Station car part 3: END GAME
What now seems like an long long time ago, the mission to exchange a six litre 650bhp Bentley Continental gt for a more modest car began. Now, almost two months into the exchange we are at the tip of either success or failure.
When thinking about making a big change in life we often live with the idea in our heads for a while before acting it out physically. So it was a good sign that I this little A3 was in my mind. Spending more time away from the family trying to resolve this quandary goes down like the pound when the PM speaks yet it needs to be done so early one Saturday morning I head to horsepower motor center to have the Bentley evaluated and take the A3 for a test drive.
It is fair to say the team at horsepower are very professional and polite,no bullshit that you can sometimes find with car dealers. We jumped in the A3 just after a dewy 9am. The car had not been prepared so it was quite dirty and tatty inside. Outside the body work was pretty tired the odd knock in places and a couple of the wheels were badly scuffed. Car started ok and off we went. The test drive was not long enough as the car had barely warmed up before I was asked to head back. I insisted on another lap of the test route which was fine. This time I pushed it a bit more and it’s fair to say there was quite a bit of feedback through the wheel, not necessarily in a good way but Firbank 122k mile car, overall it was not bad.
Back at the showroom the results were in on Bentley and they were not favourable, I would need to knock at least a grand off from the price of the Audi to achieve what I wanted. Looking for more bargaining points I noted that the car had no record of a DSG or Haldex service. At this mileage it really needed each. Also, the feedback experienced on the test drive may have been down to the near solid budget tyres that were on it so they would need to be changed. I voiced my concerns and I awaited feedback on the offer.
during the following week many email and phone calls we’re exchanged in an tempt to close the deal. The offer on the Bentley slowly crept up but there was no movements on the Audi, quite the opposite in fact. The points I had pointed out that needed attention had been priced up and offered for me to me to pay. Not good. This meant that on top of the purchase price (which was quite high already) if have to fork out on 2 services and new tyres. The deal become less and less attractive. The Audi was good but 4.5k plus another grands worth of work good ? No.
Time and options were running out.
During that week whilst talking to Horsepower I had also been talking to my friends at Prasads Automotive. The Prasads are a Bentley specialist in South London and they also happen to be the technicians who had completed all the good work on the car. They knew what a good example the car was. They had expressed interest in the car a few months ago but they had issues to resolve before they could make me an offer. Those issues were now resolved and they made a decent offer on the car.
The following weekend I spent another afternoon away from the family, driving sir Bentley on our last journey together up to South London to see the Prasads. Deal done and pockets lined I can now play the private market so I was straight on the classifieds looking for v6 Audi’s, TT and A3. No time for an emotional goodbye or any grieving.
With only one week to go before the temporary car needed to be returned I had to find suitable cars in the London area that I could view at lunch breaks or after work. Can you fit a baby seat in the back of a TT was a big concern and as it turns out you can but whether you want to is another problem. Not all 2nd generation TT’s have rear isofix points and so we d have to look at 1st generation . Not many decent gen 1 TT’s that I could get to see during the week. Then up popped an A3 for sale just 20 miles from home.
Could this be ?
I managed to view it the next evening in the dark and wet, ideal viewing conditions ! the drive was tighter than the last one and generally it was good and under the lights of the local petrol station you could see some of the laughter lines. That’s fine, we like a bit of character. The car was very clean inside compared to the other A3, almost half the mileage and most importantly half the price. The paperwork checked out yet it hadn’t had the important gear box service but that didn’t matter as I’d have enough change in the budget to get that done myself. The next day I submitted a low offer which was accepted.
I am now the owner of a 3.2V6 Audi A3 sport back.
The car feels good and after a few weeks its going well. The car complies with the short distance run, achieving 30 mpg to the station and 27 back (hills you see). When not on station duty it provides both thrills and sturdiness in equal measure. Its the simple things that are also pleasing, four doors are terribly satisfying as is the clunk of the boot. Very satisfying is the low cost motoring which is the complete antithesis of the prior steed.
The new chapter has begun, stay tuned for more budget fun.