[Beware; this post contains rant-like qualities.]
Thus, I did not start driving lessons until years after my Cornish friends, once I’d voluntarily moved back to the county where ‘reliable public transport’ exists in a category alongside weight loss pills and mountain trolls.
[Tweet “Cornwall: where ‘reliable public transport’ exists like weight loss pills & mountain trolls.”]
It took me months to get to grips with controlling this strange machine. I’ve never been one for practical activities, and my lack of spatial awareness always had me picked last for sports teams at school.
It was a struggle, made worse by the fact I didn’t even start to enjoy driving until the lesson before my test*.
As soon as I’d passed, I began my search for a vehicle. Having just bought a puppy, I seriously needed a car so that we could get to the vet easily if need be. I was also on the brink of abusing the First Bus customer service people on Twitter, so it was probably best I occupied myself with something else for a while.
A week later, I bought my car from a private seller. It’s a black Vauxhaull Corsa 2003, and I quite like it. It looks smart (black alloys and all), it’s a decent size, and it gets the job done.
Well, it did get the job done. For a week.
Two days after Christmas, we got ready to go to the beach with Pepper and found that my car wouldn’t start. After doing some research and deciding it was an issue with the immobiliser in my (somewhat dog-eaten) car-key, we managed to fiddle about with it and get the car started.
For a week after that it was fairly dodgy in starting up; taking several goes to get up and running. Then on the Monday after New Year’s day, I went to drive to work in the morning, and it wouldn’t start after several tries. The engine light had also started flashing aggressively, telling me I needed to get to a garage.
Alas, the insurance I’d bought doesn’t include Home recovery, and so I had to get the bus to work that day, feeling sore and bitter that I’d gone through all that trouble to get my red licence, vowing never to use public transport again, only to have my car break down.
I’ve managed to get it to a garage now, and am awaiting their verdict on how much money I’m going to have to sling at this thing to get it to complete it’s most basic function: moving.
Damnit car, you had one job. Sure, you smell and look great thanks to a cute pink air freshener and new floor mats, but the one thing I wanted you for, you have failed to do.
I don’t even like cars; I have literally no interest in them. All I wanted it for is to get from A to B, but it seems I’m not deserving of that simple luxury.
Moral of the story: Buy a used car from a dealer, even if you have to pay more. I know the guy who sold me this car was genuine, and he couldn’t have predicted this issue, but at least with a dealer you get several months’ warranty to help if things go wrong.
*My first test. I failed 3 times before finally passing on my 4th go. It was a demoralising few months.
Update (07/01/15): It’s fixed. I had to pay £75, but at least now it moves.