Last year, I was talking about my old Renault Scenic, and how it was playing up. I was thinking about buying a new car, and was considering whether to buy new or secondhand.
The problems with the Scenic got fixed, and although I still thought I should do something about replacing the car, I didn’t do anything except read lots of reviews, and make shortlists.
In the last month, it was playing up again – once again fixed, but this time I decided to do something. I am on holiday for the next couple of weeks, so I thought I would have a look at my list again, and maybe book some test drives.
The Berlingo was originally on my list, but got taken off due to the apparent lack of automatic options. Hence my surprise to find that the local Citroen dealer not only had an automatic Berlingo, but it was discounted as an ex-demonstrator. Turns out that they had only recently reintroduced the automatic option to the range, just after my last search.
So I went to see it today, and took it for a run. It was only registered in November (after my last spate of car-hunting) and has a massive 600 miles on the clock. It looked good, was comfortable to sit in and drive (plenty of headroom), and – being a demonstrator – was loaded with features.
Not being particularly serious, I chatted about the price, and managed to get them down to 13K, with 700 quid trade-in. As a result, I found myself unexpectedly paying a deposit there and then. They are going to put it throught their workshop and give it a valet, and I should have it some time next week.
The car is actually a semi-automatic. From what I understand, it is a conventional gear box, with an automated clutch; and I can choose to run it in full automatic mode, or control it manually with paddles. I think I will use the automatic option, at least at first. Although my main problem with a manual tranmission is that a clutch aggravates my dodgy knee; so I might give the paddles a go, if it improves the perfomance and already excellent fuel economy. Or if I feel like pretending to be Jenson Button.