I was recently invited to take my car to a race meeting abroad, an invitation that I could not refuse. The meeting being in France, a friendly member of the Common Market, I assumed that this would be simple.
I had however, failed to appreciate the deviousness of communist governments.
To take a car to France to race you require a carnet, even if it is road registered. To obtain a carnet you have to deposit, or guarantee payment of, a sum of money "equal to the highest rate of duty and taxes applicable to the goods in any country of destination." I have no idea what these duties could be in France but they must be very high.
The AA require 40% of the value of the car, the RAC 60% of the value. Thus in order to take a Bugatti abroad you have to sign a direct debit mandate or put up the cash to about £50,000.
There is of course no way that any sane motorist would do this, but it is apparently the law according to Mitterand. This is to take a French car to France to entertain a French crowd!
It is time our preoccupied Ministers brought themselves back to earth and did something about such preposterous impositions. Doing it back to the French would be a good start.