I spent the weekend trawling around car dealers, which was nice. This was especially good as I was actually there to buy a car. All the dealer had to do was have the car I wanted, or at least convince me that they did. That’s how it all works. Let's just say, though, that I was a little disappointed. 

Then on Monday I got a War and Peace-length email from a reader explaining just why he had decided never to buy a used car again and was going to stick with purchasing a new motor. I expected to read that he’d been to some back-street outfit and had the usual ‘not as described’ experience. Instead it was all main agent dealers and five-figure metal and monumental misunderstandings.

It wasn’t that bad for me. In all I encountered just one half-decent salesman who offered some alternatives and listened to what I said. It was a shame that he showed me the most risible of nearly new cars. Indeed, the amount of cars awaiting preparation was as shocking as their condition. Add to that mix a lack of product and stock knowledge, too.