How to Sell a Used Car

Find out what you have to do to sell your car in France, with details of all the documents the seller should provide for the buyer of a secondhand car in France...

To sell your car in France (or give it away), a number of documents must be given to the new owner, and the administration services must be informed via an online service provided by the Agence nationale des Titres Sécurisées – ANTS. This agency is responsible for issuing and updating French car registration documents; each vehicle requires a certificat d’Immatriculation, which is more commonly known as a Carte Grise (grey card).

Since November 2017 it has no longer been possible to register the sale of secondhand French cars at the Préfecture (this is the departmental centre for many administrative tasks), or sous-préfecture (sub-prefecture), or to send it in by mail – everything must be done online.

There is no administrative charge when selling a car; the registration costs are borne by the buyer.

Selling your French Car

Before you sell your car in France, certain conditions must apply:

  • You are the legal owner of the car. If the car is leased you may not sell 
  • If you have changed address since obtaining the Carte Grise, you must change the address before the sale or donation, as it must indicate your address at that time. Note that it is compulsory to change the address on the registration document within one month of moving – this can be done entirely online on the ANTS website, and a sticker is sent to your new address to put on the document
  • If the car is more than 4 years old, provide a roadworthiness (contrôle technique -  CT) certificate. This must be no more than 6 months old when the car is sold, or 2 months if a re-test (contre-visite) is required.

You will need to obtain the following information from the buyer:

  • Their full name
  • The country and town of their birth
  • Their date of birth
  • Their gender

How to register the sale of the car online

The next step is to start the online procedure. Although it is no longer possible to carry out this procedure offline at the prefecture, digital access points (with computers, printers and scanners) have been made available in each prefecture and in most sub-prefectures. The process can be carried out with the help of an official there if you encounter difficulties.

For the online procedure you should have (or create) an ANTS user account on the official ANTS website. Although it is not essential to have an ANTS login at this point, you will need one after the transaction to complete the procedure. 

It is also possible for another person to complete the process on your behalf – some auto repair centres, for example, will do this for you for a fee. When logged on the person carrying out the procedure must ensure that they tick the appropriate box (indicated by “pour quelqu'un d'autre”) to confirm that they are doing this for you.  

To start, log in with an ANTS ID or a France Connect account, which is used to simplify your connection to online services. To log on to France Connect you can either use your login details for the tax website, the Améli website, the La Poste website, or using your French mobile phone number. Note that if you are not tax resident, don’t have a Carte Vitale (health insurance card), or a French mobile number a La Poste account is the only option. After creating your account, an appointment will be made for a postman to come to your French address to confirm your identity before the account can be activated.

If you choose to continue the procedure with your ANTS login instead of France Connect, you must indicate the 5-digit confidential code mentioned on the letter that you received along with the Carte Grise. Note that to do this you must have a type AB 123 CD registration plate number (issued since 2009).  If you have lost this code, click on the Request a new code button (Demander un nouveau code). The code will be available a few hours later in your ANTS personal space. If you have an older type of number plate, for example 123 AB 01, the only option is to login with France Connect or request that a third party carry out the procedure for you. 

Once logged in, fill in the online form provided with the details obtained from the future owner, then download and print the following forms:

  • The cerfa form 15776*01 (known as a certificat de cession)
  • The certificat de situation administrative (commonly known by its old name of certificat de non-gage), which certifies that the car is not acting as security against a loan

A transfer code (code de cession) is then issued to secure and facilitate the administrative procedures of the future owner of the vehicle. You can then stop the online process and resume it after the transaction with the future owner of the vehicle.

The transaction

Complete the certificat de cession with the new owner, specifying the day and time of the sale. This statement allows you to be released from liability in case of infringement or accident committed by the buyer.

Give the new owner:

  • The second copy of the certificat de cession 
  • The certificat de situation administrative, which must be dated less than 15 days
  • The registration certificate (carte grise/certificat d’Immatriculation) of the vehicle. On this document, the owner must write the following: “Vendu le (date, month, year and time)” if you are selling the car or “Cédé le (the date, month, year and time)“ if you are giving it away
  • A contrôle technique (CT) certificate, if the car is more than four years old
  • The code de cession, which was given on the ANTS website

The final step for the seller is to complete the registration of the sale – this must be done within 15 days. On the ANTS website, select “Mes démarches en cours” and provide the following information:

  • The date and time of the sale
  • The mileage of the vehicle
  • The full address of the new owner (this must be a French address – without a French address, the vehicle cannot be registered in France)

A summary of the procedure can be downloaded and printed.

Valuing a used car

These French websites may be used to get the "book value" of a used car for sale; L'Argus Auto is a paid-for service that is the standard used in the motor trade:

References

Last updated 12/12/2017