Why must I carry spare bulbs when driving my BMW Z4 in France when I can't change the bulbs myself anyway?

I have a BMW Z4 sDrive 3.5i and will be driving to France, Monaco and Italy this summer. I am keen to comply with all the regulations re travel, and have the reflective vests in the car plus all the external markings and beam deflectors etc. I am at a loss about the spare light bulbs. The front bulbs are a job for a BMW dealer, not me by the side of a French autoroute. The IAM offers a travel kit with some generic bulbs in it (from the AA I think) but I may as well pack some old Saab ones I have in a kit from the past. Do you know if it is essential to have the correct spare bulbs?

Asked on 3 April 2011 by RW, via email

Answered by Honest John
This has come from a French national law that then spread EC wide without anyone thinking the obvious that there is no point in carrying spare bulbs if you can't fit them. Yet the EC auto components lobby is so strong that no one has come up with the subversive idea of forcing manufacturers to make light fittings that a driver can change. So you just comply with a daft rule and meanwhile your car gives you nothing like the fuel economy the EC promises you. Think of the EC as a conspiracy of unelected bureaucrats paid by us to help a few rich people make a lot more money and you’ll be getting close to the truth.
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