Wow, for the last few weeks I have been thinking of writing another entry here, but for various reasons I have just not has the time or energy to do it. OK, more energy than time.
So... What has been going on in the last few month or so...
Well, too much for one post, so I'll start with changing the car... (Sorry this has turned into a long post! Oops)
Our V50 was had reached the point where we either needed to change it, or keep it until it totally died on us. Actually, it had just passed that point. 199000 KM's to 200000KM's meant about 1/3 of its value was lost. Each 10000 after that took even more off. We had reached... 202000. Damn.
But, we did some looking around and found a couple of nice V70's to replace it with - with lots of options, and a big engine up front pulling it along. Both test drives started well - I got some interesting responses when I handed over my driving license for the test drive. The first garage actually asked for Mrs Stace's license as my license did not match who I was well enough - something I'll take that as a nice compliment.
But the car itself was a real disappointment. It was nice in a straight line, though not as quick as I was hoping and in the corners it felt more like the XC90 I test drove last year than the V70 we took out. Wallowing around corners and roundabouts made me take them all quick slowly - there was no confidence in the car.
Also, it had an awful colour interior - beige steering wheels and dashboards should not be allowed!
So on to the next! The salesman was surprised when I handed over my license, but did at least accept it (Mrs Stace couldn't be with me for this one, so I didn't have that many options). But...
For the first time I saw a difference between going in as him and going in as Stace. I was test driving a 3L turbo charged, 286bhp AWD car. In theory it should have been a bit of a beast. I was trading in a 220bhp 2.5l AWD V50. Also a bit of a beast. I like fast cars.
And all this guy could say was how comfortable it was. Yes, but I want something that's fin to drive 'Yes, with the chassis that it has it's really comfortable!' OK, but I want something that feels secure in the corners. 'Oh don't worry, it's a really comfortable car'.
Fine, don't listen then.
So another test drive and another disappointment. This one had Volvo's 4C chassis, in theory you can set it to 'Advanced' mode and it should firm up and enjoy being thrown around. Well, it firms up OK. But still felt like a whale in the corners.
Back to the garage and into another comfort discussion. 'I'm a bit disappointed, it wallows in the corners even in 'Advanced' mode'. 'Yes, it is very comfortable isn't it' ARGHH!
They did have another car there though, a few less options and only a 2L engine (still 203bhp though) and much newer for the same price. So I thought I'd take that out for a spin. 'It's not as comfortable as the T6' (Seriously, it was the only thing the guy could say!).
It was a much better car to drive though! And certainly closer to the first V70 I drove last year. Not all the toys that I wanted, but most of them, and the most important ones to us.
But... After a weeks worth of trying to come up with a price the deal fell through - the salesman refused to do a deal - his first offer was final, and the point of him saying admitting that there was another car, in a Volvo dealership just 10KM's away that had exactly the same options, and was the same age, for 5K less and still saying 'That doesn't mean we have to sell it for the same price' I knew I was not going to have that car.
Lucky for me in the end. I found another one. Less than a year old, exactly the specification that I wanted and only used as a demo car. Full factory warranty for 18 months. Great!
And for less than the other car was.
A deal was made over the phone as I knew how the car drove and with factory warranty I just thought I could buy it as you would a new car, plus that way you can be emotionless when making the deal. Sitting drooling over the new car does somewhat hamper your chances of getting it cheaper. The garage wanted my summer wheels on the V50 though so I had to get the winter ones changed, shouldn't be a problem I thought. And that's where it went wrong.
On the day of having the wheels changed 1000 euros of damage appeared on the side of the car. With 8 days until it was going to be traded in. And the garage refused to accept responsibility for it. The damage has been there for weeks was their stance. Damage that had shiny metal metal still. 'Look it's rusty', a quick wipe my finger to remove the road dirt and 'Yes, well you've removed the rust with your finger now haven't you!' (Again, seriously? Having had many cars with rust throughout my life I have never managed to remove it with my finger. Normally it takes a lot of work and effort to get it off!)
The insurance is now dealing with it, and they organised getting the car fixed in the time available (and they did a great job too!). Just a shame that it has cost me 11 years no claims unless the garage has a change of heart and admits what they did. My word against theirs is going to mean that I can't prove anything.
But we have the new car now - actually for 4 weeks or so, and it's amazing. All the toys I wanted, almost out entire music collection on a 32GB USB stick in the car so no more changing CD's all the time. And drives beautifully.
Oh, and it's comfortable :)