Should you still buy a vintage car?

This is a dream, a fantasy for many lovers of beautiful cars. The temptation of classic car. Ride around town and get all eyes on you. A dream that seems unattainable, that is not so much, but that will soon become futile. Municipalities and public authorities, caught in a spiral of banning almost everything, will make illegal circulation of collection cars within one year at the latest. In question, pollution, a strange pretext: 400,000 vehicles registered in France on a fleet of 32 million cars, the danger is slim.

What is a collector’s car?

It’s simply a vehicle over 30 years old whose characteristics have never been modified and which is no longer produced. However, you won’t be able to transform your old jew’s harp who sleeps in your garage as a classic car. Nor go out parading in town as easily as that. It would be provocation. She must like all cars go through the box technical control. Small difference though This control is valid for 5 years and not two, like a conventional vehicle.

Can you transform your vehicle into a collector’s car?

Sure. But he will need a new registration. You can request it from your prefecture, your sub-prefecture or your arrondissement police station in certain large towns. But it is rarer. You will need to collect a fairly dissuasive number of coins, but, as we will see later, it can be worth it. Finally for another short year. Then it will be less useful.

The documents to present

This is where it starts to get complicated. You must first obtain the cerfa n°13750*03 registration certificate application form (with a document proving the origin of ownership and a certificate concerning the technical characteristics of the vehicle, obtained from the manufacturer or his representative in France, or from the French Federation of Vintage Vehicles). A proof of identity, address, normal, the old gray card, the payment for the new one. It varies according to the technical characteristics. Finally a technical inspection certificate less than two years old.

And if you buy it?

It’s quite a bit different in case of purchase. The technical control must date from less than 6 months, as for a classic vehicle and it is no longer the same cerfa form (it would be less fun for the administration). This time, it’s form n°13754*02. Do you remember the scene from The 12 Labors of Asterix where one of the tasks is to get the blue form in a prefecture? Well there you are.

What interest ?

Tax, especially. Because the tax authorities have their own concept of the classic car, and it is rather advantageous.
With first an exemption from the ISF. Whatever the value of your vehicle, it is considered a work of art and therefore exempt from this tax. Capital gains on the sale are also aligned with works of art: 5% on the sale price. You will have a 10% reduction if you have had the appropriate registration for more than two years. Like all collectibles, imported cars can be customs cleared and benefit from a reduced VAT rate of 10%. On the other hand, you will not escape inheritance tax. We can not have everything.


They too are different in the eyes of the tax authorities. Your car must have a historical interest or technical originality. Provided it has retained its original condition, regardless of its age. She can also be a racing car more than 5 years olds. Also allowed are cars over 15 years old, or over 20 if it was built in less than 1000 copies. Be over 25 and drivable, provided there are no more than 2%, or be over 40.


This is where the great paradox collector cars. Logic dictates that, like works of art, they are subject to huge premiums. It’s quite the opposite. Insurers know you’re bound to drive your classic car more carefully and more rarely. They can even lower their prices further beyond three cars or for collectors clubs. In return, they may require that you only use your car for leisure purposes, that you are the sole driver and exclude young drivers. It’s not absurd.

What audience is affected?

Attention, it will not be the sociological surprise of the century. According to a recent survey by the FFVE (French Federation of Vintage Vehicles), 97% of collectors are men. They are on average 58 years old and half are active. And they collect much more cars than motorbikes : 71% against 16%. You will notice that we do not reach 100%, which raises a question: what are the remaining 13%? More than half bought their classic car for less than €10,000 and collectors spend on average 3900 € per year for their passion. Not excessive compared to the money injected into a “normal” car each year.

A juicy market

Even in times of frantic hunting for cars of any kind, the collector car market is doing well. 4 billion turnover with a clear preference for Renault and Citroën. One in three cars in France. The future of this market remains to be seen. From July 2023, it will be impossible to drive in Paris and other large cities with a classic car. We can always do it on country roads, but to access it, you must first leave the city. Unless you have a electric classic car. Municipalities must be persuaded that it exists. Note that this is possible. The very first electric ones are nearly 30 years oldbut as Michel Audiard would have said: “It’s like flying fish: it exists, but it doesn’t constitute the majority of the genre”.

Read also:

  • Used: 3 collector cars under €7,500
  • Collector cars spared!
  • What is the profile of car collectors in France?

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