Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Day 47: Car Woes

What to do with the car?

Here's the thing.  The car has been essential for work for the past few years.  There is every chance that it will be essential again.  But this year, it is not essential.  In fact, living where I do right in the centre of town, it is downright inessential, and would not be particularly safe if parked here.  Instead, it has been lodging at Friend Nik's house just outside town, from where it is pressed into occasional service.

However, even cars which are doing very little still cost a lot of money.  Especially, in my case, at the end of August.  First its MOT.  Then a full service.  Then AA membership.  Then Insurance.  Then Road Tax.  There is no way of saving on any of this, and the total is going to be something approaching £800.  I got rid of my last car at the 12 year stage, when it started costing more in repairs than a monthly repayment plan on a newer model, and I am afraid that this car may have reached the same stage.

I am not extravagent when it comes to cars.  I have only ever owned two in my life, both of which were 4 years old when I bought them.  My current one is now 11 years old, and on the whole still runs well.  But there is no doubt that it is showing its age, and has sadly failed its MOT until the garage can sort out a list of fairly minor problems, but which taken together mount up considerably. 

Yeah, right.
I have considered getting rid of the car altogether.  There is no doubt the money would be useful.  But looking ahead a little, without one to trade in, the purchase of the next one will be that much more painful.  And if I was going to sell it, I should have done so before now.  Now that it is (of necessity) being serviced, taxed, and MOT'd, I may as well keep the thing for another year. 

So for now the garage has it, and I had to take the bus back from the farm to the town.  It was a later bus than I meant to take, because the online timetable was wrong, and I got soaked waiting half an hour for one which had left 10 minutes before I arrived.  One of only four buses a day, mark you.

Am depressed now. 

Total Expenditure: £9.15


Fat Dormouse said...

Might it be an idea to sell it, if you don't have need of the car, to save the cost of insurance/AAmembership, but stash the cash away in (for example) a high interest account, until you need to buy a new car. That way you save some costs and have a bundle of cash ready when you need to buy. You just need to be careful not to fritter the money away BEFORE it gets into the account. But you, I think, are definitely NOT a fritterer!

Mrs Gerbil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

AA membership ? If you don't drive it, you can't break down.

Fran said...

Wow. You people are amazing, and quite right too. You have inspired me to phone the garage tomorrow (the owner is an old school friend), and see what the possibilities are of selling it. I'll let you know.

Sharon said...

Like you both David and I are car keepers....our last cars were over 10 before we let them go (I am admitting to the sin of having one each here I realise but where we live it is kind of difficult not to).

David was offered £60 (this is not a misprint) as a trade in for his Saab 900 - for its age it was had 4 new tyres, a full service history, 6 months tax and a full tank of petrol (which had cost more than £60 on it's own).
Outraged we decided to take Sven (for contrary to what the French may tell you all cars are male and must have names) to auction. We got £400 clear (after the auction fee) for him. Even better about a year later we were driving round Loch Venachar in Bjorn (his replacement) and who did we see but Sven, parked up in layby, all shiny and with a Classic Saab Owner sticker on his rear windscreen. Happiness all round.

spotthegerbil said...

HI Fran,

I'm in the sell it camp. I was going to give an explanation of how Mrs Gerbil and I got 4 months use of a car for £250. Instead I put it on my blog at the following link.

Mrs G also noted that the City Car Club in Edinburgh may be available.