back to article Garage worker prangs £200k Ferrari

A Surrey garage worker has good reason to believe his bosses will "kill him" after he pranged a client's £200k Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. The unnamed lad, in his early 20s, had taken the 196 mph motor for a "quick road test" following an MOT in New Malden. In the process, he somehow managed to hit a lamppost and jump a two-foot …


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  1. Andy Miller

    Enhanced Safety

    It looks much less dangerous after the prang. One less idiot buggy on the road.

    I do like the Suns report, which captions the picture as a £130k Ferrari and has a headline valuing it at £220k. What fine journalists Rupert employs. I can't wait to pay him for his web-sites.

    1. Just Thinking


      220K was what it was worth before the prang, but now it is worth 130K?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      i guess you prefer to travel on a high-horse?

      A few things to ponder:

      Would you be saying the same thing if innocent bystanders/other road users had been hurt/had property damaged as a result of the idiot using the "idiot buggy" wiithout permission?

      Do you have statistics for accidents involving cars like this one and their relative likelihood as compared to other kinds of vehicle? Or are you generalising and moralising in order to satisfy some poisonous prejudice of your own that is probably motivated by jealousy and a sense of personal failure?

      Would you really like to get rid all kinds of cars you don't like (perhaps by crashing them into lamp posts and roundabouts)? Will this make the world a better (safer, more environmentally-friendly) place?

      Are you sure?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Andy Miller

        UncleRant asks "Would you really like to get rid all kinds of cars you don't like...? "

        I think that Andy Miller just wants to complain about cars that he can't afford.

      2. Tim Cook


        What makes you think he was using the "idiot buggy" without permission? Is that not just a wild assumption you've made?

        Road testing a complex high-performance car after an MOT-required modification (new brakes, exhaust, whatever) isn't exactly unreasonable. You can be quite sure that if they hadn't tested the work and the owner had been handed back the car in anything less than perfect running order, he'd have been almost as annoyed as he probably is right now - so what are they supposed to do?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Tim, good point but

          couldn't they test the brakes, exhaust emissions in the garage?

          if they can test brakes to ensure safety on a rolling road (as part of the MOT) then why would they need to drive it? likewise the emissions

          but I take your point...

          if they have to do a road test (and indeed they might, I suppose) then they'd need someone experienced with this kind of car - may be that's the real error, here?

        2. Cal


          They could have maybe got someone else to drive the car other than the blatant boy racer who was going too fast or just didn't know how to handle such a precision car.


      3. Anonymous Coward


        Is a super car more likely to be speeding then a VW Polo? Yup!

        Is a Porche 911 more likely to spin than a Ford Ka? Yup!

        Is a super-car driver more likely to be reckless that a Toyota Prius Driver? Yup!

        Is that the reason we like this article? No! Its simple Schadenfreude.

        Would the world be safer if we crashed them all? Probably not.. but it would be fun to watch!.. can we start with yours?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          RE: Yep

          Is a super car more likely to be speeding then a VW Polo? Nope. A supercar is more likely to be owned by a middle aged man with some sense. There are more ideot 17 year olds driving like loons in Polos.

          Is a Porche 911 more likely to spin than a Ford Ka? Nope, not a modern one anyway. See above. Old ones are diffrent, but thats not due to them being fast cars.

          Is a super-car driver more likely to be reckless that a Toyota Prius Driver? Nope. Never been cut up by a super car or sports car. I am often cut up by Prius's that don't use mirrors. Here in Oxford there is lots of both.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          RE: Yup!

          ".....Is a super car more likely to be speeding then a VW Polo?...." Actually, no! In fact, the chances of you speeding apparently are more linked to the driver's age and sex than the cost or style of the car. Young male drivers are the worst and riskiest - they crash cheap cars much more frequently than the average Porsche or Ferrari driver. Then they settle down, up until the mid-30's when they seem to get a bit over-confident and think fifteen-odd years of driving (probably also because they now have the cash to afford more powerful motors) leads to more dangerous driving. It may also be becaue the average mid-30s male simply drives more miles and gets complacent, but the insurance stats show another peak in risk for them which also coincides with them being more likely to be caught speeding or driving under the influence. Then we get another period of calm before old age starts to affect driving ability, at which point we get another rise in risk as pensioners. Nothing to do with the car.

          "....Would the world be safer if we crashed them all?...." Actually you'd probably be safer in the sportscar for several reasons. I know "sensible" car drivers whitter on about how they're fave piece of tin scores in EuroNCAP tests, but that's what is called secondary safety, and is how the good the car is AFTER the crash is a foregone conclusion. Volvos used to be a great example of secondary safety. Primary safety is how good the car is at helping the driver in AVOIDING the crash in the first place, something Volvos used to be absolutely awful at. Primary safety is a matter of how good a car is at braking, handling, visibility and accellerating (yes, you can accellerate yourelf out of danger too). Most sportscars score very well on primary safety (rear-visibility is one problem for most mid-engined sportscars). Then you have the fact most sportscars (especially Porsches and Ferraris) are designed with the idea that it might crash at high speed, and have better crash properties than cheaper hatchbacks where the focus is on getting past the low speed EuroNCAP tests. So your Polo is actually not such a good idea.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Problem is

            Ferraris are so fucking ugly! They're styled for the tasteless - rather like Dubai is. But instead of 'idiot buggy' he should probably have called it a 'Beckhamobile'.

        3. Volker Hett


          No Polo has ever been too slow for speeding, I was caught speeding with my mothers in 1979 and a year later with my first own car, a 1972 850cc Mini!

          A Ford Ka can spin, but usually it just goes straight where you want it to turn, like most small front driven cars, albeit at a speed where a 911 doesn't show any problems staying on the road.

          Don't know about the Prius drivers, are they better than other drivers driving cars in that price range?

          Schadenfreude is ok, it's the most sincere form of enjoyment :) Especially when no one is hurt.

      4. Anonymous Coward

        One thing to ponder

        Do you by any chance drive a Ferrari?

        If so, didn't you buy it *because* other people would be jealous? Bit late to complain now.

    3. Chris Hatfield


      lulz, I wish Murdoch would hurry up with his paywalls, instead of announcing pre-accouncements.

    4. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Enhanced Safety

      ".....One less idiot buggy on the road...." Oh dear, I see your prejudice didn't let you see the obvious fact that the garage will have to pay for a replacement or repairs to the original. I'm also pretty sure the owner won't be short of a penny or two, so if he's really upset he can buy a new one. So, sounds like the same number of "idiot buggies" will still be in circualtion to annoy you!

      What amuses me is your prejudice, one not too uncommon in a modern day society that has been spoonfed the idea that cars are nasty and evil. It is apparently OK to spend money on enjoyment in other areas - obscene amounts of money if you are a patron of "the arts" - but appreciating fast cars and their technology is a crime against humanity? I'm sure in your case it's based on jealousy, but I have to inform you that not all fast car drivers are rich toffs. Trackday meets I go to are attended by fast car drivers from all walks of life, including plumbers, doctors, soldiers, even rather left-of-center teachers. Some make sacrifices in other areas of life, such as a DBA I know who lives in a tiny bedsit in Surbiton so he can afford to drive his Cobra at the weekends. Why should he be looked down upon by people like you?

      After all, I have been in three serious accidents in my life, all the fault of other drivers in "sensible" cars. I'm guessing that makes them the real idiot buggies, and people like you that drive them - whilst turning green at the sight of other people enjoying a car your lifestyle can't afford - the real idiots.

    5. Paul RND*1000

      So conflicted

      I want to down-vote you so badly for that smug-arse "idiot buggy" comment but I'm with you on Murdoch, so I also want to up-vote you. Damn, damn and double-damn. :-)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One less idiot buggy...

      This was no bus wreck.. it was a car! LOL!! Why is it that these holier-than-thou types oppose freedom of movement?

      IMHO mass-transit is not freedom of movement, it's control of movement, and takes place in an environment through which disease can spread like flames across dry grassland.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    What would Simon do to someone who wrecked his car?

  3. Thomas 4

    "My boss will kill me"

    Before or after the owner of the Ferrari?

    Mine's the one with somebody else's car keys in the pocket.

  4. Flugal

    MOT test drive?

    Why does an MOT test require a test drive?

    Was this lad insured to drive it?

    1. Ash!

      Re: MOT test drive?

      Too wide and/or low for the MOT brake-test rollers.Same goes for AWD vehicles...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Little shit....

    ...99.99% of the time, there is F**K all reason to road test a car after an MOT. Hope the git gets fired.

    And it's not an isolated incident.

    Of course, that's why you fit alarm / imobilizer system with garage mode, that limit the speed of the car , to stop prats like this.

    1. Tim Cook


      It's why you drive a sensible car in the first place and don't throw your money away on expensive "statements". Accidents can and will happen, especially in cars that are clearly too powerful for the average British road (or roundabout).

      Nobody was hurt, I'd say that was more important than a car getting bent, however posh.

      1. UkForest

        @ Tim Cook

        "It's why you drive a sensible car in the first place and don't throw your money away on expensive "statements"."

        MMMmmmmmm, so come on, what's your weakness? An expensive bottle of wine at the weekend or maybe an expensive gadget or two?

        Just because one man treats himself to a sports car after possibly many years hard work you want to criticise?!!!!

        Why don't people in this contry put people down when they've done well?

      2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        cars that are clearly too powerful for the average British road

        I challenge you to find a car that is not powerful enough to crash into a lamp post, or to mount a kerb. (Childrens plastic cars with pedals do not count).

        I don't recall ever reading about a car that it is impossible to crash because it is "sensible". I would say that chance of an accident has more to do with the fleshy part in the seat than the mechanical parts...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Or

        You're right the important thing is no-one was hurt ... at least not yet anyway :/

        But the bit about sensible cars is not right, the accident is more than likely down to inexperience rather than it being too powerful for the road and it wasn't mentioned in the quote here about the oink travelling too fast or recklessly. And as we all know speed is rarely a significant factor in accidents, not taking proper attention to the road and conditions or lack of ability are.

        Now here is the ironic thing in my reply and this is absolute fact :) A work colleague also named Tim Cook had an accident a few years back, this was also on a roundabout and again with no-one else involved. The car? A tiny 2 seater Diahatsu convertible thing that looked like a rollerskate or the car from Noddy and Big Ears, 3 cylinder 950cc or something silly like that.

        He skidded on some ice and popped the tyre on the curb. Not exactly a case of the car being too powerful for the road (although waste of money is true).

      4. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Or

        "It's why you drive a sensible car in the first place....." Nope, I drive a "sensible" car most of the time because I can't afford to drive my weekend toy all the time. It also doesn't have a roof so not much good in the winter! But it is a lot more fun than my "sensible" car, even at legal speeds.

        ".....especially in cars that are clearly too powerful for the average British road....." A complete fallacy. No car has a constant power outptut, it is the driver that controls the power with the accellerator. A Ferrari is just as well suited to the average British road as a VW Polo mentioned above, it is the driver that is the variable. It's exactly the same as that old favourite of the safety brigade - "speed kills!" - when the reality is it is not speed per se but INAPPROPRIATE speed that kills. You can do stupid speeds in just about any car available to the public (I remember a car review for the old Fiesta several years ago that asked why do even the lowliest hatchbacks need to be capable of anything more than 70mph?). Speed alone does not kill otherwise racing drives would all have a one-race career.

        Inappropriate speed is a driver issue, and it is effectively a time compression issue. If you are going fast, you will travel a certain distance in a shorter time - simple physics. If that distance is the one you have before crashing then you have more time to react if you are going slower than if you are going fast. Inappropraite speed reduces the time you have to react to the unexpected, it would be better to say it is the lack of time to deal with the unexpected that kills you. If you are travelling down an urban road at the legal speed and a pedestrian steps out in front of you, you will have more time to stop or swerve round them than if you are speeding, whether you are in a Ferrari or a VW Polo (the Ferrari will actually stop better). Same goes for racing down country roads - you should always go into a corner thinking "what will I do if there is something in the roadway ahead?". If you are going too fast to avoid the accident then you are going too fast, regardless of the car you are driving. But, if you are on a completely open straight, with clear visibility for miles, then 100mph is just as safe as 60mph. If you have a controlled environment like a track it is even better and safer. And a track is recommended for finding out exactly how your car behaves on the limits, as you really don't want to be finding out for the first time in the example above with the pedestrian.

        As you gain experience you get better at predicting problems. Bikers, for example, learn to look for diesel spills at the exits of petrol stations as that is when they are accellerating away, and where trucks often spill fuel from over-filled tanks (this is even worse in the rain as diesel stains will seep to the surface of tarmac in the rain, making for a very slippery combination of water and oil). Experience will help you judge the appropraite speed (and this includes knowing when it is actually better to slow down to LESS than the speed limit), an advanced driving course will also help. But the best advice is to assume every other road use is a complete twonk and will do the worst possible thing at the worst possible time (a given for Volvo drivers, it seems!).

        And as for roadtests, my weekend toy gets serviced by a shop up near a proper circuit and also take it for a spin round the track, to make sure it is behaving as it should at high speeds. I wouldn't give it to an oridnary garage to test as I wouldn't expsct them to test it the same way. Maybe the Ferrari owner from Eastbourne assumed the mechanic was just going to take it for a crawl down the Kings Road, where most UK urban Ferraris spend their time! :P

    2. Anonymous John


      It happened in Eastbourne (according to the commentards) in January.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I expect the owner is gutted as well

    sack the gormless chancer

  7. Colin Miller

    not the most expensive car accident....

    Almost as bad as the person who did £300k of damage to a £500k Pagani Zonda S, that he borrowed for a test drive. However, these pale into insignificance compared to some of these

    Top accident - a Ferrari 250 GTO worth the best part of $30M which was badly damaged after it rear-ended another car at a classic car track day.

  8. Rogerborg

    Given Ferrari build quality

    He probably caused £50,000 worth of improvements to it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > Police said the incident constituted a "one car accident", and that no investigation was necessary.

    Soon to be followed by a "one golf club accident" when the owner finds out.

  10. JimC

    It does happen...

    Its inevitable when you think about it: with the number of vehicles on the road some of them are bound to involve vehicles on road test. I remember n my days in the bike trade I once had to explain to a customer that no, his new bike was not ready to pick up after its first service, owing to some damn Volvo driver having helped our mechanic off the road...

    To the credit of the owner he seemed a lot more concerned about the damage to our mechanic (fortunately minimal) than to his bike...

    In this case however there doesn't seem to have been a Volvo involved (or these days more likley a Post Office van or a young lady under 35, which categories seem to have changed from pretty safe to bloody dangerous in recent years).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      As a motorcyclist...

      I can tell you that the majority of near misses I have had have been from Audis, BMWs and Mercedes (Mercedeses?) pretty much in that order. I have discovered that you also need to keep an eye on drivers of minis (old and new) as they have a tendencey to make sudden unannounced manoeuvres.

      Having said that, the one incident I had where I was hit by another vehicle did involve a Volvo. However both my bike, and the Volvo were stationary immediately before the accident and it was the woman travelling at high velocity in the Audi behind the driver of the Volvo that did the damage...

      1. janimal

        @as a motorcyclist

        I fully concur with your list of badly driven cars, but I think you forgot the sports 4x4s like cayennes etc... There seems to be some sort of special exam to make sure you are qualified to drive one..

        1) Do you use mirrors when manouvering your vehicle?

        2) Do you occasionally check your mirrors even when not manouvering?

        3) Are there any road conditions during which you would consider driving at less than 120mph?

        4) Would you ever consider leaving more than a few centimetres between yourself and the motorcyclist ahead of you on a narrow spiral slip-road in the rain?

        You answered no to all questions, congratulations here's the keys to your Cayenne Turbo

        Mine's the one with the Gixxer 1000 keys in the pocket.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I find

        Its lorrys, vans, Jags and VW's that cause the problems for me. Mostly when they are on the phone and not looking at there mirrors.

      3. some vaguely opinionated bloke

        As the daily driver of ...

        a classic (i.e. pre-BMW) Mini, I would like to point out that I always move over towards the kerb when a motorcycle is behind me on the road, to give them clear sight of the road ahead and room to pass should they choose to.

        I also keep checking my mirrors to make sure I know exactly where they are.

        Finally, if they do decide to pass, I speed up a little and recklessly pull into their path. It's all in preparation for getting an Audi one day.

        OK, joke over. On a more serious note, my Mini-based unannounced manoeuvres are often due to other road users underestimating:

        a) the speed at which I'm travelling, even when well under the posted limit

        b) the distance between my car and theirs

        particularly when they are pulling out of junctions or changing lanes - also typical bad spots for motorcyclists, I believe.

        Perhaps that's one reason why I can wholeheartedly concur with your list of "causers of near misses", though I've never had a Ferrari do it. Yet...

      4. TeeCee Gold badge

        My vote.

        Goes to the current shape 2 litre turbodiesel Audi A4 estate.

        I reckon that the prequisite for being sold one of these is to walk into an Audi showroom with a large rubber penis securely fastened to your forehead. Never in all my years of motoring have I seen one single model of car that popular so universally driven by complete and utter pillocks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Volvo

      Volvos do seem to be the embodiment of sensible cars driven by people who dont pay attention...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Being just out of the danger-zone...

        ...Of the 17-22 year old 'idiot bracket', I have to say one thing to you, my friend's dad bought an old boxy volvo estate for my friend while he was learning for two reasons:

        1) its so heavy that he can't really be a prick in it

        2) theres about 6ft of bonnet before the cockpit, so if he does hit a wall, he'll go through it before the car crumbles and takes his legs.

        Also, to those saying about the road test, are you mad? Had there been a road test done on my, sporty, chavvy and all around monster of a 1.8 diesel ford escort estate, then my wheel wouldn't have fallen off on the roundabout on the way home (I did get a new set of front discs out of it though, and some new underwear). Just taking it for a spin for 5 minutes is not unheard of, just to check that everything is bolted back on and such, which can't be found on a rolling road- tracking, wheel balance and things are almost impossible to tell unless you give it a welly. Of course, in the case of a ferrari, this may be slightly different, as giving it a welly often means you spin...

        Plus it was just an accident. And yes he will be insured (I happen to know a mechanic owner, and insurance over all the cars they fix/MOT etc is a killer, but a neccesity).

        Gutted for the kid.

        1. tony trolle

          @Being just out of the danger-zone..

          he must watch topgear then.

  11. moonface

    All part of the service. Guv!

    Why is this News?

    The young lad is none the worse for wear. All he needs to do now, is report back to his boss that the £200k Ferrari 612 Scaglietti failed it's road test.

    The car owner should think himself lucky, he was saved from a future accident.

    Badgers: just one of the many hazards tested.

  12. mmm mmm



  13. Chris Hatfield

    Ferrari + Boy racer = what could possibly go wrong

    I had no idea what 'pranging' meant before this article. Thanks, El Reg. This site is like an education.

  14. Christoph

    They should be able to get him for quite a lot

    If he hadn't cleared it with his boss to do a burn up^W^Wtest drive, surely he's liable for taking and driving away? On top of the reckless driving etc.

    Taking a fast car in for repair and expecting them not to thrash it looks about as safe as taking a computer in for repair and expecting them not to search the disk for JPEGs

  15. Scott 19
    Thumb Up


    This reminds me of my first boy racer car a PUG 205 GTI, oh spinning it on roundabouts so i was facing on coming traffic those where the days.

    Now i listen to Radio 2 and drive 5mph slower than the speed limit, althoguh i still have a large 0.5K sound system in the boot so the hill is a gentle up gradiant at the moment, although the top is insight.

    And yes he'll be sacked taking a 200K car thats not yours for a spin is a no-no when it comes to work.

    1. J-Wick

      @Scott 19

      Why is it that when I was a kid, Radio 2 was something yer dad listened to, and now I'm approaching early middle age (yikes!), Radio 2 is *still * something yer dad listens to?

      (I mix Radio 1, 1Xtra (no, really!) & Radio 4 to get Radio 2.5Xtra, meself)

      Like this point if you noticed the nested parenthesis...

  16. Red Bren

    No investigation was necessary?

    Why? Just because no one else was involved this time doesn't mitigate the crime. I hope the scrote will be charged with dangerous driving and theft. His employer should be charged with being an accessory.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Dangersous driving?

      I think not. A little too much right foot I imagine, and he lost the back end. Not uncommon for people unused to high powered cars. But not dangerous driving.

      Although he would have fallen foul of the Oz Hoon laws that got Lewis Hamilton.

    2. TheRobster
      Thumb Up

      no investigation?

      Well, actually no. Currently the police are only investigating the accident. Since there was one car involved, its pretty clear who's fault it was, thus no investigation is really necessary.

      However if the owner of the car or the garage manager / owner want to bring a criminal charge pertaining to the kid maybe stealing the car, that is a separate investigation.

  17. Giddy Kipper


    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Or is that 'moral' and 'ground' as opposed to 'horse'?

    Honestly, on a Friday too.......

    1. Anonymous Coward

      think you might have missed the point

      but it is indeed Friday


  18. R J Tysoe


    "Why don't people in this contry put people down when they've done well?"

    Why don't people in this country read what they type before hitting the submit button?

  19. visserman

    I saw it!

    I saw it happen and yes the guy was being a dick - speeding off in the wet - laughed my balls off

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't have been an MOT?

    Only cars >3 years old need an MOT?

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Now I'm confused

      You're wondering why an MOT test is required for a car that's been in production since 2004, and well... yeah that's about it really.

  21. Valerion


    If a road-test was not required (and if this was a standard MOT then I don't see why one would have been), then surely this would count as Taking Without Owners Consent and be prosecutable?

    Honestly, has he never seen Ferris Beulers Day Off?

  22. alain williams Silver badge

    New Top Gear presenter ?

    Surely he has now demonstrated some of the talents needed for the BBC show ... do you think that they will give him an interview ?

  23. David Lawrence

    Bit harsh

    ...describing this as a 'wuncar accident'. Sure he is obviously a bit of a wuncar but no need to be quite so harsh! :-)

  24. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Common sense

    Whether or not the lad had permission to "test" the car (yeah, right, we know what you were really doing), if I were the owner of such a vehicle I would have stipulated that such "test" drives were not allowed anyway - everyone *knows* what will happen once a garage gets their hands on a nice car - they are, after all, car enthusiasts. How hard is it to say "If it needs to leave the shop for any reason, you need to call me first." - it could have been parked where it could be stolen, got into an accident, taken for a joyride, etc. I don't care about it for my £200 Mondeo, I would care about it for a £200K Ferrari. And yes, I don't think I've ever owned a car worth more than a new petrol cap for a Ferrari. There are reasons for that, but the primary reason is that your car is very easy for *other* people to break. Second would be petrol running costs. About 20 or 30th would be any sort of aesthetic consideration.

    Additionally, I would have probably invested in a GPS tracking device for said car ( £100-ish for a basic model). Hell, I have something similar on my car and that's nearly 50% of the price I paid for it! Not only would it lower the ridiculously high insurance, it would allow recovery in the event of a theft (which you *CAN* get charged for by the police), and it would also let you keep an eye on said garage that they were doing what they promised (I would have mentioned the presence of such a device to them at the same time I told them not to "test" drive it). It would also, in this case, provide evidence for possible TWOC and/or speeding in this case, both of which would mean the garage would end up in court, bang-to-rights, paying not only the cost of the car but also out-of-pocket expenses and most probably any increase in insurance you accrue because of loss of no-claims, higher premiums etc.

    Taking a car to a garage is a necessary process. Allowing them to "test-drive" it is not. You can do that for them, at no more risk than they can, and 99.999% of things can be checked without an actual test drive lasting more than parking it in the garage's attached car park. And in such a bloody expensive car, you should protect it. It's a high-value, sought-after, easily-moved machine worth more than my house - are you seriously telling me that you never *thought* of putting, say, a GPS tracker on it for less than the price of a new door handle for that car?

    Hell, I don't let other people drive my car unless absolutely necessary, and yet the single most expensive component in it at any time is the GPS and then the fuel in the tank (£70 for over 500 miles at the moment, which is over 1/3rd the price I paid for the car). I treble the value of my car every time I put my laptop / Satnav / phone in it on my way home from work, but still I take precautions with who drives it, how they drive it, and keep an eye on them *when* they drive it.

    1. ian 22

      A bit of advice

      Never trust another man with your money, your car, or your woman.

  25. JimC
    Thumb Down

    @Lee Dowling

    No test drives? Well, its up to you, but believe me the shops don't do them for the fun of it. Its a damn nuisance, it takes up precious time and is non-productive. However it does make for better customer service which is why they do them. My time in the motor industry was many years ago, but that won't have changed.

    As for "you can do that for them". Yes, I'm sure you can, but what you can't do is do it right. Faults, especially handling faults, often get slowly worse over time, and you wouldn't believe some of the things that people get used to. I've seen a mechanic, white faced, get off a bike and *push* it back to the shop because the handling was so dangerous, and the thing was in for "misfire at 70mph"

  26. Andy Enderby 1

    It happened to me.....

    Our beloved wee sportscar was driven by a main dealers lad at speed from the public parking area to the service bay, the wrong way around a long block..... His journey, and our car was broken when the miscreant spun the car taking a left turn from a main road into the service bay entrance onto a galvanised metal bollard. Result - all the panels on the right hand side damaged, along with both right hand side alloy wheels.

    The dealer was mortified, saw the look of thunder on my face and had the perp in question off site before I could lock targetting sensors and sysadmin strength cattle prod onto his miserable testicles. Repairs took nearly three months but were carried out to the highest possible standard. During which time a letter from my wife to the cars manufacturer ensured we received the most expensive, well equipped, equivalent model that the dealer had in his demonstrator fleet on the forecourt on pain of application of serious Japanese cutlery to nether regions.

    Oh how we laughed....

    The long and the short of it is this - It happens much more than you'd think and after overhearing some fitters for a well known high street tire/exhaust franchise boasting about how they'd thrashed a customers Subaru Imprezza later the same day, I'd have to recommend sitting and watching the bastards like a hawk whilst grasping firmly your favoured technology of retribution.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing details..

    This was not a test drive. it was a collect and return service driver who was returning the vehicle.

    doesn't make him any less of a twunk.

  28. Stratman


    Having worked on Dogwatch in the past, I can reveal it's not just garages that believe the customer's car is fair game while in their possession.

    They investigated dodgy 'Valet Parking' firms who offered to pick up your car from the terminal and deliver it to you on your return. It would be kept in a 'high security location' in the meantime, they said.

    The reality was a bit different. Trackers revealed the bait cars were kept on side streets, in industrial estates and generally wherever the operators felt like leaving them. They were also used as minicabs.

  29. John Dougald McCallum

    Service driver

    If he was a service driver why was he driving the car in stead of it being on the back of a delivery/recovery truck is his boss such a trusting soul or a tight wad.

  30. Lars Silver badge

    So what is the problem here

    Certainly the car was insured. Like the Surrey garage too.

    I suppose we should feel extra concerned about this (the car and its broken owner) as it was a 200k car. Leave me out, however.

  31. dr evil


    I reckon it was lift off oversteer. Approached said roundabout, started to lose it, lifted off and boing.


  32. james4765
    Thumb Down

    Had it happen to me - as a mechanic

    Took a customer's truck for a test drive after putting a clutch in it. Hit the brakes, and started skidding - the tires were completely bald. Stuffed the truck into a parked car.

    Turns out, it mysteriously had the insurance canceled on it the day before. And because of the braindead local laws, I was liable. And since I was in school at the time, that meant my parents' insurance took the hit. My parents never let me live that down.

    I can see a wreck happening on a test drive - it's embarrassing as all hell, and does your reputation no good. However, that's what company insurance is made for...

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