A BANNED driver was found driving in a Smart car disguised as a voiturette – a low-powered microcar that can be driven without a licence.
Gendarmes in La Réole (Gironde) were tipped off because the vehicle was going faster than voiturettes – called quadricycles in English – are able to go.
On checking the driver’s papers they found the 65-year-old had had his licence taken away in 2008 after several driving offences. He then bought a Smart – a small but full-powered car – as well as a voiturette and swapped over parts from the licence-free vehicle to disguise the Smart.
The man repainted the Smart car in matte black, which gave an illusion of smaller size, put the voiturette licence plate on the back and none on the front (which is allowed for voiturettes), and then covered over or removed any distinctive markings like logos and other mentions of the make, including disguising the word “Smart” on the steering wheel.
If stopped and checked he could hand over papers for the voiturette - but the gendarmes were not fooled, said regional newspaper Sud Ouest.
The man has admitted what he did and will be punished for driving without a licence or insurance and using false plates.