Funfair adventures and the curse of car troubles (again)

I can honestly say that I’ve a love/hate relationship with cars.
I love them when they are working and can get me from A to B and back again but I seriously HATE them when they go wrong.
We get by with just one car in the family these days as during the week I walk the children to School while Paul drives to work, however as he works locally if I do need the car, I let him know in advance and he walks in allowing me to have it for the day.  This happens more often in School holidays as me and the kids plan days out and adventures.
We had one of these adventures last Friday, I picked up my Mum and headed over to a local petting farm, it turns out this was closed for refurbishment so we headed off into the woods with the kids bikes and scooters, climbed trees and ran around.  It’s amazing how much fun kids can have in the trees and of course it burns their energy and is free too!
Entertaining Emmy,, countrykids, fun in the woods
While there we saw a children’s fun fair so took the children there.  They had a wonderful time and it was fantastic value too – £6.50 each for the children for wristbands which allowed for unlimited rides.  As we arrived just as it opened at 12.30pm it as empty so the children could choose the rides they wanted, stay on those when the ride had finished and never queue for a ride.  They had such a wonderful time that we stayed for around 3 hours jumping from ride to ride and enjoying all there was to offer, we left knowing all the ride operator’s on a first name basis and the children feeling so confident running around they were often on the next ride and strapped in before my Mum and I had walked over to that ride (it was a small funfair with 6 rides and 5 bouncy castles). 
Funfair, funfair Harlow, Entertaining Emmy,
Harry usually likes the idea of rides but once they start he cries and wants to get off – not this time.  He was on before Emmy and even went on a couple on his own when she didn’t want to go on.  We think this was because it was quiet and they didn’t have to get bored waiting for their turns.  They went on around 25/30 rides each during the afternoon, so definitely got their monies worth. 
Funfair,, Funfair rides suitable for small kids
A great day was had by all – we even got my Mum on a rollercoster!
Well until we got home that is.  We dropped my Mum home, took the children’s bikes/scooters home and picked up Barney to head to Paul’s Dads to see Auntie Diane who had been staying for the past few weeks but was returning home to Cornwall this weekend.
You’ve probably already guessed the car wouldn’t start again.  This is not an isolated problem with our family car, before our camping trip in June this kept intermittently happening until the day it died and wouldn’t start again – the starter motor had died.  Our mechanic ordered a new one and all was fine….for a few weeks and then it happened again, he fixed it having the starter motor taken apart and rebuilt, fast forward 2 weeks to now and it’s happened yet again.  I’m not happy and it’s time to start thinking about giving up and looking at a new (secondhand) car.
The trouble with that is what is what car do we want? and how do we pay for this?
Usually we sell our cars when they start to go wrong instead of throwing money at them to fix, or we sell for scrap and our mechanic looks around for a cheap family run around for us.  We are now beginning to think it’s time to stop doing this and to get a newer car, we have been looking at car finance guides to see which options may work best for us and thinking that a Hire Purchase deal would be the easiest option for us as Paul can probably do through work and it’s something which has been discussed recently.  We have also calculated costs for a loan using the TSB calculator to see which works best for us.
Now it’s almost time to think about just what our ideal car would be.
It needs to have a big boot as we often take the kids bikes/scooters out with us, and we also take the dog out with us so needs to be low enough for him to get into (I can’t lift him now he is 12), we need to be able to fit 2 high backed booster seats in the back, sometimes we have 3 children in the back and in our Nissan this is a squeeze with a 3rd booster seat.  We definitely need 3 proper seat belts in the back. 
Leg room in the back is also an issue for us as when Paul drives he needs the seat all the way back, this means whoever is sitting behind Paul has very little leg room currently so this needs addressing.  It needs to be big enough to hold our cases when we go away, or now tent and camping essentials now we have started to camp as a family.
Of course  ideally I would love an automatic again as now I’ve become lazy and would hate to gear change.
What do you drive and what can you suggest to meet our needs of this family?
“This is a collaborative post”



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Emmy and I ran the Race for Life last month in loving memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law Anne who sadly passed away on 14th July.  We would be honoured if you would consider sponsoring us to race money for Cancer Research UK.


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3 thoughts on “Funfair adventures and the curse of car troubles (again)

  1. I have to say two of our cars are automatics and as a lazy driver I do like them. I hope you find your ideal car to carry on these wonderful day trips. A day at the woods followed by all that bargain funfair action looks like the perfect way to grab some fresh air. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

  2. I hate trying to make decisions about cars. Always so much to think about. I've never had a car this old (5.5 years, and mostly had company cars), but mine's due a cambelt change – first one I've had to do, and it wouldn't have occurred to me, had I not had a letter from the dealership. That's why I always go to them, because I get reminders, but I'm hoping this time to get cheaper and nearer by going to a guy near work that my brother recommends. It's making me worried driving it now I know, so hopefully he'll be able to change it this week.

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