I bought my current car when it was 2 years old. Having had a few older cars over the years (including a delightful mk.2 VW Golf GTi – great drivers car when it ran, which wasn’t nearly often enough) I decided to get a “modern” car that wouldn’t give me any problems. So I bought a Citroen Saxo (pictured right). It’s quite a quick car with pretty good handling and low insurance, so it seemed ideal to me. And it’s been great.
It took me a long time to stop checking the water temperature, oil and coolant levels every time I drove it (a hangover from the Golf days). But in 2.5 years it’s hardly had anything go wrong with it and has been the picture of reliability. I say hardly anything, but one thing that did go wrong was quite scary at the time. I was driving up a hill, a long straight with crawler lane (2 lanes on my side, 1 lane on the other) and was doing about 75mph, overtaking a couple of other cars. I lifted off the accelerator as I got past the others to slow down, but it just kept accelerating. It was at this point that I discovered how helpless you feel the instant you no longer feel in control of your car. To cut a short story shorter, the accelerator cable had frayed and got stuck in its housing, thereby keeping the accelerator flat out. It was interesting anyway. And that’s about all that went wrong with the car.
But I had decided that I was going to keep it for no longer than a couple of years. Any longer and things would start to go wrong and cost me money. Plus, as the miles and age go higher, so the value drops exponentially. Well, last week I decided the time had come and I was at the stage where I wanted a new motor. If you think this article has been dull up until here, then I’m afraid it’s going to get a bit worse (you might like to follow this link and read something more interesting and juicy instead).
Unfortunately, my criteria for cars hasn’t changed much in the last two years. I want something reasonably fast, with good handling and low insurance. Even more unfortunately, there aren’t any more cars out there that fit my criteria. So in the absence of any imagination or enthusiasm to go car hunting I opted to get a newer version of the same car. I found one, and it’s exactly the same colour as my current one. The Saxo was facelifted a couple of years ago and so has new lights, grille and interior. That’s about it. So I’ve traded in my previous car for a younger, almost identical one. How boring is that?
But you know what? I’m not bothered at all. It’s just a car, not a status symbol. Damn, I’m getting old… How long until I can have a mid-life crisis?