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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This week we have driven 720 mls from UK to Menaggio in Italy. We stopped off overnight in Strasbourg using motorway all the way which was a mixture of 130 kmh through France and 80-100 kmh though Switzerland. The car was not at all tiring to drive and was very comfortable. Took a while to work out how to brighten the dash displays with the lights on during the day but we managed it in the end.

Good things:-

Nicely weighted steering at speed
Suspension dealt well with the shocking road surfaces and potholes in places
Satnav was very accurate with sensible routes
Averaged 60mpg! (see picture)
Coped well in torrential rainstorms

Could do better:-

Arm rest could do with better padding
Phone calls on Bluetooth blanks out the screen overlaying the satnav
Bigger fuel tank would be nice
Air vents wont shut off entirely and are difficult to position in a comfortable place.

Only saw one other Cactus in Luxembourg White with Beige Airbumps ( Belgian registered)
 

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bouncingbobby said:
This week we have driven 720 mls from UK to Menaggio in Italy. We stopped off overnight in Strasbourg using motorway all the way which was a mixture of 130 kmh through France and 80-100 kmh though Switzerland. The car was not at all tiring to drive and was very comfortable. Took a while to work out how to brighten the dash displays with the lights on during the day but we managed it in the end.

Good things:-

Nicely weighted steering at speed
Suspension dealt well with the shocking road surfaces and potholes in places
Satnav was very accurate with sensible routes
Averaged 60mpg! (see picture)
Coped well in torrential rainstorms

Could do better:-

Arm rest could do with better padding
Phone calls on Bluetooth blanks out the screen overlaying the satnav
Bigger fuel tank would be nice
Air vents wont shut off entirely and are difficult to position in a comfortable place.

Only saw one other Cactus in Luxembourg White with Beige Airbumps ( Belgian registered)
Good tips mate, glad you and your family got home safe.

I drive to Poland a few times a year (although yet to take the Cactus) and this is a list of compulsory equipment required for anyone that needs it (even though it doesn't include Poland :) http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/touring_tips/compulsory_equipment.pdf

Worth noting, you'll need a Breathalyser when driving through France, and the headlamp adjustment stickers are mandatory everywhere except Ireland.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Blactus!
Did not make any changes to the lights as the hand book says that you don't need headlight beam adjustment for driving abroad.
 

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You shut the air vents off by fully moving the lever on each vent to the left, this fully closes them. ;)
 

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bouncingbobby said:
Thank you Blactus!
Did not make any changes to the lights as the hand book says that you don't need headlight beam adjustment for driving abroad.
That's interesting and I remember reading that on this forum. I think I would rather put the stickers on and be safe, than sorry. I can't expect a policeman to know that a Cactus is an exception to the rule of right hand drive cars. Polish police hand down on the spot fines (I got one for speeding last trip, luckily no points)
 

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The matrix is wrong about Denmark; It is only the biggest bridge (storebaelt) which costs money to pass. All other roads/highways and bridges inside Denmark is free for all passenger cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
cactusjack said:
You shut the air vents off by fully moving the lever on each vent to the left, this fully closes them. ;)
We have tried that but the air still bleeds through, especially at 81 MPH!
 

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The breathanalyser is not mandatory anymore in france since 2012. The law says you must have it but you won't be punished if you don't :)-).
But the triangle are mandatary overseas.
 

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deeppurple said:
The breathanalyser is not mandatory anymore in france since 2012. The law says you must have it but you won't be punished if you don't :)-).
But the triangle are mandatary overseas.
If both the AA and Britany ferries recommend that I take one, then for a few quid it's getting taken. The french authorities may change their mind when I'm over there. Here's what Britany says: http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/faq/travel-information/do-i-need-to-carry-a-breathalyser-in-my-vehicle
 

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Blactus said:
deeppurple said:
The breathanalyser is not mandatory anymore in france since 2012. The law says you must have it but you won't be punished if you don't :)-).
But the triangle are mandatary overseas.
If both the AA and Britany ferries recommend that I take one, then for a few quid it's getting taken. The french authorities may change their mind when I'm over there. Here's what Britany says: http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/faq/travel-information/do-i-need-to-carry-a-breathalyser-in-my-vehicle
We live in France and I don't know anyone who carries those useless things in the car. I've been stopped a couple of times in the past 2 years for random breath tests and never been asked if we have them. Waste of money as they degrade in temperatures over 40C and are then useless. As deeppurple says you are supposed by law to carry them but no punishment if you don't - only in France could you have some stupid law like that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is the only Cactus we have seen in Italy and it is Swiss!
 

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Does anyone know about the new Cactus headlamps? Do they need stickers for driving on the right? (I'd prefer not!) The dip seems to kick up more on the left than the right, but there is mixed info about needing correctors. The rule states that headlamps must not dazzle oncoming drivers and to fit masks if they would, but most new headlights dazzle me even if correctly adjusted!

Plus, the instructions on the spare sticker set I have doesn't list the new Cactus... unless, of course, the headlamps haven't changed between models!

Jonathan
 

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As far as I know there is no legal requirement to use headlight stickers anywhere in Europe, despite what the RAC and AA say. The requirement is not to dazzle. Many cars have relatively flat beam headlights that do not have any significant dazzling effect, and if you use the beam adjusters you can lower them further. One point: If it is essential to use beam stickers on the continent, why is it not a requirement for continental cars to be fitted with them . Has anyone actually seen a foreign car with them fitted.

Edit: Copied from AA.

The legal requirement is to 'not dazzle oncoming drivers' rather than specifically to adjust/convert the
headlamp beam pattern. Without adjustment the dipped beam will dazzle oncoming drivers and this
could result in a fine. Headlamp beam converter kits are widely available but may not be suitable for
all types of headlights. The AA shop sell beam converters suitable for all vehicles and fitting diagrams
are included for the latest 'clear glass', 'projector and xenon' headlamps inside the packaging. In some
countries it is compulsory to use dipped headlights at all times when driving during the day. Note: this
adjustment is not required for two wheeled vehicles as the beam pattern is more symmetrical but
check that any extra loading has not affected the beam height. On some cars it is inadvisable or
impossible for anyone other than a qualified technician to change a headlamp bulb unit e.g. high
intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and carrying spares is not an option. However, it is recommended
that spare bulbs are carried for any lights that may be easily and/or safely replaced by the
owner/driver. Spare bulbs are compulsory for Croatia.
 

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This is what I have read; and to answer your last question, it's because they either don't know they should have them or they don't bother! This is not an assumption, by the way; I have asked them.

As for the "breathanalyser" law (at the beginning of this thread), it isn't as daft as it seems.

Originally, the law was introduced during the reign of Sarkozy; the story went (and it may be urban myth - or just a cynical rumour) that allegedly the only approved breath analyser manufacturer at the time was owned (or run) by a friend of his. There was a huge problem with supply and so, even when you could be fined for not having them, it was impossible to buy them. They also had a short shelf life, so most went out of date having never been used; it was illegal to have out of date ones too. You also had to have a spare, which in effect meant you had to have at least three; if you had only one and you used it, you then had none; if you had two, using one would mean that you only had one left, which if you then had to use would leave none. With three, you could use one and still have one left with one spare. (It's a good job this doesn't apply to car tyres.)

The first slack was cut when the supply couldn't meet the demand and the date of introduction of the law. I think that after a change of president, to Hollande, the law was not repealed, and the instruction was given that although they were still required, the police were not to fine anyone who didn't have them. There was some confusion over what happened if you had used one to check you were "OK" and the analyser gave you the green light (so to speak), as most people thought that they could be used to prove you were still fit to drive. If the police tested you and their reading was over you had no defence even with your analyser, as how could you prove when you used it - or if it really was you that had blown into it? For many of those that never drank if they were driving, like me, or just never used them, it was seen as a tax.

You could say that making it compulsory in the first place was the "stupid law". But whatever the situation, you don't have to have them - especially if you don't drink and drive!
 

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From the linked article, on the subject of the requirement to carry an Ethyltest in France:

Cette loi n'a en fait jamais été appliquée et supprimée par un décret du 28 février 2013.
(This law has in fact never been applied and was removed by decree on the 28th February 2013.)

I stand corrected!

But it does say that the absence of an Ethyltest in the car will result in a reminder that you ought to be carrying one...

Merci encore, Jacques. Est-ce que vous avez aussi entendu l'histoire du fabricant de ces ethyltests? Je me suis demandé si ce n'était qu'un poisson d'avril !
 

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PurpleCactus said:
From the linked article, on the subject of the requirement to carry an Ethyltest in France:

Cette loi n'a en fait jamais été appliquée et supprimée par un décret du 28 février 2013.
(This law has in fact never been applied and was removed by decree on the 28th February 2013.)

I stand corrected!

But it does say that the absence of an Ethyltest in the car will result in a reminder that you ought to be carrying one...

Merci encore, Jacques. Est-ce que vous avez aussi entendu l'histoire du fabricant de ces ethyltests? Je me suis demandé si ce n'était qu'un poisson d'avril !
Non.
 
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