The best way for us to get ourselves down here to the Lot-et-Garonne was to drive.
Having a lovely cousin who works for a car hire firm was very helpful in getting a great deal on a van hire for the move and we were able to return the van to Gatwick instead of having to drive all the way back to Edinburgh after the move.
As previously mentioned, we drove down in a wee convoy. The long-wheel based hire van and the trusty old Ford Focus that we’d had for 6 years or so.
Once here we realised very quickly that we had to get rid of the UK right hand drive car and here’s why:
- Steering wheel on the wrong side… insurance companies don’t like this and your passenger is presented frequently with texting truck drivers driving very close to the wing mirror… and TO THEM!
- Re-registering the car in France can be a bit of an administrative headache as well as a costly process.
I’ll not go into too much detail here but trust me, the cost of sorting the headlamps, documentation, fees associated and the rather expensive insurance premiums that come with insuring a UK car here in France, it made more sense for us to sell the Ford back in the UK and buy a wee French car.
- Visibility! On a very basic level, when turning onto a large road from a small one, looking left to check for oncoming traffic is a nightmare. I got into the habit of driving toward the centre of the junction so that I could see… BUT!… The French don’t seem to want to acknowledge that you have an indicator flashing so they sneak around you to turn right also and before you know it, there’s is someone right next to you!
The easiest thing for us to do was use WeBuyAnyCar.com. Once the car was given an online evaluation, we booked it in near Gatwick so that the return journey was simple… We drove up France one last time, next morning spent just 22 mins having the car looked over and the deal was done… handed over the keys and alas, the old car was off our hands.
Great service, not a fantastic price due to the amount of rust appearing on the car, which we hadn’t realised, and the mileage had crept up too! C’est la vie, cars are, after all, money pits!
We replaced the bulky Ford Focus right-hand drive with a nifty little Citroen C3, tiny, slim, air conditioned left-hand drive and very cheap!
A much better car for us to get used to the rules and roads here as well as a wee nod of respect to the French manufacturers!