I try not to rush my decisions; Jane and I started thinking about trading in our car at least 18 months ago and, finally, took ownership of a recent Fabia Estate. We had an intensive period of searching around last year, reading reviews, watching videos and comparing statistics. On my weekly trips to the local library I devoured the car magazine they normally kept in stock and lamented the weeks when it wasn’t in (although I have now discovered I can access it online through the library website). We seriously considered the Citroen Cactus and almost settled on a Skoda Octavia but ended up with a Skoda Fabia Estate. By my calculations, it offered a solid combination of a reliable brand, excellent green credentials, bags of room and a reasonable price that out did anything else on the market for our purposes.
It still wasn’t cheap and went beyond the sort of figure we had in mind, although that was partly offset by part exchanging the old car. There is also the question of when a car is reaching an age where the repair bills are likely to start rising. Our previous car was two years old when we bought it and eight years old when we traded it in. This one is only a year old and, if we look at the cost over similar period, it doesn’t look quite so eye-watering although car prices do seem to have been one of the many things that has risen more steeply than wages! It is an investment, both for what it enables us to do (I was delighted tonight to confirm that I could fit all my rehearsal bass gear in the boot rather than spilling onto the back seat) and for how it enables us to serve others.
Assuming our next car purchase is in about 2024, I wonder what will be on the market by then? I expect we might end up with something running on a fuel other than petrol. This time round, the potential savings on fuel (given our annual mileage) didn’t add up to enough to pay the cost of being a relatively early adopter and the charging network isn’t quite wide enough to make us confident for the occasional longer journey we make. Next time, those sums might have changed. Indeed, next time, we could be at the point where we can consider whether we need to drive at all or if we can go for an autonomous vehicle. That might also be on the way to revolutionise public transport provision and the equation of how essential a car is in the first place.
Oh, and this one is quartz grey rather than the red that we have gone for in our previous two cars. All change!