My car, my car, my kingdom for MY car!

This is my first real rant, which is in essence what this site has been created for – but I’ll keep it short to break you in gently.

Right, I went to Manchester in July for a reunion with Uni pals, and a serious bender. All went well, if not a little dark at times. It was the return trip where things started going pear shaped.

I drove back down the M6 on the Sunday, ignoring the Motorway warning signs declaring the road ahead shut. Not delays now, shut. Can’t be, surely?

Oh yes, it was shut. Seems that there was a major crash in-between two junctions, and everyone had to get off at Stoke on Trent and divert through there. Wouldn’t have been a problem, only there were road works there constructing a new bypass to cope with all of the frequently redirected traffic. It took me hours to get within touching distance of the Stoke city centre, when I noticed the car in front was smoking badly. I barely had time to laugh loudly when I heard a bang, and my car stopped.

It was my car that was smoking. Arse biscuits.

BMWs are not supposed to break down. I had to wait over 2 hours for the AA to show up, only to tell me what I already knew in that the car couldn’t be fixed at the roadside as the radiator was shattered.

I then had to wait for a truck to take me the rest of the way back to Newport , South Wales . It was 4:15pm when I broke down, and gone 9:00pm before the truck arrived due to the traffic.

Sodding hell or what?

We arrived at my garage of choice, in Newport at just after midnight where I left my car. This is where it gets really bad, pay attention. I returned the next day after work, having borrowed my dad’s car – complete with lecture on the stupidity of going to Manchester for nothing more than a piss up. I dropped my keys off at the garage, the Hillcroft garage in Langstone, for your reference, and returned home.

Just after 1:00am that night I received a phone call from the garage (boy they work late I thought) only to be told that they’d had a break in, someone had taken the keys I’d dropped off a few hours earlier and my car had been stolen.

Oh, it’s getting good now… but it gets even worse yet.

So my BMW Z3, complete with broken radiator, has been nicked? No problem, might be a blessing, I needed to sell it anyway. After contact with the insurance company I felt better, as they were going to ensure that I received the money for the car by pursuing the garage and their insurance company.

Sadly, the estranged wife got wind of this, and as the policy was in her name, she instructed the insurance company not to speak to me.

WTF???

That’s right, I now couldn’t talk to them, as she was trying to claim the insurance money… on MY CAR!!! Naturally I cancelled the direct debit. What use is paying for insurance I can’t claim, on a car I don’t have?

About 2 months ago I received the most unexpected phone call of all; the police had found my car!

I know; I was shocked as well. However this has kind of stuffed things up a bit, as I’ve since bought another car. Plus, and this is the worst bit; the garage have had the car sat in their workshop since then, refusing to touch it until their insurance company decide what they’re going to do with regards to fixing it, or writing it off and paying me the cash. Naturally, they’re not doing anything.

So my car is in limbo, the garage is failing superbly to do any work and their insurance company can’t be bothered to do anything at all, the whole while I’m down around £6K or one BMW Z3. Maybe I’ll get it back before Spring 2007, so I can sell it for the Summer. It’s a convertible remember, and they don’t sell well during the Winter.

Lessons learned here? Don’t ignore Motorway signs, insure your own car and never get married. Also don’t use the Hillcroft garage in Newport, or Royal Sun Alliance as an insurance company. At least I’ve taken something from it.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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