My husband and I have lived in France since 2004. We own several vehicles – both right and left-hand drive.
We bought a 1995 Mercedes SL 320 in October 2016, with French insurance and UK road tax and drove for a week in UK before coming home to France.
We immediately started the process to put French plates on our new car – certificate of conformity, contrôle technique, customs paperwork, new headlamps etc. The headlamps, which were ordered immediately we arrived home, arrived on December 28. They had to be fitted before we could ask for an attestation and therefore our certificate of conformity.
We have first to take the car to a Mercedes dealer to have it verified and to get an attestation (cost €150) to send, with a further €150, to receive the certificate. The first available date for this verification was January 11. We cannot have a contrôle technique without the certificate of conformity, which could take another month.
So beware! It seems France is trying hard to make it as hard as possible to import vehicles, certainly from the UK!
After having a Landrover Discovery written off, we found French claims experts seem to be devaluing right-hand drive cars by 20%, even if they have French plates and French insurance.
Christine THOMAS, by email
We are sorry it proved a struggle. When importing a car from the UK, we would advise obtaining a European Certificate of Conformity from the UK manufacturer at the earliest opportunity. You need to supply a copy of the registration document and pay a fee which varies according to the manufacturer.