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Can I gift granddaughter my French car? Will it need test?

Cars can be gifted to family members, but handover procedure does require some administration

There are rules and potential taxes to consider if gifting a car Pic: Daisy Daisy / Shutterstock

Reader Question: I want to give my car to my granddaughter. What admin is needed and do we need a contrôle technique?

If you are the sole owner of the car, then yes, you can give it to your granddaughter.

If anyone else is named on the registration certificate, you must obtain their signed permission. 

You cannot give away any vehicle under a long-term lease.

The admin process of giving your car to someone for free is the same as selling it. 

You must ensure your details on the certificat d’immatriculation are up to date before handing the car over. 

Car may need contrôle technique depending on age

Cars over four years old will need a contrôle technique (CT – mandatory roadworthiness test) from an accredited centre, which must be dated within the past six months.

If the results say the car needs a second inspection, it must be carried out within two months of the initial test. 

If it is not done by that deadline, you must organise another complete CT. 

Read more: Explainer: The rules of France’s contrôle technique car checks

Next, you need a certificate of administrative status less than 15 days old, which you can obtain at ants.gouv.fr

It proves the car does not have any outstanding loans linked to it and any fines have been paid.

The transfer declaration is made on the Ants website by filling in Cerfa n° 15776.

You will also need to provide the date and time of the transfer, the car’s kilometrage and the new owner’s full address.

You and your granddaughter must fill it in, and each of you keeps a copy. 

Note down the transfer code displayed on the screen: it is only valid for 15 days and will allow your granddaughter to apply for her registration certificate. 

Fill in the back of the detachable coupon on your certificat d’immatriculation, then turn it over and write: vendu le (sold on) with the date and time, and sign it. 

Give it all to your granddaughter. The coupon allows her to drive while her certificat d’immatriculation is being processed. 

If you have a smartphone and a France Connect ID, the new government app Simplimmat automates the entire paperwork process.

Read more: The official French app that makes buying or selling a used car easier

Gift may be taxed

In France, it is important to also remember whether gifts tax will apply. This can depend on the various allowances available and the value of the car. 

If the car is a birthday gift and its value is ‘reasonable’ compared to the donor’s income, it is not obligatory to declare it. 

Giving a car to a family member is deemed declarable (by your granddaughter). Any tax can be paid by either of you.

If the car is worth less than €15,000, she can declare online using her personal space at impots.gouv.fr, or she can print out Cerfa n° 2735 and send this to the tax office.

If the car is worth more than €15,000, she can make the same declaration, or defer it until after your death using Cerfa n° 2734. 

Find full details on the service public website here.

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