Covid-19 contrôle technique truce due to end

Motorists urged to book CT appointments early to avoid risk of fines as tests are taking longer and waiting lists are growing

Motorists in France whose vehicles are due for a contrôle technique are reminded to book their appointments early, as the coronavirus truce is due to end shortly - and tests are taking longer than usual due to health measures caused by the pandemic.

The truce ends on June 23 - but one national CT firm has already called for it to be extended another month to allow inspectors to cope with the backlog.

Any driver whose car was due for its test between March 12 - the day after confinement began - and June 23 will face no sanction if they are stopped by police on or before June 23. But they are advised to get their vehicle booked in as soon as possible to confirm their vehicle is roadworthy.

Meanwhile, any vehicle due for its CT outside those dates remains subject to the standard fixed fine if stopped by police and found to be outside its CT dates.

But CT centres are concerned that they will not be able to cope with the rush of requests for tests, as additional safety precautions mean that inspections now take longer. According to Geoffrey Michalak, technical director of the Auto Sécurité and Securitest networks, a inspector can check 12 cars a day under the latest rules, compared to 15 previously.

The situation is expected to be exacerbated by stricter CT rules, which came into force in May 2018. At the time motorists rushed to get their cars tested to avoid the stricter rules - and their vehicles are now due to be tested again.

The average wait for a test at an SGS test centre is now 15 days, compared to just two before coronavirus.

A spokesman for the group said that the current situation meant that some 3million vehicles could be on the roads illegally by June 24 - the day after the current truce ends. It urged the government to give inspectors until the end of July to process the backlog of vehicles.

"In May 2018 during the major reform, we carried out 2 million checks. We do not see how it is reasonable to think that we will be able to accommodate all the motorists who must be able to do so by June 23, with current health precautions."