Selling the Jag

The first major thing I did was sell my car. I was driving a Jaguar XF. Lovely car, obviously – but when I sat down and crunched the numbers, I realised it was costing me over £500 a month to run (finance, insurance, tax, fuel, servicing and MOT, repairs and car wash).

Before I even sold it, I thought a quick and dirty saving straight off would be to take him off of the insurance. It turns out I was wrong – my insurers wanted an additional £130 in order to take him off! Apparently people on their own are worse drivers than people in a relationship of some sort (even if that relationship is with a husband who walked out). Trust me, my husband walking out of our marriage did not affect my driving – but it does mean I have less money for paying insurance premiums. Talk about kicking a woman when she’s down. So, he stays on the insurance, and that irritates me (but not as much as having to pay £130 would irritate me).

As luck (well, my sort of luck…) would have it, a warning light came up on the dash saying, ‘Battery not charging’ just a couple of days after I’d decided to sell. I was on my way to Aldi, so carried on – if I was going to break down it would be easier in a supermarket car park than at the side of a busy road. Got to Aldi, did my shopping, got back in the car, turned the ignition on – and no warning came up on the dash. I breathed a sigh of relief and set off for home.

Then, it came on again. Of course it did. I decided to head home, on the basis that breaking down at home is easier than breaking down in a supermarket car park… I rang the garage and they told me to bring it straight in, and on no account to drive anywhere else. The garage is only a 2 minute drive away, so I took it straight down. Diagnosis – replacement alternator, probable cost ± £1000 by the time they’ve added in labour and VAT. Deep joy. But the brain was working, even if the car wasn’t – as I’d already decided to sell the car, it was simply a case of getting it fixed, paying with the credit card, getting it sold, then using some of the funds to pay the credit card bill. Sorted.

£10,475 landed in my bank account. WBACdotcom said it would arrive by 6pm, and it did. A part of me still thinks this is a huge amount of money – my first house only cost £11,000! But by the time I’ve used half of it to pay off a chunk of the outstanding loan, and the best part of £600 to pay for the new alternator (the garage used generic parts rather than Jag parts, thanks guys), and £4,475 on the new car, there’s nothing left. I can remember looking at that £11,000 mortgage and thinking I would be paying it for ever. And I’ve spent £10,475 in the space of 2 days.

I’ve replaced a 7 year old Jaguar with a 9 year old Mini, and been able to reduce my monthly payments by more than half. I also got nearly £300 back on the insurance, a reduction in my car tax, repairs and servicing will be cheaper going forward – and I’ll be washing it myself instead of going to the car wash. I’ve basically halved my motoring costs. And I love my Mini. It’s the first car I’ve ever bought totally on my own. No husband to advise me. I love my Mini. I chose it. All By Myself.

Looks like I’ll be doing a lot of things All By Myself from now on – come and join me!!

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