Garry Stuart – freelance photographer

3nissanThe French equivalent of the MoT test is called Controle Technique. It differs from the MoT in a few ways. For a start, a vehicle has to be tested once every two years. If it fails, you have up to two months to get it fixed and re-tested. The Controle Technique is not conducted by approved garages as it is for the MoT test in the UK. The tests are done at Controle Technique Depots by technicians that are effectively government officials. These centres only perform tests, they do not adjust, alter or carry out repairs at all.

The biennial date for the Terrano’s CT was looming, so an appointment was made for the 30-minute test at our local CT centre in Brioux. There was one obvious fault that had to be addressed prior to the test, that of the cracked windscreen incurred while parked at a Howlin’ Wolf Challenge event. Windscreen replacement was covered under our French insurance company, and a quick phone call was all it needed to get it booked into A+Glass, to get the ‘Pare-Brise’ replaced.

I dropped the Nissan off at 09.30hrs, as requested, but was dismayed to learn that it would be 14.00hrs before I could collect it again. Since I was 15 miles from home without transport, it meant a lot of wandering around the coffee shops in the town of Melle reading French newspapers and magazines. I can recommend ‘Le Canard’ – a satirical paper which lampoons the political classes. The things they write about Msr Sarkozy and Carla Bruni make improving your French worthwhile!

Upon returning to A+ to pick up the Terrano, I was met by an extremely sheepish and worried looking technician who apologised profusely, informing me that he had broken the new windscreen while installing it, and my appointment for the CT was later that afternoon. He agreed to fix it double quick the next morning. The CT technician still passed the Terrano for another two years, taking my word that the windscreen would be made good the next day.

This last month the Terrano has seen a bit more off-roading action than usual, covering the Southern Rover Owners Club two-day CCV trial in East Sussex. A photo shoot of a very tidy Comp Safari Racer in Cornwall also meant that the Terrano had to follow the racer across some challenging terrain in order to get me and the camera to the ‘good bits’.


Model: Nissan Terrano II LHD

Spec: LWB 2.7Td

Mileage: 412,500km (256,315 miles)

Test MPG: N/A

Recent costs: new windscreen, insurance, Controle Technique – 55 Euros – passed!

Arrived: March ’09



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