MOT vehicle test in France

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Publié par Eplaque - 5 min de lecture ⏳

Le 22/11/2021 - Mis à jour le 27/01/2023

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.

Exemptions

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

Do you need a « controle technique » (MOT vehicle test in France) to be performed for the sale of a car less than 4 years old?

No, since the vehicle is exempt.

I want to sell my car, but I lost the registration certificate. To get my duplicate, I am asked for an MOT, but I cannot pass the MOT since I no longer have a registration certificate… What should I do?

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.

A private individual agrees to buy my car from me without an MOT, is this possible if he agrees to sign waiver?

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.

Is it really necessary to present an MOT test of less than 6 months for old-timers that are subject to a 5-year visit?

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.

What risk if I drive without MOT?

You may be subject to a €135 fine. See our article about driving offences in France.

What is the price of an MOT for a car 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.

Is there a MOT checker in France?

Yes. HistoVec is the free tool available to perform a MOT check in France.

Une question ?

Nous vous répondrons dans les meilleurs délais.

Les questions des utilisateurs

  • Karen Ferguson

    25 janvier 2024

    Can you put your car through the control technique earlier than the date on certificate? And does this mean you lose the difference between the two dates? Eg. If it is due at the end of April and you renew at end of March, does that mean in two years time the renewal date is end of March?
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      26 janvier 2024

      Yes you can, and indeed you will lose the difference (the validity will be 2 years from the date of the MOT).
  • Tilly newstead

    2 janvier 2024

    My car has ct until 01/02/2024 can I take it for ct on 1st February or do I need to go before this date
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      2 janvier 2024

      It's "until", therefore you can go on that date.
  • Angela San Giorgio

    1 décembre 2023

    Hello, my Renault Scenic has been unused since 2010. I discovered that no taxes or MOT or checks have been paid. After 13 years of no use is it worthwhile to try and use the car and what taxes must I pay for all the previous years?
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      4 décembre 2023

      There is a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) status that can be requested in such a case, but we do not know if you can ask it retroactively, you should ask the question to the DVLA. If possible you can apply online or by using a V890 form. See https://www.gov.uk/sorn-statutory-off-road-notification
  • frank lister

    22 novembre 2023

    Bonjour, puis-je avoir 2 feux antibrouillard arrière sur ma voiture
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      23 novembre 2023

      Certains modèles en ont 2 de série, donc c'est permis.
  • R Hamick

    11 novembre 2023

    ma Process Verbal de Contrôle - Technique est purdu. Puis je obtenir un copie de Process Verbal?
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      13 novembre 2023

      Oui, il faut en faire la demande au centre qui a effectué le contrôle technique. La délivrance du document risque d'être payante.
  • Caro

    15 août 2023

    Bonjour, je cherche un centre agréé qui fait le MOT sur voiture anglaise. Doc pas le control technique mais le British MOT. Idéalement dans le Var où côté d Azur
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      16 août 2023

      Il n'y a pas de tels centres en France.
  • Alex

    10 août 2023

    I have recently moved to France from Belgium. My Belgian registered car will be eligible for 'vintage collection' registration in France in 2 months, when I plan to change the plates from Belgium to France. The car has a valid Controle Technique certificate from Belgium dated two weeks ago. Do I need (and am I able ...) to put the car through French Controle Technique while it has Belgian plates ... or does the car need to be registered in France before going through ...
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      11 août 2023

      You can use the Belgian "controle technique" to register the car, provided that it's not older than 6 months when you submit your car registration application. Otherwise you can pass the French MOT with Belgian plates if required.
  • Gaz

    5 août 2023

    Can I drive my car to the CT test centre if my CT is out of date but I have an appointment?
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      7 août 2023

      No.
  • Ivor

    12 juillet 2023

    My CT expires in August while I’m back in the uk. My french car is privately parked not on the public road. Can i book the new CT for when i return to france in September? There is a 2 week period when the car will not have a CT.
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      13 juillet 2023

      As far as the car is not on public road, it's not an issue. You can be in trouble only in case of police check.
  • Mark

    26 septembre 2022

    Can I use headlight reflectors on my registered French car or very expensive change to new headlights
    • Logo Eplaque

      Eplaque

      27 septembre 2022

      Reflectors are not forbidden per se as far as they dont illuminate in way that is illegal, eg blind other drivers.

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