Well there goes the planet.

The last thing we did before leaving for New Zealand – aside from tranquillising the children and undertaking a desperate search for passports – was to sell Carol’s old car. And today, in a moment of breathtaking fiscal recklessness, we’ve bought a new one.

Not a second hand one as planned, not spending a responsible sum that we actually had hidden in the banking sock, instead we’ve plumped for a pay half now and pretend something financially magical will occur before the remainder of the bill is due in twelve months time. We’ve also spunked this non existent cash on a car due for a bit of mid term botox and face lift in two months time. So forget all the first owner taxes, we’ve also plumped for something with built in obsolescence.

Now those of you who have observed my frantic attempts at stability during regular economics earthquakes, are probably nodding sagely and wondering why this latest financial fault line even merits a mention. Well, this time, it was almost nothing to do with me, or at least I’m only partly responsible*. It all started so well – we wandered into the Honda dealer clutching a virtual quote, and loudly wondering why anyone would pay list price.

The reason – apparently – is that these shady characters on the Internet are either importing them from space or building cars out of lego. We gently reminded the sales fella that the big grey Honda outside had been sourced from the very same Internet broker. From a dealer up the road and for 15{45ac9c3234d371044e23e276755ef3a4dde8f1068375defba7d385ca3cd4deb2} less than the advertised price.

Haggling commenced. I am rubbish at this – either losing my temper or agreeing that a set of mats is materially equivalent to about a £1000. Carol is better so I left her to it, instead heroically attempting to prevent the kids from breaking everything in the showroom. So slightly distracted was I when a haggled number was presented for approval. Franky, I just wanted to get out before we spent about that much on repairs, since the kids had just gleefully declared “hey Dad we can get from the boot to the back seat using the Honda ride-on mower as a drill

We should never have even got this far, but when a second hand car, which has been registered, driven for twelve months and then sold on, costs more than a new one, it’s clear that you may as well just give in and hand over some cash for a new one. It’s stupid, badly thought through and about as cost effective as running a fleet of mountain bikes, but in our defence we have quite alot going on right now and one more car showroom may have pushed me over the edge.

I don’t like Salesmen much. Unless they are in the cross hairs.

We did consider a one car, four people scenario but even with public transport, it’s difficult and – to be honest – we really can’t be arsed with it. It’ll be even worse when we move as the kids’ll need driving to school, and the only mass transit in Herefordshire appears to be a ancient donkey pulling a cart.

So here we are in mid March, and so far in 2008 we have bought** a house, spent three weeks on a once in a lifetime holiday, and now bought a brand new car***. On the credit side, £300 saw Carol’s old car shipped out and I’ve sold some forks.

At this rate, I fully expect to have purchased a small Pacific Island and a charter airline by the end of the year. Our levels of altruism to family-handedly spend the country out of recession are matched only by the precarious fiscal arrangements to do so. Still as a wise man once said to me “When you owe the bank £1000, you are in debt to them, borrow a Million and they are in debt to you

Failing that, anyone want to buy some pre-loved children?

* not a term generally used in the same universe as “Alex” and “Money”

** for a given value of bought. So far we have bought nothing more than expensive hours from solicitors.

*** There has been some expenditure generically labelled “bikeage” but this is merely business as usual.

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