It’s been emotional in Fraggle Towers this week, as both Phil and I have said goodbye to our old cars and got newer ones. Cars, of course, are just tools of transport, but dafty us got emotionally involved with ours. 🙄 Phil had his Hyundai coupe for 10 years, and being a bloke bought her for her stunning good looks & curves rather than comfort or ease!
I was a field dispenser when I got my Toyota Rav 4, which is now 17 years old, and needed something that could cope with carrying a load of equipment and driving up farmer’s tracks and through snow in the Northern countryside I worked in, as well as be comfy for the long haul trips over to Cumbria and the west. I’ve not really photographed it, it’s more a Mrs. Doubtfire than a Pamela Anderson, though bits of it have appeared in some shots.
As Phil’s was too low down to see over hedges or much scenery at all and was also quite a bumpy ride, we always went on our Europe trips in the Rav. But when it reached 16yrs old we had to get a special breakdown cover to go abroad, as cars over 15yrs are not covered by most policies. So it was decided, that we would upgrade the Rav 4 to something similar, but newer. When you’re not really bothered about cars per se, it’s not easy to choose a new one. Phil goes for looks more than I do, (won’t have red/yellow/black/white/etc) and didn’t want us to get a ‘washing machine on wheels’ as he thinks of most cars. We agreed that we could both cope with a Nissan Juke.
In the meantime, the rear wheel arch on Phil’s little bluey was starting to rust. It had already been to a body shop a couple of years prior and had it ‘sorted’ but back it came and Phil decided to fix it himself. Unfortunately, when he prodded it with his finger a huge hole appeared where the rust fell in. He had to pack it with newspaper and chicken wire before using a ton of filler and respraying!
At that point, it was decided that I wouldn’t have a new car, but Phil would, as he knew the bodywork was going to be a big problem on his.
In truth I was quite happy with that, I loved my Rav 4 and the version of it that I have is obsolete, so it was a bit special.
After we got back from Europe, we started to have a look around the internet and take advice on cars. Phil’s daughter swears by Seat, our mechanic wasn’t happy with Jukes. So we went off to a big used car dealer near us to see what else there was Phil might like, and got the worst ‘used car salesman’ ever! Never mind looking at cars he took us into a cubicle and started talking about finance right off the bat! We eventually got to see some cars, but nothing floated Phil’s boat, and it seemed the little salesman was never going to let us get away, so I invented a dental appointment and we made our escape.
Disheartened we went home had a cup of tea and had a think. We decided it was too hard to choose a car without having one in mind, so went back to our original idea of a Juke and the next day went off to the Nissan dealer. A completely different experience, the salesman there saw us looking around, came out and introduced himself and told us to give him a shout when we’d finished looking around. To cut a long story shorter, Phil found a Juke that fitted his criteria (blue 🙂 ) <pause> am being unfair here, he really wanted metallic grey, but they only had those in diesel and Phil will not have diesel <continue> and we took it for a test drive. Then we went to do the paperwork. We had thought that as in days of yore (pre-little bluey) you put the biggest deposit down you could muster then do the rest on hire purchase, and had planned financially accordingly. But since the crash in 2008 things have changed, and in order to sell cars (which had a big wobbly due to the recession) financing them has changed. Now you do something called a PCP, where you put a small deposit down, have small monthly payments, and at the end of 3 or 4 years trade in for a new one. That’s a bit simplified, but ostensibly it. We’d always wondered how poorer people than us could afford new cars!! 🤣
While we’d been wandering around looking at the Jukes, I spotted a little Fiat 500 parked in the For Sale spot. I’ve always had a soft spot for these and even more so since my friend Helen drove me around in hers. I fell for it. 😍 When we got home after Phil had done all the paperwork, I told Phil I thought it would be a great idea if the deposit he hadn’t had to put down on his new car was put on the 500 instead, as we didn’t both need a big car, and especially as I no longer drive around the North for work anymore. Cutting an even longer story shorter, that’s what happened.
The leap in technology over the past 10 years is quite surprising us We are used to a gear stick, steering wheel, lights and a radio. The Juke especially has all sorts of warnings and guides, beeps and buttons, it’s like flying a plane. There’s a screen that comes on when you are in reverse, and a camera shows you where you’re reversing, with guidelines to help. I’m so old school I couldn’t get the hang of it and quickly reverted to using the side mirrors before I crashed! Even the 500 has stuff in it I didn’t even know cars had. They tell you when to change gear!!! I’ve been driving 41 years and I learned when to change gears and how to reverse from my driving instructor, before I was let loose on the roads! WTF do new drivers learn if not how to drive?? 🙄 Mine is more like driving a smartphone than flying a plane. All good fun, but it was painful saying goodbye to my Rav, we’d been on so many adventures together. A lot of history and memories wrapped up in her. Phil was quite upset about his too, he did like looking at it!
So here we are dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, goodbye our old friends, and hello to the new.