Owning an Elan in France?

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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Thu 30.05.2013, 14:07

Hmm, just found yellow LHD dipped beams on the aftersales list, do you think I'll be allowed them alongside white main beams?
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Pascal » Sat 01.06.2013, 06:56

you may call this seller and ask back pictures :

http://www.ebay.fr/itm/2-Cibie-5-3-4-LH ... 4cfe822d48
2019 May - Ieper Lotus Day ! I'm not ready ! I need a hair cut ! Pascal - North of France - 1991 SE Turbo Calypso (faded to pink) Red and an additional Elise somewhere in the garage
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Sun 02.06.2013, 22:41

Hi Pascal,

Thank you for finding those, that's very helpful. I've asked the seller for photos and if they know if they will replace 488046 units, we'll see what they say.

In the meantime, if it's okay for me to have yellow dipped beam units and white main beams, or if I can easily change the white main beams to yellow with a plastic filter or something, then I can get a couple off the aftersales list.

The "welcome office" of the organisation I'm going to work for says to register my car in France I'll need a French certificate of conformity for the Elan, which I may be able to get from the Lotus dealer in France when I get there. Does this sound familiar?

Cheers,
Will
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Bolsom » Mon 03.06.2013, 18:59

I phoned Lotus at Hethel and spoke to a woman (whose name I forget) and was sent the certificate of conformity.

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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Mon 03.06.2013, 21:27

Thanks Colin I'll give them a call.

Any thoughts on the lamp colours?
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Bolsom » Mon 03.06.2013, 21:47

From memory you will also require:- Control technique (French MOT) - There is a box to put its 'valid to' date on the form below.
Demand de Certificat D'immatriculation D'un Vehicule. - I think we got that at the Prefecture.

As I mentioned before my car has been through 4 Control Techniques with yellow dips and clear main beam lights.
Pascal seems to think this is illegal.

When you go to get the form at the prefecture you can check out all you need to have to get your new registration.

Hope this helps

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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Mon 03.06.2013, 21:55

Oh I must have missed that when I reread the posts at the weekend, thanks for the confirmation. I sent a message to the seller on ebay of the lamps that Pascal found and he said he didn't recognise the Cibie number and although asked for photos he said he couldn't help me. I think I'll just go with the lamps from the aftersales list and if they're no good I can get some when I'm in France.
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Pascal » Fri 07.06.2013, 12:19

i'm back ...


i have seen recently yellow bulbs on eBay (bulb itself, H1 or H4) , so the transition if needed is not a problem.

I confirm the glass codes, and the BMW compatibility during a short period of time.

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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Pascal » Fri 07.06.2013, 12:21

2019 May - Ieper Lotus Day ! I'm not ready ! I need a hair cut ! Pascal - North of France - 1991 SE Turbo Calypso (faded to pink) Red and an additional Elise somewhere in the garage
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Thu 13.06.2013, 11:16

Thanks Pascal, that's a good idea and really helpful.
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Pascal » Tue 16.07.2013, 08:41

Hello,

what is the situation , are you preparing your luggages or are you already in place ( with M100) ?

about servicing in France ...
mine is now in Belgium, where i found a very competent mechanics, but it is 1000 km from a South France location.

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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby HJ2 » Tue 16.07.2013, 11:43

Why not drive it to the Netherlands then, as i know a competent mechanic as well, and you know him too :mrgreen:
We're off to France in the end of the summer!
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Wed 17.07.2013, 10:12

Hi Pascal,
Not yet there, removal next week, drive down next weekend, find somewhere to live, start work.
I've got the yellow dipped beam lamps ordered, and MOT is today which should give me a few months to get it made suitable for the French CT test.
Cheers,
Will
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Pascal » Tue 03.09.2013, 08:10

Hi, some news from France now ?

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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Sat 07.09.2013, 17:43

Hi Pascal,
Yep, we've moved down, got a house to rent which we're gradually settling into, though it's due a modernisation so the electrics, heating and telephone are causing me some issues.
After using the Elan to drive down here and commute for a while, and with no real problems, I decided I needed to get a "provencal" car sharpish since it seems to be a badge of honour to have scrapes, scratches and dents in your car here. I got a battered 2005 Grande Punto. Shockingly, despite the bad state of used cars here the values are higher than in Britain!
I haven't changed the lamps yet, but will do in the next few weeks. Insurance is something I need to sort out more urgently though, best I found is ~300 euros for a "classic" policy, I'm sure I must be able to find better.
Cheers,
Will
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Pascal » Sat 07.09.2013, 18:05

Hello,

yes cars are not always fine here and are relatively expensive.

I am surprised about the 300 euros insurance, check what you have for that cost, mine is more.

Check : Including the insurance of the driver himself (not standard in France).

collector insurance is about 350, normal insurance about 600. or more.

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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Sun 11.06.2017, 11:41

Hi Pascal, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to reply with an update!

The good news is things are going well, we're settled and things are fairly normal.

For insurance, we use Aon InsurXpat. They speak English (ish) and the premiums are okay. I pay about 350 euros for an agreed value classic/collector's car policy for the Lotus. The recognised my full no-claims bonus from the UK and gave me the full 50% discount in France. We insure our daily drivers there as well.

Banking was a bit of a surprise - in the UK it's free, in France it costs over 200 euros per year! We started with HSBC who had an arrangement with my work to give us free banking, and they spoke English and had English online banking. When they started to charge us (and because their service is rubbish) we moved to BNP Paribas who also have an arrangement with my work to give us free banking for a few years. They also speak English in our in-work branch and they have English online banking but not as good as HSBC; the service is much better though.

For house insurance we just found it using price comparison websites like we would in the UK, compared the small print and they've remained the cheapest for four years.

Parts availability is okay. There are online companies that stock most of the Opel/Vauxhall and other off-the-shelf parts, and other more specialist parts can be ordered from the UK or USA, or by phone/email from Lotus dealers in France. It isn't as easy as in the UK but it's not too bad either.

I haven't had to pay for any work on the Lotus yet, I've done it all myself. I've paid for work on our daily driver (terrible Fiat Grande Punto that is stereotypically Italian in its build quality) and found it a reasonable price, which was a nice surprise.

For LHD dipped beams I fitted the yellow ones I got from Lotus Aftersales and the main beams I left white. My car passed the CT without problem both times, only small advisories which if I'd been in the UK would have been a fail! (headlamp adjustment, wheel bearing). And the emissions has proven to be no issue, it easily passes the test whereas in the UK it is close to the limit. My CT experience explains the number of cars we see in Provence with barely/wrongly working lights (flashing brakes when turning?!) and filthy exhausts.

Elan knowledge? Thankfully I've not had to find out! The car is listed in online parts/insurance websites, but apart from that I suspect it is unknown.

For breakdown cover I use ADAC rather than the cover that is normally included in the car insurance. I think ADAC is better standard of cover and is usable with any car, like the normal AA/RAC cover in the UK, whereas the stuff that comes with car insurance in France is only for the specific car.

Registering the car in France was a little tricky. The car was made before it was on sale in France and the UK CoC wasn't acceptable to the local prefecture office because it was before European type approval became the norm. I had to explain to Lotus UK how to complete the French CoC form (it's changed in the past few years) and I had help from people at work to communicate with the person from the prefecture (who, it turned out, wrote perfectly fine in English, I later discovered). In the end it all worked out, but (like all admin here) it took much longer than I expected it to.

On that point, almost everything takes longer to do here because 1) the processes are more bureaucratic, 2) the processes are different from the UK so all the preconceptions of how it will work are wrong, 3) I don't speak/hear French well and it's rare for things to be done by email here, unlike in the UK. Note that I'm sure that French people moving to Britain experience exactly the same frustrations!

Roads: Outside of July and August the roads round here are generally clear and nice to drive. In July and August there are too many tourists for it to be really enjoyable. The gorges du Verdon are awesome, but not really for driving quickly around, more for admiring the view.

When traveling across departement borders the road quality (especially on minor roads) can suddenly change which can be a nasty surprise! I notice this going between Var and Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence, the 04 roads are often very poor in comparison to 83 roads!

The speed bumps in France are incredible, some of them are bigger than an Elan! Thankfully speed cameras and policeman aren't difficult to avoid really, certainly no worse than in Britain.

Driving in France does require one to keep one's wits about oneself because there's always the risk of being killed by yet-another-Frenchman/woman-thinking-they're-Francois-Delacour/Michelle-Mouton! KSI stats in France are ~twice as bad as in the UK and it's fairly obvious why. We've noticed that there's a marked difference between the driving before lunch/apero time and afterwards - 12:30 and 6:30 are typical times for people to be driving like lunatics because they're late for food/booze, and when they're on their way home they're much more sedate but even less likely to stay on their side of the road.

Weather: obviously the weather here is considered to be amazing by everyone who comes here on holiday from the UK, and in general they're right. However, driving any convertible car in the summer in Provence is almost impossible in the afternoon, because the sun is strong enough to melt lead. Winter is very cold due to the clear skies and continental cold air mass, -10 degrees C is common in the mornings. When it rains it really rains. On balance, it is better than the UK, but not always.

Right, that's a long enough essay, I hope it's useful to some folk! And if anyone needs a hand drop me a PM, I'm happy to try and help :)

Cheers,
Will
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby Pascal » Sat 06.01.2018, 07:56

:D :cheers:
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby HJ2 » Sat 06.01.2018, 10:09

LOL Pascal! That took you quite a while :lol:

After reading this i'm ready to move to France now!
This summer I'm back in the Provence :D
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Re: Owning an Elan in France?

Postby madbilly » Sat 06.01.2018, 18:57

HJ2 wrote:LOL Pascal! That took you quite a while :lol:

Not as long as it took me in the first place! :D
HJ2 wrote:After reading this i'm ready to move to France now!
This summer I'm back in the Provence :D

Let me know when you're down here again, I'll make sure the Elan is up and running! Unfortunately I've not driven it since the summer, too much work to do on it and too little time. I hope I can find a few quiet weekends before spring comes and then get back on the road.
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