Compulsory car insurance or "third party" insurance

Verified 01 April 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The owner of a land motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, ...) who uses it on the public road must insure it as a minimum for the guarantee civil liability. Third-party liability insurance, sometimes called third-party insurance, shall be used to compensate victims for damage caused by the vehicle. Non-compliance with the insurance obligation is punishable by criminal law. We present the applicable rules.

Every owner of a land motor vehicle intended for use in France must insure it.

Insurance does not have to be taken out in France, but it has to cover travel to France.

Vehicles concerned

The insurance obligation concerns all land motor vehicles which must be registered.

These vehicles are:

  • Car (private car, commercial vehicle, unlicensed car), tractors and agricultural machinery
  • Truck
  • Gear at 2 or 3 wheels motorized (motorcycles, scooters) and quads, whether or not non-approved (e.g. mini-motorcycles)
  • Trailer hitched or unhitched

The obligation to provide insurance also concerns certain land motor vehicles which do not need to be registered.

These vehicles are:

  • Light Cyclomobiles : draisienne, electrically assisted bicycle with a power exceeding 250w or a speed exceeding 25 km/h etc.
  • EDPM : electric scooters, electric scooter, single wheel, gyropod, hoverboard, etc...
  • Self-supporting mowersequipped with a seat which allows the driver to maneuver them

Conditions for putting into circulation

The vehicle intended to circulate is not necessarily a vehicle that is in circulation, but a vehicle that can be put into circulation.

Thus, the fact that the vehicle is not used for a long period does not make it possible to escape the obligation of insurance, since the vehicle can be put into service.

Similarly, parking the vehicle in a private garage also does not make it possible to avoid the obligation of insurance. This is because the vehicle can be put into circulation by a third party (a thief for example) and cause damage.

For take out car insurance, you can contact an insurance company, directly or through a general agent or broker, or a bank.

The civil liability guarantee, often called third-party insurance, is the guarantee minimal that you must purchase to insure your vehicle.

This warranty covers damage that the vehicle may cause: injury to a pedestrian or passenger, damage to another vehicle or to a building for example.

However, the driver of the vehicle and the person found responsible for the accident will not be compensated for the damage they have suffered.

Please note

You can take optional insurance to cover more situations.

If no insurance company agrees to insure your vehicle, you must enter the Central Pricing Office (BCT).

This body can require an insurance company to insure your vehicle, but only for the warranty civil liability.

Driving an uninsured vehicle is a offense punishable by a fine of €3,750. Depending on the circumstances, one or more of the following additional penalties may be applied in addition:

  • Works of general interest
  • Fines days (fines set per day)
  • Suspension of driving license (up to 3 years)
  • Cancelation of the driving license and prohibition of re-ironing for a certain period of time (up to 3 years)
  • Prohibition of driving certain vehicles, even if they do not require a driving license
  • Obligation to complete a road safety awareness course at his own expense
  • Immobilization and/or confiscation of the vehicle with which the offense was committed

If the offense has been detected by an electronic report, and you have not already been convicted for lack of insurance, a flat-rate fine of €500 will be inflicted on you.

Payment on time will end the lawsuits.

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