Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter

Selling a used car in France


If your French is good enough, the best way to sell a car is to put a sign in the window of your car. It costs nothing, the French are used to buying cars this way, and there are more French drivers here than English! Make sure the words “A VENDRE” and your telephone number are in large type. Other information to include is up to you. Also, it’s helpful if you can park on the street at a traffic light or area where people have to stop.

Example of sign:

Peugeot 206 1.4 HDI Pop Art Clim 2005
€4700 à débattre
Diesel, 136,000 km
Premier main.
CT au 02/2014.
Tel: [phone number]

Selling by internet is easy but not as effective as a sign in the car. There are also websites like the Riviera Reporter forum, where you can post a classified for free.  On some sites you may be vulnerable to phishing scams promising bank drafts or cash mandate. Never accept these online offers, or even give your address if asked. 

Pricing your car:

If you want to know the price of your car, try 321auto.com (free) or largus.fr (fee). Unless your car is in mint condition inside and out, don’t bother listing at this suggested price as you’ll just be frustrated by low offers. Look online at nicematin.com, topannonces.fr or auto-selection.com to get an idea of the used car market.

French car registrationAs the seller you must provide to the buyer:

1/ carte grise barrée – The original car registration, known as the certificat d’immatriculation (what used to carte grise). When you sell the car, you draw two diagonal lines from the bottom left to the top right, with enough space in between the lines to write VENDUE LE plus date, time, signature. For example, VENDUE LE 01/01/2012 14h01, your signature. (See image). On the back you must write the buyer’s name, address, date of purchase and then sign in the box.

2/ certificat de situation administrative – known as a certificat non-gage, which proves there’s no lien on the vehicle or opposition to its sale. Valid for one month, you can download from: interieur.gouv.fr

3/ contrôle technique (CT) – You must provide a CT, valid within 6 months of selling, no matter what age the car. A reliable company is securitest.fr – and you can check their prices online.  

4/ déclaration de cession – There are three identical forms in the déclaration de cession: one for the buyer, two for the prefecture and the third copy for the seller. You can download the CERFA 13754*02 document here: 

Each of these must be filled out and signed by both the buyer and seller, although there is more information for the seller to provide. All the information about the car you are selling on this document corresponds to letters on the certificat d’immatriculation to help guide you. 


It’s best if the buyer agrees to meet at your bank. Tell the bank ahead of time and ask if they can verify funds in his account from his cashier’s cheque or if you’re paid in cash, they can make sure there are no counterfeit bills.

Car Insurance: 

And a reminder to provide a copy of the carte grise barrée and declaration de cession to your insurance company to cancel your policy. It’s up to the buyer to send the certificat de cession to the prefecture. The licence plates stay with the car.

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