Today was the day that my cars MOT was due to take place. OH CRAP!!!!
Always a scary moment – I often think that the sitting in the waiting room waiting to hear the bad news (because it is always bad news isn’t it?) is the most horrible part of car ownership.
To be honest – I’m ambivalent about owning a car – to me it is a tool that transports stuff from A to Z an nothing more. I do not lust after a status symbol motor or feel myself judged by what I am driving.
And to be honest – the “freedom” of jumping in the car and taking off somewhere just for the hell of it has long since faded into a memory (well about three fuel price rises ago)
I had kind of resolved myself that if the car (a 1999 Vauxhall Astra in a rather fetching shade of two-tone red and gaffer tape if anyone is interested) was going to cost more than a couple of hundred pounds to get ship-shape then I wasn’t going to bother.
I would scrap the beast,use the scrap money to buy a push bike and trailer for me and the toddler and content myself with “pedal-power” rather than “horse-power”
I had figured that as I needed two new tyres (even I could see that the old ones were getting rather bald) – and that was going to be £100, that my upper limit of £200 and not a penny more was not likely to be enough. But a decision is a decision – right??
So it does need two new tyres – but the only other thing it needs doing is a smack with a spanner and an alignment of one of the ball joints – £40 MAX!!!!
So – it lives to fight another day – cos a decision is a decision – right???
Actually a car would be more convenient – if only because Big Boys school is three miles away and 12 miles per day on the bike is a little ambitious methinks.
But come the end of June he transitions from Primary to Secondary -which is in the town and a short walk away ………………….. so no real need for a car then…. in fact the car would simply be sitting at the road end from one week till the next ……………….can you see where this is going??
I’m still thinking of getting rid of the car – and using the money I allocate every week to my car budget to overpaying the mortgage instead.
Maintenance, Fuel, Insurance and Road Tax add up to £2000 per year – £2000 per year to essentially drive one boy to school – MADNESS I say,Madness!!!
To put this in perspective our food budget last year came in at £1500 – for the whole family INCLUDING feast days of Easter and Christmas and four Birthday Parties.
So our compromise is going to be this – the car stays until Big Boy starts school in August – we shall enjoy our summer having days “here and there” knowing that for the next couple of years we shall forgoe the Pleasures / Expense of car ownership for two and half years until the end of the challenge –
That would be £5000 not spent on motoring – or 4% of my mortgage capital paid off by simply not having a car sitting at the door.
I can’t believe we spend more on an inanimate piece of steel than on food for my lovely family ………………. so:
Mr Chancellor, forgive me, but from August no more tax from my petrol, Road Tax and Tax on my Insurance policies – the fiscal recovery will just have to mosey on along with out my contribution.
So do you know your numbers ??? How much do you spend on motoring compared to other lines in your budget?
Is there another way you could arrange your family so that you could free up soe of that money? Or is the car one of your “sacred cows” and its not negotiable?
I’d love to know.