Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cinder patch bandit?

I'm not alone in my observation - in fact I might go as far as to say that it's universally acknowledged - that there are certain professions where integrity is flagged up but only occasionally practised. Politicians, estate agents and (dare I say it?) some less scrupulous members of the fourth estate come top of my list of those who, early in their careers, have made a pact with the devil. Recent experience has added the silver-tongued car salesman to that inglorious roll.

But - as they say - needs must when the devil drives.....

And it was only a short drive that took us to a used car patch on the side of the busy 'A' road that snakes along the border between England and Wales and where a suitable 'pre-owned' vehicle had been spotted.

There was no obvious sign that our man practised the dark arts; no pentagrams, sigils, goats or overt signs of faerie witchcraft, just a shabby shopfront behind a windblown patch on the Welsh side of the road in a has-been town. Out front a line-up of vehicles of 'a certain age' gathered dust, their windscreen banners exclaiming virtues: 'Air conditioning!!' 'Air Bags!!' 'Stereo!!' 'Electric Windows!!' and the inevitable optimistic prices. Not promising.

Our man lurched unenthusiastically from his sales office proffering help. I resisted the temptation to ask the first question that sprang to my lips, the naive 'Does it, ermm, go?' I tried harder. Mileage. Yep, it had mileage. Service history. MOT. Possibly. Cam belt? (Always a good 'un). We jiggled the steering wheel and stepped on the brakes, checked the mirrors and played with the petrol cap release thingey. We got the engine turning and it sounded OK. We stood around in the way of car buyers the world over, kicking a tyre occasionally and squinting along the bodywork. We were not actively being sold this car. This was a take it or leave it situation.

We ran out of questions and in the ensuing silence our man admitted he had a bad back. This non sequitur was followed by 'Used to be a builder'. This was somewhat reassuring. Not a dyed-in-the-wool car salesman then. Arthur Daly he wasn't. A couple of telephone calls, a couple of questions and a little negotiation later and this W reg. Peugeot estate was ours - or more correctly will be our son's.

A deposit changed hands in the office - a shambles of a room with, incongruously, a chiller cabinet and the trappings of butcher's shop in the corner. Obviously they do things differently here. We will drive it away on Friday with fingers crossed, a 3 month warranty and a reassuring 12 months MOT.

I hope we don't regret this.

11 comments:

ChrisH said...

I've just caught up with a swathe of your blogs and very good they were too. Thank you!

The Country Craft Angel said...

My best friends dad has a car business over in Telford, so if ever you are looking again, take a visit. They broke the mould with him. I know EXACTLY what you mean about that breed!

warm wishes
x

Cait O'Connor said...

Good luck.
Caitx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm sure it will purr like a kitten. Hope he likes it!

Crystal xx

PG said...

That would be Friday the 13th you're collecting it on then...oops.
I'm sure it will be fine! :)

lampworkbeader said...

My brother in law owned a used car business. They made a fortune but I was never tempted to buy his cars, though thousands of people obviously were. I hope all goes well with your new purchase.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Cor, it's newer than mine.

You got those snake-oil salesmen down to a T - even if yours turned out not to be one!

Mopsa said...

It's a grotty business isn't it? I find traders are all round better here in Devon than in the Midlands or London - reputation is all among a small community.

Eden said...

Oh dear, the butcher block and cleaver sound ominous. Good luck with the car.
loving your blogs.

elizabethm said...

best of luck with it. we bought our suburu at great expense from a main dealer and it has spent the last five weeks off with road with a variety of eye wateringly expensive ailments, so it's always a punt.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Here I am trying to work out where you went.....couldn't be G Yapp in Churchstoke...he and his garage have gone to the great car breaker in the sky....and w Robinson hasn't got a meat cleaver in the corner....