Rear fogs - france

My friend lives in France and is considering an MX5 to replace her recently deceased MGF . Budget will run to an NC or early ND . She’s asked me how many rear foglights my ND has , as the French MoT apparently demands two - and the ND has one . I assume the NC has as well ?

I assume that even if two are required , it’s no big deal for anybody who knows about about electrics (ie not me) simply to wire another one in ? My friend seems to think an aftermarket solution might not be acceptable to Monsieur Dupont at the local garage - any French domiciled MX 5 owners on here who can cast light on the problem please?


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I appreciate this doesn’t answer your question however I too would like two rear fogs. A while ago I found that it’s possible to get LED bulbs that are both red and white. I’m thinking of putting such a bulb in the existing reversing lamp and asking an appropriately skilled person to connect the white to the reversing lamp circuit and the red to the rear fog circuit.

In theory, double reversing lamps could be an additional tweak done by doing the same as above but replacing the red rear fog lens with a clear one. (Later NDs seems to have a less red lens than my ND1).

My stumbling block is how to make the appropriate physical and electrical connections to the LED bulb(s). I suspect I’ll need to ‘invest’ in the new LED bulb(s) to see what the options are.

The advantage of such an approach is the retention of OEM appearance of the lighting but Monsieur Dupont could still be unhappy.

Would not an ND (or any other car) intended for sale in France be ‘specced’ to meet local regulations etc? In which case there should be no problem as long as she buys in France.

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Yes. I had a look at this when I was upgrading the reversing light in my NC for a few more lumens, and the Fog, both now LED.

The NC Fog is a T20mm wedge (red lens) and the Reverse a T15mm (clear lens). All the Red/White dual lamps I found seemed to be 20mm wedge, or at least I’ve yet to find a 15mm. (Maybe it is time for another look.)

Finding a clear lens for the ‘other’ side is not too much of a problem, and adding two extra wires between two new bulb holders is trivial, but the T15 mounting in the reflector moulding for the T20 dual lamp holder is too small.

I think simply buying a pair of French back light clusters (T20 mountings?) and adding the sockets and wires might be economic! I assume these are fitted on the French MX5s, maybe even the rest of the EU.

Well yes, if she lives in France and wants to drive the car in France, then sourcing the car in France would seem the simplest solution as it should already comply with local regs.
Presumably she would want to have left hand drive as well - driving a right hand drive car on French roads is a right pain as you can’t see to overtake etc.

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Living in France for the last 16 years and importing and registering more than 10 mx5’s plus numerous other UK cars, I can assure your friend that there is no requirement to have 2 fog lights at the rear.
Many cars here only have one. The only stipulation which your friend may find troublesome is that if only one fog is fitted, it MUST be on the left hand side of the vehicle ( UK nearside ) or in the center of the vehicle ( like the NA’s had ).
There are aftermarket rear lights available from most auto parts retailers or secondhand on ( Bon Coin ) which is the most popular second hand website in France. Ebay and others have not taken off here. As long as the lights are CE marked they will be accepted by the testers.
Some CT inspectors ( MOT inspectors ) will pass a car with a fog on the “wrong” side.
Your friend will also have to change the headlights for LHD units. Some units ( projector style ) can be modified. See my detailed post with photos relating how to do this here NBFL Headlights RHD to LHD How to with Pics.
The main reason for importing UK cars is price. Cars can be as much as double in France compared to the UK.
However, come 1st january 2021, there may well be 20% + TVA ( VAT ) to add to any vehicles imported from outside the EU.
If your friend is thinking of buying a fairly new vehicle, be aware that there may be a polution tax to pay on first registration in France. There is an online calculator supplied by the government which can be found here This will simulate the costs involved of registering or changing ownership of a vehicle in France.
Don’t forget that if the vehicle is 10 years or older, the cost of the certificate d’immitriculation ( V5 log book ) is halved. The pollution tax can be huge on some vehicles, especially if they are nearly new. The tax deminshes with the age of the vehicle.
I have just registered a 2010 Freelander 2 TD4, on which I did not have to pay any pollution tax and the registration fee was halved ( to around €220 ). However my friend bought the same car, but a year 2013 model, and was hit for €1200 in pollution tax and €480 registration fees, a huge differenct to the sum I paid.
It pays to do your homework before thinking of importing a vehicle. At the end of the day a RHD vehicle will not hold its residual value in France, unless it is a rare or exotic car.
MX5’s are very popular here, there is an owners club The link is to the vehicle sales section.
My advice would be ( notwithstanding 1st jan 2021 ), if you are thinking of buying something 10+ years old, buy in the UK and import. Anything newer and I would be buying in France.


Very helpful indeed - thanks all . I will brief my friend accordingly .

(ps - she does want RHD , for various reasons , so it’d be an import from UK )

One important point I omitted to mention. Your friend will need a certificate of conformity from Mazda to enable registration of a UK import in France.
Contact Zoe Doyle at Mazda UK quoting the VIN number to ensure that one is available before commiting to a purchase. Cost was £85 the last time I got one.

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