- The boxy old battle-axe, in all her beige glory

W​hy a New Car Day is actually bitter sweet

5d ago


I’ve had my current car for five years, and there won’t be a sixth.

I didn’t plan on developing any sort of attachment to her. She was bought in a hurry, I needed a car and I needed to look like a grown up, she was the best I could get for my money. The day I got her, that was all I was considering. An emotionless transaction, driven by necessity, nothing more. A lot can happen in five years though.

She was ten years old when I got her, 15 now, so she is getting on a bit and, bless her, she is looking very ‘of her time’. She is boxy, not a curve to her name, designed using a ruler and a pencil and nothing else.

She is beige, and I have always wished Renault would find a more accurate description for her colour because I’d have given her more of a bluey oyster sort of colour. Difficult to fit that in the space in a log book though. I’ve gone from laughing about her beigeness to defending it – she is bluey oyster and I won’t hear otherwise!

B​luey oyster, clearly

She is not fast. 0-60 takes in the region of a calendar month because, as good as her glorious little 1.4l engine may be, she weighs about the same as my house. Hills are embarrassing. But she has ticked along nicely as I’ve contributed tens of thousands of miles the 130k she has done, skipping very few beats along the way.

Till recently.

MOTs are a scary and expensive old business. She isn’t feeling as stable as she used too, she has ever growing patches of rust, none of her window relays are working (a known fault – thank you Renault) and there is a seemingly unfindable and therefore irreparable leak in the air conditioning system. Summer is not our friend. Her fuel economy is not what it used to be, at all. She is costing me too much money, I know it.

But she has seen more tears than I care to mention and knows where I go when I’m having a really bad day. Or a really good day. She has taken me all over the UK, on numerous occasions. She has taken me to Europe. She has been on most of the dates I’ve had with the person I’ll have my last date with. She has taken me to most of the race tracks I’ve ever been to, most of the parties I’ve been to, most of the lectures I’ve been to.

She took me to my first placement. I wanted her to take me to my last placement, we had a plan. I know now that that won’t happen.

Why do we do this?

I know I’m not the only one who gets irrationally attached to their car. They are objects, sheets of metal and an engine, they shouldn’t elicit such a visceral response from us. Why do we do this?

Against all my will and want, I’ve had to buy a new car, and I collect it tomorrow. She is staying here for now though, no part exchange, she isn’t worth enough.

To anyone else, that is.