The fact that this Renault was so difficult to get at and the fact that it did not start should have tipped me off. Despite the fact that the dealer had to jump start it, and the gears only engaged when the clutch pedal was nearly out, I fell in love with it. I reckoned it was time to spend money on a serious car, and for me pounds 3,000 was serious.
For that I got a comfortable, but troublesome car. That was unfortunate because at the time I was commuting to Manchester. The scariest moment was when the clutch pedal snapped, in the outside lane of the M6. I applied every brake I could find and finally managed to screech to a halt. Luckily some truckers saw I was in trouble and stopped to push me on to the hard shoulder.
Not only could the car be lethal, it could also be costly. When I did some calculations I realised that over six months that Renault was probably doing no more than eight miles to the gallon. I reckoned I could have run a Rolls-Royce for less. Then there were the Renault garages who weren't interested in fixing the car because it wasn't that new. On one occasion I did find one dealer to wave a spanner in the direction of my sick Renault, but that may have been so that they could charge me pounds 600 for the privilege.
I had to get rid of that car, and in the end I drove it to a breaker's yard. The bloke in there reckoned he might get something for the headlamps. He paid me pounds 40. I was ecstatic. I actually danced with joy.
Running that Renault taught me two important lessons: never buy a car without getting it checked by a professional, and never buy a Renault.
Adrian Goldberg presents 'Move It!' on BBC Radio 5 Live on Saturday mornings at 11.05am. He was talking to James Ruppert.Reuse content