How much will it cost to take my car to France?

A reader is considering buying a nearly new car and taking it with him when he moves to France, but he's worried about the costs involved...

Volvo XC60

In a few months, I will be moving to Burgundy in France and I am aware that I will have to pay an excessive fee to register a UK vehicle in France.

Is there a website where I can enter various vehicles details and get a price? I just want to find out the size of the expected financial outlay before I purchase a vehicle in this country.

The car I’m thinking of buying is a 2018 Volvo XC60 2.0 D5 AWD Geartronic with 10,000 miles; the price of the car is £29,995. 

Andrew Nuttall

What Car? says…

The car tax system in France operates differently from that in the UK. Instead of paying car tax every year, in France you pay a lump sum when you first register a car, and if you want to bring a car in from another country you need to pay tax to register it and obtain a carte grise or grey card for it. 

The official site for getting a carte grise is the French Public Service site. You can also use an online carte grise cost website to find out the cost of registering your car. 

Using this online look-up we obtained a price of €663 to get a carte grise for your car. This will give you a new French registration document for it and a new French registration number.

It's important to note that you're unlikely to be able to register your car in France unless you are moving there permanently. If you'll be there for six months or less you don't need to get a carte grise, you can simply drive your car with its UK number plate.

Taking your car abroad: tips for driving in Europe

Taking your car abroad: tips for driving in Europe

Driving your car through mainland Europe gives you the opportunity to really explore the countries you pass through. It also means you won’t have to spend hours in crowded airports and ensures you’ll be able to get around once you get to your destination.

However, there’s a lot to think about before you set off. In addition to getting your car serviced and its tyres, wipers and fluids checked before you go, you’ll need to think about a number of other areas. Does your car insurance and breakdown policy cover you outside of the UK? Do you need to modify your car and do you need to stock up on specific equipment to take with you so you stay legal? And do you have the money to cover fuel and toll-road charges?

Follow our top tips to make your driving trip a journey to remember for all the right reasons.

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