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Why register your British car in France?

red 2cv car in france outside french property Many of our UK clients ask if it’s worth registering their British car in France or simply buying one over there. Here are a few reasons why taking the plunge, and re-registering your British car as a French one, might be a better option in the long term.

Cars are a lot cheaper in the UK – it’s as simple as that. French new car prices are higher than other European countries. The French second hand car market is very expensive in comparison to the UK. So your upfront cost of investing in a car in France could be quite high.

British car insurance does allow you to drive your car in France, but the policy normally states a maximum time limit you can drive outside the UK (from a few weeks to a few months). You would then need to take the car back across UK borders to ensure your insurance remains valid.

There are UK insurance companies that offer 365 days non-stop European cover. But if you intend to keep your UK car in France, French law states that you must begin the process of registering the car as French after a few months. This is not always rigorously upheld, but it is nonetheless their law.

Alternatively you could insure your British car with French car insurance but they would still ‘suggest’ you start the process of registering the car as French and this could become litigious if you had an accident with French car insurance if you hadn’t started the French car registration process.

Lastly, if you do insure your car in France you will still need to keep up with all your responsibilities as a British car owner. Which will require you to drive the car home once a year for an MOT and continue to pay UK road tax. Which brings us onto the third reason to register your UK car in France…

Because once your car is registered in France you won’t need to

  • Drive your car home once a year for an MOT
  • You don’t need to pay UK road tax
  • You don’t need to pay UK car insurance.
  • There is no equivalent road tax in France
  • The French equivalent MOT lasts two years.

So after buying a property in France and choosing to relocate, or after deciding to holiday more in France in your new French holiday home, it follows that driving a car over makes sound economic sense.

Here’s a guide on how to register your British car in France



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