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safe way to sell a car


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Just one tip, I heard somewhere that, technically at least, it's illegal to transact anything over €3000 in cash, not that mere technicalities ever stopped anyone of course....[;-)]

It's possible that this may only apply to business transactions and not private deals such as you'll likley be involved in.

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Just as well as I didn't say "it is" then [:)]

I've remembered where I saw it and it was actually on this forum here: http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/924081/ShowPost.aspx

[quote user="andyh4"]...remember it is illegal to carry more than 7500€ in cash (IIRC) and to use 3500€ for a single purchase - which might include money to open an account (not sure on that one)...[/quote]

Also found this which may be the source of the statement (or rumour if you prefer)

Declaration of Cash on Board (boat)

The laws governing cash movements are strictly regulated and Captains should ensure that they are aware of these laws and are operating in compliance with them. When in French Waters, the Captain should ensure that all cash on board over 7,500 Euro (legal amount as at April 2005) is rapidly declared to the French customs.

So, like a great many other rumours and myths, there may be just a grain of truth behind it [;-)]

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You need a certified bank cheque in payment for your car.  When the buyer hands it over, phone his bank and ask them to confirm that it's OK before you hand over the carte grise/keys.  If he's turning up to collect the car on a Saturday (or anytime out of banking hours) ask him to scan the cheque and e-mail it to you (or fax it) you so you can check it in advance of his visit.

This is normal practice, so your buyer shouldn't object. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

[quote user="ErnieY"]Just one tip, I heard somewhere that, technically at least, it's illegal to transact anything over €3000 in cash...[/quote]Here it is on the official website of the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression de Fraude.  You can't argue with anybody who has a title as long as that.

« Pour les particuliers qui n'exercent pas de profession commerciale,

les paiements en espèces sont autorisés pour

toute transaction dont le montant, TVA comprise, ne dépasse

pas 3 000 euros
. Au-delà, le paiement

par chèque barré d'avance, virement bancaire

ou postal, carte de paiement ou de crédit est obligatoire.

Toutefois, le paiement d'un acompte en espèces est

possible dans la limite de 460 euros

L. 112-8
du code monétaire et financier) Art.

1649 quater B
du Code général des impôts.


The site is < www.finances.gouv.fr/dgccrf/ >.

Various sources state that you can't get round the rule by making a series of payments; what matters is the total amount of the debt that's being settled. 

For businesses (commerçants) the limit is lower.  There seems to be some doubt about whether an artisan counts as a business for this purpose.  But I think it's clear that cash is OK for a private car sale up to €3,000.  (Maybe you could legally take a deposit of €460 on a sale of €3,460, but that's speculation on my part.)
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[quote user="Bob T"]I would take no notice of "I heard somewhere that" they normally turn out to be a load of rubbish.
[/quote]But sometimes not..............[;-)]


Reverso translation

"For the private individuals who do not exercise commercial profession, payments in cash are authorized for any transaction(deal) among which the amount, the included VAT, does not exceed 3 000 euro. Beyond, the payment by check blocked beforehand, the bank or mail transfer, card of payment or credit is compulsory. However, the payment of a deposit(advance) in cash is possible within the limits of 460 euro (art. L. 112-8 of the monetary and financial code)"

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