Earlier this week, I was doing a very good friend a favour. I have known this friend for more than half of my life – so there’s not much either of us would not do for each other. The favour, initially, was something quite simple: go with him to a car dealership to take his old car back and pick up a new car. Seems very simple – something I could do in my sleep. Although that wouldn’t be a good idea since part of the favour was to drive!
So, off we went, armed with as much paper work as we could find – purchase agreement for the new car, insurance documents and log book for the old, to name just a few. This was, we thought, to be a quick outing. A brief encounter. All we had to do was hand over the keys to the old car; sign for the new car; pay a small sum of outstanding finance and drive off. Surely less than fifteen minutes from start to end.
We were dealt with by a new employee at the car dealership and he didn’t have everything he needed to hand. He kept disappearing off to another office to find the paperwork he needed. Also, one of his colleagues had to enter passwords into his computer so that he could access further details. However, he wasn’t responsible for the main stumbling block – well, not solely.
The one area of the hand over that took so long was the insurance. The dealership’s rules, sorry procedures, meant that unless they had proof of insurance on the new car, then the car could not be driven off the forecourt. This is a bit of a catch 22 situation. New insurance cannot be arranged with out the full details of the new car. The full details of the new car are not released until the car is signed over to the new owner. So, the way dealerships like this get round this problem is to issue a free seven day insurance cover to the new owner to allow them a short period of grace in which to set up their new insurance.
There was further confusion over whom to insure. Obviously the new owner needed to be on the insurance, but as I was driving the car home, I also needed to be on it. This caused a bit of head scratching, as the new employee couldn’t set the insurance up with two people who were not related. There then followed a very lengthy telephone conversation between, firstly the new employee and the insurance company and then between the insurance company and the new owner. Even though I was covered by my insurance to drive the new car, the dealership’s policy, or duty of care as the employee put it, would not cover me to drive off the forecourt unless I was on their insurance!
I suggested he drive the car the seven feet from forecourt to public road, and I would take care of the seven miles home! He wasn’t having any of it, however between them they devised a cunning plan, albeit slightly dishonest! It seems the insurance company and the dealership, whilst not happy with me driving from the road to the new home of the car, they were quite happy to falsify the insurance documents by making the new car owner and myself Civil Partners!
Can you be legally married to a woman and be in a Civil Partnership with another man at the same time? I doubt it! So what does that make me for the next seven days? A bigamist?
Don’t tell She Who Must Be Obeyed.
So, there we were, driving off, not into the sunset, the forecourt, a gay couple for the day. And as we did so, a little light came on the dashboard. It was the signal that a door was not properly shut, so in the words of the late Larry Grayson, I naturally said, with as much campness as I could muster – “shut that door!”.
So it did turn out to be a brief encounter and a very quick outing after all!
What a gay day! 😉