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New app lets you buy or sell a car in France with no paperwork

The official app offers a secure way to transfer ownership of a vehicle - we look at the process step-by-step

Both vendor and buyer complete the sale declaration together at the vehicle handover using the secure app Pic: fongbeerredhot / Shutterstock

Anyone looking to buy, sell or give away a second-hand vehicle can do the related ‘paperwork’ in minutes, thanks to a new government app.  

Simplimmat.gouv, aimed at private individuals, eliminates the vast majority of the paperwork from the process. 

However, the app only works with vehicles that are registered in the AA-123-AA format. 

Read more: What documents do non-French people need to purchase a car in France?

Blocks sale of stolen vehicles

The app also enables users to check the vehicle's administrative status, giving the buyer extra security. 

If there are any problems with the status (for example, if the vehicle is reported as stolen), Simplimmat blocks the sale.

Step-by-step instructions for buyer and seller

Both vendor and buyer complete the sale declaration together, using the secure app.

Image: Screenshot / Apple

When meeting for the vehicle handover: 

Sellers must: 

  • bring their vehicle registration document
  • fill in the information required to transfer the vehicle
  • share the transfer file with the future owner
  • sign the transfer on the app to register it
  • download the completed and signed transfer certificate into the app

Buyers must: 

  • wait for the seller to share the vehicle transfer file
  • check the information given
  • validate the file
  • sign the purchase from the app, so it is officially declared to the authorities
  • download the completed and signed transfer certificate

App used for mopeds and motorbikes

The buyer can also order a new vehicle registration document and will immediately obtain a provisional registration certificate. 

The new certificate will be sent to them via the post in three or four days.

The Simplimmat app is available for iPhone and Android, and covers cars, tricycles and quads, two or three-wheel mopeds and motorbikes. 

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