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Both car keys lost - help....


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Thank you everyone - you really are wonderful people on here - you have no idea how grateful I am.

The 'tank' is French, LHD, was new when reg in France in 1996 - the insurance costs more than the wretched thing is worth !!

I've wanted the thing changed for last 5 years, so maybe, psychologically, I'm holding back fromj contacting insurers or key specialists - mainly because I know the cost will be far more than the thing is worth, and I really don't feel like helping him out in a problem of his own making !!!

Ericd - oh aren't just amazing - how kind of you.   Yes, we have carte gris;  My french isn't very good;  do you think if we went to Citroen dealer in nearest large town they'd be able to help us ?   Taking the CG for the Citroen with us ?

I do love this site - so many helpful, amazing people - thank you.


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As your french isn't that good, give me the number of your Citroen place and I will call them to ask the question and likely costs. Give it openly or via Private Message. Also give me your Xantia full specification. We'll get there don't worry.
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[quote user="mint"]
Yes, Pip, I did exactly that once.  I was in a supermarket car park and looked around and found a kindly French couple to drive me home (I was on their way) to get the spares.

It was in the early days when we were still waiting for France Télécom (as it was then called) to erect a poteau so that we could have a phone line.

Chessie, it's worth a look and also, whilst you're at it, in the door pockets as well.  Or, have you done all that already?


...also under the seats, down the sides of the seats, in the ignition, in the glove box, under the bonnet, under the car.....

I dropped my keys in the boot while leaving work and closed it not realising the whole car had become locked. Phoned home and my son cycled six miles in twenty minutes to rescue me with the spare keys.

Today I have paid an auto locksmith £130 for a replacement remote key for my daughter's VW Golf which came with only one key. I will keep it in reserve and we have peace of mind. VW charge about £260 for a replacement key for this car.

I hope Chessie's keys turn up.
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The concessionaire will absolutely be able to get you keys.  I think I described in an earlier post that we lost our Mazda keys and nobody could help us but Chez Mazda.  But, as Napoleon has pointed out, it IS an expensive business.

Like him, I also hope that your keys turn up.  Don't give up hope yet.  Ours were found half buried in the garden about 2 years later.

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EricD - may I come back to you with details - later.  And I do appreciate your help, really do.

This is what I have to live with.

I went out to Citroen to get the CG - it's gone.

I checked in the Golf - the CG for the Golf - is gone.

Both CG's not where they should be.   And I KNOW they were in each car only a few days ago.

He's removed CG's.

I've just asked him what he';s done with them.

I get the 'Don't know, didn't have them, didn't touch them, why should I have moved them......didn't do it, why am I always asking him questions..........

I know I didn't move them.

I've now been subjected to a full scale rant from him, that he's not touched the CGs, it's all my fault, along with a lot of swearing, bad tempered shouting and slamming of doors.

He's now lying on the bed pretending to be asleep.

While I'm here in tears of absolute b---y frustration - I can't cope, I just can't.......

I'm trying to help - all I get is bad tempered abuse.

I'm sorry; turning into miserable story of my miserable life !!!  Sorry.


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Chessie, Forget the cars. Now it's time to think of yourself and the whole picture. Seriously, in this situation you really need to discuss this with your GP. Is your other half not acknowledging that he has Alzheimers. In the long term you're going to have difficulties. has a formal diagnosis been made. Whilst the only experience I have of this was with a parent I can imagine that you're in a lonely situation. Have you got any family or relatives who can provide support. You can't afford to crack under the strain. Perhaps there is somebody on this site who has experienced what you are now and can suggest where help is best sought in France. Try to keep strong.

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The only thing I can say to you chessie is what I said to my Dad when he was caring for my mother and things got bad......... look after yourself. 

AND please, please don't apologise on here about things at home  .......and if you want to rant, please feel free to do so,  you have enough on your plate and probably should.

 I am really starting to wonder if your husband has a little 'treasure cache' somewhere, like a child would.  So very unlikely places, proper hiding places.


Before I say any more, my mother was in an awful state and getting worse daily over her last few years, her symptoms included a form of dementia as well as things becoming more and more physically debilitating, nothing to be done about any of it. And from so far away and on my regular visits  my sympathy always went to the carer, it wears a person down and down, and there is next to no respite.

So I should have seen one failing parent, but in reality had two and it just felt unfair and wrong. Carers are amazing. So good luck to you chessie, and remember to care for yourself.

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Idun wrote : I am really starting to wonder if your husband has a little 'treasure cache' somewhere, like a child would. So very unlikely places, proper hiding places.

Gosh, that reminds me of smthg my cousin said years ago .. his mum lived with him and his wife for the last few years of her life.

She wasn't diagnosed as having Alzheimers .. it was a long time ago .. but it sounds very like it.

She would accuse her d-i-l of taking her pension cash .. angry scenes would sometimes follow. Mostly the cash would later on be found in some v odd place .. one of her favourite hiding places was in her knee high winter boots .. the cash being rammed right down into the toe.
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+1 Sue, After my dear old Mum died, when we were clearing the house we found things in all sorts of hiding holes, even money tucked into the curtain hems. Your comment certainly brought back memories.?
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Chessie, would you be able to retireve the lost CG info from ANTS, surely they should have it stored somewhere .. else how do they get to fine you when they need to? 

I wish I could do more to help, I wonder if there is an Alzheimer's help group in 47 as there is here .. ? 

And, yes, sounds very much like you need to get your GP involved ... if only to ensure you get the help you need ..

Virtual hugs ... I may yet face the same problem .. as might we all, there but for the grace of God .. so keep cheerful and shout at us as much as you like ... and ask for as much help as you need and we'll give you as much help as we can.

I find swearing at the top of my voice helps too! 

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Oh Chessie, your post just brought tears to my eyes.  I feel the emotion in your words and I wish there was something I could do for you.  I too send you a very big virtual hug and also encourage you to post here about your life. 

There are lots of smart folks on this site and I know they will offer support in any way they can.  And, I agree with Idun; posting a good rant as often as you'd like might lighten a tiny bit of the load.

It does sound like he is hiding things.  Could he have taken the CG's because he thinks you might want to sell one or both of the vehicles to buy a new one - since you mentioned wanting one? 

A quick search confirms Judith's suggestion.  Have a look here.

Perte, vol ou détérioration de la carte grise : demande de duplicata

Vérifié le 19 décembre 2019 - Direction de l'information légale et administrative (Premier ministre)


(Sorry, I don't know how to make a live / clickable link.)

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Chessie, most of us can’t help, but we’re with you as others have said; come and talk on here as much as you want, we’ll listen and try to support you.

I’ve found an Alzheimer support group in 47; their website says they are open on even days during May from 15h to 18h, free calls on 0 970 81 88 06.

Even if your French isn’t very good, somebody sympathetic will be on the other end of the phone, who will be trying to communicate with you.

Website for Alzheimer in 47: https://www.francealzheimer.org/lotetgaronne/

Big virtual hugs from me ?
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Chessie ........

I can certainly confirm Judith & Lori’s advice about being able to get a replacement Carte Grise off of the ANTS system. I have very current experience, having been in the situation of having to get one for our insurer re our claim for our stolen car!

That’s the good news: the bad news is that wrestling with the ANTS system really needs to carry a Govt Health warning. Bad for the old hypertension, but you’re probably going to have to persist with it.

You have to create an ‘account’ to begin with. This is nothing other than generating your ‘espace personel’ with your user id and a password.

To proceed with getting a replacement CG, you need a code number which came in letter form when the CG was first issued. Since your car was matriculated back in 1995, that system may not have been in place and I have a feeling that on the website, the needs are different for a vehicle with an ‘old-style’ matriculation. I’m afraid that you’re going to have to flog through the process yourself, but with patience (a quality which I rather lack!) you’ll get there.

You can print out a sort-of temporary CG pending the arrival in the post of the proper one. The former would probably suffice for your immediate needs, since it confirms you (or your husband) as the registered keeper of the vehicle, which is what any provider of replacement keys will rightly require.

Best of luck & bon courage.

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Oh goodness - this lovely conversation has wandered off in 2 completely directions.

Let's separate them a bit -

Keys & CGs -

EricD - you're a star;  I'll send you a private pm and take you up on your offer of help.

Amazing helpful advice on here;  certainly had not thought of ANTS system, thanks Judith, Lori and Gardian;  think this could be very useful to others and maybe if any Mod is on here, thought should be given to including the helpful info under one of the FAQ 'Lost driving licence' - because the advice and help has been remarkable - thanks.

With EricD's help I hope we can get duplicate keys. I'll try and have 3 keys so that I can dput one away somewhere safe; I've also taken copies of the CGs and insurance slips as a 'just in case'.

In the grand scheme of things a lump of metal parked outside the house that we can't drive, and is over 20 years old, isn't the end of the world !!

- - - - -

Alzy - I threw a wobbly, and was under stress.  Decided to take a step back, clear my head and think.   Part of the problem is that in previous couple of weeks I'd been stressed out looking for tax/financial papers for dreaded french tax return that I knew we'd had but couldn't find.   So I had to ask him; which led to another row.

Then I found that, amongst other things, he'd opened some letters addressed to me.......and which I hadn't seen.

The CG's have been found;  and yes, in one of his 'secret' hiding places.   I stood over him, in the bedroom, while he was more or less forced to disclose hiding places so that we could find the CGs.    We also found that he had tucked away, in 2 old wallets, several hundred euros......- surprise to me, and he said to him, but which he described as 'emergency money' (in case he loses a credit card or bank card - again !!).

Now that I know 'secret hiding places' - fine.  But they're not secret anymore, so I'm wondering if he's now going to find other hiding places...... oh life is never dull is it.

Lori - never be afraid of holding out a helping hand - I'm grabbing both your hands here, and anyone else's;  all our friends are mutual friends, and I would feel very disloyal talking to them about him and the problems.   My only family is in UK, and with the situation there as it is at the moment, the last thing I would ever do is lumber them with 'odd' behaviour out here.

I had discovered about the Alzy assoc in Eymet a few weeks ago but thanks for the info;  when the situation gets back to normal then I'm going to call in for a chat and advice.

OH regards himself as 'perfect', nothing wrong with him - it's all me and my imagination.   But think time is approaching when definite steps need to be taken about diagnosis.  

Thank you everyone for your kindness, help, support and generosity - you've been a tremendous group, and I have really appreciated it all.

Thank you - Chessie

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Well I am so pleased that you found his current hiding places for things and that that paperwork has been found...... no keys though???

You say, 'normal', well, life is not normal at the moment for any of us, and who can say when it will be. AND so please get in touch with your GP and the Alzy association too. Tell them all that has happened..... he will ofcourse tell them that he is perfect too blah blah blah..... so maybe warn them about that too. Although surely they will be used to this situation.

I have mentioned a good friend and their problem with memory and behaviour too.... they had had some tests just and an MRI just before lockdown. The MRI, can tell how much of a problem there is. They were started on tablets a week or so ago.... anything that helps at all is  a good thing.

And with regards to keys, maybe you should hide the post box keys and so you get the post from now on. That is exactly what I would do in your circumstances. Better you taking over these keys before he has half-inched them eh? Especially as important things may be in the post box and you need to know what is going on.

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Good news that you’ve found some of the lost documents and mail, Chessie, but as you say, no doubt new hiding places will be used in future.

A good idea to collect together useful items that just might go missing - you need some secure hiding places too.

Yes, do get in touch with support groups, there’ll be nothing new you can tell them, and you need to have support at your back.

Keep in touch, Chessie, you have a lot of friends on here.
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I know panicking doesn't help, but it's a perfectly human thing to do, and I dare say not one of us on here couldn't say we hadn't just as you have on occasions.

"OH regards himself as 'perfect', nothing wrong with him - it's all me

and my imagination. "

Similar problem here, though not as serious as yours - yet - and I hope not ever, but there are signs ... yesterday it was lost glasses (his, not mine, though I've done that too).  Have you looked everywhere you've been (in the house) this morning? Yes!  Of course, he hadn't ... basically they were where he'd left them the night before - he'd not put them on that morning, as he needs them really only for reading and driving but he usually wears them and takes them off when he doesn't need them, like I don't wear mine walking around the house now.

Finding the CG will help, and doing the tax forms ... but plenty of other useful suggestions before me, so will not repeat other than to say you are not alone in this and come back whenever you feel the need for advice, or simply a rant! 


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Thank you for coming back to us Chessie.  I'm so glad you found the CG's and the euros, etc.  The keys will likely pop up one day.

I fully understand about not wanting to burden your family, who are too far away to really help right now and would certainly worry.  Also understand that you don't feel comfortable speaking with mutual friends about the situation.  However, I bet they have noticed changes in him, yet likely for the same reasons, do not bring it up to you.

So, we are all here for you.  Please post when you can as we will all be thinking of you.


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I was just thinking that you should become, is it a Chatelaine, maybe not wearing the keys on a belt, but you have your own hiding place for all of them.

AND all those euros which will cover the cost of new car keys, that is in fact if you are going to get some for his and not just have it scrapped etc.

Good luck, if you want anything doing just ask. It wouldn't be the first time I have called for folk on here either.

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