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Motor vehicles: a new standard contract on August 1!

27 Jan 2022

Published in the Official Journal on July 4, Decree No. 2020-845, in the title of the standard contract that it institutes, adds a significant element to the standard transport contract. It is thus specified that this standard contract is applicable to public road transport of “Motor vehicles” carried out by means of car carriers. This delimitation of the scope of application of the standard contract is reflected in Article 1 of the new standard contract, which states that it concerns transport carried out by “car-carrying vehicles”. Beyond that, towing and hauling of damaged vehicles and the transport of vehicles in containers are excluded from its scope.

However, in addition to the clarification regarding the scope of application of the text, various points of the text have been amended, with the introduction of real novelties also to be noted.

Below is an overview of the most significant changes/new features.


In the version of the standard contract that is still in effect today, the vehicle being transported must be labelled to identify the consignor, the consignee and the place of delivery. As of August 1, the vehicle will be identified by its chassis or registration number, which will be associated with the consignor, consignee and place of delivery in accordance with the transport document and the accompanying sheet.

Delivery in the absence of the recipient

The no-show clause was introduced in the previous revision of the standard contracts, only in the standard contracts for cars and money and valuables. The modus operandi was detailed, with the clarification that the carrier acted under the responsibility of the consignee.

The new version of the standard contract for cars is particularly weakened in this respect, as it refers to the agreement of the parties (this raises questions. Indeed, are the standard contracts not intended to compensate for the lack of agreement between the parties?)

Failure of the carrier to load

Until now, this failure was considered from the point of view of the time the shipper had to wait before looking for another carrier. It is now approached from the angle of the compensation of its damage, i.e. a maximum compensation corresponding to the agreed transport price, within the limit of the proven damage.

The problem of cancellation of carriage by either party, which is now included in the standard contract, is also considered from the point of view of compensation for loss, in the same terms as the carrier’s fault. Be careful, however! For compensation to be paid, the cancellation must be announced within 24 hours before the agreed time of availability of the vehicle.

Damage Compensation

The previous bases of compensation remain and, regarding property damage, are set as follows

  • new vehicle or vehicle not yet listed in the Argus price guide: value of the replacement vehicle excluding taxes at the manufacturer’s rate in effect on the date of the loss, minus the resale value of the damaged vehicle ;
  • vehicle quoted in the Argus automobile : value according to the last published quotation of this journal on the date of the loss, minus the resale value of the damaged vehicle;
  • vehicle whose value is no longer listed or is not listed: 1,000 euros (previously 800).

The compensation for other damages cannot exceed a sum also fixed at 1,000 euros (previously 500).

In order to be effective, it should be noted that a declaration of value is subject to financial consideration (and the same is true for a declaration of special interest in delivery).

Contract termination

As was the case with the recently revised “general” model contract, the model car contract includes provisions for duration, renewal (newly introduced term), and termination of the contract.

While the notice periods are similar for these two model contracts (1, 2, 3, 4 months +), there are some differences with regard to termination justified by the partner’s breaches. While the general model contract makes a distinction between repeated breaches and serious breaches, the model car contract ” treats ” the 2 situations in a similar way (” In the event of serious breach or repeated breaches by one of the parties of its contractual obligations, and at the end of a period of fifteen (15) days following a formal notice, mentioning the present resolutory clause, which has remained without effect, sent by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, the other party may terminate the transport contract, whether it is for a fixed or indefinite period, without notice or compensation, by sending a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt to terminate it. “). »).

Source: LAMY

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