| 10°C Dublin

Bad luck and dodgy deals

They say bad luck runs in threes so we should have been suspicious when our vacuum cleaner packed in, followed closely by the washing machine.

Domestic bliss? I think not.

However, all the inconveniences of stalking our landlady and dragging dirty clothes to the launderette were pushed aside by the excitement of our new car.

It's mostly my boyfriend's excitement, but still, I was slowly coming round. I've mentioned before how I don't drive. I've been happy to pound the streets or rely on taxis. I guess I'm used to it.

My boyfriend talked me into learning but I am grateful -- or at least I will be once I've completed the lessons and become a fully enthused driver spinning around the city.

I can't imagine this happening soon, but after being persuaded to commit to a car together I'm gaining interest. Following a discussion about how much we would benefit from a set of wheels even with our city centre address, I agreed, and was happy to watch him organise everything from picking the car and sorting out the insurance, tax and the loan.

All went to plan and 48-hours later he zoomed into our free parking spot eager to take me for a drive.

No sooner had we gone for a spin than I was imagining how it would now be much easier to just pop in to the majority of my friends who live around town.

My euphoria over our car was soon deflated because of the stench of damp that seeped from the interior, threatening to suffocate our senses. Apparently, it hadn't been there when he bought it!

The car story got progressively worse through the weekend as we drove home with a frightening vibration beneath the vehicle -- was the wheel loose, the engine dodgy? Sure it had only been NCT'd the day he picked it up.

Fast forward a few days and we are locked in a battle with the garage. Turns out the wheel was loose after expert inspection but we are having a hard time sorting it out with the garage.

They see no problem with supplying a car that was clearly unfit for the road. Sentences involving, small claims court, consumer agency and warranty are being bandied about, but the garage aren't flinching except to offer a free repair and a "once-over".

We now have a car loan but no driveable car. Let's hope it gets resolved soon -- we've only had the car a week but I was really warming to it, weird smell, loose tyre and all!