Around France

Goodbye “Mustang Sally”, Hello “Lucy”

Buying a car in France

I spent most of last week buying a car in France. Not only is it the first car I’ve bought in France, it’s the first car i’ve ever bought. Like many things in this new world, where I don’t speak the language, purchasing my new “voiture”wasn’t easy.  I had to enlist help.

Mustang Sally

Mustang Sally

Buying a car in France

When friends learned I wanted a car, they all had suggestions. The most prevalent one was “Don’t buy a French car.” Sorry, but that’s just what I did. The next tip was, “Don’t buy from a dealer.” Yep, I did that too.

I am double handicapped. I have never bought one for myself, by myself. My first car was a hand-me-down from my Mother. My brother, who owned a VW dealership, arranged the next cars. I drove VWs for years. Then my ex bought our cars. If he said he was going car shopping, I’d say: “Tell me when it’s over, and by the way, I get the new one.”

Of course, not speaking French is my second handicap in buying a car.

Uzès has no car dealers, so I turned to Leboncoin. Car shopping online became my passion. I looked at cars constantly. But when I’d be interested in one, I’d just sigh. There was no way to communicate with the seller. Using email didn’t work. They didn’t reply. If I telephoned, I could write a script in French to tell what I wanted, but their response was unintelligible. Going to Nimes to a car shop was a consideration, but finding someone to drive me there who knew anything about cars wasn’t happening.

Finally, I threw money at the problem. A young French man I’ve met several times at one of the cafes told me he’d help. He needs money. I needed a car. It was a perfect match. Except that he wasn’t entirely on the same timeline as me.

After several weeks of back-and-forth emails to “JJ” with links to cars on Leboncoin, he finally saw one that appealed to him. It was with an “independent” dealer in Remoulins. It was mine after a trip to see the car and then back to sign the papers.

buying a car

Geoffrey went along to witness the car deal.

Buying a car in France

JJ agreed to go with me to the “préfecture” to change over the title and help with whatever else is needed. I had no idea about insurance. The garage insurance was running out on Monday. Indeed that could be solved, too.

Signed, sealed and delivered

Signed, sealed, and delivered


Here’s Lucy! With her shiny red body, she’s the female version of “Lucifer”.


While I’m on a Beatles kick: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Now for that diamond-encrusted steering wheel cover. Leboncoin?


Happy memories of Mustang Sally

Saying “goodbye” to Mustang Sally hasn’t been easy. Looking back at some of our adventures posts makes me happy and sad. If you’d like to walk around through “memory lane” with me, here are some posts where Sally played a starring role. Click on the titles to view the posts.

May in Uzes

Geoffrey and Sally

Geoffrey and Sallly


On the Road with Mustang Sally

On the Road with Mustang Sally

On the Road with Mustang Sally

Uzes on Sundays

An afternoon drive with Geoffrey and Mustang Sally

An afternoon drive with Geoffrey and Mustang Sally


Then there are memories of Mustang Sally at her last car wash.

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Happy Trails, Mustang Sally!

Happy Trails!



6 replies »

  1. Congratulations – I know how you feel. Just had a long conversation on the phone about ‘assurance d’habitation’ for my new abode and……… success I think the document is on its way via email. Who knows what i have signed up for though 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you end of September

  2. Interesting to see that Sally had UK number plates. I wonder what the history behind that is…?

    I think you’ll enjoy driving Lucy, when you get used to her. You’ll find the Citroen very different to the Mustang, but these little euro-boxes are brilliant. Even the French ones….! .

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