Saturday, 19 September 2015

Very False Economy

If only we'd known

I don't know if car number plates feature very highly on your priority list, but they do for my husband.  We have two trailers, two motor bikes and two cars which have to be licenced every year.  That represents a lot of number plates and a lot of expense if you change address as the cars obviously have to display one front and back. Our current Cape Town number begins with "CA..." followed by 5 numbers and my husband was adamant that he wants no vehicle of his to sport one that begins with "CR..." where we now live - as this points to a place where elderly, slow and bad drivers live. Clearly, not ever applicable to us. Also, changing the plates is a big cost factor. So we rented ourselves a Post Office Box in Cape Town which we told the LIcensing Department is to be used as our address.  Thus we keep everything CA. Only our car license renewals go to this address. So for almost a year we have paid rental and have just renewed for next year. Meanwhile, we bought a little Pajero and had to licence it with "CR.."because it came from another Province. What a joy to visit the Traffic Department here in this small town, compared with the nightmare of a big city.  Only two people in the queue at 11.00 a.m. (cf 60 odd queuing since before sunrise in the city).  What a helpful lady behind the counter (smiles/information/speedy) compared to sullen robot-type employees in the city. What's more she told us that we have no need to change all our other number plates as we are still registered in the same Province! NB. This is not the information we were told in Cape Town. The proof is in the pudding:  after a 10-minute visit I came home, still with a CA licence for my scooter but with our address now changed on the computer for all our other vehicles! Had we been told the correct information before we could have saved the year and a half rental we paid for the Post Box which has actually worked out to cost more than buying new number plates all round.


  1. Can you ask the post office place for a refund? When we recently moved I found out we only had 10 days to change all our cars/voting/mailing addresses, not the 30 I thought I had but it was easy, all done online at one website. And free, yay.

    1. Once again I feel that America is far in advance of our half-first/half-third world country in the digital world. I might get a partial refund for the box though. I'll try.

    2. America is a big place. Not all areas are advanced. Our licensing in Pennsylvania would be very familiar to you. From my perspective, where the rest of the world is progressing, we seem to be heading for a feudal state.

    3. You always reassure me that the world is basically the same wherever you are.