, which is on the official website.

This takes you through each of the cost categories, which include:

Y1 – Taxe régionale This is the rate specific to your region, usually between 30 and 50 euros.
Y2 – Taxe formation professionnelle A tax that is applied to company or commercial vehicles.
Y3 – Taxes sur les véhicules polluants An environmental tax to deter you from buying or importing a heavily polluting vehicle.
Y4 – Taxe de gestion Management fee at a flat rate of 4 euros.
Y5 – Redevance d’acheminement The fee for posting the final paperwork to you. For us it was 2.76 euros.
Y6 – Taxes à payer The final amount payable.

However, keep in mind that the number the simulator throws out may not be the figure you’re given once all your details have been entered into the system at the Prefecture. If the figures are much higher than you anticipated, ask to check them and challenge them! There’s a lot of data entry involved and human error is always a possibility. If, on the other hand, the figure you get is much lower, walk quickly and quietly to the cashier’s desk, pay up and go celebrate!

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