This Summer, in July to be exact, I bought a new car. Previous to this, I was driving my dad’s Toyota Avensis Estate and I had a yellow 1.2 SEAT Ibiza. Let me talk you through my adventure. Well it went from almost buying an Alfa Romeo 145(Which I still regret deeply) to the want for an Alfa 156 (Don't even ask...). Then to the serious want for a 4x4, like a jacked up Suzuki Jimny. Then to an old Mini. I went to look at a few Minis but after a while decided that it wouldn't be fair to run one as a daily due to the amount of motorway miles I do. Then I started looking at the (BMW) MINI Cooper S. I always had it in the back of mind.
I wanted a hot hatch but wasn't sure which one. I wanted something different. I didn't want a Golf GTI because there are so many Golfs around...until I drove one! I drove a couple of DSG MK5s and fell in love. But the helpful, generous and thoughtful Irish insurance companies couldn't help me out so that idea was scraped when the cheapest insurance quote I could get was upwards of €2,700.
So, that was when I fully made up my mind about buying a Cooper S. I wanted the R53 Facelift. You have the supercharger and 168hp, whats not to want? However, there was one simple thing holding me back from buying one in Ireland. A multifunctional steering wheel/Cruise control. I wanted this simple feature on the car. You would think that that would be easy to find, yes? Well you're most definitely wrong! Pretty much every car that went up on the Irish classifieds websites were the plain aul 3-spoke steering wheel with no multi-functions. I began to look at UK classified websites.
Eventually, I found one that was for sale down near London. I arranged to view it, booked my ferry ticket and off we went. Luckily I was in the UK anyway (on a road trip with lots of old Triumphs, including my dad's TR6) so it made the trip more simple.
We went down to view it on a Monday. The heat was unbearable! It reached 34 degrees at one point. Thankfully there was an air conditioned showroom!
3 hours (and some trouble with my credit card company) later, I was the proud owner of a 2005 Hyper Blue Metallic MINI Cooper S, now named Archie!
Archie and myself have had some fun times already driving over some great UK roads and attending many Irish Cars and Coffee meets. Many more fun times are ahead.
If you guys have any questions about buying a Cooper S or even buying a car in the UK and exporting it, you can ask me. I learned a lot from the buying experience and I can tell you what to do and, most definitely, not what to do!