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Do France’s new contrôle technique rules apply to licence-free cars?

We look at whether the new requirement for two-wheeler vehicles extends to these minicars, and whether failure to comply results in a fine

Licence-free cars with 125cm3 engines will be subject to contrôle technique requirements Pic: sylv1rob1 / Shutterstock

Reader Question: Are licence-free cars included in France’s new contrôle technique requirement? If so, will there be a fine for those who fail to put their vehicle through the test? 

Last week, the French government announced that two and four-wheeled vehicles of more than 125cm3 would be required to undergo contrôle technique roadworthiness tests from October 1, rather than January 1, 2023.

Read more: Motorbikes in France will need a contrôle technique from October 1

This also applies to licence-free cars, as long as they have engines of 125cm3 or more. 

Government advisory body le Conseil d’État explained this decision by stating that the drivers of these vehicles – as well as motorbikes, mopeds and quad bikes – “are 22 times more at risk of falling victim to a fatal accident than the driver of a light-duty vehicle like a car or van. 

“This risk is lessened in states where contrôle technique requirements have been put in place already: 16 times in Germany and 17 times in Spain.”

Those who fail to put their vehicle through a roadworthiness test when required could face a fine of €135 and risk being prevented from driving it. 

However, it is thought that a grace period may be introduced to allow drivers and riders to get used to the new rules.

The tests are estimated to cost between €50 and €70. 

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