Sunday, 11 January 2009

Mrs Grumpy's Motor Car

So Hubby thinks we should be looking at buying a new (to us) car. My initial reaction was that there is nothing whatsoever the matter with my car. It's fine. It will easily last another ten years and another 110k miles. Neutral observers might be tempted to say my optimism is touching but naive. So before Christmas we went to the car shop and had a look. I didn't like any of the cars. They were all too small or too big or just plain too no bloody good. With that Hubby's car-changing plan was pretty much blown out of the water. Apart from Renaults I only really like Volvos and it's not like we can really afford one of those.

But then while we were at home we were driven around in my Mum's car which is only 3 years old (read: centuries younger than mine). My dear little motor car did look a bit old next to Mum's shiny (well, pretty mucky if I'm honest) wheels. I got to thinking that maybe a new car wouldn't be such a daft idea after all. Ours is cheap to run day-to-day, but I do have some niggling concerns about expensive things that might start going wrong. For example, when the engine is cold you can't downshift from 3rd to 2nd. You sort of have to miss out 2nd altogether. Does that sound like my gearbox is wearing out? Does anyone know anything about car mechanics?

With this in mind, and out of curiosity, I thought I'd check out used car prices. And my curious form of curiosity saw me checking out used car prices in the UK as well as in France. I wish I hadn't. We're talking a V50 with less than 30k miles on the clock for less than 10 grand. I'm just torturing myself because even if we could afford to buy one, I'll never be able to afford to service it. It's so not fair. More realistically, the sort of car we should be looking at is available used for around £8,800. Same car with similar spec and mileage here in rip-off France? €13,500. The £/€ exchange rate is going to have to go up quite a lot before the French option starts looking like a good buy.

So Hubby and I are thinking about buying a UK (RHD) car and importing it to France. Initial investigations reveal the process to be relatively simple (thank you, Europe) and relatively inexpensive (biggest cost would be changing the headlights to LHD ones). I don't suppose anyone has already done this? (She asks, oh-so optimistically.) I know, I know, the car would be the wrong way round, making using multi-storey car parks a bit of a pain. But as Hubby says, having the steering wheel on the wrong side is worth it to save five grand.

So what do you think? Do we get a Volvo that we can't afford to run just so I can admire it sat parked in the street? Or a sensible hatchback that we can actually keep in petrol and servicing?

8 times table

A somewhat Confused young miss tagged me this 8 things meme way back in 2008 ;)
So I thought it was about time I replied, and also about time I got on with some blogging.

Here goes.

8 Favourite TV Shows:

1. Top Gear. Some of it is getting a bit tired these days (but come on, it's done 12 seasons of the new format!). The specials (Africa, US road trip, some of the races) are the best.
2. Life on Mars. I'm assuming I can chose programmes no longer on air. Well I just am doing. This was some of the best telly in ages. Gotta love the Gene Genie.
3. EastEnders. I have no shame in admitting to my trash-telly habit.
4. Mock the Week. Much cackling to be had here.
5. Ashes to Ashes. Not as good as Life on Mars. But there's the Gene Genie. And Keeley Hawes is learning to be less annoying.
6. Spooks. Harry Pearce for PM.
7. Only Fools and Horses.
8. Blackadder. Best one was Third series.

8 Things That Happened Yesterday:

1. It was Doggy's 6th birthday! Happy doggy birthday.
2. We bought a huge bag of peanuts at the garden centre to feed the birdies with. Poor birdies. It's very cold.
3. Cocotte & Steph came round for tea. Our excuse this week: Doggy's birthday. Plus we hadn't all seen each other since last year!
4. We went to Renault and looked at cars. They were all too expensive and too diesel-powered.
5. I looked at some other cars on the interweb and chose the one I want.
6. I had an old person's nap.
7. Doggy got a new toy. (No spoilt dogs here. Oh no.)
8. It was 'ckin Baltic. Again.

8 Favourite Places to Eat:

1. Mum & Dad's. Easy answer but then my Mum is a top cook.
2. Chantal & Jean-Paul's (parents-in-law). See above.
3. La Maison Commune. Local café serving local fare.
4. Tea at The Balmoral. For sheer indulgence.
5. La Fenière. It's in the village we go to in the Ardèche and it's lovely.
6. Curry. Here, here, here (biggest peshwari nans you have ever seen), and other places.
7. The Stable Bar for fish and chips.
8. The Dome (more indulgence here).

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

1. Next weekend.
2. Spring.
3. Next visit to Scotland.
4. Holiday in June I hope.
5. No longer having this crappy lurgy.
6. Seeing Jeni & kids. Have to sort something out!
7. The weekend after next. (!)
8. Our new translation server at work. That we haven't chosen yet.

8 Things On My Wish List:

1. A new (to me) car.
2. Double glazing.
3. Re-mortgaging to pay for the double glazing.
4. A new laptop battery. So not a priority though.
5. A new gas boiler (that might go in the re-mortgaging as well).
6. Above-zero temperatures (quite soon please!).
7. Tickets to the 6 Nations. Maybe next year. Pete'd be up for that.
8. A housework fairy. I'd settle for just the ironing?

There.