The Journey Begins – Loose Ends

It’s a long way to Australia. If you live in the northern hemisphere of course. For me the trip begins shortly. Today I fly from the UK to Madrid. Then after a few days we fly to Australia on Thursday.

There were, and still are, plenty of loose ends to sort out. One of which was selling my car in the UK. It’s a long story but here is the short version.

They buy any car…

For a price that suits them. It was like “Hey dude! Where’s my car?”

Somebody stole it! Or you could say I sold it.

Then again, a bit like hearing the news on mainstream media and then listening to a conspiracy theorist; the reality is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I did not have the time to sell the car privately, so I went online. The first (and still most popular in the UK) company that set up a car buying service on the internet was “webuyanycar.com” so it seemed the logical place to start.

“Webuyanycar.con more like! Their website offered me a decent figure. More than I needed to break-even. When you take a car to these people they then make up all sorts of excuses as to why it is only worth (in my case) almost £1000 less than that website figure. I would have been happy meeting them half-way. But the word ‘haggle’ is not in their dictionary. They know that you want to get rid of your vehicle and they want to spend as little as possible. Obviously, I knew that too. And I had to sell. But you can’t help feeling that companies like we-buy-any-car are the internet age version of the not always fully honest, second-hand car dealers like Arthur Daley.

Of course, this is the case. But these companies clearly serve a purpose. The second-hand car industry is huge – especially in the UK where it is worth over an amazing £40billion a year. And it has been this valuable every year for the past 10 years at least. That is more (every year) than that infamous one-off EU Brexit “divorce bill” of some £39billion (as we are often told).

It gets worse….

I did try another website. But after this one I really could not be othered. “Jamjar.com” is a complete joke. I urge you to go ahead and try it! Enter your car’s registration number and laugh at the figures on offer. The first one or two will be about right but then it just gets silly. I have no idea how that thing works and how they can even think they are offering a realistic service.

Arthur Daley? Who’s he?

Apologies to non-British readers who will probably be saying ‘who the hell is he?’

Arthur Daley was a character in a popular British TV series called Minder which ran from 1979 to 1994. Daley, played by George Cole, was the classic ‘loveable rogue’ and, to some, a kind of working-class hero. His unscrupulous money-making schemes were the source of each episode. The stories were written with a strong comic element. Despite the many dodgy dealings he was involved in his main source of income was as a used car salesman. Hence why, in the UK, whenever you hear jokes about buying used cars the name Arthur Daley often pops up.

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