Note: Since the end of the UK Brexit transition period on 31/12/2020, vehicles imported from the UK are no longer eligible for a Quitus Fiscal and need to be declared to Douanes instead. For much better information than I can give, I suggest you join the Facebook group “Registering Vehicles in France“. There is comprehensive guidance for all nationalities in their Files section.
I’ve been getting better recently at coping with the French bureaucratic system. I no longer sit seething (well not as often anyway) at the fact that everything has to be photocopied, printed out, saved in paper folders – even when the process is all done online. I’m getting used to the fact that so many organisations insist on sending you a pass code in the post for an online service – even though they have asked for your email and mobile number. But the tax authorities have their own special little foibles.
As part of the process of getting our car and van imported and re-registered in France we had to get something called a ‘Quitus fiscal‘, a certificate to certify that all necessary taxes had been paid on the vehicle. I’d found the recommended list of documentation required, filled in forms, made photocopies and organised everything in folders to take to the tax office. Our first visit to this office when we first moved over permanently had been a bit of an education and our experience hasn’t changed over the many visits we have had to make since.
Our local town with its surrounding communes has a population of around 30,000. The large ugly 1960’s concrete block, sporting the words ‘Centre des Finances Publiques’ looks built to cope with a town this size, but when you walk through the sliding glass door you find yourself in a small room about 4m x 4m with a single glass window at one end and 4 plastic chairs arranged around the walls. As you can only pack about 8 people into this space there is often a line tailing back into the car park outside. Once inside, the experienced taxpayer makes a mental note of who is already there and who comes in behind, so that you can leap forward when your ‘turn’ comes. There’s no privacy so during your extremely long wait you are entertained with everyone’s financial situations and family circumstances, as they try to get some sense from the miserable and taciturn chap whose job it is to sit sideways-on at his computer behind the screen, rarely looking up as he deals with queries. (Mind you, if I had his job, I’d be miserable and taciturn!)
Our joy at only finding 4 people in the waiting area when we arrived quickly evaporated when, having reached Monsieur Services Clients behind the screen, we were told ‘We don’t deal with that – you’ll have to go to La Flèche’.
La Flèche is 40km away and as it was 11.30am and everywhere closes from midday until 2pm, we would have to go home and try the tax office in La Flèche after lunch. Monsieur was in quite a jolly mood today so he (still not making eye contact) volunteered the address of the afore-mentioned tax office without being prompted. I thanked him, saying I had been before, and refrained from mentioning that my previous visit had been a fool’s errand after he had sent me there on another matter and I was redirected back to him with a “What’s the matter with those guys? You’re the 3rd person this week they’ve sent over when it’s their job to handle this”
So, we weren’t terribly confident of success when we arrived at La Flèche Centre des Finances Publiques. This office at least has a ribbon-barrier queuing area for the Accueil, Reception desk, and two people working on it. Having shuffled very slowly to the front of the queue we were told that we actually needed the office on the first floor. (Just a suggestion here guys – why not just have a sign that points visitors to the relevant office as they come in?)
This time there was no one in front of us! A very friendly young man listened as I explained what we needed then disappeared off to photocopy my photocopies and fill in all the necessary forms (which he then photocopied and filed) before finally presenting us with the prized Quitus Fiscal for each vehicle. Yay!
Next, the actual application on the ANTS website
11 thoughts on “Making our cars legal in France – the Quitus Fiscal”
Nobody loves admin and photocopying as much as the French! I remember carrying endless copies of my passport/other docs around with me, as someone always seemed to need a copy for something. Sounds like you’re on the home run now with making your cars legal over there!
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In May 2021, I had to go to get my Carte de Séjour from the Préfecture in Montauban (82). They gave me the date and asked me to choose the time slot. Since they threatened that anyone who was late by 5 minutes would lose their slot, I chose 8.30am since I figured it might be easier to find a parking space at that time – which it was.
The gates swung open at 8.34, so I realised I only had one minuite before I lost my appointment! But ushered to the guichet, I was asked it I had a photocopy of my passport. “I’ve got better than that” I said, trying to keep the spirits up “I’ve got the real thing!”
She ushered me in the direction of a photocopying machine, so, duly humbled I approache
I put one in the machine and it came out again just underneath. I tried again.
After seven attempts I changed for the other coin – with the same result. At the Acceuil, the woman showed me there was another machine at the other end of the waiting room. She helpfully accompanied me and took the coin. She inserted the coin. It came out just as mine had done. After several attempts, she said. ‘OK, look, we’ve got a machine that doesn’t take money à l’acceuil. I’ll try for you.
She did and it finally worked.
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Did you get your appointment slot after all that faff?
I’ll let you know! Whenever I think we’re almost there another hurdle presents itself. It’s certainly character building but I wouldn’t swap it for anything.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET A COPY OF THE QUITAS FISCAL FORM?
There’s no actual form to complete to get the Quitus Fiscale. You just need to take all your required documents to the tax office that deals with your taxes and they fill out everything on their form. If you would like more info on the whole process there is a very good Facebook group called ‘Registering Vehicles in France’. You have to apply to join as it’s a closed group but their Files section has all the info you need and more.
Do you have to pay 30% tax if you car is less than 4 year only?
I’m not the best person to ask, here Jean 🙂. It probably depends on which country you are bringing the car from (ie any reciprocal tax agreement). I suggest joining the Facebook group I mentioned in one of my other posts: registering vehicles in France. Once you’ve joined The, the files section is full of all the most up to date information. Bon courage!