My dad and I are in a rush to get our unregistered cars registered because French administration is terrible and is becoming worse.
A few years ago, to register an imported car, you had to have a certificate of conformity, a recent inspection, the car papers, a bill of sale and a tax discharge. with this, you had to go to your local prefecture and walked out with your registration.
Later, the local prefecture stopped doing car registrations, and you had to go to the next one, 30km further, not too much, but enough to go from a 1 hour process to a 3 hour process with the longer wait.
About 2 years ago, in an effort to reduce the bureaucracy, dealers were allowed to handle title changes, but for national sales only. This led to less, but still considerable wait at the prefecture.
Early this year, they changed the process, instead of going to the prefecture, get a ticket and wait, you had to go to their website and make an appointment. Ok, why not, except the wait was now about 2 weeks to get an appointment.
Mid-year, the next prefecture stopped making registrations, and I discovered that the companies offering title change service even for imports went through the same process, making appointments and doing the paperwork the same way I did. So no advantage to that. The next prefecture is 60km away.
Beginning in November, all car registration work will be handled 400km away from where I live.
Since nobody seems to know how imports will be handled after October, I took the last available appointments on next Tuesday to register two cars that have been standing around for a while:
My dad’s 1988 Peugeot 505 GTD, with a 2,5L turbo diesel I4 with an intercooler, good for 110hp. It’s also sadly got a 4 speed auto.
We’ve had it for about 11 years now. My dad kept saying it’s going to be his retirement car. it had a damaged front when we got it, in the meantime, it developed some rust issues, seized brakes and injection pump and injector issues.
And also my 1988 Peugeot 505 V6 with a catalysed 2,8L V6 PRV engine, 143hp, and a 5 speed stick. It also has a bodykit that was offered by german dealers, which refreshed the styling quite a bit, and is entirely made of unobtainium.
I’ve had it for a year, never drove it. It has terrible rust issues (thanks plastic cladding), a collapsed front suspension (specific to the V6, and not available anymore) and seized brakes.
Remember the “recent inspection” part earlier? That’s where it gets tricky.
My dad’s car was pretty straightforward: rebuilding the brakes, repairing the front, let the engine run with injection system cleaner (still runs a bit roughly, but it’s sufficient).
It passed inspection this morning.
Mine is a bit worse. Luckily, I found a parts car about two months ago.
Long story short: refurbished the front struts, front wheel hubs and brakes, rear sub-frame and brakes from the parts car (repairs ongoing).
I have an appointment for inspection on saturday morning.
Having done the repairs quick and dirty, we barely reach the minimum requirements to pass the inspection: no bad rust on structural parts, working brakes and suspension, ok bushings.
Both cars will need to be repaired correctly afterwards, but for now, there’s just no time to lose on such fancy things like a non leaking engine or no holes in the quarter panels.