>A few weeks back, the wipers on my car, a 94 Lexus LS 400 (dere’s posh fer ye, boy) broke down. They’d always been noisy, but over a period of a few days they got really noisy. Then something went snap and that was it – they were stuck in the middle of the windscreen.

I took the car to my local Toyota dealer (‘cos we all know a Lexus is really a Toyota on steroids) and I asked them to have a look at the wiper system. Initially, they thought that the linkage had broken and that they could fix it, but this turned out not to be the case. That being so, it was necessary to check with the nearest Lexus dealer to see if a new linkage could be order.

Unfortunately (or perhaps, typically) it is not possible just to buy the linkage – one needs to buy an entire wiper system – motor and all. At a cost of around €700 plus VAT. It was looking like an overall bill of well over €1k to sort out my problem.

Luckily, I’d come across a guy in the UK who was breaking a Lexus of similar vintage to my own. On the off-chance, I contacted him to see if he still had the wiper system and was it working. Yes to both questions. We agreed a price and I got it delivered to the door for the princely sum of €75. Quelle difference, n’est pas? Allowing for labour, the cost of fitting the new wiper system will hopefully top out at no more than €200.

So the moral of the story is (insert suitable moral here).