Tom IV has just had his first MOT or, as we say here in France, Contrôle Technique, and now sports a small badge on his windscreen certifying compliance. In France you have to undergo one of these within six months of your car’s fourth birthday. You don’t get sent a reminder in the post, or by email. I fortunately looked up the rules on the helpful government website. You just book an appointment, turn up and within 20 painless minutes it’s all over. It costs just Euros 55, 00. I’m not sure how that compares with elsewhere as it was also my first ever MOT.
When Tom IV had his annual service back in May, the mechanic said I would need to get the oil filter sorted before my MOT. In addition, since that service, yet another idiot had driven into my bike carrier but this time had broken the rear light on the right hand side which I also needed to get fixed. So I booked a pre-MOT service at my Smart garage. I asked for the earliest service slot at 08:00am that way I only have to wait for 2 1/2 hours in the showroom.
Last week was still half-term in France and because it also contained a national holiday (1 November) many people were off work. The roads were empty as I drove to the garage. In fact I was there 30 minutes ahead of time and had to wait in the car. The Smart garage has free WiFi so I was able to get on with some work while they tended to Tom. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the piece to repair the light which meant I had to return the following day to get it done and, because there was also a loose connection, had another long wait in the Smart showroom while they figured it out, at no extra cost.
Finally, all the repairs had been carried out and we were set for our maiden MOT appointment. I chose the nearest garage and booked an appointment on-line for this morning. My plan had been to take Tom IV for a wash and vacuum yesterday so he’d be looking his very best today. But it rained heavily, on and off, for most of yesterday. So I just gave him a quick once over this morning.
Yes, autumn has finally arrived and I’ve put away my cycling shorts and short-sleeved jerseys. From now on I’ll be riding in my Roubaix fleecy 3/4 tights and long-sleeved jersey, as a minimum. I have replaced the Birkenstock sandals with socks and trainers and I have stowed away the last vestiges of my summer wardrobe until spring. As if to reinforce the change in seasons, I made my beloved a boeuf bourguignon for lunch. It’s time for heartier fare.
The place I’d chosen to carry out the MOT was fortuitously opposite a small parade of shops so I spent the time wisely, shopping in the Bio store. Its stock isn’t quite as extensive as the one I usually patronise. Though it’s my closest store, I’ve never shopped here before because parking is a bit of a nightmare but that wasn’t a problem today. So Tom’s now good to go for the next two years and I’ll be treating him to a wash and polish tomorrow to celebrate.