How To Pass Your Technical Control

The technical inspection is compulsory for private vehicles whose PTAC is less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes.

This inspection is periodic and must be organized by an approved organization, at the expense of the vehicle owner.

What is the technical control?

Technical control has been in place since 1986 by the public services. Its objective is to guarantee the safety of users by putting dangerous vehicles out of circulation.

It concerns all passenger cars and light utility vehicles 4 years and older. 133 control points are screened by the controller and classified according to their severity.

If the result of the control is unfavorable, a counter-visit must be carried out within 2 months.

The technical inspection must be carried out every 2 years for “classic” vehicles, every year for taxis, sanitary facilities, breakdown vehicle.

Good news for classic cars over 30 years old. The technical inspection is only compulsory every 5 years.

Good to know: in addition to your technical inspection, it is now compulsory in major cities to have a Crit’Air sticker.


Where to do your technical control?

The technical control must be carried out in a control center approved by the public authorities.

You can consult the list of these centers in the prefectures, sub-prefectures and on the website of the central technical body for the technical control of vehicles .

It is now very common to be able to book your technical inspection directly online with the date and time slot of your choice.

Tip: to save money, look at the possible technical checks on the internet the same day or during the week. Establishments often offer discounts to fill in the gaps in their agenda.


What is the cost of a technical inspection

The controller is free to freely set the price of his intervention and any counter-visit. He has the obligation to clearly display the price charged in his establishment to inform you of it.


For all services over 25 euros, the professional must give the client an invoice with his contact details, the current date, the date and the place of execution of the check.

A breakdown of the quantity and price of the services and/or products sold, the amount to be paid (excluding VAT and including VAT) as well as the identity of the customer must also appear on the invoice.

The note must be issued as soon as the service is rendered and, in any case, before payment.


At the end of the inspection, a report draws up a status of each point checked on the vehicle. It is drawn up in duplicate and also mentions:

  1. The date of the check;
  2. The identity of the controller;
  3. Vehicle characteristics;
  4. The identity of the owner.
  5. He should give you a copy of the minutes.

Without any defect on your vehicle, your inspector issues you a receipt. He immediately affixes a sticker to the windshield specifying the month and year of the next inspection.


Things to do before a technical inspection

A technical control is preparing, especially if you are not confident about the condition of your vehicle.

Here are some points to check if you do not want a return visit:

1. The steering

Check the steering wheel, that there is no play. The steering must be done without difficulty. If you have any doubts, make an appointment with a specialist without delay.

2. Vehicle identification

Check your rear and front license plates: check that they are visible and attached.

Visibility: Make sure your windshield is not damaged: impact of more than 3 cm; more than 3 impacts of 15 mm; crack of more than 3 cm. Check your vehicle’s windows.

The attachment and condition of your mirrors (interior and exterior).

Don’t forget your windshield wipers.

3. Lighting / signaling

Check the operation and condition of all lights (front/rear): Position lights, dipped beam, turn signals, brake lights, hazard warning lights, rear fog lights , reflectors and license plate lighting.

4. The connection to the ground

Check the condition and pressure of your tires. If they are deformed, torn or worn (less than 1.6 mm tread depth) you must change them. Reminder: the 2 tires on the same axle must be of identical structure and size.

A simple crack, cut or hernia can cause the tire to burst.

5. Mechanical components

Check the oil level. Make sure there are no fuel or oil leaks. Check that the muffler is well fixed, by shaking it slightly when cold, and that it does not make any abnormal noise.

Braking: When braking, your vehicle tends to veer to the left or to the right, this is probably a sign of bad brakes. Have the condition of the jaws and pads checked (plan for a break-in period before the inspection if you have them replaced).

Check your brake fluid level and see if the cap is missing.

6. Structure and bodywork

Note that your bodywork has no protruding parts that could injure someone.

Check the correct opening and closing of your doors, trunk and bonnet.

5. Equipment

Check the proper functioning of your seat belts: no cuts, tears and that they lock correctly.

Pay attention to the adjustment of the driver’s seat (front-rear).

Check the working condition of your buzzer. Remember to present your vehicle without a baby seat.

6. Pollution and noise level

Check that the exhaust fumes are not abnormally colored (black, blue, white) and do not come out in excessive quantities.

The level of pollution is almost impossible to control yourself, which is why it can be checked regularly by your mechanic. A poorly tuned engine often consumes more fuel and pollutes.

Other points to check: the proper functioning of the horn and its control, the steering wheel locking system, the attachment and proper operation of your interior/exterior mirrors.

All fluid levels (oil, brake, windscreen washer, power steering) must also be checked.

After checking all these elements, your technical control will go like clockwork.


How a technical inspection carried out

The day of your technical control has arrived. Do not forget to present a clean vehicle, that is to say with an uncluttered trunk.

Take with you your gray card (registration certificate). Without the technical control will not happen. Allow 30 to 45 minutes to review the 133 regulatory checkpoints.

A defect is now called a failure. They are classified under 3 categories:

1. Minor failure (162)

No consequences for vehicle safety or the environment

2. Major failure (362)

Likely to compromise the safety of the vehicle, have a negative impact on the environment or endanger other road users.

All major failures must be repaired within two months, followed by a return visit.

3. Critical failure (144)

Constitutes a direct and immediate danger to road safety or a serious impact on the environment. In this case, the repair time is reduced to one day, followed by a return visit.

If several failures are noted, one of which is “critical”, the latter must first be repaired in order to be lifted. The other failures noted will be repaired within the time allowed according to their seriousness.


What is the return visit?

A return visit is mandatory if your vehicle has any faults. These must imperatively be repaired at a garage so that the vehicle can be driven again.

A new visit is then scheduled to check the repairs within a maximum period of 2 months (for major failures) from the date of the technical inspection or one day (for critical failures).

After this period, the counter-visit can no longer be carried out. A new technical inspection will therefore have to be carried out.


Lack of technical control – The penalties

As for a violation of the highway code, a lack of technical control or counter-visit can be sanctioned. In the event of control by the police, the lack of technical control, or the lack of counter-visit, constitutes an infringement of the Highway Code punishable by a fixed fine of  €135 .

The fine can be reduced to  €90  or increased to €375. This variation is made according to the payment period.

This offense has no impact on the points of your driving license.

Your vehicle may be immobilized by law enforcement until the technical inspection is carried out.

In addition, the vehicle may also be impounded if the mandatory repairs have not been carried out.

A technical control is not something to be taken lightly and can be criminally punished if nothing is done.


How to sell your car without technical inspection

Legally, nothing prevents you from selling your car without a technical inspection. The only condition is to give it to a garage or dealer.

Then, the professional to whom you sold your vehicle will carry out the technical control. Thus, he can later sell it as a used car.

In all other cases, except for the sale to a car professional, the technical inspection for the sale of a used car is compulsory.

The owner of the vehicle must have it pass a technical inspection before handing it over to the buyer. Sale of vehicle and technical control go hand in hand!

It is possible to sell a used car with a technical inspection requiring a return visit. The buyer acquires the vehicle knowingly.

The former owner of the vehicle gives him the technical inspection report, mentioning the need for a return visit with the list of defects observed.

Nevertheless, the sale will necessarily have to be carried out between the date on which the technical control was carried out, and the deadline for the counter visit.

The owner therefore has a period of 2 months to sell his car.


Vehicle donation – The obligations

You wish to sell your vehicle free of charge. The technical inspection is also mandatory in this case.

The person who benefits from the donation of the vehicle will need a technical control of less than 6 months to make the change of gray card in the prefecture.

Without an up-to-date technical inspection, the prefecture will not issue a new gray card.


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