Once again, we’ve fought off the temptation to buy a car.
We’ve had a rental car for about a week and a half now, and it has been fantasticaly useful during these first days of new parenthood. So useful, that we started thinking it would be good to have one of our own…
So we got the car magazines, looked through Auto Trader, checked the various web sites, and pretty much got caught up in the idea. On Friday evening we went to see an n-th hand Volvo 440 (listed at £800), but that turned out to be too rough for comfort. On Saturday, we trawled round the car dealerships at Seafield with my parents, and saw a rather tasty Fiat Marea for £5k. We were all ready to head over to a dealiership in Dunfermline on Sunday, on a tip from Mum & Dad’s tame BMW salesman, but Abi and I both caught a severe bout of twitchiness yesterday evening.
So we lay in bed (while feeding B), and tossed the numbers around again. And for the price of that Fiat Marea (depreciated over three years), and taking into account road tax, insurance, MOT, and maintenance (not even looking at the petrol costs), it turns out that we can actually rent a car for a three-day weekend every other weekend.
The thought of having a car is attractive. But for doing shopping, it is just as easy for me to take home bits & pieces on my way back from work. We can plan large shopping trips for the times when we have a rental car. The thought of using the car for taking off into the Borders on a whim is pretty cool, but that’s what we thought we would do when we had the Sunpig, and that never happened, either. Realistically, we would only do stuff like that on a weekend anyway, at which point we’re back into rental territory.
Plus, a rental car is always new, never needs cleaning, and never needs taken in to the garage for a service–this is all done for us in the background.
We may think differently in a few months’ time, after we’ve spent some time with B but without a car; but there will still be a second-hand car market at that point. If we really need one, we’ll be able to get one.
Being a dad is strange.
It’s so easy to slip into the physical routine of changing nappies, disrupted sleep patterns, and the constant hum of the washing machine and tumble drier. It’s so difficult to focus on the emotional facts of having a son, and the fact that he will grow up to be a whole new person, without coming over all dizzy.
I suppose we just have to take it an hour and a day at a time. (Kind of hard, though, when B seems to be changing and growing so much on a daily basis!)
Today he was spending a lot of time playing with his favourite new toy: neck muscles. Lift head up—bonk back down again. Lift head up–bonk down. Then rest for a while, floppy-necked, while he gathers his strength again. I worry about him hurting his little face, but he doesn’t seem to have suffered any adverse effects so far…