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Moving to a new country can completely transform your life, so it’s not something to just do on the fly! You’ll need to think about getting a new job, adjusting to a new location and meeting new people, and that’s saying nothing about planning the actual trip itself. In a situation like this, it is important to be able to keep your independence, and having a vehicle can be essential for this. Whether or not to take a vehicle along for the ride is a common question that British expats ask when planning a move to France. When it comes to exploring your new surroundings, shopping, finding work and so on, you do not want to be too reliant on public transport (though countries like France certainly aren’t lacking in this department).

There is also the issue of transporting your belongings from the UK to France. Though it will be best to have the bulk of it done by a professional remover, having your own vehicle will undoubtedly come in handy.

But what about transporting a car from the UK to France? It may be that you can simply drive it, or you may want to ship it by other means. There is also the matter of making sure that you can legally put the car on the road once you arrive in France.

Let’s take a look at what you need to know about moving a car from the UK to France, and how much you should expect to spend. AnyVan are experts in all removal services to France from the UK

Moving to France with a car

If you are planning to drive your car in France long term, you will need to register it. You will also need to apply for a ‘Carte Grise’ (Certificat d’Immatriculation’). You will have one month to obtain this once you arrive, though this will increase to four if your vehicle requires a single approval inspection.

To apply for your Carte Grise, you will need certain documentation:

    • Passport
    • Proof of address
    • Vehicle registration document
    • Import tax certificate (if it is registered in the UK)
    • Proof of ownership
    • Contrôle Technique certificate if your vehicle is over four years old. This is not required for trailers or motorcycles. If the vehicle is over four years old at the time of registration, and its current MOT is less than six months old, you will not need to produce a Contrôle Technique certificate to import your vehicle
  • Certificate of Conformity

Before your move, spend some time researching French road standards and book any necessary work to get your car up to scratch. You should be able to specify that you are moving abroad when speaking with your mechanic, and there may well be firms in your area with experience working with expats.

Another point to consider will be learning to drive on the other side of the road once you arrive at your new home. It can be better to adjust to this with a UK car, as European vehicles will also have gears, switches and other apparatus on the opposite side to what you are used to. However, for the sake of being able to drive as safely as possible, you may want to consider making the full transition further down the line.

Another point to consider is VAT. If the car is less than six months old, or if it has travelled less than 600 km, you will need to pay VAT once you arrive in France. However, this should not be an issue if you have already paid VAT in the UK.

If the car is registered in the UK, you will also need to contact the DVLA and inform them that you are permanently exporting the vehicle. This will require an export slip from the V5C registration document.

Transporting a vehicle to France

If you choose to transport your car to France, you will have a few options available. For example, if you do not want to drive it yourself, you could arrange a service to have the car picked up from your home or a dealership. It can then be transported via truck to your new address.

This option will certainly be easier on you. However, if there is poor access to your new address, you may need to meet the delivery driver and collect the car from a more convenient location. It is also worth keeping in mind that these services can take up to a week’s time.

Ideally, you will be there to hand your car over to your delivery provider. However, as long as you can provide access to the car, you will not need to be there personally. If necessary, you could have a friend or family member deliver the keys.

Of course, actually driving to France should not be too much of a chore if you don’t mind the trip. You could simply travel on a ferry or via the Eurotunnel. However, you should keep in mind how difficult it can be at first to adjust to France’s road laws. This can be particularly dangerous if you are moving far in-land; remember, France is a big country!

How much does it cost to move a car to France from the UK?

The exact cost of transporting your vehicle will depend on a few different factors. Your transport provider will want to know:

    • Where in the UK your vehicle will be picked up from
    • Where in France your vehicle will need to be transported to
    • The make of the vehicle
    • The age of the vehicle
  • The value of the vehicle

Depending on these factors, you should expect the cost of the service to start at around £500 – £750 + VAT. You should be able to collect quotes fairly easily by providing the information above, but be sure to start looking for a provider in plenty of time!

Keep in mind that your chosen provider should also be able to offer insurance coverage for your vehicle as standard. The coverage should more than cover the cost of the vehicle itself, and you will want to make sure that you get proof of this in writing.

It may even be that your chosen removal provider can also offer vehicle transportation. While this may sound convenient, it will still be worth taking the time to compare separate providers, their costs and their customer reviews. If your remover cannot provide this service, they should be able to at least recommend a business that can help you.

If you would prefer to drive the car yourself, you will need to travel either by ferry or via the Eurotunnel. The former can cost as low as around £70, though this will depend on the size of your vehicle and which ports you intend to use. Taking a one-way trip via the Eurotunnel can cost £46 to £85, depending on whether you are a frequent traveller.

Get your removals to France quote with AnyVan here.

Moving? Don't Panic!
Get ready with our top tips.
Home Removal Man and Van Vehicle Delivery Courier Service
Need to move
anything anywhere?
Get Instant Quotes
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