On the Hunt for a Reliable Car 1 of 2

To follow on from “A car or wheelchair modifications” and “Pain in My Back Pocket” I’ve never owned a car until a couple of years ago and now it looks I’m going to have to say that I had three cars in as many years.  This is nothing to be proud of nor is it much fun going through cars.

I still know very little about the mechanics of cars and really I have no interest in the subject.  All I want is a reliable car to get me from A to B without the risk of it breaking down and costing me a small fortune. So the other day I set out on another hunt for a reliable car that I could just drive my electric wheelchair up into it.

My first priority was to find out how much I’d get to trade-in my current car and there were two caryards within close proximity of each who I knew sold wheelchair modified cars. Upon approaching the first caryard, it looked like they had moved then driving closer it had closed down.  So onto the second caryard, not too far down the road.

After much thought I have accepted the fact that I have to purchase a car already fitted out with the hoist or ramp and wheelchair restraints and it would have to be a large one.  Armed with this fact and my budget being dependant on how much the trade-in was, I spotted a car that I liked and I asked if I could take it for a test-drive.  Not thinking of legalities or anything, I got into the back of the car and my Support Worker jumped into the driver’s seat and off we went with the salesman in the front passenger seat.

I could actually see out of the windscreen, far, far away in the distance and I could also see out of the side windows.  It was the first time that I had full view, front and sides; my first car “Gus” would only allow me to see out of his windscreen with limited view because I was virtually in the middle of the vehicle and the rear view mirror was in line with my eyes.  My current car “Cookie Monster” while he is easier to drive for a lot more people, he would only let me see footpaths to the bottom of fences out of the side windows and the top of number plates on the back of standard height cars if we were sitting behind a car.  Cookie Monster also has a rattle that makes conversations near impossible.

Being pretty much sold on this smooth, comfortable ride and the fact that I could see out, I paid a deposit and arranged for my mechanic to inspect it.  In no uncertain terms my mechanic gave it to me straight which I love.  In fact the only thing I don’t like about him is that his office has a massive step to get into but now when the mechanics in the workshop see me a clear path to the office automatically appears for me to enter that way.

Armed with my mechanic’s list and the confidence that the salesman would understand my speech as he did in the caryard I rang him to say that if the few things that my mechanic spotted were fixed, he had a buyer.  We’d discussed everything on the list and one of the biggest issues had already been rectified. Then we started talking about how the radio and the reversing camera voiceover weren’t in English and that if this couldn’t be converted I’d have to rethink my choice. The Salesman tried to make this a non-issue by saying something to the effect of ‘Most people use CDs.’.

Thankfully I confirmed what I had said in an email because when I finally received an acknowledgement, a couple of things that were claimed to be said on the phone were not said at all.  This is a common frustrating issue I face, my speech impairment is either convenient for some to twist or put up an automatic psychological block that makes them question my intelligence.

Now I am just eagerly awaiting approval from my mechanic as to whether he believes that the car is sound mechanically.  To be continued…..