[For people who don't live in the UK, MOT stands for Ministry of Transport. Cars are tested to make sure that they conform to basic safety standards ...... something which takes all the excitement and mystery out of motoring if you ask me].
Yep, it is a legal requirement in the UK that every car has an MOT certificate, so I was pretty sure that my day was going to be spent procuring the blasted document. Why? Well firstly, it is a governmental requirement for crikey's sake, why make it easy? And secondly, I was fairly sure my chariot was going to fail the test.
Pic.No.1 My car undergoing MOT forensics
After arriving at the garage and spending 50 minutes waiting in a drafty office, it became pretty obvious, pretty quickly that my chariot had indeed failed its MOT. And the general demeanour of the mechanic made me adament that I wasn't going to pay him to do the repairs............
"Ooh," he said, sucking in his breath whilst simultaneously stroking his chin, "it's gonna cost ya." (don't you just hate it when people do that?)
"Just tell me why it failed," I snapped (unlike me, but I did).
He scowled and handed over a list of chariot failures.........
"That'll set you back at least £300," he grinned, like a weasel in the undergrowth, "do you want us to commence repairs?"
"No thank you." I answered, and picking up my car-key. "I already have someone else lined up to do the repairs." (that was a bit of a fib)
"Suit yourself," shrugged the mechanic as I stomped out of the garage, on my way to another garage that I knew about.
Fifteen minutes later I was standing in Garage B where another mechanic was sucking in air and shaking his head, "trouble is," he said, "I don't know how much it is gonna cost you until we dismantle the brakes."
Grrrrrrrrr. It was getting towards afternoon, and I was getting truly fed-up of garages and mechanics.
"Ok, just do it," I said, leaving the keys on the counter.
Pic.No.2. The cost of failure - £253.70
Four hours later, I got a call from the garage that my car was ready to pick up. Soon after arriving, I was handed an invoice for £253.70. HOW MUCH?
I was flabberghasted, and upon detailed examination, it became clear that £188.00 of that was attributed to labour charges.
"Excuse me," I asked the lady behind the desk, "what is the hourly labour rate?"
"£50.00" she smiled back.
Now is it me? But when did mechanics start earning as much as lawyers? That is a salary of £104,000 ($164,701) per year. Un-bloody-believable. And so I left with a heavy heart, and the feeling that somehow, I had been properly jibbed.
Is it only me that seems to have a high proportion of negative experiences when it comes to garages?