Monday, June 15

Dodgy Car-Dealing

We’ve pretty much ticked all the boxes on our sequence lists and I’m now in full packing-up mode, this includes selling the old French police car, a Laguna that I'd bought for this project last year.

I’ve been telling everyone that the car is for sale. A couple of weeks back, when I was alone at the house, I had just stuck a 'For Sale’ notice in the car's window when I saw a familiar Mercedes pulling into our drive, M.Mullet got out of his car, greeted me a little too intimately, prowled around my car and asked me why I was selling it so cheaply, ‘Leave the car with me when you go - I will sell it for you’.

The paperwork for selling vehicles in France is complicated and I told M.Mullet that I needed to have the car sold before I left France, but if he found a buyer he’d get a cut, I went into the house to get drinks for us. When I came back out M.Mullet's demeanor had completely changed, he seemed to be trying to control himself, then he put his face close to mine and snarled, ‘you will never sell that car’ and drove off.

That shook me up

I stepped up my campaign, there was a pétanque tournament at the village bar on Saturday, so I drove the car there and parked with my ‘For Sale’ notice showing prominently, by the end of the afternoon one of the players, a Dutchman, had made an offer and we shook hands on what we both knew was the bargain of the century, he insisted that I took the ‘For Sale’ sign out of the car, I passed it to him and he tore it up. We drank many glasses to celebrate the purchase and he said that he would come by and exchange cash for the vehicle a few days later.

While the Dutchman was out test-driving the Laguna, The Walrus who is also Dutch looked at me and gave me a warning.
be careful! he is from Holland – he will not pay what you are asking.
So when I received a call that evening from another prospective buyer, I said that it was probably sold - and I took her number.

Sure enough, a couple of days later the Dutchman phoned, having assessed my urgency to get the car sold, he was offering me a considerably lower price than the one we had agreed - he said that his new price was all he was prepared to pay, he would call back when I’d had a chance to think about it.

I phoned the woman back, asked if she still wanted the car and took it over to her that evening. She lived a long way away and it was midnight before her husband drove me back home with 3,000 euros stuffed in my underwear.

...and I got to tell Mr Dutchman where to put his money when he called the following day to see when he could pick up his Laguna


  1. A plan is a good thing. But remember what happened to Wild Bill Hickock and always keep your back to a wall and always keep an eye on the door.

  2. "a plan..."


    One of the reasons I keep a car a long time is that I wish to avoid the buy/sell ritual. Makes me nervous.

  3. always have a plan b, sugar! good luck! xoxoxo

  4. Bill - keep your back to a wall and always keep an eye on the door

    what excellent advice!

    XL - I can't bear doing car sales either, the French process is particularly Kafkaesque.

    Savannah - and a 'plan c', a 'plan d' etc.

  5. Beware the Buying Dutchman, sailing round the price endlessly. Await your plan with eager glee.

  6. How mean this Dutchman is when he was already getting a good deal. And how scary this mercedes-owner is.

    Why do men have to be so rotten about money, turning it into a contest?

    Cow hopes that a good result comes out. And thanks Lovely Lu for the mention on her blog...was a general commment, not particularly at Lulu!

    Cow wondering whether an ad in the paper would bring a buyer?


  7. I'm looking forward to 'The Plan' post, it sounds wicked and dastardly... and nobody with a mullet should ever get one over on you!

  8. Madame DeFarge - interesting, someone else had also warned me of flying Dutchmen

    Mrs Cow - I am intrigued by the predatory nature of these people.

    I knew yours was general commment, but I had also been informed that comment-leaving is difficult here.

    Ms Scarlet - I think we have both been shocked by the way vultures circle when they think they've spotted a kill!

  9. you could donate your car to some unsuspecting charity, church, etc.. (in the U.S.) that would be tax deductible, the organization could dipose of it if they wished and it would be a good jab at the parasites in town....what jerks.

    does this mean the end is coming to the earwig sandwich?

  10. You've made leaving a comment easier and yet I have no comment.

    Talk about bad timing.

  11. Deb - It would never be that simple in church.

    As to the end of the Sandwich - we'll see

    MJ - Darn - and you usually have so much to offer!

  12. Sorry - it would never be that simple in France What was I thinking?

  13. By and large, men are like that. Everything becomes a pissing contest.

  14. Oh lala. How very rude!
    What about driving the car to the next big city? I can imagine there is more of a market for an old police car.

    Please don't let the sandwich end. I only just discovered you!

  15. Could you not drive it over here and sell it? As far as I can notice there's no national shortage of idiots driving rubbish cars. Worst comes to the worst you could try and get it involved in the government's scrappage scheme.

  16. BB - Is that what it's called?

    Metropolitan Mum - How lovely to see you! - and thank you so much for the pom poms

    Kevin - a left hand drive vehicle would be a pain in the UK. It is actually a very good car and has been completely reconditioned.

  17. This car sounds very Topiary-friendly, she being a lefty herself.

    Must ready the transporter to get car! You DO take Topiary money, right?


  18. Mrs Cow,
    Sorry car already got sold. But yep I accept leaves as currency!


Related Posts with Thumbnails