The French government has just released the revised costs for 2020, and how much you pay depends on the region of France you live in.
To be the legal owner of a car in France you need the carte gris – the vehicle registration documents.
If you're buying either a new or second hand car in France you need to register it after the purchase to make sure it is legally yours.
If you buy it from the garage they will often do this for you, but if you are making a private sale you will need to do the paperwork. And it's important that you do because not having a carte gris meas the car is not officially registered to you and this will invalidate your insurance.
The same applies to people who bring a foreign registered vehicle over to France.
If you bring a foreign car over and you are resident in France, after six months you must change the registration to French.
This rule is widely ignored or misunderstood, but nevertheless it is the case and if you don't comply with it it gives your insurance company a reason not to pay out if you have an accident.
Once the car is registered you will get the carte gris to make you the legal owner of the vehicle in France.
And of course you have to pay when you register new ownership.
Unlike the UK, there is no annual road tax to pay in France, but you will have to pay when you change ownership and the cost can be quite substantial.
And it also varies from region to region, as part of the total cost is a regional tax.
For most people the cost is between €250 and €350, but it depends on the type of vehicle you are registering and where you register it.
Whether it is petrol or diesel, emissions rate and engine size all affect the price.
The French government has just published the revised list of 2020 regional tax levels and they are;
Auverge-Rhône-Alpes – €43
Bourgogne-France-Comté – €51
Bretagne – €51
Centre-Val-de Loire – €49.80
Grand-Est – €42
Hauts-de-France (Nord-Pas-de-Calais) – €35.40
Hauts-de-France (Picardie) – €33
Île-de-France – €46.15
Nouvelle Aquitaine – €41
Normandie – €35
Occitanie – €44
Pays-de-la-Loire – €48
So bad news for people in Brittany and Bourgogne-France-Comté but other factors like the power of the vehicle, its age and emissions status all affect the cost too.
But there is good news for people who drive a hybrid or electric vehicle – these are exempt from regional taxes so the cost of registration will be significantly lower.
For an online calculator that will tell you how you will have to pay – click here.