Saturday, September 11, 2004

les impôts et le contrôl technique
I just wrote out the largest cheque of my life, and it wasn't even for a new car or a round-the-world holiday or anything exciting like that. It was for my boring old French taxes, les impôts.

There's a bit of a weird system over here, where you don't pay as you earn like in England. You have to fill in forms and then pay up whatever they evaluate. To make it even weirder, if it is your first year paying then you have to pay the WHOLE amount in one go. Ouch.

It seems like it has been the week for getting straight with the French administration, because I took my car for its Contrôl Technique on Wednesday, the equivalent of the British MOT. It didn't pass, unsurprisingly. It needs new headlights because apparently I am blinding the drivers on the other side of road with my English lights.

And I thought all those accidents were because of the dodgy Toulouse driving style.

Anyway, to get it through the Contrôl Technique I took it to my friendly English speaking mechanic Graham Jones (tel 0562740582). Although Graham is all the way out in Cornebarrieu which is highly inconvenient for me, the guy runs the best and most trustworthy garage I have ever known.

By contrast, and to give them the bad publicity they deserve, Norauto in Purpan are a bunch of dodgy lying ripoff merchants.

When I took my car to them because there was a severe grinding noise coming from the brakes, I told them to replace the pads. I came back half an hour later and they started giving me some old story.. Ah 'ello Monsieur.. Zere eez a leetle probleme.. Eet iz not ze pads.. Eet iz ze Master Cylinder.. Dooz you like me to order ze Master Cylinder.

Now being an Engineer I know what a Master Cylinder does. It's the bit that makes the brakes work. Since I knew the brakes were working because I could hear them tearing themselves to pieces, I declined Norauto's helpful plan to completely rip me off.

Graham on the other hand, just replaced the pads.

So, if you're listening out there DON'T GO TO NORAUTO, THEY'RE A BUNCH OF THIEVES!!

Hmmm... that feels good.

Permalink | |