My first week back at work has been horrendous. Back-to-back meetings and things to do have kept me in the office until late every night and totally knackered me out, but I should have written about this last weekend.
I took my car for a service on Saturday at the local Ford dealer and, after checking it in, me and Mrs P went for a wander round the showroom seeing as I was due to trade it in in March. As it happened, it was the launch weekend of the new Focus when one of the circling sales people homed in for the kill.
Was I interested in a new look Focus. Just a bit, I said, wiping the saliva from the corner of my mouth, but I wasn’t planning on doing so for a month or two. Salesperson frowns. Let me just check something. Returns. You do realise that with the new Focus now launched, yours will drop £500 by March. Oh, I said, with a deflated sigh.
But I can’t change mine yet, can I? Of course you can. To cut a long story short (test drives, choices of extras, computer finance projections, form-filling, digging out paperwork at home etc) I drove away from a car service with a new car, metaphorically, not literally.
I’m dead pleased. And so is Mrs P truth be told. For one, she doesn’t have to spend the next few months of me agonising about which new toy to buy. But there were other advantages, like a shed load of Nectar points and — wait for it — his and hers mountain bikes. Not sure if I’m up for it — Mrs P is the fitness freak.
Hopefully I can tell you how good (or bad) the new Focus is next week. However, the point of this post isn’t for me to bang on about my new car, but to offer a few salutory lessons.
During all of the above, I chatted with the sales bloke and learned a few things. Number one I knew already: the ‘as advertised on tv’ second-hand car dealers. I won’t name names for getting sued reasons, but the ones who say that your old clapped out car is a deposit.
The scam is that you have to take their finance which is out of sight outrageous. My nephew fell for this one. What he was paying for a secondhand Punto could have bought a new one.
Next the secondhand dealer who offers really great deals way below what other dealers are offering on the same make and model. They are probably foreign imports, mostly from Ireland I think. Yes they are good value — until you try to trade them in.
At which point the dealer does a car history check. Is any money owed on them? Has it been stolen? That sort of thing. Cars registered in the UK will have a long print-out: from anywhere else, zilch and they won’t touch it with a barge pole.
So take care out there — or is it me that needs a minder when with car salesmen strike?