Motoring, Compromise, Dreams and being Sensible
If you’re like me, you long to drive Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and other fantastically exotic cars but can’t, because your wallet says otherwise.
This is the thing, most of us have ‘normal’ jobs and ‘normal’ out goings. Many other things that require money thrown at them on a regular basis.
You know, bills… Apparently electricity and gas isn’t free, the roof over our heads necessitates a mortgage or rent. The wife and kids like to eat from time to time. All very selfish really.
So everything is a balancing act, management of funds, time and priorities.
My want list includes all the usual toys you’d like to accessorise the Man Cave. A Tony Stark selection of cars, bikes and technology, oh, and the know how to make it all happen.
However, in reality we can’t do this. I can’t do this any way. You might be lucky enough to actually be a Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist. And to you I say “well done”
I on the other hand and I suspect I’m not alone here, needs to compromise on all those wants and desires to exist in a world where; fuel consumption, insurance costs, running costs, road tax, reliability and the actual cost to buy the car matter. I mean they ‘really, really’ matter.
Of course I’d like it to be fun. But essentially if it returns 60mpg and fits 3 adults and 2 kids isofix seats in it. I’m going to choose it because it’s practical first, affordable second and fun is at the very best third on the list.
The economic conditions aren’t set to get any better either. Neither my wife or I are due an unexpected windfall. We aren’t up for any hugely beneficial promotions. I’m not going to get a job that is largely different from the one I currently have and have experience in.
The kids are both under 4 so they aren’t going anywhere either.
So this is a perpetual state of compromise. In reality until the kids have cars themselves, (which I assume will be powered by moon beams and rainbows) I have to buy cars based on affordability and practicality. And sometimes even that has to compromise when the finances get pinched further.
Like a recession or I don’t know, we vote to leave the European Union with no actual financial plan on the other side of that. But I digress.
Or do I? This article is about cars in a world of limited resources, choice and harsh reality.
All these things are factors. They ‘matter’ because we don’t have money to throw away. No real disposable income. We well and truly live to our means. It’s sad and it’s true.
It’s why I don’t own a motorbike or even have a motorbike license. Not because I don’t want one. But because it’s not a priority in the ‘juggle of resources’.
I have a 6 year old 1.5 litre Diesel, Seven Seater People carrier which we’ve owned (made monthly payments to) for 3ish years. (obviously not my dream car) but when I tried to trade it, it’s in negative equity. So I’m stuck with it.
The Wife currently has a Tiny (albeit Brand new) Renault Twingo. Which if it had more power might be fun due to its rear wheel drive, rear engine configuration. But it doesn’t. It’s not even got a turbo because that would have cost £500 more and bumped the monthly payments up. So we have two pretty sensible cars.
We did have a 1.5 Diesel New Clio, on lease before the Twingo but the monthly payments were too much. We were only 2 years into that 4 year lease. So it obviously cost us money to change. But we needed the extra monthly cash. So we had to compromise further. (I know what your thinking, you're listening to a financial genius here... I can do without your sarcasm thank you very much)
I consider myself one of the lucky ones. We have Two Cars. A house. We both have Jobs. And we have a nice family. I don’t think I’m hard done to. I realise there are many many people in a worse position. That’s kind of the point.
Real World Every Day Motoring is not the fun glitz and glamour that we are made to believe it is by people much richer than we are.
The bottom line is if you don’t have the disposable income to invest in it. You can’t actually afford to be part of the ‘Club’
Oh yes.. I could by an old Porsche Boxster or a BMW M3 or M5 or even a seven Seater X5 with 100,000 miles on the clock. It would add some fun to my driving experience. No doubt.
But only until it broke down or needed a service or a new tire or the tax payment comes round. Or I cry at the next MOT bill. £0 to £30 a year tax is so much easier to swallow than handing over more than £230
A two year service plan (or more) and a warranty are more helpful than the roar of a V8. So is getting more than 40mpg guaranteed.
Do I want the roar of a V8.. Yes, yes I do. Do I want to drive it fast and accelerate for fun. Yes, yes I do. Always. Can I afford it. No, No I can’t.
I can’t take the risk with our finances. I can’t buy something that is potentially more unreliable than what I already have.
So I watch the TV shows, I read the magazines and the on-line articles. I fantasise about the possibilities of having the dream machines sitting on my driveway.
Then I finish the dishes, sweep the floor, and bundle the kids into the people carrier and go shopping at the local supermarket. Looking for bargains and reductions as I cruise a double seater trolley down the aisles.
This is reality. This is Real World Motoring.