Well, my fears about finding a replacement car have been allayed and I’ll soon be independently mobile again.
A friend at school had an old (1995 M reg) Vauxhall Corsa 1.2LS for sale at a reasonable price. The car looks like this, kind of. I went to see and test drive it last night, after doing a bit of research into car sales prices and reliability and cost of repair. Repairs and servicing should be a lot cheaper and easier – it’s got far less mechanical stuff to go wrong with it! I guess that parts are easily available for it too. So that is a bonus and a big part of the reason for me to buy, as well as it being well within my very limited budget, both now and for the foreseeable future.
The Corsa has a full 12 months MOT on it, but I have to tax it, which is £122 for a whole year. It’s mileage is a lot higher than my friend said – its currently at 118k. I’ve been advised by another person to get the timing belt changed on it asap. But it sounds like it’s running as sweet as a nut, drives well…so it seems. There’s a not well painted quarter-panel, which I can live with. A car is a tool for me, not a status symbol. There’s no real signs of rust, though there is a little patch near the passenger door that needs a bit of attention.
So I agreed on £300 for the car. I am no good at haggling! It’s much, much less than it would cost me to have my smartcar repaired, even with the timing belt being changed! I now need to find the log book for the smartcar, find someone who can remove the radio from the Smartcar for me (the radio in the Corsa doesn’t have a cd-player nor a jackplug for an mp3 player), arrange for it to be scrapped, and organise insurance for the Corsa.
Let’s hope that buying from a friend I see nearly every day and who would be really embarrassed if the car fails will work out better than buying from either a trade car centre or from a stranger …
It took a lot of thought and talking things through with various people to help me weigh up the pros and cons of fixing or scrapping the Smartcar and then getting a cheap car within my budget. In the end, it was one conversation about the events of Tuesday night on Wednesday morning that led to me seeing the car last night and firmly saying ‘I’ll buy it’. I know it may seem crazy not to go and look at others, but I had a ‘feeling’ that this would work out right – not just that it was easy, but that it was too much of a coincidence to ignore. I’ll try trusting my instincts this time…
My tight financial situation won’t last forever. I’m literally paying for a lax attitude towards money over the last 12 or so years. But in just a few years time at the most I’ll be in a position to be able to buy a new car, and that car will be a Smartcar! Brand new. With full warranty and so on. Even my grim experience of my Smartcar hasn’t put me off them. It was great fun to drive! It was my fault for managing to find myself a total lemon!