Day 4: Libourne


I woke up in Bordeaux this morning, had a very pleasant breakfast of croissant, kiwi, and espresso, and then hopped on the train back to Libourne. I went first to the garage to ensure everything was okay and that the part had arrived (it had). I also asked the guy there (I guess I should learn their names at some point) if he would be able to make us a skid plate to protect the oil pan. He said no, and didn’t seem sorry about it either.

Next I returned to my hotel from the first two nights here since I’d left one of my bags there. I asked if they knew anyone who could assist me at the prefecture office. This is the equivalent of the DMV. Eventually I was told to meet someone at the hotel at 2.

At 2 a very nice French girl named Camie showed up and we walked together over to the prefecture (actually the sous-prefecture, or sub-prefecture, since Libourne is a small town). Well, the prefecture is only open 9-12:30, so clearly closed now. Seeing as it is Friday we will have to wait until Monday to try again. While I had Camie with me I decided to stop in at an insurance agent’s to see about insuring the car. This woman was very concerned about me not having the right paperwork and just generally not doing things right, but didn’t really offer anything concrete except for the names of a couple documents that I needed: the contrat d’achat (bill of sale), and the certificat non gage (something saying nobody owes money on the car to anyone, there are no liens, etc.).

All I had and thought I needed was the title/registration document, called the carte grise (grey card). On this, Sandra (who we bought the car from) had scrawled a great big “VENDU LE 25/04/09″ and a signature. The insurance woman really shook her head at this.

Back at the hotel, Camie helped me call Sandra to see if we could get these extra documents. Boy was she not happy to be hearing from me again. She asserted firmly that she had, in fact, given me (actually Anand) all the documents. Not wanting to anger her further in case we need her help at some point, I asked Camie to apologize for me and we hung up. Off we go back to the garage to see if the documents are in the car.

Camie gave me a ride in her Renault Twingo, and my first impression is that we really made the wrong choice with the Skoda. The roof on this thing rolls back like a sardine can! The whole roof! It’s awesome!

Sure enough, the documents were in the glove compartment. Of course, the certificat non gage is only valid for a month from the date of issue, which is long past. Also the contrat d’achat has Anand’s signature on it rather than mine (although not his name written out anywhere). I’m hoping that this will all just be fine at the prefecture. Wish me luck come Monday!

One Comment

  1. Ron Cole says:

    Great updates and videos. Good luck on Mon, hope you survive the DMV, insurance lady, (and train ladies) garage guys etc.