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An ingenie horror story: the tale of 7 ghostly cars

    Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls...gather round, you're in for a real treat. Or perhaps a trick?

    Our beloved Charlotte who works in our customer service team has literally been to HELL and back (several times) when it comes to cars, and in the true spirit of Halloween, we thought we'd share her horrors with our ingenie drivers.

    Never has one person experienced such bad luck with motors - we're actually convinced she's being followed by some kind of evil omen: The Curse of the Car Catastrophes.

    So, come and take a seat behind the wheel with Charlotte, if you dare. Here's a tale that will leave your bones and your engine rattling. You're in for one hell of a bumpy ride.

    DISCLAIMER: No Charlotte's were harmed in the making of this horror story.

  1. The Villainous Vauxhall Corsa

    September 2012 – RIP: September 2014

    • Cost - £100 (from a friend)
    • Cost in repairs- £0
    The horror story:

    This was my first car - I absolutely loved it. It had no power steering and clattered loudly but it was mine. I never had any problems with this car until it needed its second MOT.

    I took it to the garage expecting to happily collect it in an hour's time, pay my £54.85 and drive home. But no such luck. It failed its MOT horridly as apparently the catalytic converter had gone?! Then came the bombshell that it was going to cost a few hundred pounds to fix.

    As much as I loved the car it just wasn’t worth spending the money on, so off to the scrap graveyard it went. Boo-hoo!

    Vauxhall Corsa horror show

    Vauxhall Corsa (1999) 😱

  2. The Nightmare Nissan Micra

    January 2014 – RIP: October 2014

    • Cost – Free (from family)
    • Cost in repairs- £0
    The horror story:

    So once my first car had gone to the scrap yard I was carless for a while and had to get buses everywhere. Then my Grandad offered me this Micra he no longer needed - for free! It’s not the coolest looking car but who was I to pass it up?! At least I didn't have to get soaked waiting for buses anymore.

    Shock horror - nothing actually went wrong with this car, I just didn’t need it anymore once I could afford to buy another one. Looking back now, perhaps I should have just kept this car - but you live and learn, right?!

    I actually ended up donating this Micra to the fire brigade for their training exercises, so at least some good came out of it.

    Nissan Micra horror show

    Nissan Micra (1999) 🎃

  3. The Phantom Peugeot 206

    October 2014 – RIP: September 2015

    • Cost - £600
    • Cost in repairs- £100
    The horror story:

    This was my first decent looking car and I was quite happy with it. It drove well and had power steering which felt amazing. But within 2 months of having it, I bumped into the back of someone!

    No damage was done to their car but it did plenty of damage to the front of mine. I was so upset. We managed to have it fixed so everything was safe but it never really looked nice again.

    By the time the first MOT came round it had a few things wrong with it that needed fixing and due to the damage already I didn’t want to pay out any more.

    So off to the scrap graveyard it went.

    Peugeot 206 horror show

    Peugeot 206 (2002) 👻

  4. Fiendish Ford KA Street

    September 2015 - RIP: February 2016

    • Cost - £1200
    • Cost in repairs - £700
    The horror story:

    I bought this car off a friend in the winter and was really looking forward to the summer when I could take the roof down - but yep, you guessed it - it never even made it to spring.

    It needed an MOT a couple of months after I bought it and my heart literally sank when the mechanic said the WHOLE bottom of the car needed rewelding. This was going to cost loads but as I really liked it, I bit the bullet and coughed up. The money - not the bullet.

    ford ka horror show

    Ford KA Street (2004) 🧛‍♂️

    I drove this KA for a few more months until suddenly, driving home one day, the power steering went. The engine kept revving when I was in low gears and I just knew from all the sounds it was making that a hefty bill was coming my way. I didn’t even bother taking it to the garage - I'd had enough of dealing with crappy, rundown cars so parked it on private property off-road, until I had the money (and the motivation!) to fix it up again.

    You'd think things couldn't get much worse at this stage...but it did.

    While the KA was parked up it got completely vandalised. All the windows were smashed and the mirrors broken off - there really was no saving it.

    So off to the scrap graveyard it went.

    Check out these 5 things you should never compromise on when buying a used car.
  5. The Virulent Vauxhall Corsa SXI

    February 2016 - RIP: February 2019

    • Cost - £3,000
    • Cost in repairs- Too much! (Overall probably £1,000)
    The horror story:

    I’d had enough of buying cheap cars from friends so I decided to get a car on finance from an approved garage. I bought this Vauxhall Corsa SXI and I loved it. It was sooo much better than any other car I'd had!

    3 months into my driving bliss, I was off to Cornwall for a mini-break. I did all my usual long-distance car checks: oil, water, tyre pressure - I was raring to go. But after reaching Somerset about 2 and a half hours in, the car started making THE MOST horrendous noise.

    I pulled over onto the hard shoulder thinking this CANNOT be happening. I decided to ring my breakdown cover until I realised...I didn’t have any! I just didn’t think I would need it with a decent car - not just yet anyway! I will never make that mistake again.

    Vauxhall Corsa horror show

    Vauxhall Corsa SXI (2008) 💀

    I managed to make it to the next exit and found a safe place to call the AA, hoping they could help me. They could, but with a callout fee of £150. Grr. After more waiting a tow truck eventually turned up and took me back home - dreams of eating Cornish ice cream on the beach now completely smashed.

    I returned it to the garage as I was within my warranty and they found that the oil pump had disconnected from the engine. Apparently, this is REALLY BAD for cars. They managed to fix it as best as they could and for the next few years it actually made it through the MOTs with no advisories. Miracle!

    But the nightmare didn't end there...

    In December, pulling up to my Mum's house, the overheating light suddenly came up on the dashboard - before immediately dying on me. I lifted the bonnet and there was no oil, no water and the engine was smoking hot. I had only checked the oil and water 2 days before!

    I rang our mechanic (now on speed-dial) and booked it in for the following week. The mechanic confirmed that the head gasket had blown. Fantastic. £400 down this time, but I had my car back now and I was confident this was just a blip. Right? This was my decent car after all.

    A few month's after I was driving over a roundabout when EVERY SINGLE light came up on the dashboad and the car completely died. Why do I never breakdown in easy places?! No, wait - why do I always breakdown?!

    Some nice people pushed me into a car park nearby and I waited for the car to cool down. I then very cautiously managed to drive it home.

    The mechanic checked it again and said the fault was with the radiator, so we had a new one fitted along with a new fan. £250 gone. But the issues HAD to stop there - surely? It had 2 brand new parts now?!

    The curse didn't cease...

    I was off to Essex for a day trip the following week, and you guessed it...the %^4!*"£ overheating light came on. It was a freezing cold day too! The mechanic was baffled. He phoned me to say he was going to take the engine apart to get to the bottom of it. I think it had become his personal nemesis too.

    48 hours later, the mechanic found the radiator to be full of sealant from a dodgy repair job. Great. He said it would need a completely new engine soon and that was going to cost big bucks - it just wasn’t worth paying out for.

    The real unfortunate thing was that I still had a few months left on the finance plan so I had to keep paying for the car even though I no longer had it! This one got the award for the biggest car nightmare by a long shot.

    So off to the scrap graveyard it went.

  6. The Creepy Citroen C3

    January 2019 – RIP April 2019

    • Cost - £400
    • Cost in repairs- £250
    The horror story:

    Once we found out our Corsa was dead we had to get another car - quickly. I had lost faith in garages now so something cheap with an MOT was all I was looking for as a temporary solution. We looked online and found this car for £400. It had just had an MOT and with no issues. Perfect, right?

    Nope. After a couple of months, the oil light would come on every time we turned the wheel to the right. So we took it to the mechanic and he checked everything, but nothing was wrong - just a faulty sensor. Phew!

    Citroen horror show

    Citroen C3 (2004) 🧟

    My husband now has this car. However it is currently misfiring and the engine revs anytime it starts up. Its also just stopped dead a couple of times so I don't think it will be long until this one goes to the car graveyard too.

  7. The Vile Vauxhall Meriva

    April 2019 to present (not YET deceased)

    • Cost - £400 (plus my corsa)
    • Cost in repairs- £0
    The horror story:

    The mechanic who I'd known for a while and was fixing my Corsa (I'm a loyal customer in case you haven't realised yet) took pity on me. He was selling this car for £1,000 but offered me a part exchange deal of just £400 so he could reuse the Corsa's parts.

    The previous owner worked for the AA so I was confident the car had been very well looked after. It recently had it’s first MOT and had a few advisories but nothing that we couldn't sort easily.

    Vauxhall Meriva horror show

    Vauxhall Meriva (2006) ☠

    I am keeping my fingers and toes TIGHTLY crossed that this car lasts me a very long time. I have had such bad luck that if this one goes wrong - I will definitely be buying a bike!

Moral of the horror story

So now you've survived this horrendous tale there's some key bits of advice for you to take away.

Read these and don't let them happen to you! Or else.

You have been warned.

Getting into the Halloween spirit? How about planning a spooky road trip to some of the UK's most haunted roads? Dooooo it.👻


Katey Joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of all things social and content. She passed her driving test in 2015 and her first car is a Toyota Yaris T3 named Tyrone.