"You don’t have to be a man to spot a dud secondhand car"

As a child I raged at girls not being considered equal to boys, writes Tric Kearney. 

In recent years that rage has only increased as I wonder, how is this still a thing today?

Yer man is slightly amused by my rage, and occasionally even brave enough to challenge me, but overall he disagrees that gender bias is something all men are guilty off. This leads to many a heated discussion.

Less than 24 hours after our last debate I was listening to the radio when I heard a man comment: “I do no shopping for Christmas, I leave it all to the wife. Sure women love shopping.”

I had to have a moment to calm myself… perhaps that’s because I’m a woman and we tend to get hysterical?

Once calm, I couldn’t but smile, as his bias reminded me of the day, a few years ago, when my daughter and I decided to go check out a secondhand car.

When we announced our intentions yer man looked at us. “Don’t make me laugh. Are you two women going to look at a secondhand car? What a joke!”

OK, he didn’t actually say that, but his face did.

Not to be put off we held our heads up high and set off, determined to prove him wrong, although admittedly neither of us knew anything about buying a car. However, we were soon to learn a few lessons.

On arriving at the housing estate we spotted Mr Seller sitting in the car.

File image of woman in car

Lesson 1. Do not buy a car from someone waiting for you to arrive, with the engine running.

Mr Seller was in his late 20s and softly spoken. After a brief introduction, I asked some pertinent questions.

“How long have you had the car?”

“Three months.”

Lesson 2. Don’t buy a car off someone who only just bought it themselves.

As we wandered around, pretending we understood cars, Mr Seller said, “I’ve just had it serviced. Here are the keys. Look, they open all the doors and the boot.”

Lesson 3. Don’t buy a car off someone who believes one of its best selling points is that the key opens it.

“Do you mind if we take it for a spin?” I asked. “A mechanic in the village said he’d look at it.”

He’d no objection, so we set off, but almost immediately heard the unmistakable noise of a jumbo jet following us. As we were nowhere near an airport, we deduced it was the car.

Lesson 4. Don’t buy a car that thinks it’s an airplane.

Arriving at the garage our friendly mechanic was intrigued when we spoke of its jumbo jet imitation.

“Drive it in,” he said. “I’ll have a look at it.”

I turned the key, but nothing happened.

“I know yer man thinks we know nothing about buying cars,” I said to my daughter. “But I’m fairly sure it not starting, is a bad sign.”

The battery was dead. The mystery of why Mr Seller had been sitting in it when we arrived was solved.

Lesson 5. Never buy a car that won’t start.

While Mr Mechanic charged the car battery we texted the owner to explain we were delayed due to it breaking down.

Eventually, we reunited the wannabe airplane with Mr Seller and explained it was not the car for us. No, not even with a price reduction.

Arriving home yer man was waiting. “Well? How did you get on?” he said, still wearing his, ‘I can’t believe you two went looking at a secondhand car’ face.

“We didn’t like the colour and there was no air freshener in it so we decided not to buy,” I said, wearing my ‘don’t underestimate us women’ face.

Final lesson: You don’t have to be a man to spot a dud secondhand car.


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