Carte Grise win!

After over a week of clearing various assorted piles of crap out of the house – three tipper truck loads – we took a day off from wading knee and elbow deep through dust, shredded insulation and small mammal shit and went to the prefecture at Laval to re-register the car.

It was a strange journey weather-wise. We left here in brilliant sunshine and after about 5 km we encountered some quite dense fog which persisted for the next 40 km all the way to Laval.

Armed with proof of our new address (an electricity bill), a certificate of conformity from Ford, a controle technique certificate (French MOT) and a declaration that tax was not due on the car, we finally got our carte grise – the French vehicle registration document. This also gave us a French registration number so we got new number plates made up and fitted at the cordonnerie (just like a keycutting shop in the UK but it also makes and fits numberplates) next to the Carrefour supermarket.

It’s been a long process, as regular readers of this blog will appreciate, but not a successful one until today.

The main problem was getting proof of address and nothing we had seemed to satisfy the Prefecture until we got an electricity bill for our new house. We were also anxious to get the process over with fairly soon as our controle technique certificate was almost 6 months old and if it had reached the 6 months old point then we’d have had to get another test done in order to reapply for the carte grise.

All in all, the whole process has also cost a lot of money – cost of new headlamp units, controle technique, certificate of conformity, registration fee and new number plates. In total, that little lot’s cost us about 700 Euros, but at least there’s no road tax to pay in the future.

Secondhand cars here are pricey enough, but French registered right hand drive ones attract a premium price here amongst ex-pat Brits so if we do eventually sell then we should get a reasonable price for our vehicle. 

Flushed with success, we set off back home in the fog, which didn’t seem to have lifted at all, and then about 5 km from home it changed to blue skies and sunshine again, although it’s cold and foggy here now.

Anyway, we now have our carte grise and can now return to the UK for a pre-Christmas visit of family and friends – hoorah!.

But, boy, does that new number plate look peculiar.

It really brings home the extent to which we’re committed to living here permanently – even more so than buying the house…

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