It gets colder and colder as the week goes on. It's snowing around Paris (150 miles northeast of Saint-Aignan) and and in northeastern France, and there's been a lot of snow in the French Alps. We haven't had any here so far, though we saw some sleet for a few minutes yesterday morning.
It's time for my biennial contrôle technique. My car's, I mean. It has to pass an official safety inspection every other December. All cars registered in France that are four years old and older have to be inspected every two years and certified to be mechanically sound.
The inspection list includes more than 125 items that get checked. To prepare for the contrôle, I take the car in for an oil change and general going-over by my regular mechanic the week before I take it to the inspection station. The inspection people don't do repairs, so they are in theory objective about the state of the vehicle. The fee is about 75 euros, or $100 U.S.
So I'm taking the voiture to the mécanicien this afternoon. My little Peugeot is 12 years old now and has about 165,000 km (100,000 miles) on the odometer. Since it has a diesel engine, it should last quite a bit longer. That's especially the case because I drive it so little and so gently nowadays, and I keep it in the garage in the winter.
Here's the Peugeot, a 206 with a diesel engine that I bought used in 2003.
In the U.S., only 17 states require annual or biennial vehicle safety inspections. In other states, only what they call a smog check (emissions inspection) is required. Ten U.S. states have no vehicle inspection requirements at all.