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For reasons which are irrelevent to this thread, my younger son needs to re-register his UK VW Golf here in France. Well ...... I say he needs to register - in fact its Papa who has done most of the legwork, but no change there!

Stage 1

Change the headlights. Rather than pay megabucks for a new pair from VW, we got one from a breaker's yard and the other one on the internet. A bit of a game to remove the old ones and re-fit, but done eventually.

Stage 2

Get the controle technique done. First step was some remedial work at the VW garage, then new front tyres. Errr no - rear tyres as well said the fitter. Went round to the CT station. The Inspector there kept trying to get in to the car on the LH side. "C'est bizarre this steering wheel on the right business" he said. Car passed.

Stage 3a

First visit to the Impots (for the Quitus Fiscal) and a local agent who looks after getting the Carte Grise for you (for a fee of course). The Impots said that I had everything except a Mandat from my son authorising me to act on his behalf. The agent said that I needed proof of address for both of us + the Quitus + insurance doc + the original Carte Grise Anglaise + a Certificate of Conformity. Told him that I didn't think that I needed the CofC (info from here & thanks to previous posters). He too expressed the view that this was "bizarre", but rang Nimes there & then and got a thumbs up.

Stage 3b

Back to the impots with the Mandat from my son. The battleaxe there held the UK V5 gingerly between thumb and forefinger (clearly concerned that it might impart some dodgy disease) and asked which country this document was issued by. The reply "Angleterre" didn't seem to make her feel any better, so she moved on to my son's proof of address. I pointed out that most young people don't get bank statements in the post nowadays and the best I could offer was a letter from the Anglais Mairie asking him to confirm his voting status. That did the trick - Quitus issued.

On to the agent. It all went quite well here - I seemed to have everything he needed. Only problem was when I asked when I could expect to get the Carte Grise - a reasonable question, since they called themselves 'Carte Grise Minute'. I thought 3-4 days. "Two, maybe three weeks, since there's a Bank Hol coming up". They ought to call themselves 'Carte Grise Vingt Cinq Mille Minutes'.

Need a drink badly.
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I took an english citroen to France just before Christmas, and have decided to leave it in France and register it there. The last time I did this was in 2007 and you are not making me feel any more confident about going through the whole process again!
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To be honest Baypond, it wasn't quite as bad as I've made it out to be and having done it once, I'm now much better informed.

Getting the car insured was a bit tiresome, but once I talked to my bank (Britline) I got the car fixed up in 48 hrs. Other insurers aren't wild about RH drive cars. You've got a month to get the carte grise.

Changing the headlights was a pain, but a necessary one - it might be lot easier on your Citroen.

The rest of the documentation was onerous, but you just have to 'play the game'. Using a local agent to do the legwork with the Prefecture will (hopefully) turn out to be well worth the fee. I've heard of people having to make 2 or even 3 visits when doing it themselves, simply because they were lacking one crucial piece of paper.

Best of luck!
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  • 1 month later...
How foolish one can be.

The Agent took all the documentation and went off for his weekly visit to Nimes.

Nimes Prefecture thought about it all for a couple of weeks and decided that they absolutely needed a Certificat de Conformite after all. No debate. All this took until 19/5.

So (reluctantly) I applied & paid for a COC from one of the many sites on the web.

Nothing received by 31/5, so lengthy wait on the phone to chase. Gave up. Snottogram email this afternoon after a further 25 min phone wait. Instant reply received to say that the COC will arrive "Sometime next week".

Nightmare ......... and far from over yet.
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Guardian wrote : So (reluctantly) I applied & paid for a COC from one of the many sites on the web.


When I found that I needed a CoC, despite having all the necessary ref numbers on the K line of the V5, I was nearly tempted by one of your 'many sites on the web' who promise a CoC very quickly and cheaply.

But it was on reading that sometimes the certificate received has only a copy of the info from the K line reproduced in the form of a certificate, and possibly likely to be rejected by the préfecture, that I decided to pay more and approach the manufacturer of the car.

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Sue ...........

I rather suspect that you've hit the nail on the head!

I lose either way, which after all is the objective of so many fonctionnaires in France.

If they reject the COC, then its a hundred euros down the pan and back to trying to find the VW official ordering site (nightmare!)

If they accept it and all it has provided is what is already on the UK V5, then its still money & time lost + an elevation in blood pressure for poor old Gardian.

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Think back to when if you didn't have a COC then you had to pay the Drire (the government) to bring up the barré rouge on their computer after having first verified that your vehicle was of the correct conforming type, simple, relatively low cost, the money going to the government and not someones sky rocket, only safe conforming vehicles got registered, chancers could not gin up a COC on their computer or worse still just harvest a type approval number write it on a certificate and rip off the public.


I wondered then who had put pressure on the government to lose revenue and in doing so allow unconforming vehicles to be matriculated and the public ripped off, I am still none the wiser, the auto manufacturers? - Surely it must be small beer to them.

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Oh dear, you do have a difficult life, Gardian.

I registered a 1973 NSU here in 2013. As the NSU company was acquired by VW, I phoned VW's main French office, who put me through to the homologation department.

They sent me the necessary forms for giving them full details of the car, which I completed and returned. I received my COC well within the 3 weeks maximum promised.

If their details have not changed, their telephone number is 0323738177

Address is:

Groupe VOLKSWAGEN France s.a., Relations Clients Homologations, BP 62,


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Indeed I do Nomoss (have a diificult life).

Its a constant wonder to me how I remain so resiliant, convivial and a generally all round good bloke, in spite of all the slings & arrows that life throws at me. Mrs G feels that these problems are self inflicted, but she's clearly deranged.

Good contact details - thanks very much for that. Hope that I don't have to use them.

Update to follow. Not optimistic.

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Had you asked I think to a man you would have been told that (as for any legal transaction) an application for a quittus fiscale needs to be done in person or, as you've discovered, with a legal mandate to act as a agent or proxy.

As to the approval number in line K, simply having a number there is not necessarily sufficient, it has to be the correct number for approval in France but because of the differences, particularly between UK and French\European versions of any given vehicle, it's more likely than not to be the wrong one which the computer at the prefecture will reject and that's why you need a CoC.

BTW proof of insurance is not required at any stage of the process and it appears you've already partially beaten the system be getting a CT done on a UK regged car without a CoC.

On insurance, be very careful that the insurer doesn't cancel the cover because you have not provided them with a carte grise in the allocated time, if that happens then you will be up merde creek without a paddle as a break in cover will mean that no other insurer will touch you.

Personally, other than putting a time limit on cover (normally 2 months not one) I've experienced no real difficulty in insuring UK regged cars I've imported and I've done it close on a dozen times now.

The one problem I did have was with Retro Assure who used to be very laid back in that regard meaning that you didn't have to make like a Whirling Dervish from day one to get the registration done (for classic cars the FFVE typically take 6-8 weeks to issue an attestation) but then without announcement suddenly put a 2 month limit on it and issued a non negotiable cancellation notice on two cars I'd recently brought over but was working on prior to registering. Fortunately my local insurance agent was able to get cover for them elsewhere before that deadline otherwise I would have been in some difficulty.

Retro lost all my business over that and I even ditched them for my own MGB because of it.

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