Buying a car in France


To be able to move in France, a lot of expatriates think of buying a car, whether new or second-hand.

What are the formalities to buy a vehicle in France: car registration, insurance, etc.?

What are the relevant authorities or organizations to contact?

How long does it take and what are the associated costs?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience,


Well, if you buy it from a dealer then all the paper work is done by the dealer and u get the carte grise by poste.. pretty much in a day.. carte grise took about a week from me.. Insurance was just an hour's work.. they send u temporary copies and again a week approx for the original copy.. Second hand car works fine but I feel they are usually on little expensive side if you pick automatic transmission! if you are buying from individual, the CT has to be done by seller.. but not really sure about paper work!

As the subscriber has said buying in France is quite easy but you will find s/h cars quite expensive relative to say UK. Also the seller will invariably not haggle on price. Bringing a car into France is quite a different story and there are untold problems. 2 years ago I bought a car from Germany and to this day am still trying to get a Carte Gris. The French authorities are very dogged in their approach to registering a vehicle even one already accepted by a fellow EU country. Be careful.

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