Buying a left hand drive in the UK?!

7 Replies

Hi all My fiance and I are moving down to the Carcassonne area in April... can't wait!  We are trying to decide whether to buy a left hand drive over here (from the few companies that sell them) or drive our battered car down and then buy a car.  The trouble with the latter is the expense in driving all the way south, then driving it all the way back once we have purchased something else.  We would love any advice on the pros and cons of buying a left hand drive in the UK eg re-registering it in france once we are there etc... or doesn't that need doing?  We do now own a house in France if that helps for using that address etc Many thanks, from snowy-old-England.  

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alval-649923 1359018793

Hi- have not been disappointed with the LHD place at Basingstoke. Have also dealt with French registered cars for sale, run by Gary -(from Leeds) just SE of Lyon who also does a good deal and is very fair. Hope this is of some help.

richard2244 1359024097


Cars are expensive down here, make no mistake. I bought a LHD van in the UK & registered it here in Carcassonne. I also bought a new Volvo in the UK. They offer a 'Diplomatic' service where anyone can buy a LHD Volvo and save a lot of money on UK prices, collected from north London and comes with UK plates & a certificate of conformity for registering in another country.

There are several companies selling LHD cars in the UK, also several on ebay if you have the time to go and inspect.

Good Luck

Julieb-876744 1361823865

I found a left hand drive, French registered car from Ebay and got DEKRA to check the car for £200 before I actually paid for it.    the AA don't go over foreign registered cars.  That gave me piece of mind. 

If it is FRENCH registered but not in your department. . . at least you can get the paperwork transferred without getting a certificate of conformity, which will take about 3 months (depending on the time of year) and cost about 200 euros. You would have to do this with any non French registered car.  

When you arrive in france, you will have to get your local garage to give it an MOT (controle technique about 70 euros) and assuming all is well, you can then go to your town hall with the purchase invoice, edf bill, the controle technique, passport etc.  Depending on the age of the car and the engine size the handover of the old owner to you will vary between 200 and 500 euros.   STILL, with all this, it is cheaper than buying a car here in France, or should I say Languedoc.  As an example, go to  and choose Languedoc and have a look at the mileagea and what sellers are asking. .

There is also another LHD company near Heathrow airport.   If you can't get a French registered, buy a LHD with European number plates (Spain, Italy, France) as they will already have the European headlamps (another cost to go through the MOT/controle technique:  see other posts in this section).  

You will also before leaving, have to get some temporary cover (if you have bought a house, you could ask the insurance company for a quote as they usually have a car insurance cover).  If you get stopped en route down by the gendarmerie without any insurance and "owner in transit papers", you will face major fines.

To warn you, car insurance is high in this area.  Cover, particuarly, fully comprehensive which would be about 400 in the UK is nearer 800 euros here as Languedoc has a high car accident rate . . .

Good luck





darius-485551 1361828969

Hi, perhaps a bit late but -we have just left  Quillan ,Aude 11 -for family reasons and are now back in the UK with our French registered car 

 we were going back to France to sell it  but if it helps

we have  RENAULT Scenic RX4, ( their are pics of similar vehicles on )139000K  5 seat hatchback ,rear seats all demountable to convert into a utility -the engine has just been rebuilt in UK-( so really the mileage is a restart ) new belt etc just 2 months ago  ,has a controle technique till June -asking £3750

any queries/questions -  or  07707838458

cheers ( have a great time in the Aude its a great area )

winelover2 1361983859


We kept our RHD car ( as at least you can see the ditches as the french drive over the white lines) got it french reg no problem cost about 400euro's to get everything done over 2 days. We are buying a second RHD car this month in UK.

shutlar 1403614241

hi all ive bought 3 left hand drive cars in uk and driven them over and one from spain [ebay and gumtree]think the lhd companys in uk r very exspensive  ,one was french others where dutch and spainish the last 2 i left on dutch and spainish plates etc have been stopped in both and had all paper work checked i always get them ct ed[french mot] here and have ins. the police dont seem bothered as long as u have currant ct and ins

i think strickly speaking u r ment to get a car registered here after a mth or so but know lots of expats who have run uk and other non french reg for many yrs with no probs and if honest more often than not ive found if u run into a police check at the side of the rd thay just wave u past, seems thay cant be bothered with looking through the paper work

GUSTOPH 1403708110

We have had two RHD cars registered here in France as always considered the second hand French cars very expensive -   however we had to replace one car last year and after taking into acount all the expense to drive over from UK -  replacing headlights - having to get our own controle technique and all the hassle with paperwork -   and even exchange rates -   we ended up buying a car at the new large car site on the Carcassonne shopping site -  and it didnt work out much more expensive.   We were especially glad we did this as we had a couple of problems with the car and the garage fixed them under the warranty.   I would say drive over in your present car and have a good look around local garages to see what is available.   The site we went to was on the business park between Carcassonne airport and the Géant supermarket.   The main difference we have found between UK cars and French cars is the french tend to run up high mileage.   Its also worth looking for private sales around your area 

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