JournalismPakistan.com March 28, 2013
Do you know that all second hand cars are sold by little old women? This fact was brought home to me forcefully when I began checking up the classifieds. You get this vision of sweet, little ladies in lacy smocks running about selling cars they have gently driven down the road to the corner shop once a week and never really put into top gear. Especially 4 wheel drives which have never touched rough terrain.
Every second ad tells you it is lady driven as if that implies some sort of element of preservation in the vehicle. Don’t men sell cars? Look around you, Eight of ten vehicles are driven by unshaven, burly, surly, sour men and they are neither little, old nor sweet. So what do they do with their cars? Stuff them and hang them in the garage.
Again, all second hand cars have had a single owner, never more. You’d think there is some rule about reselling a car. Every ad tells you the car has had only one owner. What sort of chap keeps a car for 11 years in a place like this? No one ever says fifth hand car going for cheap.
Then, you also realize in this ongoing vehicular education that all cars that are sold have low mileage. The point is that all car owners don’t drive their cars, they keep them as decoration pieces in front of the house. Can’t be anything else because every car on sale (marvel, marvel) hasn’t averaged more than a paltry couple of kilometers a day. When you see all these cars scurrying about endlessly you really wonder at the credibility gap but there you are, that’s what the ad says. Ten years old and it has done 18000 kms.
By that very token all these second hand cars are European driven. Evidently, this factor indicates some sort of innate superiority in driving skill or care and maintenance not reached by those from other parts of the globe. In fact, one of my colleagues caught out a second hand car-selling Aussie on the phone by the accent.
Are you European?
You sound like a cobber from down under.
So why the bluff.
Better market I am told.
Think of it. Thousands of Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Filipinos steering about like crazy, paying for driving lessons, celebrating their obtaining a license and they never sell cars because I have yet to see one ad that says Indian selling car which he has loved and cared for, now being let go because wife doesn’t like time spent with beloved car.
So, see how many contenders get left behind, falling on the way like battle weary troops. If you are a man, actually drive the car, don’t live in Europe and are not a single owner you are doomed by your own hand.
Naturally no car in the used car showrooms has ever been in an accident. There is this rule. Once you have had an accident you can’t sell your car, you are out, that’s it, goodbye, hit the road. All those people we see on the road, post collision, waiting for the police and the green and pink slips, they never sell their cars.
As the competition narrows you now have to ensure your car is ‘as good as new.’ All used cars have to be as good as new. You can’t be otherwise. Even if the car is six years old and looks like a burnt out slipper it has to be good as new, whatever that means.
This is what I want to read:
Eight year old car bought third hand, used extensively by Indian expatriate belonging to the male species, never driven by a woman, repainted after two accidents, one pink slip and one green, scratches painted over, but she gets you there and you aren’t really paying a princely sum so what do you expect…a Rolls.
I read an ad like that, me I’d go see that car, at least the guy is talking my language.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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