Do I need to get a roadworthy test when selling a car in France?

Roadworthy tests are mandatory every two years depending on age of vehicle

Car having roadworthiness test at a French garage
You may need to complete a number of tasks before selling your car in France

Reader Question: I want to sell my car and buy a new one, but it has not had a contrôle technique test in a while. Will I need to do this as part of the sales process? 

Cars must have a roadworthy test (contrôle technique, or CT) every two years, if they are four or more years old. 

If less than four years has passed since your car was first purchased – by anybody – it does not need a CT.

Rules for larger vehicles (over 3.5 tons) are slightly different.

Since April 2024, motorbikes are also required to have CT tests, although the process is being gradually rolled out, with older vehicles needing the tests sooner than newer ones.

Read more: What are France's contrôle technique rules for motorbikes?

If the car you want to sell is at least four years old, generally you will need to provide a new CT test before looking to sell it. 

You can book an appointment with most garages, and they cost around €80. You do not need to provide justification for why you want the car tested.

There are two principal exceptions when a CT is not required before you sell.

Firstly, if a vehicle has passed its CT within the previous six months it does not need a new test. 

Note this is six months from when the new owner registers the vehicle in their name (via an application for a new carte grise), and not six months from when you begin the sales process.

As it can be difficult to know how long it will take to sell your vehicle if your CT was done around four or five months before you start the process, it may be simpler to have the car assessed again. 

Secondly, if you are selling directly to a garage or dealership, you will not need to obtain a CT. 

If your vehicle is less than four years old, then you do not need to conduct a CT test before selling it. 

We review selling a second-hand car in France in the article below.

Read more: Selling a used car in France - explained