Can I own a French registered car as a second-home owner?

There are benefits to using a left hand drive vehicle in France

Some people opt to bring their right-hand drive car over to France, but others find it easier to buy a car once here
Published Last updated

Reader Question: We have a second-home, but do not like to drive from the UK when we holiday in France. Can we buy a vehicle here and register it if the address is not our main residence?

French officials previously confirmed to The Connexion that it is indeed possible to register a car in France to keep at a French home that you 'have at your disposal', even if it is in fact a secondary residence due to your main residence being abroad. 

Read more: Confirmation of rules on registering a car at a second home

To register the car, documents needed will include proof of identity and proof of French address – such as an energy bill, deed of ownership, tax statement etc.

While these are referred to as a justificatif de domicile, for car registration purposes this does not have to be your main domicile in the senses used when referring to taxation or immigration laws. 

The address must be a French property that you can prove you own (or rent long term). Note, however, that in the case of people whose tax/immigration domicile is France and who own more than one home in France, a car should be registered at their main home.

The registration process varies depending on whether you buy the car directly from a dealership or privately second-hand. 

In the case of the former, the dealership / garage should undertake the registration for you – whether you are the first owner or it is a second-hand car – however with the latter you will need to register the car yourself.

You can hire a professional to do this for you – see here to find a list of people who can officially register your car local to you – but many opt to do this themselves. 

Registration requests are made via the ANTS website

Read more: How do you register a used car in France?

You will also need to make sure the car is insured through a French company. 

Depending on where you are planning to drive your car, you may also need a Crit’Air sticker for it. 

Read more: 2024 MAP: Where are France’s clean air driving zones? What are rules?