Reader question: Will I receive notification when my car has to go for its contrôle technique roadworthy test?
For all privately-owned cars older than four years and weighing less than 3.5 tons a contrôle technique (CT) roadworthiness test is required every two years in France. For residents in Monaco, it is every three years.
There are some exceptions, for example for classic cars. Motorbikes and quad vehicles do not currently have to pass a test but, under new plans, they will be required to in the future, probably starting in the later part of this year.
The test needs to be undertaken at a state-approved location and there are around 6,000 such centres in France.
Centres can set their own rates but the average cost of the test is around €70.
Failure to provide a valid CT test can lead to a fine of up to €135 and the police can confiscate your vehicle’s registration document (known as a carte grise). In such a case they would provide a temporary seven-day permit to use your car during which you must have a test done (the carte grise is returned once the test is completed).
Insurance may also be denied to cars that do not have a valid CT certificate.
Read more: Explainer: The rules of France’s contrôle technique car checks
How do I know when the test is needed, do I get a reminder?
The test is every two years but must be done in the six-month period before the second anniversary of your last test.
For example, if your last test was on January 1, 2023 you will have to get your next test between July 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024.
You can find the information for when you need to get your next CT test on your vehicle registration document (under section X.1), where the mechanic will have put a stamp with the information, or via the sticker on your car windshield.
There is no official reminder sent out, meaning you need to check and make a note yourself.
There are smartphone apps that help you find local centres that offer CT tests and these can include a feature to remind you of when your next test is coming up.
Alternatively, just remember to note it on your calendar or make yourself whatever kind of digital reminder you prefer.
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