French myths

Since I have lived in France I have heard all kinds of strange beliefs which have been passed on to fellow Brits as fact. The recent post from Roz Russel & her car buying question awoke a memory of such a "fact". Quite soon after my arrival here I bought a French car from another department & registered it without problem. Living just 200 metres from the departmental border I could not imagine that the population would tolerate not being allowed to buy the car of their dreams just because the seller lived "over the border" bearing in mind that you can buy a car registered in another country & register it here. Not all people think the same, however, & at a dinner party I was asked for advice about changing the car. " but I understand that you cannot buy a car outside of your own department as the (old style) number will be wrong", I was told.

Since then I have heard & read some other myths which seem to evolve in to "facts".

Examples which spring to mind are :-

"You cannot sell a car with less than 18 months CT left to run"

"You must have your chimney swept once a year & get a certificate or your insurance is invalid"

"You must have a pool fenced or you are breaking the law"

Or the much spouted " The Gendarmes can get you for speeding by checking your peage ticket"

All the above are not NECESSARILY correct - You can sell & register a car with a failure certificate which lasts 2 months - You do not have to have your chimney swept but it is good housekeeping to do so. (It MAY be a stipulation on some insurance policies so check yours before not doing it. If you do find your policy insists on a certificate give them a copy for their files as if your house does burn down your certificate might burn with it!) - You DO have to have your pool protected but it does not have to be with a fence. You could fit an alarm or special cover. - Lastly, the peage ticket is the private property of the peage operator. If the gendarmes want it they would have to get a court order to do so, difficult to arrange in the 10 seconds it takes for you to pay & then notice a gendarme in front of you!*

I'm sure that there are many other French Myths so please add them to the list!

* These are not comprehensive answers, just an overview.