Archive for Februar, 2009

..older again

Freitag, Februar 27th, 2009


With some friends and my family we celebrated my second last birthday with a 3 in front. It was 22C and I had my shorts on (my first birthday where I did that, and I was not drunk).Dagmar cooked a delicious asian dinner and the kids helped BBQing. Anu, Antti, Christian, Lo-Ann and my family made it a funny evening. Party on….

Paperwork in france for a car

Donnerstag, Februar 26th, 2009

I will keep the english version a little bit shorter since my german version is more specific to germany/france. But in general it is about the hurdles that are present if you want to register your new used car at the Department for Motorvehicles or whatever it is called in the US or outside germany/france. Anyway. After you found a deal with someone you have to fill out some papers. Also the seller has to fill out some stuff before.
I have some downloadable Links from the Prefecture in Montpellier Department Herault (34) :

Certificat d’immatriculation (PDF)
To Register the new Car

Certificat de Cession d’un vehicule (PDF)
Contract for the selling of the used/new Car

Certificat de non-gage (PDF) 
Certificat that tells that there is no such pledge on that cartitle.


You also need the Document of the Controle Technique (Technical review of the car) a ID / Passport and/or a proof of your current living situation (contract, electricity bill…). If you are married like Dagmar and I but everybody kept the familyname then you need also a proof of marriage. It is not very common in france to have different familynames. Even the Program at our Bank has no such mask available when you open a account. The program assumes that Mr. Kahle and Mrs. Kahle are there and not Mr. Kahle and Mrs. Engelbrecht.
So that is one little issue.
Everything else is pretty easy. To avoid long waiting lines and stress at the Prefecture you can also go to the Majorsoffice. The ladies there are very friendly and helpful. At least in our little town Baillargues.
They help with all the additional paperwork and you finally get a Récépissé de demande de Certificat d’immatriculation which is valid until you receive the new Carte Grise (vehicle registration certificate, takes about 4 weeks).


There is not a common yearly tax on cars in france like there is germany, but when you get a new Carte Grise you must pay a one time tax. This tax is calculated with the CV = cheval Vapeur = Horse power, but not like the HP of the engines itself. It is more like a tax.
Our Jumpy for example has 7 CV. Each Department has a different value for each CV. In our Department Herault 34 it is also 34 Euro. 4 Euro extra tax are added and that comes to 242 Euro for a new Carte Grise. Other Departments are cheaper. Our Clio is about 85 Euro. It has 5 CV but is also older than 10 years, that makes it cheaper (50 percent).

If you understand french you can look at the following Webpage about Carte Grise and the costs:

We will have even more paperwork when we go back to germany and take the Citroen Jumpy with us, but that will be another story.

To get an insurance it is also a little different from germany. In germany for example I have my Ford Cougar and my Trabant 601 insured under my name. Not a big deal. Many Insurances in France have a different view, as long as you are not a business they assume that you are only able to drive one car at a time. So they won’t easily allow you to insure a second car under the same name. In this case, when you are married, your partner must insure the car. So we had to get a document from the german insurance Company about the Rate Group for third party liability / Collision. Othewise you will be insured like a new driver and that will be expensive.
When this is all done you just need to put the new insurance card to the inside of the windshield and voila, you can drive around.

It is not a huge task, but it takes a while. Have fun and enjoy.

A bientot – The 4 2/3 Engelkahles

Jumpy around

Samstag, Februar 21st, 2009


We are a growing little family, soon to be 5 Engelkahles (May/June). Our actual family cars Renault Clio and Mercedes Class A are not big enough for 3 kids in childseats and the luggage. So we were looking around already. But luckily a colleague was currently selling his 2003 Citroen Jumpy 2.0 HDI. That is a mini Van with 8 seats and a economic Diesel Engine (110HP). The car is very roomy and still compact. So just the height of 1.94m / 6feet4 is sometimes a problem for parking.
So we will travel around now with our new Family car through the sunny south of france (16C), germany…

Here is a little slideshow of the car:


A bientot – The 4 1/2 Engelkahles

Almond Blossom in Spain

Samstag, Februar 14th, 2009

We have school holidays and we planned already last year to make a trip to Mallorca (Baleares Island in the Mediterranean sea). A cheap flight with Ryanair was also booked. The airport was not around the corner. Called Barcelona-Reus. About 1 hour west of Barcelona itself. Small, modern, free parking. Since we wanted to visit Barcelona anyway, we booked it. A little bit more than 4 hours driving time from Baillargues. Relaxed and smooth. Only a small control at the french/spanish border. Our Clio only consumed 5.4L / 100km. The lowest consumption ever. So we took of from Reus in the Ryanair Jet, 25 minutes flight. With only one little problem. I forgot my drivers license. Without a license no Rental car. Luckily we have great neighbours. They took my License and made a copy at the Sixt Car rental in Montpellier and sent it to Sixt in Mallorca. So after one day we got our rental car. We were so happy. Now we could drive around and see the beautiful island. The lady at the rental said, it is not a good idea to drive around without a license because I can go to jail. But after a call at the german embassy they said this won’t happen.
Our Hotel was great. We had a Villa with two bedrooms and kitchen, Jacuzzi, garden… perfect.
Jonathan was not so fit. After one week already in bed he was still not well again. So we only drove around and watched the beautiful scenery, almond blossom and other flowers. This is a very nice time of the year. Temperatures around 16C.

We of course visited the Hard Rock Cafe in Palma. Brandnew. Only 2 months old. Nice location at the harbour. But the food was not so great. Oily Caesars salad and oily Chicken tenders. We told it to the staff and they said, they will forward the feedback. As HRC fans and with currently 17 HRCs visited in Europe/USA this was the worst food. If they want to survive the next summer they must improve.
We saw a little bit of the southern part of Mallorca this time. Since Jonathan had a bad time we could not do that much. We relaxed. Before we left Mallorca we went to a doctor and got some medicine for Jonathan.
Barcelona was our last part of the voyage after about 1 hour drive from Reus. Nice Hotel in the Northwest of Barcelona. The Novotel Barcelona Sant Joan Despi. Only 30-40 minutes with Tram/Subway to the center (La Rambla, Placa de Catalunya, port…). Lots of fun for the Kids. So we visited the port, Aquarium of Barcelona. The Aquarium is a nice place to go. We enjoyed the sharks, Seahorses, Nemo 🙂
The spanish way of living is very relaxing like the one in the south of france even more relaxed. We walked down the Rambla (main shopping street), Rambla del Mar, Placa de Catalunya.
There were lots of artists, markets and so on. Very nice. At the Placa de Catalunya was also the Hard Rock Cafe of Barcelona. A very nice place. Very crowded and very good food. We had a good lunch and so we walked with a full stomach a little more through the wonderful city of Barcelona.
Today we left spain and came back to Baillargues. What a nice week and definitely not our last trip to Barcelona and spain itself. The spanish people are very nice.
So we had a border control, forgotten drivers license and last but not least a defective HD digital Video Camera but a wonderful trip.

Panorama Rambla del mar:

Panorama Placa de Catalunya:


Pictures from my Digital Camera are here: Mallorca Barcelona 2009.

A bientot the 4 1/2 Engelkahles

Rainfloods – School is out

Dienstag, Februar 3rd, 2009

A few weeks ago we had snow in Montpellier. That is very rare. Ok, now the weather is crazy everywhere and there is now snow in Paris and London. Since it is pretty mild here in Montpellier (11-15C) we of course have no more snow, but rain. Lots of rain. Since Saturday it is raining. Sometimes so hard you can’t see a few meters. That of course floods the roads, creeks and so on. Roads are closed and since the ground is soaked with water, it can’t sink anymore.

When we moved here, the people said, it usually only rains very hard in fall, especially in October., Right it looks like this has changed a bit. Of course we had lots of sunny and dry weeks, but it is really tough with the rain.

Yesterday on monday was the first time ever, that I heard of a School is out due to rain. I had school out for high temperatures or ica and snow, but never before rain.

There is always a new experience 🙂

A bientot

The 4 1/2 Engelkahles