I’ve got good news and bad news this week.
The good news is that my comedy heroes Laurel and Hardy are still alive and kicking.
The bad news is that they are now running a small chain of motor mechanic repair garages in the Falkirk area.
Honestly, what does a woman have to do to get her car fixed - at least - at a decent and honest price around here?
My wee Daisy (that’s what I call my car) has been very reliable for me over the years, but like every other jalopy she needs a little TLC from time to time.
I’ve always been suspicious of what garages charge you for when you take it in for repairs so I’ve been left pretty angry with Laurel and Hardy over the past few weeks.
I thought I needed my timing belt replaced and was told the job would be very pricey at between £200-300 so I decided to shop around for the best price.
So, I called a few local garages for prices and opted for one near my home for convenience even though it was more than £20 dearer than the cheapest quote - at first.
On the day it went into the garage I dropped it off in the morning, confident I would have it back sorted that night, then walked in the pouring rain to get the train to work. I was drookit.
About an hour later I got a call from Laurel, or was it Hardy?, who said, actually the job would be £30 more expensive. I hummed and hawed, but eventually agreed to pay.
However, I then got another call a wee while later form one of the jokers saying they couldn’t even do the job because they needed specialist equipment for it.
I told them before Daisy went in what make and model it was so they should have known. I told them I wasn’t happy - mainly because I got soaked that morning.
I then called one of the other garages to see if they could take the car but they said they were too busy to take Daisy. What’s going on here I asked myself frustratingly?
A friend then recommended another garage. I called them and, incredibly, he said I didn’t even need to a new timing belt as I hadn’t done 100,000 miles, which is the recommended limit to change it on Daisy’s model.
I was furious. All the garages I had spoken to before knew this but didn’t tell me and were quite content to take my money for something my car didn’t need, which has only served to deepen my mistrust of garages.
However, this mistrust has been given a slight shifting after I booked Daisy in for another repair to sort a different problem when a fuel injector burst.
Again I shopped around. The make’s dealership quoted me an eye-watering £408 for the repair, while the one I opted for was only £173. Result!
Next time I need Daisy fixed, I think I’ll just go home, set my hair on fire and put it out with a cricket bat.