I’ve bought a car.
The Mini that I bought just after my husband left is 12 years old now. It’s been a grand little car, did exactly what I needed it to do, but the time has come.
I’d planned to change it this summer, but the final straw came a month or so ago when I was visiting my parents.
I suggested that I could drive them over to one of their favourite walking spots. Now, my Mini only has 3 doors. Dad sat in the back, Mum sat in the front, and all was fine – until we got to where we were going.
Getting my 85 year old father out of the back seat of a 3-door Mini Cooper wasn’t an easy task.
We had our walk, drove home – and then we had to get him out of the back seat of a 3-door Mini Cooper again. And by the time we’d done that, the decision to replace the car had been made.
I’ve bought a Mazda 3. It’s got a bit more oomph than the Mini, and a built in SatNav, and I like the colour – but the important thing is the fact that it has 5 doors. I’ll be able to get the old boy out of it without needing a tin opener.
It hasn’t been a totally straightforward process – I’ve been looking at the Autotrader website for a month.
I had my shopping list – 5 doors, more power than the Mini, built-in SatNav, about 5 years old, not too much mileage. I also had a budget.
I started off looking at cars within a 10 mile radius. There was a nice Volvo V40 – it was at the top end of the budget, but you can’t go wrong with a Volvo. The spec informed me that it had Bluetooth connectivity and a Driver Information Centre, there was a flat screen on the dash. I did the test drive and decided to turn the SatNav on to see what it was like. I accessed the Driver Information Centre but I couldn’t work out how to get to the SatNav.
When I got back to the showroom, I asked the sales guy to show me – and he was as surprised as me to find that there wasn’t one!! So – that was a deal breaker. No point in spending the top end of my budget for a car that didn’t have everything I wanted. Shame.
Back to the drawing board.
All the other cars in my 10 mile radius were either too expensive, or the mileage was far too high. I expanded the search area to 15 miles. Then to 20 miles. And there, exactly 20 miles away, was the Mazda 3. It was new to the market, there wasn’t even a photo of it, but it had everything I needed and the price was sensible.
I booked a test drive.
Due to Covid restrictions the sales guy doesn’t come with you on the test drive. They just have to trust you to bring it back. When I looked at the Volvo, I had to provide my National Insurance number and a utility bill as extra proof of my identity, and the guy drove ahead of me and I followed. With the Mazda they just gave me the keys and suggested I turn left out of the car park.
A nice drive, nippy at low speeds and economical at high speeds. Six years old, within budget. And definitely had a SatNav.
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