Aargh, car.

Yet again, the car has weird faults. The dashboard stopped working, which meant not knowing how fast I was going at any given time. The ignition got ropey, wouldn’t always start, and sometimes stalled again as soon as started up. And the key has been a pain for months – you never know whether it will lock or not, and once it has locked, you never know whether it will unlock or whether you will be climbing over the passenger seat after using the emergency key.

The car does have a “lifetime warranty” which is maintained by having an expensive annual dealer service. Last year that in itself cost almost as much as the value of the car, and the latest chunk of things going wrong – apparently it needs a new key and sensors aplenty to make it work again – will easily take me over what WEBUYANYCAR, for example, would pay for it.

So, they’re not doing the work, I’m living with the unreliability, and starting to turn my thoughts to my next car. Boo hiss.

Buying the car last time was a pain. I know nothing about cars, and my criteria are a bit weird.

I feel guilty for having a car at all. City living shouldn’t need one. The buses here are excellent. But having one does make it a great deal easier to do my campaign work, including shifting leaflets about, getting to delivery places and to the secret print cave, which barely has a bus service at all. If I didn’t have a car, a lot of people around me would have to make adjustments.

Last time, at the last minute, I rejected a much smaller car on seeing the boot and thinking, “I couldn’t fit our camping kit in there.” I think this time, I will be more rigourous with myself: we only camp rarely. Most of the work of the car will be small, planet destroying city hops.

What I need:

a nice car
a tiny eco car
with a nippy acceleration
strong, instant brakes
fabulous cockpit experience
– mp3 / cd player
– radio tuning stick on driving wheel
– comfortable seats
Majorly more reliable than the bloody Renault Mégane!


6 comments on “Aargh, car.

  1. dr_nick says:

    you missed fairly vital detail: budget.

    Sounds like you want different things… You may have to compromise between performance and Eco credentials.
    How about a mart car?

  2. niles says:

    Was looking at 2nd hand smart cars. Would really have to test drive to see how they are!

  3. Mum says:

    look at Honest John website for reviews about cars!

  4. Leigh says:

    And don’t forget Caralot (for the most enjoyable car buying experience you’ll ever have). They can get more or less any car, not just what’s in stock.

  5. Serena says:

    Depending on just how often you actually need your car, might a car club be a solution? You could hire a car for a few hours, when you needed it, and wouldn’t need to feel guilty about it the rest of the time.

  6. Tiffy says:

    Sell the car and join a community car club. If there isn’t one, kick the Council officers into action to get one set up.

    That way, you have access to a car without having to own one. Releases your capital tied up in the car. Pay per mile and per hour (which includes insurance) means you’re paying something closer to the true cost of motoring (so you can compare with other means of getting about). And no worrying about servicing costs.

    People like CityCarClub are pretty good.

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