Today I went with the Mini to the inspection. Since it was the first time this car went to the inspection in Belgium, and there were no existing Belgian papers or insurance, I had to drive there with garage plates. So first of all, I'd like to thank Koeklenberg Garage for lending me those plates. They drove me to the inspection and helped me with some other issues (more on that later).
We had agreed to leave at 10:45 from Vremde (Boechout) towards the inspection station in Malle. We had an appointment at 11:30 for an "inspection for sale" since this is the first time that the car was inspected in Belgium. A small strip of 30km. A nice distance for me to drive the Mini for the first time. I had already done a test drive it before I bought it, but by now that was a long time ago ... Driving the Mini gave me even more fun than I could remember from the test drive.
When we arrived at the station we were immediatly allowed in since we had an appointment. Not that this was really necessary because it was actually quite quiet (especially considering that it was spring break). I must say in all honesty that I was a bit biased towards the inspection before it started. This was the first time I went to an inspection station, but I already had heard many stories (and usually not positive) about the inspection. So my expectations with respect to their kindness weren't too high. But soon I was proven wrong. It is perhaps partly due to the charm of the car, but everyone was really friendly to me.
The first questions they asked me kind of scared me though:
"Do you have a first aid kit?"
- "Uh, no ..."
"And a maintenance book?"
- "Uh ... No I do not."
"A second key?"
- "Uh, yeah sure, but I don't have it with me ..."
However, this proved to be no problem for the inspection itself. The rest of the inspection went very smooth. As I said, very friendly people! At the end of the inspection, however, I still got a red card. The lights were too low. Therefore we returned the Mini to Garage Koeklenberg in Shoten, about 20km away. In retrospect, I thought it was actually not too bad, because it meant I could ride more with my Mini.
In the garage, my lights were fixed in fifteen minutes and we could get back towards the inspection station. Presto, another a ride of 20km. This time the inspection took five minutes and I had a green card in my hands! On the ride home, which again was 30km, I suddenly noticed that the gas tank it was nearly empty. The last few miles wer pretty exciting, but the Mini continued without further problems. Unfortunately when I got back the insurance company was already closed. This means that next week I must find time for my insurance and registration. Once those are in order, I can drive around to my hearts content with my Mini. But the first 100 kilometers I drove today. The Mini promises to bring me much pleasure!