The wrong way to sell a car in France
A client of ours sold his camper van but five years later found himself in trouble because the person who bought the van from him had an accident. Because our client hadn't completed a vital form that informed the authorities of the vehicle's change of ownership, the police were pursuing him and the purchaser's insurance company were initiating proceedings. According to the law, our client was still the vehicle's registered owner!
The Certificat de Cession d'un Véhicule form
When you sell your car here in France you MUST fill in a form called the "Certificat de Cession d'un Véhicule". This document (in Acrobat PDF format) is available from this link. One part of it is for you to keep, another part is for the vehicle's buyer and a third part is to be sent to your prefecture. If you need help filling it in, please ask us!
Because our client hadn’t completed this form he ended up having to produce bank statements and provide witnesses, all to prove that he had actually sold the vehicle. We had to provide proof from the insurance company that he had cancelled his insurance on the vehicle - and he had to provide bank statements showing that he had been paid for the car. This was NOT easy to do five years after the event!
Luckily the story had a happy ending, but our advice is: "Don't take the risk: do it properly!"