Reader Question: I am still unsure of exactly what the process for my motorbike’s roadworthiness test will be. I bought the bike in 2020, will I need a test this year?
Mandatory roadworthiness (contrôle technique, or CT) tests for two-wheeled vehicles are set to come into force from April 2024 in France.
The changes follow discussions between the EU, French government, and driver federations over the implementation, before the Conseil d’Etat ruled in May 2023 that the changes were mandatory.
We review key points.
Which vehicles require the test?
All road-going two-wheeled vehicles with an engine that is 125 cm or greater will require the test. This includes mopeds (scooters in French) such as Vespas.
Some more powerful motorcycles such as all-terrain motorbikes which are used purely in a sporting sense do not require a CT as they are not allowed to drive on roads.
In addition, three-wheeled vehicles, quad bikes and licence-free cars (voiture sans permis) will need to undergo a CT test too, provided they are legally permitted to drive on public roads.
When do I need to obtain a contrôle technique test for my motorbike?
The date of the first CT depends on the age of your vehicle:
- Motorbikes first registered before 2017 must have their first CT before the end of 2024. However, for those “whose anniversary date of first entry into circulation is prior to April 15,” this must be by August 15, 2024, according to the Article 43 of the law detailing the changes
- For motorbikes first registered between 2017 and 2019, the deadline for the first test is the end of 2025
- For motorbikes first registered between 2020 and 2021 the test must be carried out by the end of 2026
- For motorbikes first registered from 2022 onwards, the test must be undertaken within four and a half and five years of first registration.
Subsequent tests after the first one must be carried out every three years.
What will be measured in the test?
The test will measure safety features of the vehicle, as well as pollution and noise output.
The nine principal tests are:
- Vehicle identification
- Braking equipment
- Lights, reflectors and electrical equipment
- Axles, wheels, tyres, suspension
- Chassis and chassis accessories
- Other equipment
- Nuisances (noise and emission pollution)
However, brakes will only be checked ‘visually’, and certain noise and speed limit tests will only be checked from 2025 onwards.
There are three levels of failure on these points if a vehicle does not pass the the test:
- Minor: simple remark on the motorcycle inspection report
- Major: problem leading to a second inspection that will need to be resolved
- Critical: vehicle fails the test and needs immediate repairs
The test will only contain around a quarter of the checks undertaken on cars (which number 133) so should in theory be quicker.
How much will the CT test cost?
There is no defined price, as mechanics and centres are free to set their own prices, but a guideline price is around €50. Former Transport Minister Clément Beaune suggested this as the cost last year.
You can ask a number of centres local to you (there are over 6,000 in France that will be eligible to conduct a motorbike CT test) for a quote to make sure you do not overpay.
What happens if I do not get a test?
If you do not have a CT test when it is required you risk a fine of €135 as car drivers currently do.
In addition, your vehicle registration (carte grise or certificate d'immatriculation) may be revoked meaning you will be unable to use the vehicle.
Your insurance provider may also refuse to provide compensation if you are involved in an accident in a vehicle that has not passed a CT test.