Cost of cars in France - PST
Just come back from my first (proper) holiday in France and as mentioned in an earlier thread was amazed at the superb quality of the roads, courteous drivers, lack of traffic...all in all a great driving experience.

But the reason for this post was my surprise at the high cost of secondhand cars in France. During one of those idle evenings with a bottle of superb plonk and a local newspaper I started looking through the local paper. Here's a few examples of what the classifieds had:

Renault 21 GTD 1994 140K miles £2200
Renault 21 GTD 1989 200K miles £900
Renault 25 TD 1989 210K miles £850
Renault 11 1.6D 1988 no mileage £1760
Renault Safrane 2.5L 1995 no mileage £4200
Opel Corsa Diesel 1990 120K miles £1200
VW Golf TDI 2001 50K miles £12000

I've used 1 pound = 1.4 Euros and these were private ads

German and Japanese cars seemed to be a similar price to the UK but the French vehicles seemed way over the top. So if there are any LHD French makes lurking in the UK and subject to trade restrictions it's almost tempting to see if there's an opportunity to make a few pennies.

Cost of cars in France - Hugo {P}
Did you convert KM to Miles?

If not 8KM to 5 Miles

Otherwise a very interesting comparison!

Cost of cars in France - mike hannon
Nice idea re the lhd motors lurking in uk but it isn't that simple - there's a mound of paperwork to deal with when it comes to importing vehicles to France, some of it expensive. You need to be a registered resident and the process takes a series of visits to the prefecture of whichever department you choose as well as to the tax/VAT offices, not to mention the need for 'controle technique' (MOT) tests and potential type approval testing for uk spec cars. I know, I'm in the middle of trying to register my uk Honda.
The French set-up looks tempting from a distance - new cars cheaper than uk and depreciation slower (which is why secondhand motors look expensive). Sadly, as I discovered, buying French is not simple - cars tend to have little or no proper servicing and are, on the whole, uncared for. Dealers also seem to have a very 'can't be bothered' attitude.
When I had suffered a bout of the 'red mist' and was about to test drive a new 406 HDi coupe I asked the salesman about the rumours of electrical problems with current models. He admitted straight away it was true - 'but they are working on it'. He then pointed to the coupe and said 'it isn't just that one, its all of them'!
That's way I decided to bite the bullet and persuade France to accept the Honda...
Cost of cars in France - PST
Hugo - I already did the conversion from kilometres - so as you can see some of these were in the high 200s/low 300s.

Mike - I suspected there would be a catch! Presumably though, there's no such thing as a UK spec LHD car (it would have been imported at some stage) so maybe type approval could be avoided but obviously not the other stages. It was just curiousity as to whether 'free trade' in the EU may have been a little more free than appears to be the case.

But the other point you raise - low depreciation - I wonder why that is the case? Maybe it's just the market dynamics, supply and demand etc....

....I'll cross this money making scheme off the list then...

Cost of cars in France - DavidHM
Four main reasons why French cars depreciate less spring to mind. One is that France is not an island, and therefore most of it isn't as exposed to salt (and thus corrosion) as the UK. Even on the coasts, rainfall is lower, and there is a plentiful supply of cars from further inland if necessary.

Secondly, the cost of labour is lower, with most small towns having a friendly garagiste, often associated with a major manufacturer, who charges reasonable rates out of a small workshop.

Thirdly, the contrôle techique is, I think, significantly less stringent than the MoT, so a car can pass with a lower standard of maintenance.

Fourthly, there are fewer fleets uniformly dumping their cars at three years old to depress values. Even Peugeot 607s are privately owned....

Also, it wouldn't surprise me if the average cost of insurance, particularly for young drivers, was slightly lower in France. Certainly diesel fuel is cheaper, and given that people's overall level of wealth is broadly similar, the amount they're willing to spend on motoring has to go somewhere.

As for the economics of importing LHD cars into France... it works reasonably well with certain models from Germany, but from the UK it would be a nightmare, not because of any taxation or legal reasons, but because the UK market for LHD cars is specialised, owners tend to be foreign or foreign based and have connections over there when they want to dispose of their cars, and those cars that do sell tend to go to a specialised market where there is little competition and so, depsite the fact they are less desirable to most people, they actually sell at a premium over a right hooker.

Value my car