I’ve been writing Bargain of The Week for a while now and for the very first time it’s my turn to spend the cash on a new car. Although road tax, fuel and general running costs are still rising, I’m in the market for a new car and as much as it doesn’t make sense, I can’t bring myself to sell my daily-drive. A new business venture beckons and I need something that can pull a car trailer, with up to three tonnes sitting on its axles. It’s easy to sit down once a week and trawl though the internet picking a new Bargain of The Week to publish, but actually doing it for real feels a little strange.
So, where do I start? Just like qualifying a customer as they sit down in the showroom to talk about what they’re looking for in a car, this purchase is a long term financial commitment too. With two growing teenagers who always need ferrying around (one who’ll be old enough to drive in just under a year), a new dog on the way and horse trailer to tow at weekends, the possibilities of a tasty Q-car are just about over and done with.
With all the boxes ticked it does make you wonder how the British government think they can keep raising the cost of car ownership to make us stop buying big cars. How can I even consider buying a small, low polluting car that can cater for all of the above? I need a car for four adults and a hectic lifestyle, not some crappy, fuel-sipping buzz-box. Come on Cameron, get real will you! (Rant over)
For those who campaign against four-wheel-drives, you best look away now. After considering my options and the dead giveaway image at the top of this page, I’ve chosen a former MTI BOTW, the Discovery.
For me it wouldn’t be a first choice but having sat down with the other-half and weighed up all the options, the only car I can think of that will do everything we need has to be a Disco. Having looked at the very early shape and costs, the only downside to not choosing one is its size. When you measure up the entire catalogue of Disco’s over the last twenty-odd years it’s quite alarming how much they’ve grown. Size is everything for us on this occasion, plus the other-half’s Legacy Outback, as great as it is, will now be used as a spare car – we’re not getting rid of it because it’s been such a great load-lugger.
My budget stretches to a 2009 Discovery (around £23-25,000) the towing capacity of which can haul an equivalent up the motorway on its back. It might have the previous generation’s 2.7-litre twin-turbo diesel, but I’ve read good things despite the sometimes small lack of low-end grunt.
As it can do everything we need it to I’m off to have a look at a few over the next couple of days. It may have a high Co2 tax banding, cost a small fortune to fill up, and is seemingly hated by so many, but I’m all for those who need a car just like this.
I will have three cars to look after, plus another next year for our newly qualified teenage driver, so it’s certainly going to be challenging, and damn costly.
Some will probably say we simply don’t need four cars, others might call us irresponsible gas-guzzlers, but sorry folks we do need all of them. As for the new addition, I’ll reveal the particulars of what I’ve bought in a couple of weeks and keep you posted over the coming months.
And this time, I promise I won’t sell them on. At least I’ve learnt one lesson doing our BOTW series.