Registering your vehicle in France

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Car registration and taxes – France

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Registration rules

As an EU national you don’t have to register your vehicle if you are staying in France temporarily.

Time allowed for re-registering a vehicle

If you change your country of residence to France, you have a month in which to re-register a vehicle previously registered in another EU country, starting from the end of the first eight months in which your main place of residence is in France.

Do foreign nationals who move to France have to register their vehicle?français

Temporary registration plates

If you buy a car abroad, transit registration plates issued in another EU country will be recognised in France for the purpose of driving your car back to your place of residence.

Temporary registration platesfrançais

Exemptions from the obligation to register a vehicle

As an EU national moving to France, you can use your vehicle here while it is still registered in your country of origin.

You can use the vehicle registered in your country of origin for one month after establishing yourself in France in your main residence.

Do foreign nationals who move to France have to register their vehicle?français


If you are a student in France from another EU country you do not have to register your car with the authorities here for your period of study. This also applies if your car is owned by your parents and they do not live in France.

You do not have to pay for registration or car taxes in France.

You do not have to take out additional car insurance for your period of study in France.

If, as a student, you are also working in France, you do not have to register the vehicle and pay related taxes.

Pensioners, second home owners, cross-border commuters, self-employed cross-border commuters (company cars)

As EU nationals with a second home in France (that you use more than 6 months a year), you do not have to register your vehicles here.

You are exempt from compulsory car registration if your main residence is not in France or you live there for less than 8 months a year.

Car tax

As an EU national, if you want to register and use your car in France you must pay the following taxes:

  • registration taxes
  • the cost of the vehicle registration certificate (carte grise)français
  • car insurance surcharge and carbon tax for a polluting vehiclefrançais

Your car is not subject to any tax if you do not register it in France.

I will update this post with further information later ….



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