Some second-hand car salesmen have forged a reputation for being shysters who are willing to pawn their grannies’ kidneys in return for a nice new set of alloys for an XR3i.
After my experience trying to buy a car this week, I would say that stereotype has become a stonewall reality.
Arriving back from holiday, I was delighted to find that the fuel pump had died on my wife’s car, rendering the machine obsolete.
The fuel in the tank was worth more than the entire car.
So, scouring the internet, I found two suitable replacements nestling with independent traders.
The first was advertised as immaculate. It was. Valeted inside and a beautiful high-gloss finish in the blazing sunshine – just a shame that the gearbox was held together with dental floss.
My car knowledge is concise. You could write all of it on a pygmy’s pinky.
But my mechanic maestro spotted the fault instantly.
I bought the second car I looked at, paid the deposit, signed the contract and happily informed the wife that she’d have a nice new carriage by the end of the week.
Moments later, the owner of the, er, ‘reputable’, garage called to say the deal was off.
He claimed his team had underpriced the car and it would cost another £1,000 to buy it.
I forcefully argued the point that I was now the owner of the vehicle and, sadly, a clerical error meant that he’d made an expensive mistake.
He colourfully enlightened me that the car would never leave his yard and the deal was off.
Legally, I know I could have pursued the issue.
But what type of treatment would he have given my car whilst it was still in his grasp?
I’m a relatively intelligent being and I dragged around a mechanic with 40 years of industry experience looking for a new set of wheels.
Yet we still came up against myriad lies and motoring madness.
It’s lambs to the slaughter for the less informed.