Friday, December 31, 2010

The car thing - I just don't get it.

As always, our family Christmas gathering involved the male ritual of "car talk" - who had what, who was getting what and who wanted what. How big they were, why they selected them and how well they did whatever it was they did.

I just don't get it.

I love cars - I think they are a marvelous form of transport. I cannot think about how extra complicated my life would be without one, primarily because our public transport system  is poorly structured and often doubles the time involved with going from A to B.

Cars are wonderful! But they are just tools. They are not an asset and certainly not an investment. In fact, they are a guaranteed way to burn money.

My Little Car
My own car has been with me now for about 5 or 6 years, but that is only a fraction of her life. You see, my car was registered only two months after my first child was born - meaning they will both turn 27 in 2011! She was bought second-hand and had such a low mileage that everyone wondered if there had been tinkering at hand! But no, she was just a car rarely used and well-cared for by her previous owner and came to me in outstanding condition. I know this, because mechanics, car park attendants and various other petrol heads have ooh-ed and ah-ed at her over the years!

But she is, still, just a car. She does the required job and I see no reason to replace her until she ceases to do so. You see, I have a car, but I don't have what many car owners also have - a car loan. Sure, I could upgrade to some zippy little modern equivalent and spend the best part of my salary paying it off, but I can think of better things to do with the money: like a cleaner, yoga classes etc!

Our home boasts three cars now - we nearly hit the four car mark, but one daughter got her first car around the same time she moved out. Of course, if she or her husband's car are here visiting, then we are full to over-flowing. When our son (nearly 20 and with no interest) eventually gets a car, our 1970s driveway and car port will resemble a car park or car sale yard! Let alone if they have friends around!

Also known as the Tardis!
If I was to upgrade to a new car (you know, if there really was a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow and I found it!), then there are only a couple of provisos: I would like a hybrid - this fits better with my eco-beliefs. And maybe something just a little bigger, so I could better transport stuff! Whether it is things for a breastfeeding feed and change facility at public events, shopping from Ikea or Freecycling treasures, sometimes my little car is too small. As my husband's huge station wagon is generally unavailable because is at work/away or filled to the brim with work/bike gear, I have to be self-reliant and this is often an issue.

But other than that, the biggest consideration in choosing a brand new car would be - purple or orange?

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