MOT vehicle test in France
In France, the MOT test is called contrôle technique. Here is everything you need to know about MOT vehicle test in France : frequency, which vehicles, how, how much…
MOT test in France in a nutshell
In France, every car older than 4 years must go through a MOT test. It is a biennal inspection that is carried on by private authorized centers. The price is not regulated. Therefore every center is free to set its own rate. You will pay around €70, sometimes less if you book via specialized websites. It can be on appointment or not.
There is no MOT test for motorbikes, trailers, quads, etc. However, it should change for light vehicles such as bikes, moped in 2023. According to the latest information available in January 2023, a technical inspection should be required as of summer 2023. 2, 3 and 4-wheels that are not subject to standard MOT will be concerned.
Specific rules apply to lorries and commercial transportation vehicles. French vintage cars holding the classification “collection” enjoy some privileges:
- Any vintage car (more than 30 years): MOT every 5 years instead of 2
- Vintage cars manufactured before 1960: no mandatory MOT
Validity of MOT vehicle test in France
When the test is positive, it is valid for 2 years. Once a car go through a French MOT, 4 outcomes are possible:
- No remark: all is well
- Minor defect(s): the MOT is valid, it is advised to fix those defects, but not it’s not mandatory
- Major defect(s): those issues must be solved within 2 months. Before the deadline, the car has to go through a second check (contre-visite) during which the controller will ensure that those major defects have been fixed
- Critical defect(s): the vehicle poses an immediate threat to the driver and the surrounding vehicles, therefore it must be fixed ASAP. When an MOT is issued with a critical defect, the owner is allowed to drive until midnight. In other words, you must drive straight away your car to your garage for repairs. Once fixed, the garage will provide to the owner a special document that authorizes him to drive to an MOT center to perform another check
Selling or buying a car and MOT test
For selling a used car in France, local laws require the seller to provide an MOT in certain circumstances.
When the seller must provide an MOT?
An MOT vehicle test in France (6-month-old max) is compulsory when the second-hand car sold has been registered more than 4 years ago and it is sold to a private individual. If a garage or dealer buys your vehicle, an MOT is not mandatory (which does not mean the dealer will not ask for it, it’s up to him). When buying a car in France, demand a recent MOT check to the seller.
Please note that a recent law of 2017 exempts vintage vehicles registered before 1960 from technical inspections. However, this exemption only applies to cars with a “collection” car registration certificate. Old vehicles from before 1960 with a standard registration certificate do not benefit from this exemption.
Why the MOT test cannot be older than 6 months?
You cannot provide an MOT test older than 6 months. It offers a bit of security to the buyer regarding the state if the car he is about to purchase. Since the periodicity of this check is set at 2 years, you may therefore have to visit an approved center before the MOT expires if you want to sell your car. If a second check has been scheduled (in case of major defect), the MOT must have occurred less than 2 months before the transaction is finalized.
And in case of donation?
In case of a donation of your vehicle, the obligations concerning the technical control are exactly the same as in the context of a sale.
French MOT price
In France, the MOT price is not regulated by law. Inspection centers are private companies that are authorized. They are free to charge whatever they want. Competition and free markets therefore fix the price of MOT in France.
What is the price of an MOT for a car in France? In average, the cost of a French MOT is around €70 in 2023. The price of the technical inspection can range from €40 to €90. Prices vary per department. Paris area is the most expensive, while centres in rural areas tend to charge less due to costs structure.
There are 2 ways to find a cheap MOT in France:
- Use a price comparison website, e.g. this one
- Book your technical inspection instead of just showing up. Off peak, prices are cheaper
- Travel a bit to find a cheaper technical center
FAQ MOT vehicle test in France
No, since the vehicle is exempt.
You must request the vehicle identification sheet (fiche d’identification du véhicule). This document can be used as a substitute for the car registration certificate in order to pass the MOT test. Once done your pocket, you can then apply online for a copy of the certificate (duplicata) and thus sell your used car.
Technically it is possible, he can very well get himself the MOT and then transfer the registration certificate to his name. But be aware that even signing a waiver does not exempt you from your obligations. By law, you must provide the MOT. If you don’t, the buyer can always turn against you if there is a problem afterwards.
Yes. In the event of the sale of a vintage car that is not completely exempt from inspection, the 6-month rule does not change. If th car is fully exempted (before 1960), then no MOT is required.
You may be subject to a €135 fine. See our article about driving offences in France.
€70 in average, but MOT price can range from €40 to €90. MOT price near me can be much expensive than near you! Sometimes, travelling a bit is worth it.
Yes. HistoVec is the free tool available to perform a MOT check in France.