I have never really been a car person. Cars are functional machines to get us from A to B. I have never named a car or been overly bothered by make or model. I did like my Mazda and it felt comfortable. I don’t think I have driven another car in the five years I had it. Last year it broke down in a junction amongst the traffic lights. It was no longer guaranteed to get me from A to B. I had a list of concerns about it, brakes, warning lights, alternator belt, catalytic converter, etc. I did take it to the garage who confirmed it was safe with a minimum of work but said to address all faults and wear, to get it through a future MOT would cost a small fortune(far more than its worth).
I have since been living in a strange sort of limbo. I restricted my journeys since the pandemic as I need the car to support my family. I regularly checked and topped up the oil as the engine burned more suggesting it was struggling. About 6 weeks into lockdown I had to call recovery out to start the car as the battery seemed dead. They did start the car but advised I needed to use it more for longer journeys to keep it charged.
This provided me with an ongoing dilemma. How long did I keep it? I needed to save to afford a reliable car. It would take a while as I didn’t have the knowledge to assess a car from a private sale so I wanted to buy from a reputable dealer. I needed to buy before the Mazda brokedown. I needed it to be able to get to other cars to look at and test drive. Without my own transport this would have been very difficult to arrange in the pandemic.
Time had come to look for a new car . Cars often have an odd number of doors either 5 or 3 but these cars only have 2 or four. They may be hatchbacks but is a hatch a door? Should I ask people to get in and out that way. If I can’t even understand the technicalities of doors what hope do I have with engine specifications . Anyway after much thought and some internet research I decided I could just stretch to a Peugeot 107 or Kia Picanto from Hawkins motors (not the cheapest of dealers but with a very good reputation). I negotiated a price with Trade in and bought a red Kia Picanto. It has a pretty good miles per gallon and requires no tax and running costs are important to me. It is also serviced and MOT’ed so I should have no immediate extra costs.
I found Hawkin’s Motors as expected, very good to deal with helpful but not in any way pushy and I bought the car. It has a much smaller engine than I am used to but is reasonably responsive. I wasn’t looking for a fast car but it is relatively nippy around the corners and I find it comfortable to drive. It is not too low, so my Mum can get in and out. It has not only taken the worry out of driving for me but in these times of restriction returned some of my freedom. Decisions to drive are not made on a potential risk assessment of whether the journey is necessary. My first trip on my birthday.
I had a great time yesterday on my birthday trekking with Alpacas on the moor. We were introduced to 9 Alpacas and allowed to make our own choice. The weather was good and my Alpaca Aramis (named after the musketeer not the perfume) was friendly but had personality. They had feeding spots around the trek and he speeded up every time we got close to one. Standing still for a selfie was not of interest and I took an array of pictures that did not make a full jigsaw. One of the staff took a picture for me. My daughter had Jack older and in no rush but easy to handle. Jack was deaf so she had to use his lead more to get his attention.
Family, a new car, alpacas and an avalanche of birthday wishes from friends combined and made it a very good birthday.