The Contrôle Technique in France

The compulsory roadworthiness test for your car or other motor vehicle in France: why, when, where and how to get it done...

The contrôle technique is a compulsory test for roadworthiness (similar to the UK MOT) for all vehicles of more than 4 years of age. This includes passenger cars and transport vehicles with a gross weight which does not exceed 3,5 tons. The roadworthiness test is optional for motorcycles. A collectable car, véhicule de collection is a car older than 30 years and must pass a contrôle technique every five years.

Taking the Roadworthiness Test

The first contrôle technique (CT) of a new vehicle should be done within the 6 month period before the car becomes a 4 year old. It must be done at a recognised technical centre.
  • To find a local test centre visit the UTAC website and select the region from the map
A CT pass is valid for two years (in the case of private cars). Take the car for the next test before the two year period expires. Foreign cars require a Certificate de Conformité to undergo a CT. Commercial Vehicles must be tested for emission pollutants every year. The test generally takes no more than an hour and once completed, the test centre places the CT certificate onto the registration document.
  • To find a local test centre visit the UTAC website and select the region from the map
If the vehicle passes the test, the centre provides a document, and a stamp (vignette) for the windscreen that marks, among other things, the date the next test is due.

If the vehicle fails the test

There is a two month period in which to repair the problems before the vehicle becomes un-roadworthy. Once fixed, the centre will test for that problem only. If the car is not returned to be retested within two months, a full test will need to be retaken. The owner is fined if a vehicle is not roadworthy - the police can check this easily by looking at the stamp attached inside the windscreen. Note: It is illegal to fit rear seats to a vehicle de societé (company car - delivery type) unless the work is done by a registered garage and with all new parts and authorised receipts are supplied by a main dealership.

Frequent reasons for failure:

  • worn tyre tread
  • lights not all working
  • emissions too high
  • shock absorbers faulty/worn
  • faulty/worn brakes
  • wheel alignment faulty
  • some aspects of damaged bodywork, for example if a door cannot open
  • some aspects that could impair safely, including the condition of the mirrors, windscreen and wipers
Payment is made to the centre. Prices may vary from centre to centre. Note: There are additional tests for cars running on LPG.

Sale of a Used Car

A used car over four years old being sold privately must be sold with a CT certificate no more than six months old (two months if a re-test or contre-visite is required). The seller must arrange the vehicle inspection and give the valid CT certificate to the buyer as this is needed to register the vehicle in their name.

Further Information