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Teenager's sinkhole supermini replaced by car website

Mon, 17 Feb 2014

A TEENAGER whose car was swallowed by a sinkhole has expressed her delight after a motoring website bought her a replacement.

Zoe Smith, 19, discovered the 30ft-deep crater in the driveway of her family's home on February 2.

She went into hysterics after discovering her prized Volkswagen Lupo had disappeared into the ground.

But bosses at digital retailer Auto Trader read news reports of the incident and asked the Press Association if they could put them in touch with Ms Smith.

She was invited to choose a replacement vehicle and Auto Trader met the £2,200 cost."It is very surreal when you wake up and find your car has fallen through a big hole in the driveway," she said.

"I never expected anyone to get in touch and offer us a new car, so I was surprised when Auto Trader said they wanted to get me a replacement Lupo. I am so grateful, as it means I am now back on the road again."

Her father, Phil Conran, said: "It was such a surprise, we're delighted. I'm as gobsmacked as when I saw the sinkhole.

"Zoe's absolutely delighted because she's been wondering what on earth she was going to do. She wasn't sure if she could get another car."

The 15ft-wide sinkhole, in Main Road, Walter's Ash, High Wycombe, has been filled in and tests are being carried out to ensure there are no further problems.

Mr Conran, 59, said his daughter will park her new car in the usual spot, despite what happened last time.

"It's the safest place because it's got 350 tons of concrete in it, so that isn't going anywhere," he said.

Jon Quirk, editor in chief at Auto Trader, said: "Everyone loves their first car, so when we heard the terrible news of Zoe's Lupo disappearing into the ground we really wanted to purchase her a replacement.

"Now she can get back on the road in her new Volkswagen Lupo and back to life as normal with her friends and family."

By Press Association reporter