Another car bites the dust

My first ever car was purchased off of my best friends parents, a Nissan Micra.  I actually paid for it before I passed my test and then it took 3 attempts before I passed my driving test so it sat unloved on the driveway for a good few months.  I would clean and polish it weekly and at times just sit in it longing to be able to take it for a drive.

Once I was finally able to drive it was a car which saw me through my college years and into my first job, it was only when I started working in a Day Nursery that I upgraded to a new car.  A brand new Peugeot 206 was my next purchase, all shiny and new and that’s the way it stayed for a very long time, there was never really any problems with this car over the years and the one time there was I just purchased a new car battery and all was fine again.

Of course I didn’t think too far ahead with that purchase as there was only me to consider at the time so a 3 door small car was perfect, except after a year I left the Day Nursery to start Nannying and a 3 seater and large car seats in the back make life a little hard to say the least so after struggling for another year I changed cars again and this that time went for a family friendly option – friends couldn’t understand this as at the time I myself was childless and so were they and they didn’t have the need for practicalities of a larger family car, so while they were all going down the routes of Mini’s, convertible’s and sports cars I purchased a Land Rover which had 3 large seats in the back to take 3 big car seats and had a large boot for the shopping and buggy and of course was perfect for taking Barney out in too.

That car was a perfect family working car for me, 5 days a week it was filled with children, changing bags, school bags and on the weekend I was able to take Barney into Epping Forest and he could get as muddy as he liked and I’d pop him into the boot keeping the mess off of the seats.

This car lasted many years, it was perfect and I really do miss it.

It was only when I stopped working as a Nanny that we went to being a one car family, as I working from home there was no need to pay out for two cars and we just couldn’t afford it when my Land Rover broke beyond economical repair.  I walk everywhere with the children so 2 cars would be silly for us but since going to just the one car we have had nothing but problems with our family car.

When Paul’s very reliable Astra finally bit the dust we were at a loss as to what to do, it came at the wrong time financially for us, Paul had been out of work for nearly a year and a half and I was not long starting out as self-employed so we had very little in the way of savings left.  It was this time our mechanic stepped in and found us a cheap run around which wasn’t pretty but it went from A to B and back again and fitted us all in so was perfect for us.

This lasted around a year and then things went wrong and we saw smoke bellowing from the engine and the car was irreparable, so once again our mechanic stepped in to find a run around – this lasted until something went wrong and the repairs would cost more than the car so once again we scrapped the car and purchased a run around from our mechanic.

Our latest run around lasted us 2 years until on Friday the gear box went when Paul drove to work, he went to reverse only to find that he couldn’t.  Upon investigation this is an expensive job as it’s an automatic and we also have a few other things which need fixing so it just isn’t worth spending out the money on those – the car is too old and the repairs cost more than the car is worth.

So what now?

We are currently carless again and while Paul is able to walk to work he does need one during the day to get to meetings and with the Summer holidays almost upon us it is the worst timing as I have activities and days out booked up for the children and we have 2 holidays book where we need the car to drive to them.

It’s finally time to stop looking into cheap options and sort something which will last.

We are currently looking into lease hire options as although we will then have monthly payments to make and an initial deposit to pay out, if and when something does go wrong the company are responsible for sorting out the repairs and not us.  We can choose the payment options over 2, 3 or 4 years and then at the end of that period we can choose to buy the car making a final one off larger payment or swap in for a brand new car and start the lease hire all over again on the new one.

The fact maintenance is covered in this is a huge plus point for us as we are now at the point we don’t want to keep scrapping a car when the repairs become too expensive, BUT what family car do we go for is our next question.

Paul is rather keen on looking at an Astra estate as he loved his Astra pre-children and it was very reliable and I have been looking at Mazda’s and really like the CX-3 and the CX-5, so much so that I may have already been looking at Mazda accessories online as you do, I think I miss my 4×4 too much and maybe trying to compensate, however I am not sure I will win this one with Paul.

We have spent the weekend looking into this and I asked a few friends who lease hire what made them choose their cars:

Karen said they chose a Skoda as it was one with the better safety records.

Jade says they lease their main family one. “It’s a VW Touareg. We chose it because it has so much room. My OH needs space for his work equipment and then if we ever go skiing we usually drive, so we need the boot space for all the luggage. Plus it was well within our monthly budget too!”

Lorraine leases a Ford Kuga, 4×4, she says  “I have arthritis & am petrified of being stuck in snow (I know we live in England)” – I can relate to this as I have been nearly been stuck in the snow in my previous Nanny job, they lived in a tiny village which floods every time it rains and they get snowed in whenever it snows.

Dave and his wife lease hire 2 cars “We lease both of ours. A Citroen Cactus and Nissan Juke. We needed an upgrade from a 3 door car when we had a kid and found that leasing rather than buying was the most sensible option for us. We then got a second lease car when the missus went back to work. 2 good sized family cars which are relatively cheap” and finally Rebecca also lease hires 2 within her family ” A Nissan Qashqai and a Nissan Leaf.  The Qashqai because it’s a good size, the pram fits in the boot easily, the parking cameras are a god send and the fuel efficiency is great – we have the 1.5 diesel
The Leaf was chosen because we wanted a second car to get me to work and back daily and of course it has no fuel cost”

Darren from MotoFX says “If you happen to damage the paint on your car, an affordable and effective way to restore the colour and fix the damage is to wrap your car”.

Its not something we will rush into obviously but we do need a car sooner rather than later.

So if anyone reading has any suggestions for a decent family sized car with boot space for our dog and which can hold our luggage or camping gear I would be very grateful for suggestions please.

“This is a collaborative post”

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