In the UK we have a yearly test for cars called an MOT. In years past, although it was illegal, frowned upon, and you risked getting a big slap, it was not that big a deal if your cars MOT had expired. Now, what with computers and the 1984 Big Brother mentality, you risk severe doo-doo if you don't have one.
Today, my baby Renault Clio failed hers. *sob, wail, gnash, howl*
So I get home and look at the failure sheet (you have 10 days to put the problems right and have a re-test).
'It's not so bad' I'm thinking. 'A few bulbs, a bit of exhaust pipe, front brakes and a tyre.' Then I realise that because of the exhaust pipe it hasn't had the dreaded emissions test.
The emissions test (minds out of gutter, please) is a nightmare. If you have the most perfect car in the world and it fails this test, then you have to scrap it (and kill yourself, too).
So, I'm in a catch 22, and panicking! If I fork out and have the exhaust fixed (which - according to the nice man at the garage - could be as much as ?350) it might still fail emissions due to the engine ... and there are still the tyre and the bulbs and the brakes and etc, etc, etc.
... a friend phones up. He's got a Citroen Belingo with 2 months MOT and he's going to give it to me for ... FREE!!!!
It needs a bit of work, but as he was about to have it scrapped, it's a win-win all around.
Oh, chuffed and lucky am I!