Retired couple Robin and Margaret Hemmant, of Drayton, Norwich, are so in love with the Spanish brand they’ve owned nearly every one of the maker’s models – some even more than once.
Since buying their first – a SEAT Toledo – back in 1991 from Castlegate in Mile Cross Lane, Norwich, the new car nuts have bought at least two new motors a year!
On one occasion, the pair drove away from the dealership with a new car at 6pm one evening and returned to trade it in for another at 9am the following morning.
‘People always tease us and say that we must love the new car smell and I guess there’s some truth in that,’ explained Robin, 76, a former print administrator for a firm of legal stationers. ‘Sometimes we’ve changed our car because we’ve needed to for practical reasons and other times we’ve just fancied a bit of a change.’
Former carer Margaret, 71, added: ‘It’s not as though we’re rolling in money but we figure that we can’t take it with us!’
The pair have owned pretty much everything from a city car Arosa to the seven-seat Alhambra – with most models in between.
Robin and Margaret, who only drive around 5,000 miles a year, have stuck largely with a variety of Altea and Altea XL models – their favourites in the range – with one notable exception, a black Ibiza, which John managed to prang twice in the space of a fortnight.
Their only affair with a non-SEAT model came recently when they were drawn to a used Skoda – and they even bought that from their favourite dealer.
But the couple, who are showing no signs of slowing down their car buying habits, are now looking to switch back to their brand of choice and have their eyes on a SEAT Exeo ST estate.
Obviously all this is great news for Castlegate’s current sales manager, Robert Bradford, who has sold them most of their cars down the years and become a close personal friend in the process.
He said: ‘I guess Robin and Margaret may seem like a dream come true for a car salesman, but we’ve been dealing with them for so long now that they just feel like part of the family.
‘They’re well aware that the way they chop and change their cars isn’t the best approach from a financial point of view but that’s just not the way they operate.
‘We always try to give them a good price for their trade-in and the best deal on the new car they’re after but so long as they get the car they want the rest doesn’t really matter to them.’
And the SEAT addiction doesn’t end there. Robert added: ‘I’d recommend SEAT to anyone and, in fact, I have. Members of our family have had eight SEATs between them!’