Importing Vehicles to France

Importing Vehicles to France

Many people consider bringing their vehicles to Paris, especialy car and motorcycle enthusiasts and you should be aware of certain regulations. You are often perfectly able to get by without a vehicle due to the great public transport system and the availablity of inexpensive lease and hire deals. .

Importing Cars and Motorcycles to France

Importing vehicles can be complicated. You will need to go through several processes before you will be able to drive your car or motorcycle in France.

Clearing customs
You need to show that you are importing the vehicle for personal use and not financial gain otherwise you will be subject to higher importation taxes. This often means providing customs officials with proof that you have owned the vehicle for a certain period (normally 6 months) and making an official declaration that the vehicle is for personal use only.

Engineers Reports
Cars and motorcycles must comply with French regulations and standards, which involves a certificate and a detailed engineers report. Vehicles are also subject to a road worthiness test called a control technique (the frequency of this test will depend on the age and type of your vehicle)

If your vehicle does not meet the French regulations you are obliged to make the necessary changes to the vehicle, this can be expensive. It is well worth the time and effort contacting your vehicle manufacturer for information on the types of changes you are likely to require for French regulations, they should be able to give you the details, especially if they manufacture for the French market.

Once you have succesfully passed customs and enginerring regulations you will need to register your vehicle in France. This can only be achieved once you have a resident's permit or carte de sejour.

Registration is carried out at the Prefecture de Police for your department and the document you will receive is called a 'carte grise'. Once you have your carte grise you are required to attach French registration plates within a 48hour period.

The whole process may take several months as much depends on the speed of your resident's permit application. Consider the options of leasing or buying cars and motorcycles before deciding to import your vehicle.