The other weekend I was off of an adventure to celebrate my friends 30th birthday. As we were road tripping our way to Norfolk part way there it struck me that I genuinely couldn’t remember the last time I had been in a car! I mean there isn’t really much need for your own car in London what with the tube, Boris bikes and even the River Bus to get you from A to B but I do miss the freedom that comes with having your own set of wheels.
Having had lessons as a birthday gift for my 17th birthday I passed my test the month after I turned 18 (third time lucky) and promptly bought myself a glorious little silver Micra. I never gave her a name (of course it was a she) but I loved her and the independence that owning her gave me.
If the fridge was looking bare and I was hungry I could hop in the car and head to the supermarket, if I wanted to treat my niece to a trip to the beach I didn’t have to nag my dad I could take her myself and if I was embroiled in a Battlestar Galactica marathon with my (then) boyfriend I could easily stay glued to the screen until 2am rather than having to race for the last bus home at 11:30!
I wasn’t the most confident of drivers, in fact to this day I get extremely nervous at roundabouts (both times I failed my test was due to a hiccup at a roundabout) but I never had an accident in the two years that I drove that wee car… well unless you count gently bumping the neighbours car while letting the car warm up on a particularly frosty morning (I’d left the car in gear and it lurched forward when I started the engine). To be honest, a huge draw for me moving to London was the fact that I wouldn’t have to worry about owning a car as it’s so easy to get around the city. The cost of living is already high enough here as it is.
And that’s the one thing I didn’t like about having a car. How much the blooming thing cost me to run; the insurance, the road tax and don’t even mention the cost of petrol! I remember being so smug about getting new tyres on the car and being able to feel the huge difference it made to my driving skills (if you’re looking to get your car tyres replaced in London, check out Point S dealers and book an appointment with a local tyre dealer) only for me to be knocked down a peg or two after taking it for its MOT a couple of months later and have to scrap the whole darn thing because there was so much work needing done to it! The day she was taken away by the scrap metal company was a very sad one indeed and I haven’t had the heart to replace her ever since.