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I’ve been driving in my car, it’s not quite a jaguar.

Well that’s how the Madness song goes, and for most of us a Jaguar is a bit out of our reach financially. Not that I would want one anyway, I am quite happy really with my little Meriva.

The Cleansweep Assesssment point I am looking at now is

“My car is in excellent condition. (Doesn’t need mechanical work, repairs, cleaning or replacing)”.

I would like to think that this is true for me. It wasn’t last month, when I felt a little wobble at slow speed, and after a week I got around to going to Kwikfit. The Kwikfit-fitter chap pointed to a huge rip in the tyre 20cm long (I went metric in 1971) “Youve been bloody* lucky there” he said *(or was it ‘cooking’ it sounded like that anyway). I guess I was, I was going on a long journey the day after and it would have been a nasty surprise on the motorway, had it come away. He looked at one of the others and said that needed replacing too. So I selected my tyres at £38.00 each and the total came to £205.00.

Now, way back in history in 1971, when the uk went to decimal currency, I was at Primary school age 11. We had sums back then and we were tought to do ‘Adding up’. My skills are a bit rusty on sums but looking at the till receipt it seemed to add up ok. So I paid up.
I like having my tyres Kwickfit-fitted and with valves and Nitrogen (isn’t that what is in Air?) and checked to make sure they have been put on straight. Then there is Tax too. So £38 + £38
+ essentials = £205.00. I should have known that.

The Kwikfit-fitter chap did seem a bit embarrassed (but not too much).

The following day I went to the dentist. I needed to have a broken tooth replaced with a crown. The cost with all the NHS discounts and subsidies came to £205.00.

The dental office lady smiled and seemed rather gleeful (but not too much) as she charged me and seemed to imply I should be grateful for the NHS and that it had ben capped at that.

It strikes me that keeping ones car in order which used to be so expensive when I first started driving, is still a bit expensive, but for what it gives you, ( in terms of getting about and freedom etc, being part of the enjoyment in life, and I do like driving in my car), it’s worth it.
The relative cost of even subsidised health care seems to have risen astronomically by comparison.

Back in the ‘Old School Days’ they used to tell me to look after my teeth. There were subjects too like car maintenance. The idea being that you could look after your own car and save a lot of cash. The reality is though that todays cars are not so easy to DIY but teeth are. I wish I had listened and looked after my teeth, somebody should have told me I would have to pay for them as well as my car.

So if you are looking for a profession, I think dentistry must be a more lucrative option than being a KwikFit-fitter chap, and yet involve pretty much the same skill-set, find the problem, take it out, use a drill thing, hit it, tut a lot, say “you should look after things a bit better”, charge people money and make them feel grateful you caused them pain.

A pair of tyres though in the great scheme of things is much more important in keeping me alive than a single tooth. Maybe that’s why you can’t get a dentist better than a Kwikfit-fitter.