My car is officially dead. Not going anywhere. The entire rear brake system and handbrake assembly needs serious work. So, if anyone wants to buy a 1992 Peugeot 106 1.4 that can’t be driven anywhere, really cheap*, let me know.
As a result, Hels and I spent the whole of today looking for a replacement. We visited sixteen dealers. Count them. Sixteen. 16. One, followed by a six. I think my brain is about to melt.
It seems that there is a great shortage of cars that are in our price bracket. There are many that are very cheap (and, therefore, crap or knackered) and there are many that are more expensive than we can afford (and, therefore, very desirable). We only found six cars that were suitable candidates today, of which four were Renault Méganes. We’ve booked a test drive for our favourite of these for tomorrow morning, so I hope to have transport available again soon. This, undoubtedly, will be a Good Thing, although I would have been happier to have found some options that weren’t Méganes, just to broaden the choice.
But, honestly, there has to be an easier way. Anything we found on the internet was already sold, miles away or entirely unsuitable. Stuff in Autotrader also had the same problems. Ultimately, it comes down to getting out and pounding the streets to physically look at cars on the ground, which is tiring and time-consuming. What’s more, with so many types of cars (I’m not an expert by any means), it is virtually impossible to make meaningful comparisons even between two cars that appear superficially similar. Maybe we should just be like the Soviets and all have identical Ladas (well, perhaps something a little nicer than that).
* Really cheap = about £80 to £100, plus you have to organise a trailer to take it away.
EDIT: the test drive was a success. Surprisingly, it turns out that it is cheaper for me to insure the “new” car, so it will become mine, not Hels’s. I’m not in the least bit gleeful about this; not at all. Honest. I should take delivery (or, rather, drive 120 miles to get it) on Saturday.