French road rules are very strict and the police will have no compunction in pulling you up if they suspect you have broken any one of them including that of drunk driving, driving without a license, or a carte grise and many others too numerous to mention here. To make sure that you’re not fined or jailed for driving without getting your vehicle registration certificate you must register it within one month of buying it or moving intoFrance from another country. But the last is necessary only if you are a resident or hoping to live there for more than 6 months.
Do not take this lightly because if you do, you will realize your mistake sooner than later and if you’re a new resident, my advice is to apply for the carte grise immediately so that you will be able to drive on French roads without being thrown in to jail. If on the other hand, you are bringing in your own vehicle, make sure you have all the relevant documents such as the manufacturer’s certificate, your vehicle registration from that country and ownership of the vehicle since you will be needing all these and more to have your vehicle registered. Apart from these, there will be the import documents to sort out as well.
But be warned, just because you ship the car to France doesn’t mean the French port authorities will let you simply drive it away because there are various aspects of the vehicle they will want to check before releasing it from customs. If they feel that your car doesn’t conform to the Safety and Environmental standards in Franceyou might not only be able to get it into the country but you will also be fined and the vehicle sent back to its country of origin. This is why most migrants prefer to buy a car in France which does not entail so many difficulties apart from which it is much easier for a local vehicle to be granted a carte grise than a foreign make.
The French prefer to drive cars manufactured in their country such as the Renault, Citroen and Peugeot and you will get all the support necessary if you wish to buy one of the above new vehicles from an agent or car dealer shop. In view of the business you provide them, the dealer will be only too happy to take care of all the administration issues and getting your carte grise and all you have to do is give him your passport, a tenancy agreement or utility bill as proof of residency and before you know it your vehicle registration will be handed over to you allowing you to drive the car on French roads.
Keep in mind however that every driver must have his or her own registration and if you and your spouse are hoping to use the same car, the grey card must mention both names as only the person who’s name is on the card has authority to use it. If you’re buying a used car, there’s no difference in the procedure except that you will have to do it all on your own especially if you’re not very familiar with the French language. Therefore its best to get everything organized and make sure you have the correct documents ready in order to avoid unnecessary problems and delays in getting your carte grise.