Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brittany Holiday Cottage with Pool: Car re-registration

One of the funny stories of life at my Brittany holiday cottage with pool involved getting car insurance. I brought my Honda over from the UK and found that it was impossible to obtain insurance from a UK Insurer. I then approached Axa who provided my home insurance and was able to obtain car insurance, with the proviso that my car is re-registered in France.

I asked the chap who sold me the car insurance what time frame i had to get the car re-registered and he joked within the next 12 months, thinking that it was a typical French approach that although it was needed it was not....until one month later i received a letter from Axa asking to provide my french registration documents...I called the sales person from Axa and was told I needed to provide the document within the next 30 days. The sales person from Axa gave me information of how to go about registering my car, the first step was to check if i needed to pay any tax on my car, to make sure it was not a grey import. I was given directions and a map of where to find the office in Lorient a 60 mile round trip.

I then travelled to Lorient and found that the tax office had moved address, spent 2 hours walking around Lorient town center to eventually find the tax office opposite the Axa Lorient office....marvelous.

I then had to get a control technique which is the French equivalent of the English MOT, on the way home I saw a control Technique testing center and booked a test for the following morning.

9 am the following morning I arrive back in Lorient and it was at that point the test center guy asks to see my English MOT document, bearing in mind the reason I had to get the control technique was because in France they do not recognize the English MOT I was flabbergasted that I was asked for the document and was informed that he could not test my car without it...why on earth was I not told I had to bring the test certificate when I booked the test the previous evening.

The next day I found a test center in a local town and had the car tested, I was informed by an ex pat that I would not have to replace my headlights as my car was fitted with the standard adjusters....alas that was something that was also not true, the car failed on the headlights...60 euros for the test.

So back to Lorient where I located a Honda dealer only to find that they could not fit them while I was there so another appointment was made for the following day.

Following day back to Lorient and the headlights are fitted, total cost 800 euro's...ouch

I then book another appointment at the Control Technique center and the car passes. Now armed with the test certificate, the tax certificate plus the UK registration documents I drive back to Lorient to hand over all the documents at the Prefecture based in Lorient which I was told to do from the tax inspector that I first saw. Bearing in mind everything shuts between 12 and 2pm I arrived in Lorient at 4pm only to find that the office shut at 4pm..ahhhhhh

Following day I arrive at the office back in Lorient, hand over the documents only to be told because I lived in Baud I should not be in at the Lorient office but instead should take the documents to the Pontivey Office...how frustrating.

The next day I turn up at the Pontivey Office hand over my documents and you guessed it, I was then asked for ID plus prove of my address...no wonder ex pats get frustrated about all the red tape. Thankfully I had my driving licence with me and in the car I had a letter to post which happened to be a utility bill..phew...so 340 euro's lighter I'm handed my new French registration document...about time....the final part was to fit a new number plate to the car and id like to announce that was done without any trouble.

I must admit although this process was a nightmare, thankfully every thing else within my new life based in France has gone smoothly and hey there's plenty of red tape back in the UK.

La Forge the Brittany holiday cottage with private pool is available to rent all year.

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