Sunday, 29 May 2016

If it has tyres/testicles - different this time around?

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll obviously know that this is true.  We need a new car.  We've needed a new car for a long time, a long long looooooooong time but instead, financially we only had the option of repairing our people carrier.  Hundreds can be begged, borrowed or saved.  Thousands?  Not so easy.  So - we finally find ourselves in a position to buy a new car.  I say new, I mean used, but new to us, and newer than our Estima, which is a 1993 import *shocked face*

We were due to travel to Deeside on Friday to see a Renault Grand Scenic.  Everything about it looked good on paper, the price, ridiculously low mileage, one owner.  The problem being, now that the DVLA have changed the car tax system, you can't buy a car with tax on it.  So we would have to change the tax at home, 'untax' and uninsure our car and get it off the road or scrapped, which means we would have to rely on other people to get us back there if we bought it, and possibly get our new car home.  Anyway.  Mr G had a little wobble just before leaving.  Two people who knew their stuff where cars were concerned had told him in the past about this specific issue these cars were notorious for.  So we did some further investigation online on that specific Renault.  I know if you took every bad review into account, you'd never buy anything or eat anything or go anywhere.  But when you see that multiple people are having the same problem with a car... you have to take it into account, so we decided not to go.  Very antsy, we looked locally online, and I found a nice car that was in our price bracket.  Only a few miles away.  I did the checks online and it looked promising, no major recalls or faults.  We went - it had been sold.  But as we'd driven in to the garage, Mr G had seen a silver grey Ford Mondeo, 57 plate.  As we went hunting for the car we liked, we passed it, and it was parked there, gleaming.  Only a couple of hundred pounds more than the car we were going to see.  Immaculate inside, outside, even under the bonnet was clean.  Huge boot, big enough to hide at least three bodies... hehe.  Fittings ready for our trailer (yay camping!).  I could see Mr G was interested in it, and I have to say, I was too, even though I'll only be a passenger.  It was mint, obviously looked after. It'll think so after a week with my children and a packed lunch when we're off to the rugby... The garage owner asked what we were doing with our car, to which we told him we were scrapping it.  It was a shame, it was a runner, potentially not long distance, but the sum of its parts was worth more than the whole.  The owner said he would give us the extended warranty (which cost £200 and we would have taken up anyway) in return for our car.  So that saved us the hassle of scrapping it.  He said we could wait for him to put a 12 month MOT on it, or wait until it was up in September and he'd do it then, so we have had a 'longer' MOT as well. 

We get home and we find that the insurance for the new car is over half the price that Mr G is paying for our Toyota.  Not just any insurance, but premium insurance with top notch breakdown cover and legal cover is over half the price that we're already paying.  And we pay for separate breakdown cover.  The car tax is £50 cheaper for the new car.  So, over the course of a year, we're £500 better off already.  And we found our insurance through CompareTheMarket who currently are giving away Meerkat Movies and a meerkat toy.  Win, win, bloody win, in my book. 

We picked our new car up yesterday and Mr G is doing everything within his power to be out driving in it.  It's sad to see our Estima go, because it's done well for us, camping trips, two holidays to Devon, numerous visits to Lancashire, lots of trips to Wrexham to watch Crusaders.  But the peace of mind we have now is worth the seats that we've lost.  My best friend is getting married in Norfolk in September, and there is no way on this planet that we could have risked travelling all that way in the Estima.  It's like a huge weight has been lifted from Mr G's shoulders, which is wonderful to see.  It's about time things went ok for him.  His health is improving all the time, this latest operation looks to have finally done the trick.  For the first time in many years we're looking forward to the summer months without the shadow of ill-health hanging over us.  Happy, happy days :-)

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