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January 19, 2008

The end of the road ...

The Monk's trusty steed of the last few years, a rather comfortable Rover 400, has a problem. It's rear brake calipers have to be replaced. The bill will be of the order of £650, a figure rather too close to the resale value of the car as it stands. So it is decision time. Does he repair this trusty ten year old and keep it going until it, or he, is no longer capable of driving - or does he buy a smaller, spiffier and more modern set of wheels.

After weighing up all the pros and cons, the Monk has decided that, sadly, he and the Rover must part company. Even though it is a diesel powered vehicle it has now clocked up 103,645 miles, only 37,000 of which was done by its previous owner, it still performs very welll and economically. And, once the brake calipers are done it will soon be time to replace the cam belts again, have the CV joints checked and a raft of other "little" things which probaly will add up to large amounts of cash. So now he is looking about for a "new" chariot which will serve him as faithfully and as well as said Rover has. Not an easy choice since most of the cars he likes are way beyond his present pocket, and, in addition, he needs something that will serve for at least five and hopefully more years before needing replacement.

The Monk is very taken with the Renault Megane, several of his acquaintances drive them and have nothing but praise for them. It will mean changing back to driving a petrol engine, though with the way this government has surtaxed diesel that will actually represent a saving, it will mean getting used to having to do a bit more in slow traffic with the accelerator. One advantage of a diesel in those situations is that it will do around 15 to 20 mph idling in second gear without having to use the accelerator. No petrol engine the Monk has encountered has that kind of torque when idling.

Having looked at several options including Ford, Nissan, Honda and even Seat (Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar are way beyond his price range). He has even considered Vauxhall, not a car he would have given much thought to a few years ago. "What Car?", "Auto Trader" and several other websites have been explored, a number of dealers and other car sales people have been visited and masses of information collected. Now its time to sift and decide. Tricky considering that in the last twenty years the Monk has had four Rovers - all of them comfortable and all of them good cars. It wasn't going to be an easy choice .....

But, the choice is now made. The Monk is now the owner of a Renault Megane 1.6 petrol and will have to get used to driving a higher reving engine again. The Rover has been sold privately - to the Monk's son, who plans to use it for at least the forseeable future.

Posted by The Gray Monk at January 19, 2008 10:48 AM

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