French Friends want a Bongo

For all owners and afficionados of Mazda Bongo Friendees and Ford Fredas based outside of UK or Ireland.

Moderators: helen&tony, Ian

robertwilliamday
Apprentice Bongonaut
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:20 pm

French Friends want a Bongo

Post by robertwilliamday » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:29 pm

Hello Bongo people,

my french friends have asked me to help them. They want to come to the UK and buy a Bongo to take to France...they have experiencing of importing and bought a Lotus Elise a few years ago which they still enjoy. They have come unstuck with the Bongo however and the French Regsitering people are asking for a "Type Number" so they can check if its been already registered in France as a valid vehicle. My friend told me that this type number is on the V5. If a vehicle has not been registered in france by someone else already then it can cost more money and loads more time to do so apparently.

Can one of you lovely people help me to advise my friend ?

Many thanks in advance.
User avatar
Diplomat
Supreme Being
Posts: 2465
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Bexley Kent

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by Diplomat » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:27 pm

They will end up with a vehicle with the sliding door on the wrong side for France. I've got a feeling that the French authorities won't like that.


Frank
My schoolmates idolised Biggles, I wanted to be Alcock & Brown
They flew, I took up naturism
New Forest Terrier
Supreme Being
Posts: 1442
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:50 pm
Location: New Forest

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by New Forest Terrier » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:34 pm

I doubt if this ones a runner. There have been expats who have sold Bongos on this site because they cannot register them in France. The problem is the sliding door on the wrong side. The French are very fond of their nitpicking rules. There would also be the spares problem.
The BewilderBeast - V6 Mean Green Tintop with LPG and 321 Away Montague Conversion
scanner
Supreme Being
Posts: 7244
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:20 pm
Location: Cambs

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by scanner » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:35 pm

They don't and it's doubtful if they will allow it <Smiley wearing a beret and doing gallic shrug here>

http://pc.net/emoticons/smiley/shrug
User avatar
Northern Bongolow
Supreme Being
Posts: 7436
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: AKA Vanessa

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by Northern Bongolow » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:36 pm

i have one to swap for the lotus-------- and i will deliver :wink: :roll:
User avatar
helen&tony
Supreme Being
Posts: 9829
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Bulgaria

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by helen&tony » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:06 am

Hi
The problem is that all cars must have a "Certificate of Conformity"...The Bongo doesn't have one because it was not made in Europe or made for the EU market...This is probably what they are referring to as "Type Number", and it's probably a mis-translation on the part of the authority requesting such documentation. I had the same problem over here, as they had just joined the EU when I registered, and they weren't going to accept the VIN sticker...not surprised, as it's not really legal in the EU....They accepted the body identification number under the front screen, though.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, as some regions WILL register the Bongo in France.
Your best bet is to find a friendly lawyer who will (for a fee) find out where they will register it, because, technically, an EU citizen has the right to take their car to another country within the EU, provided they have owned it for , I believe, 6 months....so...buy one and keep it on one side...I should imagine the odd "holiday" in France doesn't matter :wink: Once registered in France, it will then need to be re- registered in the owner's region if , perchance, that region won't register it initially. I believe that, in France, you must register in your own region, and if you move to another region, you must re-register. Once registered in France, you can obviously re-register. That's the same here, and some regions are more lax in what they register here...same as France. An hours' driving North from here and they don't give a jot about English headlights, an hour south , and they do....
One alternative is to find a French firm who will register your car...they know all the loopholes...I think most countries have similar, as many people don't want the effort. You merely hand the car over, and it's all done for you.
The other alternative is to find a French equivalent of an SVA inspector that will take "A glass of wine" as it's known in France (bribe) :wink: :lol: ...Normal practice here...MOTs are often passed without the vehicle present here....It's harder now, and it depends on who you know....unfortunately, I don't know anyone :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
The main problem in France will be headlights, but that's easy....Unfortunately, IF....but it's a big IF an inspector wishes to be REALLY piggy about it, and allows the door...the rear lights, and sidelights do not carry CE markings, and are illegal in the EU.....don't tell anyone!
Cheers
Helen
In the beginning there was nothing , then God said "Let there be Light".....There was still nothing , but ,by crikey, you could see it better.
User avatar
Diplomat
Supreme Being
Posts: 2465
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:01 pm
Location: Bexley Kent

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by Diplomat » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:33 am

All very well looking for ways of working around the regulations but have they given consideration to the inconvenience of having the sliding door, not to mention the steering wheel, on the wrong side?

There are plenty of european vans natively configured for the continental side of the road which would be a better choice unless the object of the exercise is to be different!

Ironically, we have continental vehicles foisted on us which have the lighting and wiper stalks on the wrong sides, reverse gear meant to be engaged easily by someone's right hand from the left hand seat, bonnet pulls on the left, the only key operated door lock on the left, vans with offset rear doors handed to suit continental loading environments, need I go on?

No doubt soon we will find thar British conformity rules will specify everything except the steering wheel the French way round, leaving perfect right hand drive vehicles like Bongos and a wealth of other high quality Japanese vehicles we hardly ever see here out in the cold.

Can't really blame them wanting a Bongo, but is it the right camper for France?


Frank
My schoolmates idolised Biggles, I wanted to be Alcock & Brown
They flew, I took up naturism
User avatar
helen&tony
Supreme Being
Posts: 9829
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Bulgaria

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by helen&tony » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:54 pm

Hi
I tend to agree with Frank...A Bongo might not be the best camper for France...All well and good if you want to take your own vehicle abroad and keep it, but a Bongo is a bit tiny for France. Regarding whether a vehicle is controlled on a particular side, the Americans have the best attitude "If the vehicle is made that way, that's the natural way to keep it"...If you want a vehicle made with the steering wheel on the wrong side...buy a US Postal Service Jeep...they're RHD :wink:
Cheers
Helen
In the beginning there was nothing , then God said "Let there be Light".....There was still nothing , but ,by crikey, you could see it better.
User avatar
Muzorewa
Supreme Being
Posts: 5190
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: Team Muz HQ, Outer Bongolia
Contact:

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by Muzorewa » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:50 pm

I'm sure the French not allowing a Bongo to be registered because of the door is correct. But why do we accept VW Californias with exactly the same safety issue? :?
Image
User avatar
helen&tony
Supreme Being
Posts: 9829
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:49 pm
Location: Bulgaria

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by helen&tony » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:39 pm

Hi Muz
Having spoken with a Mazda "chief" in the UK ...( in fact the chap who is in charge of import / export), on the very matter of exporting Bongos, as I was doing a "fact sheet", he confirmed the matter of the Certificate of Conformity....which is the sole reason for France not allowing it...I strongly suspect that, when confronted by a foreigner with only "school" French, it's easier for the tester to go for the old nutmeg of "the door's on the wrong side, matey"...Both in France, and over here, they don't want to deal with the extra paperwork....and I can't say I blame them, as it takes a few minutes more :wink: :roll: .....and having fired off many letters to European agencies with very little more than the ignorance of not replying to me, where a reply is only common courtesy in my book, only Ireland and one other country replied (I think it was Italy, but don't quote me)...however, as I was considering a move to Italy, I already had the info. Both countries were extremely helpful, and more or less said don't hesitate to contact
The agencies that I wrote to were the Motorist Organisations, on the advice of "The Man at Mazda", who exchanged many letters with me on the issue, and was very helpful, but, really, it's almost certainly the best way to go, by individual applications and local enquiries...and don't get put off. My first half a dozen tries over here were showing that I would have to pay 4000 Euros to register, as they had only just joined the EU when I needed to register.....on each occasion, I was a little more than rude to the money-grabbing little oiks who saw an English woman as a target for a few extra booze tokens
The fact of the matter is that "grey imports" are not allowed on the road....even in the UK, but by SVA-ing them for individual type approval, they skip the EU rules, as there are one or two Japanese and other nations' cars that are highly collectable and desireable, and having opened the loop-hole for some rather exotic cars to enter, other vehicles like the Bongo / Delica and so on , are able to creep in.
Once they have been thus "type approved" and registered, there's your very narrow loophole into Europe...IF you brandish an original Single Vehicle Type Approval for English...(yes EU country type of England) :wink: :wink: :wink: official type approval, permitting vehicle registration, there's your EU entry ticket, if you are persistent....The old door on the wrong side isn't really going to cut it, as all EU countries register vehicles with the wrong type door.
The situation is now greatly different over here, as Bulgaria uses cheap second hand cars from England as a source of cars at a good price...especially 4x4s, as everyone wants one for winter.
France is, in some respects, similar, as when we looked at French property (still are), an estate agent told us that people tend to hang onto cars and run them into the ground, and any GOOD second hand car is expensive....this is probably why the French family in the original post are looking for a Bongo...they can smell a good deal...namely a reliable car at a good price.
Anyway...I'll stop here for the minute, and I might explain more later!
Cheers
Helen
In the beginning there was nothing , then God said "Let there be Light".....There was still nothing , but ,by crikey, you could see it better.
User avatar
Leggy
Bongonaut
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:45 pm
Location: SW London

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by Leggy » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:26 am

Hi Helen and everybody,

We're thinking of relocating to France this year and I'm wondering if we should try to bring our Bongo with us. Other than the problem of servicing/parts there I'd love to bring it as we'll be living in the south near to the border with Spain so there would be some great opportunities for Bongo camping trips in the locality. If I've read your posts correctly there's a chance of getting it approved if we present the original UK SVA certificate? I don't know if we have one (I'll check) but this is a JAL conversion so I can ask them too. Frankly I'm more than happy to go down the 'glass of wine for the person who stamps the form' route if we can but I suppose that depends on who we get. I do think that your general point - we're in Europe so if it's approved by one member state that should work for the rest - makes sense. I'll keep you posted but if anybody has any other thoughts or tips please do chip in. I suppose the major problem, apart from the sliding door, will be the lights. we shall see....


Leggy
V6 JAL Side Conversion. Wanderlust.
winchman
Supreme Being
Posts: 1980
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: St.Helens Merseyside

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by winchman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:23 pm

Don't Astra head lights fit?
That would be the front sorted
scanner
Supreme Being
Posts: 7244
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:20 pm
Location: Cambs

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by scanner » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:54 pm

winchman wrote:Don't Astra head lights fit?
That would be the front sorted
All you have to do now is get the angle grinder out and move the door. :wink:
User avatar
mikexgough
Supreme Being
Posts: 6158
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:02 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire - where the all the Slodgers reside
Contact:

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by mikexgough » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:22 am

Leggy wrote:Hi Helen and everybody,

We're thinking of relocating to France this year and I'm wondering if we should try to bring our Bongo with us. Other than the problem of servicing/parts there I'd love to bring it as we'll be living in the south near to the border with Spain so there would be some great opportunities for Bongo camping trips in the locality. If I've read your posts correctly there's a chance of getting it approved if we present the original UK SVA certificate? I don't know if we have one (I'll check) but this is a JAL conversion so I can ask them too. Frankly I'm more than happy to go down the 'glass of wine for the person who stamps the form' route if we can but I suppose that depends on who we get. I do think that your general point - we're in Europe so if it's approved by one member state that should work for the rest - makes sense. I'll keep you posted but if anybody has any other thoughts or tips please do chip in. I suppose the major problem, apart from the sliding door, will be the lights. we shall see....


Leggy

The EU have a "Mutual Recognition" acceptance now..... which does away with the need of Certificate of Conformity....
Worth a check with your MEP... to find out for you... in essence you would be moving a UK registered vehicle to another EU state... not as hard surely than to import a rhd vehicle from Japan directly into France.... As Muz has already said the offside door on the California is okay for the UK market..... :roll: :roll:
When in the EU..... I always get people checking out the Badges and asking what the heck the Bongo is... :roll: :lol: :lol:
Conversant with Bongo Top Pinion Oil Seals

Bongo owning Velotech Cycle Mechanic
User avatar
Muzorewa
Supreme Being
Posts: 5190
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: Team Muz HQ, Outer Bongolia
Contact:

Re: French Friends want a Bongo

Post by Muzorewa » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:29 am

Indeed, when we were camping at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium we had some Dutch bods looking very keenly. After a quick demo of the features (powered roof, a/c front & rear, mid-engine, autobox, 4WD, camper conversion, driveaway awning etc) they thought it ingenious. One of them then insisted on whipping a guitar out and serenading their English friends with a bizarre song about a yew tree in Pencaitland in East Lothian :D
Image
Post Reply