I just thought I was going along for the ride……

I’ve never bought a car before. There’s a very simple reason for this. I can’t drive. However now as part of a married couple I get to make decisions on this sort of thing. So while the rest of the chaps were whooping it up on keefybabe’s stag do in Edinburgh, I was off looking at cars with Rach and her parents.

Actually looking back on it was fun. Not fun as in” lets see how much alcohol down our necks” but in “hey lets spend £5000 quid that we haven’t really got, but the bank will let us have because Mr Newport is in a permanent well paying job”. Five years ago I wouldn’t have been able to have this sort of fun and would have gone with the alcohol option instead. This just goes to show how far I’ve progressed in the game of life.

First stop in our quest for a new Newport Mobile was Carcraft in Morley. Carcraft is a car supermarket, which basically means its a big hanger sized building full of cars surrounded by a huge carpark also filled with cars. Although we had no intention of buying one, since their prices are over the odds, they let you sit in any car you like. So basically Rach tried several cars on for size, which is a necessary thing if you are vertically challenged like she is. I got to sit in a BMV and a Jag which I thought was cool. Perhaps one day……

Next stop was the Renault dealer, Reg Vardy, in town just down from Quarry House going out towards Harehills. Rach wanted to look at a Renault Megane. The salesman Gary wanted to sell her one. We only wanted to spend £5000. No problem lets see what our other nationwide branches have. Oh there’s one in Sunderland. So we go for a test drive in a newer Megane that they have on court but is out of our price range, which has the same engine. Its an is exceptionally smooth drive, not only the car which has turbo fuel injection (no I didn’t know what that meant either…basically it gives you that extra boast when you go up hills and over take) but also Gary’s charm. So were suitably impressed and happy to start doing the deal. “Ok let me talk you through this” goes Gary pointing at a screen of extras that have just popped up on the price of the scene. Ok so a tank of fuel and 7 days insurance. I can live with these things, but price protection (if at any time you right off the car, you will get the original price back) and fittings protection (lacquering the inside and outside, adding headlamp protectors and Renault foot carpets) at £400 each I’m not so keen on. In fact this package of extras has just added an extra £1000 to the price of the car!!! Rachel’s not happy too, especially since we’ve not even seen this car yet! No matter what we ask to be taken of this magic extra $1000 never really drops off. Rach managed to get him down to £5800. Gary now wants us to put down a £100 deposit so that he can get the car down from Sunderland so Rach can test drive it. Rach stands up for herself and tells him that we are going to look at another car, so we’ll get back to him.

Final stop,DM Keith a Skoda dealership in South Leeds. Rach had already made arrangements to do a test drive here earlier in the week after test driving another car. John the salesman was pleasant and attentive. Refreshingly slime free after Gary. We went for a test drive which was ok. Rach was disappointed that it lacked the pizzaz of turbo fuel injection but it was a solid smooth drive. I fell asleep several times, which I do at the drop of a hat in cars, but it was cool by me too. So we sit down to do the deal. We use the fact that we have seen the Megane to get the price down from £6000 to £5800. This time there are no hidden extras, and apart from them insuring the car (which they have to do by law) its the price of the car. John goes to check the price with his boss. We discuss it. Should we go with the Skoda or the unseen Megane? The Smethursts are undecided, all eyes are on me…..”The skoda” I say in a surprisingly decisive tone. Why? Because we are getting a better car (the Skoda is younger than the Megane) and basically is a VW so is uber reliable, which is a big plus since we don’t replace our car every 3-5 years like Gary suggested. Its a tank so next time we overload it with people and stuff (ala trip into Kendal, returning home with me, keefybabe, Ginger Matt, George + boot full of bear, during my 30th celebrations) we won’t cripple the suspendsion. Final reason, I didn’t want buy a car from Gary. Sorry Gaz your a con man. You don’t try and sell a product and then wack on a fifth of the price when you sit down to close the deal. That’s just not honest.

So come end of the week we shall have a new Skoda Fabia. Go Newports!!

In other news, Sunday was a relaxing day of Guildwars, doing some work on a job app and hanging out with our cats.

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