Column: I want to be in the driving seat for this

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Like many females I love to shop. A little retail therapy never did anyone any harm – harmful to my bank balance yes, but nothing worse.

Most of the time I’m happy to hit the High Street or the retail park for a top, dress, shoes or handbag. If my daughter Emma or one of my friends comes along that’s fine, although often they can encourage me to spend when I would be happy to look, but I’m also content to wander around on my own.

However, when it comes to bigger purchases I’m glad to have a second opinion. Whether it be a woollen winter coat or a new television, then I want someone’s advice on if the colour suits me or if it is the specification I’m looking for.

I’m not parting with that amount of cash without a second opinion.

So when it came to looking for a new car – not brand new you understand, but a replacement for my trusty little automobile, I definitely wanted someone who knows what they are talking about.

I’m the sort of person who, when asked what car they have says “a red one”!

Sorry, but cars aren’t really my thing. What I want is one that starts first thing every morning, is comfortable to drive and doesn’t use too much fuel.

And that’s exactly what I told my friend Susan’s husband who was volunteered to accompany me on my car shopping trip.

It was a Sunday morning and everything was going well. We wandered around the garage forecourt and saw a couple that looked suitable – both were very fetching colours!

Then it all started to go horribly wrong. The salesman – who had all the worst traits of his profession – literally pounced on us, almost never letting us talk.

But what really annoyed me was that, despite being told I was the one with the cash to buy, he insisted on talking to Jim.

I felt that at any minute he was going to pat me on the head and suggest I go and make a cup of tea while the two of them talked engine sizes!

Poor Jim was mortified and as soon as we could make our escape ... and without buying a car, we were off.

Thankfully, since then I’ve discovered that not all car salesmen and women were like that one we had the misfortune to meet on our first shopping trip. I’ve also found one who was very helpful, listened to my requirements and then sourced a new vehicle for me.

But I must admit that I was left slightly bemused that in 2018 there are people out there who don’t think a woman has the wherewithal to buy a new car!