10 February 2015

I feel lucky

I feel really lucky to have located this vehicle the way I did. I'd been thinking about getting a second car for quite a while. I'd looked at hundreds of ads on the Internet, and I'd picked out three or four dealerships that I thought I'd visit to check out the possibilities.

By the way, the photos in this post appear exactly as they came out of the camera. I took them yesterday late in the morning, when I got home with the Citroën. I haven't retouched the colors in Photoshop at all.

In December, I decided to pull my funds together. About that time, the dollar started rising against the euro. That motivated me to speed up my search for a car.

And then one day in January I was headed to Intermarché to do some grocery shopping when I noticed a car just like the one I had in mind sitting on the lot at a Renault dealership across the river in Noyers-sur-Cher, not 3 miles from our house.
I drove by there two or three more times in January before I decided to stop one day and see what the sign hanging inside the car, off the rear-view mirror, had written on it.

I was surprised at how low the mileage was — the car has been driven an average of only *11,000 km (7,000 miles) per year* (I mixed up my figures in an earlier version of this post) since it was first registered. I was pleased to see how low the price was — only about two-thirds of what I had budgeted. And I was pleased to see that the car was in such good condition.
A few days later, I called the dealer. Walt pointed out that I really ought to drive a C4 before I made a decision. I figured I could drive this car without feeling obligated to buy it, after all. Maybe I'd hate it.

As it turned out, I didn't have to deal with individuals selling cars on the web. I didn't have to go talk to several car dealers to try to find what I wanted. And if the car needs service, the dealer's garage is close by. The car has a warranty. The dealer is a local man who has a reputation to maintain.

When I lived in the U.S., I bought new cars. I had five of them over the years. I did own a couple of used cars back in the 1970s, but I kept each one of them only a year or two. One was a Subaru that I bought from a friend who was leaving the U.S. for a job overseas.

People used to say that buying a used car was buying somebody else's problems. The fact is, cars nowadays are much more reliable for a longer period of time than they used to be. I've had the little Peugeot since August 2003, and I bought it used. It has needed some repairs over the years, but nothing really major. It's been a great car. Now I've realized that it needs a new timing belt pretty soon if we are going to keep it.

You can click or tap on the pictures to see them at a larger size. As for the car's color, it looks different on each screen (computers, tablets) that I use to view the photos — less mauve on some, and more gray. Since all the displays are calibrated differently, it's hard to know which one is more accurate or true.


  1. I have decided. The color is "aubergine" (eggplant).

    1. Nah... it isn't dark enough!!
      It would need to be really dark to be "aubergine"....
      almost black!
      I think it is "Octarine"... the colour of magic!

    2. This morning, under gray skies, it looks for gray than mauve.

    3. Yup... certainly "Octarine"!

  2. Looks a good deal and a lovely car. What colour does the log book (vehicle registration document) say the car is?

    1. I guess that would be the carte grise in France, and I don't have it yet. It should arrive by mail later this week or early next, according to the dealer.

    2. Gaynor, that isn't necessarily the colour either... they simplify!

      Ken, the colour is normally on a plaque under the bonnet...
      and is usually a shortish code of letters and numbers...
      our Citroën A-Series 2CVs....
      are AC132 for the grey one... Gris Clair... and as Gris Clair on the CG...
      and AC448 for the red one... Rouge Vallelunga... but as Rouge on the CG...
      there are fourteen different shades of Red for 2CVs as they left the factory!
      The old CX Estate we had was a CC135M colour code... and was metallic grey...
      but it is that short code that you look for.
      On the CX it was after the word Col:...
      on the 2CVs it is just a code on the bulkhead plaque...
      after the chassis number...
      on the big Merc the code is pop-riveted to the inner wing...
      and is three letters and three numerals...
      but was all I needed to get some spray cans mixed up!

    3. One thing I forgot to mention: for you Europeans and Australians, Citroën cars are an everyday sight; it's just another car. However, people who live in the U.S. have probably never seen one, since they are not sold there. Americans tend to equate Citroëns with 2CVs, and don't know there is a full range of Citroën vehicles.

  3. Very smart!
    I hope you enjoy driving it and that you have many happy miles together!

  4. bonne chance! I purchased my first used car in 2006; it's still running.

  5. Heh heh :) You can't necessarily go by the paperwork for the description of the car color. Mine says it is silver, but it is definitely light-blue silver. :)
    So exciting! Woo hoo! Now, we need to see a photo of the interior, and of you in the driver's seat :) (Is it cloth interior?)

  6. Nice, looks like it will be easy to drive

  7. New tires were a nice touch, plus the timing belt. Whatever its color, it will blend in nicely with your thoroughly french life up there amongest the grapes. Has the bread lady seen it yet?

    1. I hadn't thought about the connection with the grape color. Funny.

  8. Ken
    Looks cute - Enjoy driving it
    The colour may be either "Iron Grey" ( Gris Fer nacré) or Bleu Téles

    1. Does Citroën sell cars in Canada?

    2. you will not be disapointed , C4 is a very good car.

    3. Thank you, Jean Laine. This is my first Citroën.

    4. Ken

      Unfortunately no. However it looks like they may come back through the DS brand according to their CEO - sometimes in 2017.

  9. Very, very nice, both for the color (whatever it may turn out to be called) and the clean lines. It looks like a car that would be pleasing to drive.

    I, too, want a picture of you at the wheel. Perhaps with Callie backseat-driving..

  10. yay!! so glad it all worked out! we felt the same way - about buying a used car. now we feel foolish that we didnt do it sooner. good on you!


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