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my little Shkoda

I don't do Top Gear.

Cars are for getting from A to B. Mind you, I was attached to my Megane, the vehicle famous for shaking its ass. Until it started to go wrong and the Renault dealer quoted £159 for replacing a lightbulb. Then a faulty bit of plastic the size of a fingernail came attached to something the size and cost of an arm and a leg.

I was advised to buy a Volkswagen. I did better and bought a Shkoda Citygo which is really a Volkswagen Up built on the same production line in Slovakia.

You pay £500 extra for the VW badge. This snobbery is for people who remember the joke about the Shkoda heated rear window that keeps your hands warm when pushing.

On the test drive, the engine cut out whenever I stopped in traffic. Many of my cars have done this. But never one which restarted at a touch of the clutch. It's ecological. And zero road tax as well.

I decided to buy one. Except the garage wanted to lease the car under a PFI (or something similar). The salesperson did a drawing of a car cut in three bits. (If I wanted such a vehicle I would consult a person from Possil.)

I said no to PFI. No to gap insurance despite the salesperson drawing a lovely graph about preserving the value of the car if someone ran into it as I left the garage forecourt.

I said no to Autogleam which involved paying the garage £300 to give my motor a wash, wax, and rub-down with a shammy.

All of this was academic since the garage did not have a Citygo to sell without a three-month wait.

I found a dealer in Ayr (Ingram, though no plug intended) who had a car I could buy and drive away. They didn't want to cut my car in three. Or shine me with a shammy.

Why is my car a Shkoda? When I phoned the Skoda call centre in deepest England a young lady kept saying Shkoda.

The diphthong thing above the S adds an H. Shtaff are under ordersh from Shlovakia to shay Shkoda.

It's all very Sean Connery and makes me bond even more with my motor. As I said to Mish Moneypenny at the call centre.

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