Friday, 11 December 2009

Putting Your UK Car on French Plates

A guideline on the Procedure for homologation of English cars imported into
France (Putting Your UK Car on French Plates)

In order to put a car on to French number plates it is necessary to go to the Préfecture or Sous-Préfecture in the Département in which you live. You will be asked to complete an application form and to pay the charge for this service by cheque. However, you will have to assemble the following documents to submit with your application :

A certificate of conformity - this is normally obtainable from the manufacturer’s head office in France and will cost something over 100 euros. However, it is sometimes possible to ask your local dealer (concessionnaire) to obtain this certificate on your behalf, and this may be free of charge.

If the car is at least 4 years old it will have to pass its French MOT (contrôle technique). This will probably mean that the headlamps will need modifying. You will need the pass certificate from the contrôle technique and possibly the invoice(facture) for the headlamp modification for your visit to the Préfecture.

(Please note that some UK vehicles which are not generally available in France or are over a certain age may also have to be inspected by the DRIRE)

Once the above documents are obtained it is necessary to take these documents,plus the car’s UK registration document, your passport and a French utilities bill as proof of your residence in France, to your local Hôtel des Impôts to obtain the « Quitus » for the vehicle (a free document proving that the VAT on this vehicle has been paid in a member country of the European Union).

Now that you have all the above documents, the final step is to take them to the Préfecture together with a Distingo 20 envelope obtainable from the Post Office for 1.66 euros (this is for the “carte grise” to be sent on to you). There you will normally be helped to complete the application form if necessary, and you will be given a receipt for those papers (car’s
registration document etc) which will be retained by the Préfecture. This is just in case the Gendarmes ask you to show your car’s papers before you receive the new French registration document (“carte grise”).

Within ten days or so you will receive the “carte grise” which gives your new number plate.

You need to take this original document to your garage so that they can supply and fit the plates (there will, of course, be a modest charge for this.) And, finally, please remember to issue your insurance company with a photocopy of this new document so that they can issue you with a revised insurance certificate.

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