Import Canadian Fiat into France?

We have a hot, red 2016 Fiat 500 Turbo. Bought new in Vancouver. We’re planning a move to Normandy, in France.

After five minutes of intense research it seems that shipping the car by container from Canada to France is practical, but we’re trying to figure out whether a North American Fiat can be licenced in France without needing modifications.



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Hot means stolen in this part of the US.

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Got all, that; trying to figure out if we can take the Fiat and just licence it.

Apparently there is a Embassy of France in Vancouver . That seems like the logical place to start .

Edit: Just to kill time on Google it seems that along with the shipping costs there is a 10 % fee to France customs , a 20 % Value added tax and then there are still tags to be bought. This all sounds foolish , just sell the car and be done with it.

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Can you get parts in France?

Add to this the possibility that you have to make the car meet EU safety regulations, and it is likely cost prohibitive. Sell it and buy another car when you arrive. You might consider the Hyundai I30N.

Keep in mind that you might also have difficulty selling the car when the time comes.

Hopefully their license plates can be made to fit the car easily.

Of course! the Fiat 500 is very popular in France due to its small size and good fuel economy. Remember that the cost of gasoline in France is about 2 time what you pay in the Canada.

@Appalbarry: We get many such request, often by someone trying to import a foreign engineered car into Canada or the US. These things made sense in the 50s and 60s when technical standards were loose.

At this stage, however we strongly discourage such a move. The final cost to you, as indicated will be quite high, and getting something like this serviced in Normandy on a regular basis is doubtful.

Having lived in several countries and on 3 continents, I recommend you sell the car in Canada and buy a simple French car in Normandy.

The French are very chauvinistic and regard Italian cars like the one you have often with contempt, even though their own cars are not the world’s greatest.

Germans do that, too. My wife’s German cousin raves about BMW, VW, and Mercedes Benz. Hr doesn’t even like Opel, claiming is is really a Vauxhall.

It’s actually the other way around. All Vauxhalls are now designed and built by Opel in Russelheim, Germany. But I get the point. British car manufacturing is slowly fading away.
Years ago, the ADAC (German AAA) and the German Consumer Association decided to find out once and for all which were the most reliable cars on German roads, based on breakdown frequency statistics.

To the great consternation and “ANGST” it turned out to be the lowly Toyota Tercel and the Mazda 323, both cheap Japanese econoboxes, but capable of Autobahn speeds.!!!

Still longer ago, I was in Germany on vacation and in a photo equipment shop. I put my Japanese camera (a Taron) on the counter and the supercilious clerk picked it up by the strap between thumb and forefinger, and told me “Zeess ees chunk!!!”

I told her not to knock these people (the Japanese) ; after all they almost won the war, just like yourselves.!!!

“Add to this the possibility that you have to make the car meet EU safety regulations,”

That was our specific question, just whether our “Italian” car, built I think in Mexico, bought in Canada from part of the German Daimler empire, was road legal in France.

The latest idea is to drive it to Montreal or Halifax and load it, and us, onto a freighter for the cross-Atlantic part of the trip. With the dog of course.


When we were living in Germany, we had a 1982 Tercel

Very strange vehicle, in a way. fwd, but longitudinally mounted engine, with the transaxle pretty much under the engine

It was quite reliable. As far as autobahn speed, I can attest to this. The speedometer went up to 170km/h and I pegged it, so that the needle went past that and hit the end stop. But it wasn’t very stable at that speed, in part probably due to skinny stock tires.

And our neighbors had Mazda 323, it never game them any problems

82 tercel trans

A Fiat is a Fiat and has nothing to do with the German Empire. Car standards are the same throughout the EU, and cars made for North America meet North American standards, which are not necessarily the same as EU standards.

My last advice was to a Canadian returning from Venezuela. He had a Mazda 323 built in Colombia, and wanted to know what modifications were needed to bring it to Canada.

The Canadian government has several pamphlets dealing with this, and the car in question, outwardly thesame as a “Canadian” 323 needed rear seatbelts, daytime running lights North American bumpers, North American emission gear, etc. Total cost far more than the car was worth.

As I mentioned before, in the 60s many Canadians and Americans posted in Europe brought their cars back with them. A classmate stationed in Brussels, Belgium brought back his Mercedes. Very little emission gear in those days. The local Mercedes dealer had no problems tuning it up.

So, If I were you, I would contact the French Consulate in Vancouver, and get similar documents for taking a North American Fiat to France. Then calculate, based on Canadian labor rates, what it would cost. Add the freight and the import taxes, etc, and then you will be able to decide whether this is worthwhile.

We can only point you in the right direction and warn you what you are in for. Sometimes diplomats at a very high level can take their cars to a foreign country and be exempt form local emission and safety regulations.

The French may be romantic but their civil service is unforgiving!

I expect you’ll discover this as part of registering your car in France, but make sure you understand their requirements for the safety items you are required to carry when driving in the country. I believe you are required to carry florescent safety vests for example.

Yup . . . strange for the time

I believe Audi was also known for longitudinal engines with a fwd transaxle . . . ?

Is it the same car?

Yes its the same car
2 turbo engines are available in France out of 5 engine choice.

0.9 TwinAir Turbo 85 hp S&S
0.9 TwinAir Turbo 105hp S&S