Registering a UK private van in France ~ Advice please? - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-01-2021, 00:33 Thread Starter
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Registering a UK private van in France ~ Advice please?

Have a RHD FIAT Ducato panel van that I bought new, it is in very good condition with low milage, used for my small UK/France business for 6 years. The business was closed a year ago but have retained the van for personal use (restoring our old stone cottage and lots of clearing up of what are the remnants of a small hill farm in the Auvergne, so for personal use only).

I assumed (maybe incorrectly?) that the process would be the same or similar to registering a UK car, but started to come up against statements such as 'not for commercial vehicles'. This is mainly so far re the tax rate on registration, but if a commecial vehicle is registered completely differently to a car then I may start to ponder if it is worth the trouble.

It is a fabulous van, everything was top of the range and I am the only person who has driven it, maintained on a regular basis etc etc. I do need a van for about another 2 years so if I had to sell it would be replaced with a French used van which would probably cost more for an inferior quality/condition vehicle. So for several reasons I would like to keep the vehicle I know.

To convert it for the French road test is easy, the local Controle Technique garage said they are happy to co-operate too, but how do I register a privately owned 3.5 tonne van?

BTW, my French isn't too good but I try.

Sorry to be so wordy, wanted to paint a full picture, any info or advice gratefully received.

Last edited by veevee; 11-01-2021 at 00:37.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-01-2021, 06:20
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I would assume it must be straightforward as it's a Euro built and spec van. But being RHD will cause a few more hurdles I think.

Ray.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-01-2021, 09:55
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Our RHD is registered in France, the process took 7 months due to failures by Swift (the manufacturer) AND multiple failures in the French system.

Key thing to do is firstly get a confirmation of European compatibility from the manufacturer - for us with Swift, this was done by email and was foc, for our UK registered Citroen car it took 3 weeks and cost £100 so obviously things differ.

Once you have that, you have to visit a local tax office with the original purchase receipt, the V5, your proof of French residence (an EDF Attestation is easy to get and is suitable). They will issue a certificate of import

Then the CT needs to be obtained, that must include the headlamp alignment, which MAY require new headlamp units.....

Then the registration change which in our case was paper based, but that was 10 years ago, I believe it is all done on the ANTS site for the French Government. It should not be too difficult on that system.

BUT, if it was previously registered as a commercial vehicle (for the business) that may be much harder, in which case the "business" needs to have "sold" it to you so that you have a purchase receipt for that process. That receipt is the one that you would need for the local tax office.

Sorry if that sounds complicated, it actually works well IF the nanufacturer has registered that year's model with the EU AND the French officials in the local Office have not forgotten to press one link.... for several months until they were told in simple terms by Paris "Do that NOW, or you will be out if that job on Friday AND for your inefficiency and delays you will only charge half the fee", we did not object once we eventually got the Carte Gris.

Hope that helps, the key point is the receipt that you need to produce.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-01-2021, 08:51
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If you are on facebook, there is a group dedicated to your current problem it's a members only group.
Search "REGISTERING VEHICLES IN FRANCE" hopefully they can guide you.
If not there are several people / companies that will guide you with specifics.

It's likely that you are having problems because as you already mention there are different charges for what is effectively the same vehicle if registered as commercial or private.
Many cars are supplied with no rear seating (not a van version) for commercial purposes to benefit from lower costs.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-01-2021, 23:03 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eurajohn View Post
If you are on facebook, there is a group dedicated to your current problem it's a members only group.
Search "REGISTERING VEHICLES IN FRANCE" hopefully they can guide you.
If not there are several people / companies that will guide you with specifics.

It's likely that you are having problems because as you already mention there are different charges for what is effectively the same vehicle if registered as commercial or private.
Many cars are supplied with no rear seating (not a van version) for commercial purposes to benefit from lower costs.


.
Thank you John, but not on Facebook or any other social media apart from this forum and another specialised one in the US.

It wasn't costs so much as using a French government site they had no description for 'vans', only heavy commercial which sent my antena twitching is it possible to have a privately owned commercial van in France.

I have found a site earlier today who will register the van as a Utility vehicle for a very reasonable fee. I have to collect a number of documents before using them after which I'll report back here.

BTW, they also have the facility to register motorhomes between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes gross, for either they appear to charge 120€ for the registration process plus required government taxes.

If this works as hoped I'll post full details here on the forum, come to think of it if it doesn't I'll also describe that too.

Thanks again
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 14-01-2021, 12:55
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Good luck with it veevee!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 14-01-2021, 18:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veevee View Post
Thank you John, but not on Facebook or any other social media apart from this forum and another specialised one in the US.

It wasn't costs so much as using a French government site they had no description for 'vans', only heavy commercial which sent my antena twitching is it possible to have a privately owned commercial van in France.

I have found a site earlier today who will register the van as a Utility vehicle for a very reasonable fee. I have to collect a number of documents before using them after which I'll report back here.

BTW, they also have the facility to register motorhomes between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes gross, for either they appear to charge 120€ for the registration process plus required government taxes.

If this works as hoped I'll post full details here on the forum, come to think of it if it doesn't I'll also describe that too.

Thanks again
Ours came back registered as a "Caravan" by the French authorities although we are still subject to the same rules as lorries over 3.5t - two yearly Controle Technique and 100 / 90 / 80 speed limit stickers for limited where normal limit would be 130 / 110 / 90 kph.

There has been no questions asked do far by insurers or CT assessors.

Maybe that is how they get round the dilemma ?

Any typo that I make means the errorists win.

Any comments above are only MY OPINION and should be read as that.

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