Reader question: I was surprised to receive a letter addressed to me by name from a garage offering to carry out a contrôle technique (France’s official car checking system) on my car, even though I have never used this garage before. How did they get my name and address?
In France, the Interior Ministry can authorise the re-use of your contact information registered in the car registration database, the Système d'immatriculation des véhicules (SIV), but only under certain conditions.
Article L. 330-5 of the France’s traffic laws states:
“This data… can be communicated to third parties approved in advance by the administrative authority in order to be re-used… for the purposes of surveys and commercial marketing, unless the persons concerned object.”
It is possible that when filling out the paperwork to register your vehicle, you ticked the box saying that you agreed for your information to be used in this way.
However, it is not too late to change this to prevent this from happening again.
One way cited to change this is to update your information on the government’s ANTS website at this link. The Connexion was not immediately able to find the section on the website to make this change and has contacted ANTS for more information on how to do it.
Another option is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting that your data not be used in this way.
Alternatively, you can send a letter to:
Ministère de l'Intérieur
Délégué à la protection des données
Every two years cars in France that are over four years old have to undergo a 133-point test – similar to an MoT in the UK – to ensure they are roadworthy. This is the contrôle technique.
Each contrôle technique takes around 45 minutes and costs about €80 but prices vary depending on the garage or centre.