One of my photos

Allo John got a new motor?

January 14th, 2014 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 5 Comments · Life

FiestaI really must apologise to any friends, family and colleagues I may have bored shitless over the last few weeks about cars, but there is a reason why I got over-excited about what most people would consider a fairly tame car.

The thing is, our old Focus was getting to the point where servicing and MOT were looming and it wasn’t looking in a good state. Last year we needed a wiper motor replacing along with some suspension parts and it cost a fortune and I thought it might be time to get rid of it before it incurred another huge bill.I was thinking about another second-hand car, but perhaps a bit newer than we normally get. Most of my cars have been at least 10 years old whan I got them. That was the plan, but we realised that getting a brand new car wouldn’t necessarily cost any more in the long run – not if it was a smaller one with lower insurance and tax.

There must be about 300,000 new cars sold each year in this country so obviously a lot of people do it, but I never have. I have always been a last owner rather than a first owner, so the famous ‘new car smell’ is not something I have experienced. As a consequence of all that I may have been acting like I am the first person to ever buy a car new.

It is the same with holidays. We haven’t been going away every year, so when we do actually book something we get over-excited about it.

Anyway, we bought the car towards the end of December and hoped to get it before the break, but Ford’s delivery operation seemed to close down for a fortnight so we didn’t get it until last week.

I think the novelty may have worn off already though, which is a good thing. Possibly the best thing about the new car is that we can just take it for granted and not worry about whether today is the day the wipers finally pack up or that strange engine noise goes all explode-y.

Compared to the old car, this new one is all a bit science fiction. Even though it is what the Americans would call a sub-compact it is stuffed full of gadgets. The car synchs with your mobile and has hands-free built in. It can read out text messages for you and automatically call for help if you crash. You can plug in a USB stick and play the music from it using voice commands, and control all of it from the steering wheel. The computer tells you when to change up, how many mpg you are doing, and it has those programmable keys.

A lot of that won’t get used by me, but I guess it is nice to have. I’m more chuffed, inexplicably so, by the little things like having indicators on the door mirrors. The only feature we were actually adamant on having was a heated windscreen. We had it on our last two cars, though it was barely working on the Focus by the time we got rid of it, and it made icy mornings so much more bearable.

I’ll probably get myself a 64GB USB stick and fill it with all my music, even if I never really drive anywhere further than a few miles. I’ll probably even get a second one and fill it with old comedy podcasts, just in case.

I’m not too sure about the trend in our cars though. We had a 2-litre Mondeo estate, then a 1.8 Focus and now a 1.25 Fiesta. If we carry on like this we will be trading it in for a Ka in a few years and then hoping that Ford bring out a mobility scooter in time for the next change. I’ll probably be ready for one then.

Having been used to bigger cars and engines, Jayne was a bit worried about moving to something so small, but these new engines are a lot more efficient so it doesn’t feel weak, and I’m still gloating about the fact that the car tax is only £30 a year.

Now that we finally have it and have got used to it I will stop banging on about it. Promise. After all, it is only a Fiesta, its not like its a Morris Minor or something – if I had one of those I really would keep going on about it all the time!


5 Comments so far ↓

  • Steve w

    Skids – double check the 64GB dream. The limit may be 32GB as with many phones. But I think that alone is 5 days’ listening pleasure.

    • Skuds

      For info: a 64GB stick did work – with about 50GB of data on it.
      As I suspected though, the voice commands wouldn’t work on it because there were too many tracks.
      Not a problem – the amount of music I might want to carry is less than 32GB, but I could dump loads of podcasts on a 64GB stick. Voice commands would work on that because there would be far fewer tracks, what with most of them being an hour long.

  • Skuds Sister

    Bargain on the road tax! Rob’s Focus is a whopping £35…..

    • Skuds

      Our old Focus was £220!
      Doesn’t make a lot of sense really, the tax is based on emissions but takes no account of mileage. A high emissions car which you only drive a couple of times a year would emit less than a car like our would if it was driven 20,000 miles.
      Mind you, if you can afford to keep a Ferrari in the garage an extra few hundred a year is probably affordable

  • Skuds

    Steve, I’m not sure what, if any the limits are but I can get a 64GB stick cheap enough and it it doesn’t work there are always other uses for it.
    I wouldn’t be very surprised if it didn’t work, but I think it will as long as it is formatted as FAT32.

    What might be a problem is the indexing for voice commands if there are more ‘grammar articles’ than the limit. That might put a practical limit on the number of tracks if you want to use voice commands – maybe 10,000 or something like that.

    All academic really considering how little I am likely to be driving.