The old mower is 17 years old (just found the June 2002 receipt) and needs a new gearbox according to our local mower dealer. It's usable in the short term but the cost of the repair is far more than the mower is worth. I have to admit I hadn't even considered a battery mower, but will have a look as another option. Jack and Conor, thanks for your input.
I need to replace a 15 year old 18" Mountfield 4 wheel rotary mower, which will no longer free wheel. It's for domestic use only and we have three areas of lawn which only amount to approx 120 square metres in total, so thinking of going down in size to a 16" or 17" mower. As the lawns are small, I have a lot of edges to mow and I seem to manage to scalp the lawn edges on a fairly regular basis, so thinking of getting a roller machine this time. I am buying on the basis of ease of use and longevity, with cost being a secondary factor and think I have got down to a shortlist of three machines (I think!!): Hayter Harrier 41 Autodrive Honda HRX 426 QX Stihl RM 454 VR This is only for home use so the grass will never be more than 5cm long (first cut of the year) and usually significantly shorter. I never intend to mow in the rain, but can't rule out having to mow when the grass is damp, so need a machine that won't clog up with damp grass. I know this is really a professional forum, but does anybody have any experience of the above mowers or care to give me a recommendation of which machine is likely to give the best longevity?