It’s been an unusually costly few months with the A2. Firstly there was a snapped alternator belt that turned out to be a seized alternator and just the other week a wheel bearing went triggering the ABS sensor. In total it’s cost me just under £500 in maintenance recently, cash I desperately need for the ongoing house renovation.
After sitting down and looking at my depleted bank balance and taking into consideration my general dislike of the A2, thoughts came once again, to replacing it with something equally as cheap to run but also less hateful. As of late, my eyes have been drawn to the Volvo V50 1.6 diesel. Annual road tax for the Swedish estate comes in £10 a year cheaper than the A2 at £20. It has more space for the family, does better mpg, is faster, in my eyes is better looking and thanks to sharing parts with the Ford Focus, is cheap to fix if things go wrong. It’s a pretty big list of positives to be honest and one of the biggest factors is the seats. Nobody in this price bracket does seats better than Volvo and in comparison to the torture devices fitted to the A2, I can almost hear my spine urging me to buy a V50.
Great, let’s get on the classifieds and have one parked outside the house the day before yesterday I hear you say. Not so fast though because as usual, I have the rather depressing factor of reality to consider. Firstly and most depressingly, the A2 cost me £1150, meaning if I break even selling it, I’ve still got to find at least double that to get into a respectable V50. My current situation also means the daily is parked on the street, meaning it’s lottery time wether a door mirror is going to get kicked in, some twat is going to key it or it’s bumpers are being used as parking sensors by Karen in a Kia. I also have a 4 year old that, as much as he loves cars, is yet to develop an understanding for cleanliness (not to mention the child’s mother who can rapidly turn a tidy space into a complete vortex of mess). All this without the associated battering that comes with transporting building materials and tip runs for the new house work. It pains me to say it but the A2 is still the right car for me right now.
While my future fleet still contains the A2’s four rings of dullness, there could be a triumphant return of two chevrons in the form of the Citroen Ami. I’m a secret Citroen fanboy and while at the Bicester heritage Sunday scramble the other weekend, I finally got the chance to sit in the quirky little electric Ami. My commute to work is barely 5 minutes but with a start time of around 4am and the need to take a portable fridge and two bags, public transport, walking, cycling and a motorbike are all out of the question. I can confirm however that my kit would fit nicely into the little Frenchy. Once renovation is complete on the new house (it’s a similar distance to work as the current house) I have a driveway that it can be charged on and being totally silent, I can zoom off in the early hours without waking anyone up. Current finance deals are around £2400 deposit and less than £20 a month. My current thinking is to see what deals are available once I’ve finally moved and explore the possibilities of a second hand Ami.
Another wildcard option was the Citroen C3 Pluriel. While it’s probably blasphemy for a petrol head to admit they like this oddball, it does meet my financial targets of cheap road tax and high mpg however and with it’s quirky but pointless roof, scratches the urge for something a bit different. For now though, it’s been chalked off the list thanks to Citroen’s questionable reliability and the uncertainty surrounding buying a cheap French car. That’s something I’m happy to contend with for a second or third car but having got used to the A2’s cockroach like resilience, It’s a stress I can do without.
So, after much mental man maths and the dawning reality of, not just my own finances but the UK as a whole, I’m back at square one and I’m stuck with the Audi for now. Less cash expended on the daily means more money to make the new house nice and a more track prepared Civic Type R. First world problems and all.