The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

RSS feeds: v0.91; v1.0 (RDF); v2.0; Atom.

Previous entry. Next entry.

6:56pm on Saturday, 3rd March, 2007:

Shiny Things


We bought a new car today.

It's nothing special — a Ford Focus Sport they had a special offer on — but hey, it's new.

It has three features beyond the specification:

Firstly, it has a reverse parking sensor. I'm reasonable at reversing, but have no concept of how long the car is. I invariably end up parking with the nose of the car poking out beyond the noses of the adjacent cars. With a reverse parking sensor, I should be able to avoid this indignity. My wife wasn't all that keen on spending an extra £299 for this, but it's not like she was paying for it (except, er, actually she was paying for it...).

Secondly, it has some new-fangled security system that means you need not only a key but also some kind of card with an RFID chip on it or it won't start. Ha, all you crooks reading QBlog hoping to break into my garage and steal the car, you can't! All you can do is untold damage trying to get it to start.

Thirdly, it's in a metallic colour. This is what I'm moaning about today. The thing is, pretty well every car sold by Ford dealers is in a metallic colour, on account of how it's almost impossible to sell a car in a block colour second hand. People want to be able to sell their cars second hand, so they get the metallic paint. Metallic paint is better, of course: it's lacquered so that it's more resiliant, and it's available in colours other than snow white and pillarbox red. The result is that hardly any buyer of a new car wants it in non-metallic paint. If someone does want one, the dealers have to order it direct from the Ford factory as they don't keep it in stock.

When car prices are quoted, though, they always give the price for a non-metallic colour. If you want it in a metallic colour, it costs you (in our case) £350 more. Because everyone does want this, though, the effect is that the list prices for cars are quoted as being £350 or whatever short of their actual cost. By offering something few people want and declaring it to be the standard, they can make their offers seem more attractive than they actually are.

This can't be right!

You want coloured ink with that pen? That's extra.

Referenced by Chipped.

Latest entries.

Archived entries.

About this blog.

Copyright © 2007 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).