Selling a Car in France: Private Sales, Garages, and Trades
If you are looking to sell your car in France or hoping to upgrade your existing car for another second-hand car, this easy-to-follow guide has everything you need to get started.
How to Sell a Second-Hand Car in France
There are two main options available for selling a used car in France – you can opt to sell your car privately or you can sell your car through a garage or car dealer.
As in other countries, it is wise to weigh up your options when preparing to sell your car. You may receive slightly more money for a private sale but it may be less hassle to sell to a professional dealer or to part-exchange against another vehicle from a garage (une reprise) You will also be protected against any future ‘come-back’ from a dissatisfied customer.
How to sell your used car through a garage in France
Many car dealers and garages will sell your car for you, and there are some advantages to this. Firstly, they will typically take care of all the paperwork, including getting your car’s Control Technique and carrying out any necessary repairs prior to sale. This is by far the easiest and most hassle-free way to sell a car in France; however, understandably, you may not always get the best price for your vehicle as the seller will take their cut. Expect to receive around 15-20% less than the car’s sale value.
If you choose to sell your car through a garage, you will often be offered one of two main options:
- La reprise cash/reprise directe, where you sell your used car to the garage or concessionaire for the offered price.
- La reprise de voiture à crédit, where you trade in your old car in exchange for credit against a new purchase from the garage.
In order to sell or trade your car through a French garage or car dealer, you will need your Carte Grise, Controle Technique, proof of address, and proof of identity.
How to sell your car privately in France
It is perfectly legal to sell your car privately in France, as long as you follow the legal steps outlined later in this article. However, be aware that you will be personally responsible for ensuring that all the correct documents and paperwork are in place, as well as liable for passing the car’s Control Technique (including any work required to bring the vehicle up to standard).
In France, LeBonCoin is the go-to site for everything and car sales are no exception. It is relatively easy to create an account and register a free advert with a secured payment system. LaCentrale, like Le Bon Coin, allows you to place an advert yourself for free or to sell to a company. There’s also Vendez Votre Voiture, Autovisual, and Facebook Marketplace, which is becoming increasingly popular throughout France.
Finally, don’t forget the age-old tactic of placing a For Sale (À Vendre) sign with your phone number on your car’s windscreen. This is still a popular trick in rural areas, and if you are cautious giving your phone number, you could always create a temporary email and use that instead.
Is it possible to sell a right-hand drive car in France
If you’ve brought a car over from the UK and registered it in France, you may find yourself in a dilemma when it comes to selling your second-hand car. However, there are some car dealers who will accept right-hand drive cars for sale in France, mostly in areas with a high population of British expats – it’s worth asking around.
You may have better luck selling your car privately, either by advertising it on the above-mentioned websites or targeting other British buyers through Facebook groups, or other local expat communities.
How Much Can You Sell Your Car for in France?
Second-hand cars tend to hold their value a lot longer in France compared to some countries, such as the UK for example. While this isn’t always good news for buyers hoping to snag a bargain, it is good news for sellers! If your used car is less than 10 years old, in great condition, and without excessive kilometrage, there’s every chance that you will be able to sell it for a very attractive price.
So, how much should you expect to sell your car for in France?
One way to determine the price is to take the car to a local, trusted garage and to ask the mechanic. They should consider the vehicle’s age, history and any faults to give you a fair assessment of price.
The industry standard for determining a car’s market value, based on the make and year, is L’Argus, and you can have your car valued by them online here for a small fee (starting from €7.99). It’s worth noting that most garage’s will use this as their guide anyway.
Alternatively, take the time to search for similar cars on the above-mentioned sales sites, and compare what similar models are being advertised for. In this way, you should be able to establish a good guide price for your vehicle.
What Documents Do I Need to Sell My Car in France?
- By law, you must declare the sale of your vehicle by completing the document, ‘Cession d’une vehicle’ (Cerfa 15776*01). You can download this document from the government ANTS website here.
- The seller needs to provide an up-to-date (no older than 14 days prior to the date of sale) certificate of ‘non gage’. This means there is no outstanding finance or debt associated with the vehicle. This can be done online here.
- On the day of sale, the seller needs to provide the buyer with the Carte Grise with two diagonal lines drawn through it and the word, VENDU clearly written, followed by the date, time and his or her signature.
- You should also provide the buyer with the vehicle’s carnet de entretien (maintenance book) and Control Technique certificate.
- No more than 14 days after the sale, the seller must complete documentation on the ANTS website here to confirm the sale and to receive their CODE DE CESSION. The seller will need their own ANTS account to do this. This code must be passed on to the new owner within 15 days of receiving the code.
- Note that the administrative fees for changing the vehicle registration are borne by the buyer not the seller.
Can I sell my car without a Control Technique in France?
It is the law in France that all vehicles over four years old, sold either privately or through a professional, must have a valid Control Technique certificate issued within six months of the sale.
Read our article Control Techniques in France: What Car Owners Need to Know
Driving in France
Whether you own a car in France, travel to France in your UK or EU-registered car, or hire a rental car – FrenchEntrée has all the need-to-know info about driving in France. Our Essential Reading articles will take you through buying, registering, and insuring your car, as well as offering tips and advice on driving and car ownership in France.
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