My car died at the beginning of the summer so I bought a bike and convinced myself I was not poor, but keen on becoming fit. This is what I have been telling people. However the truth is a little more complicated that that......
To give you the correct picture I need to back up a little to the Spring. I needed to buy a car, being car-less at the time and wanting to get back into Supply teaching, but had no money to do it with so a friend lent me the money. I bought the car on Ebay. My reasoning for doing it this way was because the people selling anything there strive to get and keep a good reputation for honesty and efficiency which is all recorded by means of customers' feedback.
I bid for a car for £400 and was very excited when I won it for £410. As it was a Friday evening and the seller did not work weekends (he had made it his job to sell cars on ebay), I arranged to pick it up on the Monday. That Monday was the first day of my supply teaching and I was given an afternoon job so I checked emails in the morning. Good job I did! The seller emailed me to say that he no longer had the car for me! He had got it out of the secure parking place on Sunday ready for my collection and it had been vandalised whilst sitting on the road near his house. He did not want to sell me a vandalised car, even though I had bought it. When I told him I really wanted to get a car that day, as planned, he told me to look at the other cars he was auctioning and he would stop the auction for me to get it at the same price as the other one. Most of them were too expensive but there was one nearly in the same league. It would probably go for at least £600 but had just got to nearly £400. He was true to his word and let me have it for £410 - a dark green Volvo. It ran well and served me well.
However, one Thursday morning I found it sitting in the drive with all 4 tyres slashed, deep scratches over every section of body and the wipers wrenched off the car. Needless to say I was late for work that day, having to get the bus. Saturday morning was spent watching a mechanic trying to get the wheels off without the required locking nut implement that had not come with the car! He was telling me it would take a few hundred pounds to get them off. However I prayed and low and behold he immediately managed to do it without resorting to expensive methods.
I got the car running which cost me a few hundred pounds but the insurance company told me the scratches meant it was a write-off as far as they were concerned, because the car was not worth the cost of a total respray. I accepted what they were offering but it took a while for the car to be picked up, so as it still ran fine I used it. However the week before they picked it up it died and the rescue guy told me it needed a new alternator and would need a new clutch soon so the timing was just right. It died but I got the money anyway.