He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Burberry Baseball Caps

Yesterday I spent an awful lot of money - enough to make me wince as I handed my card over to pay for my purchase, although I know I've probably done the right thing really.

My car had reached it's autumn years, a time in it's life defined as the point where you've driven it past 100,000 miles to the point where anything else is academic. Your vehicle is just high-mileage and nobody would steal it if you paid them, which doesn't bother me until other problems start to develop. Then, every time a problem does occur, you end up doing a cost-benefit analysis on each repair, saying to yourself, "is it worth it?".

Well, this time it wasn't.

About a week ago, Rubella started leaking pink fluid from the engine head. The parallels between this and human anatomy were a little unnerving and with further examination I was pretty sure that the engine head had developed a rupture. Not good. There's no real temporary repair that will get you through this one, just as sticking an elastoplast on a ruptured aorta really isn't going to work. The pink substance was coolant.

I've had something similar to this happen in the past and the repair is a time consuming task. It involves taking the top of the engine off, skimming the head, replacing the gasket and putting it all back together again. It is not cheap and usually results in said mechanic sucking the air through his teeth and making a comment akin to, "It's not the parts, it's the labour, y'see". When it was done before, it took a complete day of the mechanic's time, but as he was cheap and accepted sheep as part-payment, it came to less than £300. No such luck this time, the cost would have been at least double.

Which brings me back to the question, "do you pay £600 in repairs on a car that's worth probably less?".

The answer is, probably not. Chances are that you're on the slippery slope and further problems will occur. Don't get me wrong, for the last two years I've had a very reliable little Polo, but it was time to move on. I made my decision to cut my losses and invest in a newer vehicle (again), using this one as a trade-in. Hopefully, nobody would notice the haemorrhage. My criteria for whatever I drove next was:

1) Cheap and easy to maintain.
2) Fun to drive. (Has a bit of performance without guzzling and at least a sunroof if I can't afford a convertible )
3) Small (it's only ever me and one passenger), but can fit a parrot cage in the boot (occasionally necessary when I go on holiday).

I did test-drive a Citroen C2 VTS and liked it, but as the salesman was a complete arse-hole who had redefined the term telephone harassment, I decided not to go for one, and instead bought a Saxo VTR. Yep, I've got a Chavs car. Woot.

To be honest though, I don't actually care. I've bought one that's barely 3 years old, has ~26,000 miles on the clock, been well looked after and hasn't been modified in any way, thank god. The economy seems fine, it is indeed fun to drive and does 0 - 60 reasonably well (~ 9 seconds). It's also covered under a warranty for a substantial amount of time, so hopefully my vehicular problems will now be far and few between.

The garage in question didn't notice the bleeding pink, which was also a bonus. So, ya-boo, I'm off to find me some Burberry seat covers. Gasp)
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