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Old Jan 5th 2008, 6:14 am   #1
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Default Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

Hello. I'm moving to France in about a month and a half and am considering buying a left hand drive French registered second hand car in the UK prior to moving out there. Some preliminary research suggests that I will need to change the registration temporarily to UK as I do not have an address yet in France. I don't have a problem with this and as the car I'm buying has previously been registered in France and conforms to French standards and has a certificate of conformity I'm reasonably confident that the process of re-registering it in France should be ok. However, I've read on a few forums that:

"No duty is payable on a used vehicle imported for personal use, provided that VAT has been paid in the EU country where it was bought and it has belonged to the registered owner for over six months and driven 6,000km prior to entry into France."

Obviously if this is true then I will be liable for French VAT as I will have only the car for a couple of months when I come to get the Quitas Fiscal document in France. If it is true, does anyone know how much VAT (percentage rate) I will be liable?

Thanks
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 9:39 am   #2
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

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Originally Posted by escapist74 View Post
Hello. I'm moving to France in about a month and a half and am considering buying a left hand drive French registered second hand car in the UK prior to moving out there. Some preliminary research suggests that I will need to change the registration temporarily to UK as I do not have an address yet in France. I don't have a problem with this and as the car I'm buying has previously been registered in France and conforms to French standards and has a certificate of conformity I'm reasonably confident that the process of re-registering it in France should be ok. However, I've read on a few forums that:

"No duty is payable on a used vehicle imported for personal use, provided that VAT has been paid in the EU country where it was bought and it has belonged to the registered owner for over six months and driven 6,000km prior to entry into France."

Obviously if this is true then I will be liable for French VAT as I will have only the car for a couple of months when I come to get the Quitas Fiscal document in France. If it is true, does anyone know how much VAT (percentage rate) I will be liable?

Thanks
I stand to be corrected, but I thought you just had to prove you lived in France, not that you had owned the car for a certain amount of time. You will need a Customs Certificate A "certificat de régularité fiscale" for cars impoted from within the EU and to take the original registration documents and receipt of sale to your local Centre d’Impots. They will advise you on whether any VAT is payable on the car (there should not be any if you purchased the car second-hand or if you can prove payment of VAT in the country of origin). Standard rate of VAT in France is 19.6%
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 9:52 am   #3
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

Thanks for this. I've actually just gone to see the dealer and he told me that to register the car in the UK would require various modifications to it. This is obviously impractical as I would only be using the car in the UK for about a month before driving it to France permanently. He sells a lot of French registered left hand drive cars to people like me who are about to emigrate to France and he said that his customers tend to keep the car on the French register and drive them down and re-register on arrival. He said that your invoice, the carte grise (in the name of the previous owner), proof of your French address, a valid control technique and valid insurance are all you need to make the journey in the car down to the department where the car is to be registered in France and there to obtain a new carte grise. Is this right? If so, how easy is it to get French insurance for the journey?

Any intel gratefully received.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 11:12 am   #4
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

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Originally Posted by escapist74 View Post
Thanks for this. I've actually just gone to see the dealer and he told me that to register the car in the UK would require various modifications to it. This is obviously impractical as I would only be using the car in the UK for about a month before driving it to France permanently. He sells a lot of French registered left hand drive cars to people like me who are about to emigrate to France and he said that his customers tend to keep the car on the French register and drive them down and re-register on arrival. He said that your invoice, the carte grise (in the name of the previous owner), proof of your French address, a valid control technique and valid insurance are all you need to make the journey in the car down to the department where the car is to be registered in France and there to obtain a new carte grise. Is this right? If so, how easy is it to get French insurance for the journey?

Any intel gratefully received.


That sounds about right. We had no problem getting insurance in France to drive in UK or any other part of Europe, it's part of our car insurance policy. We use our bank, Societe Generale but some of the others to look at are AXA, AON etc. Do a search on google and you will find lots of info. Not sure how good your french is, if you need help in English, this might be worth looking at http://www.french-insurance.com/
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 3:06 pm   #5
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

We did exactly what you are thinking of doing and had no problems. We drove the car in the UK for I think two or three weeks before setting off, we had insurance from AXA in France, using the address of the house we were just about to buy. We then re-registered to our department once we were here with no problems.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 4:08 pm   #6
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

Hi, we also got a French reg Car from a great dealer in Basingstoke, they sorted out the Insurance (a French Insurance with English staff - VERY USEFUL) and everything for us and we drove it home the same day. We then re-registered it a few weeks later when we moved to France with the number for that department. All no problem at all.

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Old Jan 5th 2008, 4:22 pm   #7
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Question Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

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Originally Posted by glitteringangel View Post
Hi, we also got a French reg Car from a great dealer in Basingstoke, they sorted out the Insurance (a French Insurance with English staff - VERY USEFUL) and everything for us and we drove it home the same day. We then re-registered it a few weeks later when we moved to France with the number for that department. All no problem at all.

GA
Hi Guys,

Very pleased to see that this is a busy topic, maybe you can give me some advice.

I've seen that the majority of purchasers tend to be existing UK residents getting ready for the move into France.

Well, we're coming directly to France from the Middle East, British passport holders so fully entitled to move into France and we've already purchased our property.

Would the car dealers have any problem with selling to a person without a UK address, particularly a French registered vehicle (don't really want to purchase a UK registered vehicle as I believe it would require a UK address for the DVLC). We'd then immediately drive the car into France, what would happen about the VAT/TVA in that case, as I understand that 2nd hand car sales don't attract VAT in the UK.

Any advice would be most appreciated.
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Old Jan 7th 2008, 8:27 am   #8
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

Thanks everyone for the advice. Glittering Angel, can you recall the name of the dealer in Basingstoke?
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Old Jan 8th 2008, 11:41 am   #9
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

Just a thought for all to consider. Don't forget french cars bought in France are usually considerably cheaper than left-hand drives bought in the UK.

I don't want anyone kicking themselves when they arrive and see the same car £2000 cheaper!
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Old Jan 8th 2008, 2:37 pm   #10
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

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Originally Posted by Jazzy n Lol View Post
Just a thought for all to consider. Don't forget french cars bought in France are usually considerably cheaper than left-hand drives bought in the UK.

I don't want anyone kicking themselves when they arrive and see the same car £2000 cheaper!
When we did it, the left hand drive cars in the UK were considerably cheaper than secondhand cars in France, so we felt we got a good bargain and a practical solution to what had seemed a tricky problem. But this is going back almost four years now, and the market for LHD in the UK may have increased since then, making the price difference less attractive.

For us, the prospect of how to get here without a car was a bit of a challenge, with boy (disabled) and his dog, and assorted possessions, followed by the cost of hiring something, and choosing a second hand car quickly after our arrival, it all frankly seemed a bit much, especially given that we are always stressed by car buying even in the best of circumstances. And we didn't want to end up in France with our RHD car as we have never had any intention of going back, and we knew it would have little value over here.

So the convenience had a value to us, not just in financial terms. And I have to say, it worked like a dream, probably a lot more down to luck than good judgement, but nonetheless, I look back and think 'didn't we do well, how did we manage that?' !!

I guess everyone's situation is different and it's worth doing a bit of homework to find the best solution.

Last edited by cupoftea; Jan 8th 2008 at 2:40 pm.
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Old Jan 9th 2008, 7:59 pm   #11
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Default Re: Buying French registered car in the UK for use in France

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Hi

I wouldnt recommend buying a UK registered LHD and taking it over unless you fancy a baptism of fire in French paperwork.

We were lucky that our car was already on french plates when we bought it in the UK. It had been brought over from France by someone returning to live in the UK, so I guess we were just lucky.
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