Tag Archives: Ridgeway


One of the letters that was waiting for us when we got back from our holiday was one from the car finance company reminding me that the payments had almost been made on our Golf and that it was almost time for the final balloon payment on the credit agreement. The letter of course was tempting me with a new car – the whole reason they offer the deal.

Being the end of the deal, also means that the first MOT on the car was due, which is what we had today. It’s also one of the infrequent occasions when I get to drive Beth’s car – the Ford Focus that I replaced with the Golf three years ago. Every time it reminds me why I replaced it – and of course you only need to look through the entire category on the blog devoted to me grumbling about the car to realise quite how I feel about it.

As such, I’ve regularly thought about getting rid of it – usually more so after an experience with Reg Vardy. What is even more of a push is if I follow that up with an experience at our local VW dealer, Ridgeway. So a lousy experience a few weeks ago with Reg Vardy, followed by the MOT today, and where did we end up whilst we were picking the car up? Looking at new cars…


It has to be said, that Mrs Peat has fallen for this one – an ex-demonstration Polo Dune 1.4 TDI. It’s only nine months old, and being a demonstrator only has a few thousand miles on the clock. Basically the Dune is a normal Polo but looking a bit SUV-ish. It does have a bit of a higher sitting position than the regular car, plus alongside the styling tweaks has bigger wheels, and the suspension lifted by 20mm. Bearing in mind that Beth used to drive a Dodge Dakota in Canada the SUV-ish look does tend to appeal to her, alongside the small size that she misses from her Ford Fiesta.

We took it out for a test-drive too – it’s not got the same level of power as the Golf, and does sound a lot more diesel like at low-revs. However it is pretty nippy, and cruises quite comfortably at motorway speeds. So for what Beth needs, which is a good little run-around to go to work and back, and make occasional motorway trips it’s fine. Oh, and it can hook up to an iPod too… 🙂

The dealer seems to be proposing some complicated modification of our credit agreement whereby we continue the agreement paying off the Golf, buying the Polo and trading in the Focus – and gave it a pretty good go at trying to persuade us that the finance deal was a good idea, but I’m leaning more towards keeping it all separate. That sort of deal is inevitably totally confusing and as a result probably much the better deal for the dealer. Not that I’m complaining – I did somewhat skewer them on the Golf as it was the end of September and the salesman was within a few sales of wining a prize for salesman of the month, so it’s only sporting to give them a chance to sell us their credit agreement.

So are we tempted – I think so. Not least because it means I can finally get rid of the Focus and end my increasingly frustrating relationship with Reg Vardy.

Replacement Stick

Replaced Gear Stick

So before dawn this morning I was up and off to Ridgeway VW to have them replace the entire gear stick due to the broken bit of trim on the top. On the phone the service agent had said that the job would take about an hour, but it was best to leave an hour and a half just in case they had problems, or were busy. They had slots at 7am or 8am – not surprisingly with it being a Saturday I opted for the slightly later 8am slot!

When I arrived, there was one person already sat in the waiting area, and another car just being taken in, but aside from that it was pretty quiet. The car was moved by a technician almost immediately, so I sat down with a drink and some reading material ready for my wait.

However, barely had I finished browsing the brochure for the new Eos, and just started on an extreme level Sudoku puzzle on Sudoku Rules Extreme (usually takes me between 20 and 50 minutes to do) than the same technician was coming in to give me back my keys having done the job. When I mentioned that I had been told an hour for the job, he said that they usually leave an hour in case they have problems, but the actual job should only involve unclipping the trim and swapping over the stick. In total it took about twenty minutes to do. The only visible indication that anything has been done is that the new gear stick has a black plastic collar under the ball on the top, rather than the silvery chrome collar the old one had – not anything you’d notice unless you were looking, and certainly not anything that would affect the operation. The only reason I paid any attention to it was because they explicitly asked for the old broken top, and with the speed of the changeover compared to the estimate I was wondering whether they’d patched up the old one!