Given you’re reading one of the more obscure pages in a specialist motoring magazine, I think it’s fair to assume that you have a certain idea of what you’re looking for when it comes to buying a car.

That you’ll understand, more than most, the pitfalls and benefits of choosing one model over another.

But imagine you don’t. Imagine, for a moment, that you need to buy something you’ll use fairly often, perhaps for an hour or more a day, but about which you’re not armed with any expertise whatsoever. You could, quite by chance and with absolutely no intent, buy the wrong thing.

It’s a situation I’ve found myself in twice in the past couple of weeks. Once, because my dentist has recommended I buy a water flosser (don’t ask); the other, because I’m looking to buy a steering wheel and a set of pedals to use with PlayStation driving games.


One of these things I will use once or perhaps twice a day, and its performance will have a marked impact on my oral health. If I choose wrongly, every six months or so my dental hygienist will attack me with tools I would prefer she didn’t and, nice though she is, I really don’t look forward to seeing her. It could prolong the time I spend with my own gnashers, and delay the point where I have to eat soup more often than I care to.

The other thing I will use once in a blue moon, and the worst that will happen if I get it wrong is that it’ll cost me a tenth of a second in a braking manoeuvre against a mate I’m racing over the internet.

You can obviously tell, then, which one I bought after 45 minutes of internet browsing and review reading, and which one I’m still agonising over more than a month after having the idea in the first place.