Saturday, 3 June 2017

The bus

In Britain, you have to get your car tested every year; an MoT test.  The Ministry of Transport no longer exists, but the test they inaugurated for cars lives on.  In France cars have to have a contrôl technique once every two years, and once every ten years the test is a more comprehensive one.

Our Renault Espace has just had its ten-year contrôl technique, and it passed, which is a bit of a relief.  It is a diesel, chosen for the fuel economy, and because the government (French) seemed to think they were a good idea, reflected in the lower price of diesel fuel.  The Renault garage offered a free "pre-contrôl" test, which sounded like a good idea, and when we came to pick the car up, we discovered they had sorted the test with the test centre up the road.  Result.

Frankly, we don't drive it much, but we are in the peculiar position of it being essential to operating the gîte.  We bought it for its seating capacity (6 people + driver) and its carrying capacity (you can take the seats out and fill it with shopping).  The seating capacity was for transporting gîte customers to and from railway stations and airports, and the carrying capacity was for all the food we have to buy to cater for guests.  Food for a gîte full of people for a long weekend, including two chilled hampers, fills it up.  As it turns out we have used it about twice for ferrying people, but use it for carrying food every time we have guests in the gîte (say, 20 times per year).

As a consequence, although the car is ten years old, it has only 55,000 Km on the clock; as a diesel, it's barely run in.  I have been assuming that it will see me (us) out, that I will drive it until either I can't drive or it can't be driven any more, and that will be the end of it.

In the mean time, diesel fuel is dropping out of favour.  A manufacturer been found to be cheating on the pollution figures, others are suspected, and all of a sudden, news coverage is all about what nasty stuff diesel smoke is.  People are assuming that diesels will be banned at some time, which will mean that I will have to buy a new car.  My careful considerations of future utility have been thrown out of the window by changes in government thinking.  It's by no means clear what I should replace it with, should the need arise: electric? hybrid? petrol?  Perhaps, if we're not running the gîte, we won't need it at all.  That might be the best solution.


Timbotoo said...

Peanut oil should work.

James Higham said...

Classic case of government interfering and creating problems where there were none before.

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