Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Compulsory car insurance or "third party" insurance

Verified 14 March 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The owner of a motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, ...) in circulation in France must provide it with at least the guarantee of 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. This obligation applies to you regardless of your nationality and regardless of the length of your stay in France.

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.

The vehicle subject to the insurance obligation may in particular be one of the following:

  • Car (private, commercial or unlicensed)
  • 2 or 3 wheels (motorcycle or scooter) or quad, whether or not non-approved (e.g. mini-motorcycle)
  • Self-mounted mower with a seat enabling the driver to maneuver the machine

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.

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.

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region