Friday, June 19, 2009

Psst... Wanna Car?

When I bought my 406, I thought it would be cheap to maintain and repair because it's a French car and I'm in France so there are lots of them about if ever I needed used parts. Logical.

Since I've had my accident, I've come to realise that it's not that simple. Having had heart-failure over the estimate for repairs I asked why there were so few used spare parts indicated. There must be loads of 406 parts languishing in breakers' yards.

Ha! Not so. Apparently they all get shipped to the Maghreb where the 406 is used as a taxi and there is a huge demand for used spare parts. Well, bugger me, thought I. That's the last time I buy a 406! Even though I really like the 406 estate, too. My TWDB can't understand that, he doesn't like it at all.

So I'm in a bit of a rush as to what to do, because I can't afford the repairs. I can drive the car I'm borrowing until next Thursday, then it's getting sold itself. No, not to me, it's way too crappy. A black cloud descends upon me every time I get in, although I'm very grateful that I've got temporary use of it.

I've been scouring Ebay and used car websites for a replacement. There are a few that are suitable and I'm seeing one on Sunday. I'm also hoping to sell my 406 wreck to help along the purchase of the new one.

Certain cars are out, natch. Anything that costs 700Eur as soon as you set foot over the garage doorstep to start with, so that includes Saab, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes and upwards. Then there are the ones which are so boring, you die a little every time you get in, which includes quite a lot in the 'average' car bracket (so aptly named). If it's too small to carry 4 bikes, it's no good, so that cuts out Smarts, Minis, C1s, 206/7s and others of that ilk.

Which doesn't actually leave very much! It boils pretty much down to the VW Golf (although a bit touch and go on the 'boring' factor, and only redeemed by the 'reliable' factor), Alfa Romeo 156 Sportwagon, Ford Focus, Peugeot 307 (with doubts about spare parts) and... er... that's about it.

My ideal car has got to be at least mildly attractive/zappy, big enough, not too thirsty, and not too expensive to either buy or maintain. Tough call!


  1. Hi! Do they sell Subarus in your part of the world ? I'm on my third, having first has a girlfriend who was driving one with about 150000 miles on it, and then meeting someone who had pix of when they'd been run off a roud by a truck while driving one and run into a tree - car 0 tree 1 ... but no damage to passengers! That's what I liked, so I got a Legacy, and drove it for about 130K miles, and then n outback for about the same, until someone hit me hard enough to roll it upside-down. Not a scratch on me, I should add, and the only damage was to the bodywork!
    Now I have an Impresa and am passing the 100K mile mark once again!

  2. Japanese every time!

  3. Subarus are great.

    I, too, have owned three. Only issues I ever had were on 2001-2003 models.

    Bad catalytic converters and bad head gaskets were too common on vehicles in that time period.

    My 2001 Forester needed three catalytic converters and one head gasket replacement in the first 70K miles.

    Subsequent model years seem to have resolved these issues.

  4. Subarus are not common here so are not easy to find used.

    If I don't get the Alfa 156 I've got my eye on in Ebay, I'll see what I can get that's Japanese.

  5. I love Alfa's but they do tend to go wrong! Tempramental Italians! But pretty!

  6. You got there inspite of all that...

    Youppie look the mostest aboard!


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