Registering Your Car in France as a Permanent Resident

This year many Britons will embark upon their new French adventure by buying property and moving to France as permanent residents.

09 Oct 2020

Most expats will bring their existing car; therefore, it is timely to talk about how to register a UK plated car in France, to ensure that when you do move, your vehicle conforms to French law and it is properly insured.

The number plate and registration documents need changing for all UK cars to be able to drive legally in this country.  There are import documents to complete, fees to pay, the headlights need to be adjusted or changed and often a certificate of conformity. For the insurance to be valid, a car must be insured with a French based company.

It is worth noting that over the past year the French authorities have made it easier to detect drivers who do not have the appropriate registration and paperwork. In 2019 a database was launched called the Fichier des Véhicules Assurés (FVA). This flags up any vehicle that is not insured and is linked to the systems managing Cartes Grises and speeding fines. Therefore, it is crucial for your safety and your purse or wallet…

A document called the Quitus Fiscal is a key document as it proves your vehicle has been assessed for VAT purposes and is obligatory for all new and used cars; generally, within 15 days of your arrival in France. It can be done online and is free, however, you will need to provide:

  • A purchase invoice showing specific information
  • The original registration documents
  • An identity document for the purchaser of the vehicle
  • Proof that you live in France e.g. a utility bill < 6 months old or household insurance

Although it is not included on the official list, you may also be asked for a CT – the vehicle’s Contrôle Technique.

If you have any queries, please contact us and we will put you in touch with someone who can help.

Insurance France is the trading name of AXA Marthon. We are a British-owned English and French speaking AXA agency which takes pride in getting to know you so as to understand your insurance needs. We are not a call centre as we provide all of our services including claims, in-house, providing a professional service to 1,500 English-speaking clients across France.

+33 5 45 70 43 76



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