Wednesday 19 June 2013

The responsibilities of owning a car.

Even though it is great to own a car; being able to go anywhere, anytime without having to rely on public transport or lifts from friends and family, owning a car costs a lot and brings responsibilities and obligations.  When owning a car you have to deal with the service, maintenance and repairs of the car, MOT, car tax, insurance plus fuel costs; all of which can be quite costly.

Living where we live, in the rural countryside where public transport is miles away, having a car and being able to drive is paramount.  I have been driving since I was 17 and when I met Lee I had a funky VW Mexican beetle.  When I met Lee he did not drive as he was living in Leeds and did not feel it necessary to drive as public transport was in abundance and all amenities were in walking distance.  After moving to live with me in Wales Lee was eager to pass his driving test and get on the road especially when we found we were expecting Bug as he wanted to take the pressure off of me driving with my ever expanding bump. 

Lee soon passed his test and relished being able to drive.  At that time we still had my VW Mexican Beetle but when we were offered a more practical car for free from a family member we decided with the impending arrival of Bug it would make more sense to take the VW Mexican Beetle off the road and have the new car especially as we were already concerned how we would fit Lee, Bug and I in the VW along with a pushchair.

The new car, a Peugeot 106 served us well for a short while but as it was quite old and well used it started to have a few issues and problems that became quite costly to repair.  With our little car costing us more and more to keep on the road and maintain to keep it safe and useable we jumped at the chance of having a new ‘second hand’ car when a family friend said we could happily use the car he had in storage as he did not need it.  We were extremely grateful that we had another car and did not have to keep paying lots of money to keep the Peugeot 106 on the road.

After a year of using the car, an Audi A4, with the impending MOT and a number of mechanical issues that needed repairing we were looking at a hefty bill to keep it on the road.  With the cost of fixing the car plus the fact that it had been costing us a lot to run the car with it being heavy on fuel and the car tax being expensive we decided instead of pouring all our money into this car we would find a small second hand car that would be cheaper to run and be cheaper on insurance and car tax.
Thankfully we found a Renault Clio in a local garage that was just in our budget and would be a lot cheaper for us in the long run.  When we bought the car we had a new MOT, car tax and service included within the price, making it a fantastic deal and we would not have to worry about those responsibilities for a little while.

We have had our new ‘second hand’ car for a few months now and it has been fantastic on fuel and is perfect for our needs.  This week the responsibility of having a car has come to the forefront again with our car insurance up for renewal.  As I try to be frugal and save money where I can I always shop around for insurance and try to get a better deal and save some money.

Yesterday afternoon as Bug was having poorly snuggles in my arms I spent the time getting numerous car insurance quotes to try and save some money on our renewal offer.  Even though I do use the comparison sites to shop around not all companies are included so I had to go direct to a number of them to get quotes.  After filling our numerous forms, repeating the same information and answers again and again to find the best quote I had a headache looming.

With a pounding headache from filling out copious car insurance quote forms I found myself yearning for the days when I would shop around for car insurance quotes for my VW Mexican Beetle as it was always quick and easy to get insurance for that car.  As the VW Mexican Beetle was an unusual car with it being the same shape as a vintage VW Beetle and air-cooled but being a 2001 plate car that had been imported a number of insurance companies would not insure it and did not even know what car it was, as such there were only a handful of companies I dealt with.  As I had to get specialist car insurance for the VW Mexican beetle I did not have to fill out several car insurance quote forms and I found I always got a very personal and friendly service from the handful of companies who would insure the car with them being specialist car insurance companies.

Thankfully the headache I suffered from filling out the forms was not in vain as I managed to save money on our car insurance renewal.  Now that the car insurance has been dealt with all the important car insurance responsibilities such as MOT, service, car tax and insurance are up to date and hopefully we will not any issues with the car apart from daily running costs and ensuring the car is well looked after.  

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