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How long can tourists drive UK-registered cars in France for?

We look into driving holidays to France and whether there is a limit to how long you can keep your car here for

We look into how long UK tourists to France can drive there Pic: Grisha Bruev / Shutterstock

Reader question: How long can UK tourists to France drive a UK-registered car here for? Is there a limit?

This is an interesting question and we have found discrepancy among French officials whom we consulted on the topic.

An official at France’s Interior Ministry said that British tourists could drive their UK-registered car in France for up to 12 months – as long as they have the right to stay in France for that length of time. 

However, a spokesperson for French customs said they could drive in France for up to six months. 

It should be noted that UK nationals can only stay in France as tourists for 90 out of every 180 days unless they have a visa that allows them to stay for longer. Temporary long-stay visas are rarely for more than six months. This could explain why the customs’ spokesperson cited six months. 

You should check with your insurance company if you plan to drive a UK-registered car in France to make sure everything is in order. 

A few weeks ago, we covered the situation of whether a UK national who is a resident in France can drive a UK-registered car in France. The answer is that they have one month in which to re-register the car as French once it comes to France, otherwise it is illegal. 

Read more: Can French residents drive their UK-registered car to France?

Read more: Why was I fined for driving UK-registered car as a French resident?

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