Reader question: Is it possible to get a contrôle technique in France on my UK-registered car?
A spokesperson for the French Automobile Club Association said that, technically, there is nothing to stop a driver getting a contrôle technique (the French equivalent of an MOT) on a UK-registered car at a French garage.
A mechanic at a garage in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes) confirmed this, saying that they would do a CT on a UK-registered car as long as the owner showed the original car registration document (carte grise in French) and not a copy.
However, it may not be of long-term use to do this depending on the purpose of getting this CT on a UK-registered car.
This is because the CT would only be valid for a car that is registered in France.
Under French law, if you are staying in the country for more than six months of a year you should register the vehicle in France with a French licence plate.
So, if our reader is in the position that he or she has moved over to France with a UK car and intends to register the vehicle as French but while going through this process their UK MOT expires, then it could make sense to get a French CT while waiting for the car to be registered in France.
Read our guide to registering a car in France here: Process, costs, carte grise: How to register a car in France.
If our reader is only temporarily in France and plans to return to the UK after a holiday, then the CT would not be very useful.
This is because if a car is registered in the UK as being a UK car then it should meet all the requirements of a UK vehicle, which includes having a valid UK MOT. A French CT is not accepted as an alternative to a UK MOT unless your car is French-registered and you are visiting.
A spokesperson for the British car breakdown and insurance company RAC said:
“If it no longer has a UK MOT and is still UK registered, then it cannot legally be used on return to the UK – and potentially is not following the rules in France either.”
To sum up, it is technically possible to get a CT on a UK-registered car, but it would only be worth it if the driver is planning to register the car in France.
French motorbike and scooter ‘technical checks’ stuck in slow lane
Do France’s new contrôle technique rules apply to licence-free cars?
Drivers in France urged to advance car CT checks as garages swamped