Donald MacInnes: Carlos has served us well, but we're selling him on Gumtree

 

It just occurred to me that I haven't publicly congratulated my high-flying wife on her new job. She still works in corporate travel, but this new role represents a major step up for her.

More important than her career trajectory, of course, is the fact that she now qualifies for a flash company motor. She recently took delivery of a very nice, top-of-the-range Ford Focus. This is very good news for two reasons. First, I get to drive it and pretend I have the kind of job that, well, gives you a company car.

Second, the name of the model means that, should I ever let my concentration lapse for a few seconds as I change tunes on the bowel-juddering stereo system, whichever irate driver is behind me can scream "Focus!", thereby both alerting me to the fact that he is, in fact, addressing me and also giving me a metaphorical slap around the ears to force me to concentrate a little harder.

The other result of all of this sparkling new automobility is that we had to get shot of our old car. So, last week I posted an advert on AutoTrader.co.uk, including some suitably sexy pictures of "Carlos", to sharpen the appetite of any prospective buyers. In case you're wondering, "Carlos" is not our high-cheekboned, snake-hipped, inordinately sweaty Mexican gardener, but the nickname we gave the car, which is a Daewoo Kalos. We did this because we are silly, predominantly, and should probably grow up a little.

Although AutoTrader recommended that we ask for £650 for the car, I was convinced that its amazingly low mileage of 26,000 miles – on an 11-year-old motor! – was worth more than this. I thus priced it at £1,100, even though there were many identical cars on the website for around £700, but they all had mileage of anything up to 100,000.

Adopting a belt-and-braces approach, we also advertised the car on Gumtree.com, as a little marketing experiment to see which produced better results (but mainly because it was free). Mind you, we would have much preferred the successful buyer to have seen the car on AutoTrader, as it cost £45 for a three-week run. Anyway, we were soon fielding calls from people wishing to come and have a sniff around Carlos's exhaust pipe.

Gratifyingly, the first viewer had seen the advert in Gumtree, but offered a derisory sum. Plus, he gave me the creeps and smelled of oxtail soup.

Eventually, a bloke turned up last Monday and proceeded to examine the car like he was a skydiver checking his parachute before a jump. He clearly was a pretty skilled mechanic and soon had the hood up and was just about climbing into the engine to make sure I wasn't selling him a lemon.

Satisfied, he offered £900 cash. I figured £250 above the AutoTrader valuation was acceptable, so the deal was done. The only decision we have now is what nickname we should give the Focus. Suggestions to the usual address. But keep them clean.

Twitter: @DonaldAMacInnes

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

    Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

    Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

    £18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

    Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

    £35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Day In a Page

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing