The Skodas we were driving had been declining for some while - the grating noises and screaming bearings from my car in particular urged us to a drastic cause of action. Our friendly car mechanic Brian said my car needed changing so we set off to look at car showrooms in the Cambridge area. Virginia suggested we should replace her bigger car as we would end up with one car in due course.
We looked first at VWs, but the boots seemed far to small. One of our buying criteria was that we could pack luggage for our cruises into the boot. So we went next door to look at Kias, got treated to a free drink, saw a Kia Cee'd which seemed big enough, and were even persuaded into a test drive which felt OK.
We next tried looking at Toyotas, and wished we hadn't. We did at least learn we needed an estate for our luggage, not a hatchback but the salesman was very pushy. He contradicted everything we said we wanted, made us feel like we were always wrong. Toyota cars in themselves seem quite smart bits of kit, but Virginia wouldn't go back there.
We also went to Marshall's', some helpful salesmen showed us a Peugeot, talked about a Ford. We felt quite bad about having to say no to them. So back to Kias, and this time looking at Cee'd estates. They did have one suitable in our price range, but in a garish red. Virginia didn't want black (morbid), white (gets dirty easily), I didn't want red (too showy). So we monitored their used car pages for a week or so until something acceptable turned up.
After getting something newer for Virginia to drive it my old car seemed even more derelict so I went for an older and smaller Kia Venga. I like the higher driving position in the Venga I have to admit. It is nice driving a car with central locking and parking sensors and audio system which will accept an iPod.
Cars may not breathe, or have hearts that beat, but we did feel sorry towards our old cars. We didn't get a lot in part exchange, it felt like betraying the vehicles which had served us for over ten years. It was hard to see them abandoned in the car park at the garage, awaiting an uncertain fate.