How do I scrap a foreign-registered car in France?

The process should be straightforward if all paperwork is in order

Vehicles set to be scrapped are called véhicules hors d’usage (VHU)

Reader Question: I recently moved to France, and travelled here using my old, UK-registered, car. I now want to scrap it, but can I do that here?

It is possible to scrap a foreign-registered car in France, but you may need to take some additional steps. 

Vehicles set to be scrapped are called véhicules hors d’usage (VHU), and are considered dangerous, meaning they must be destroyed by professionals.

You can only take a foreign-registered vehicle to a certified centre de traitement de véhicules hors d'usage to have it scrapped. 

You can download a list of all approved centres here. There are at least a couple in every department. 

The only document required is a copy of your car’s registration, which can be from the country the vehicle was originally registered in (it does not have to be a French carte grise / certificat d’immatriculation). 

If you do not have this document, you will need to contact the driving authorities – in your case the DVLA – to obtain a new one, before the vehicle can be destroyed. 

More information can be found on the Service public website (available in English).

It is free to scrap a vehicle at an approved centre, however, if transportation costs to bring your car to the site may be needed. 

You will also need to inform your insurer that the vehicle has been scrapped. 

Read more: What are ‘WW’ car registration plates in France?

Residents should register car in France 

It is worth remembering, however, that residents in France should re-register their vehicle in the country in the month after moving.

For non-EU cars, this can be an expensive process, with customs fees sometimes reaching up to 30% of the vehicle’s value, and many documents needed to register the car in an EU country.

You can read more about the process below.

Related article

Process, costs, carte grise: How to register a car in France