VW Golf: A few scrapes

I'd only had the Golf TSI for a weekend and after the 48-hour period it was already looking like a vandal victim. The perfect black paintwork - in fact, the 'pearl effect' £425 cost option - had been through the wars.

Now, I am old enough - and ugly enough - to 'man up' and accept blame for one of the three scratched areas that had blighted my shiny new Golf in the first 48 hours of ownership, but the other two... well, let me just say, it's not my fault.

My previous long-termer, the Volvo C30, came with an oversized plastic ignition key and I blame that, slightly, for the latest sagas with the Golf. Despite ruining at least three jeans' pockets, the C30 key proved to be a benign tool - it didn't have any metal sharp edges on it - but the Golf key, with its flick-knife action, is metallic and, as I have found out, can inflict damage without the owner even trying.

Without knowing I had been using the key to scar the driver's door. I had been opening the key prior to using the door handle and, using the same hand to open the door and hold the key, I had inadvertently scratched the door with the metal part of the fob. Clearly, after carrying out this operation on several occasions and not noticing, the door had started to look somewhat battle weary. I had been doing this for the whole weekend and the car had paid the price. Now a buff-up job in this area of the car is looking imminent.

The second triplet of scratches was merely the product of a temporary rural home. For two months I had been living with a mate in Chalfont St Giles - a sleepy little village just outside London. My travel home to CSG required a half-mile sojourn along a single-track road. This meant a lot of pulling over to let wider vehicles pass and a monster thorn bush left its mark as I tried to let a Range Rover past. The unmistakable sound of a thorn dragging its way down the side the car yielded a nails-down-blackboard grimace and an inevitable body inspection. Yep, it had left a two-inch scratch down the side. It is hard to spot, and although we couldn't pick it out on camera, I know it's there.

Then there's a mysterious group of gaugings on the offside rear bumper. I am simply unable to explain where or when this happened. I had parked the car in various locations in London and hadn't spotted the rainbow of scratches until Monday morning when I parked the car at the office. I suspect somebody had a mild car-on-car interface and, realising what had happened, decided that the best course of action would be to drive off.

So 48 hours, three groups of scratches and a frustrating start to the test.

Is that a record?    

Current mileage: 5,084

Average mpg: 39.6

Where these came from nobody knows...