- I doubt that there are enough car types out there to supply such a habit.
- There is only room for four vehicles on our driveway (and only one vacant space).
- Unless cars were available at around $1 each, I would hit a financial wall on day two of such an enterprise.
- I really hate buying cars.
Despite number 4 above, we took the plunge a few days ago and exchanged our 'old' and much-too-small-for-me-for-Christ's-sake car, for something which I can get into without folding myself into Pretzel-like shapes. There aren't too many of the latter vehicles around, since I currently seem to be on a quest to expand into something resembling a perfect sphere. Oh - before anyone points out that you can't make a sphere turn into a pretzel, just hold it right there: it's called artistic/poetic licence, and it's also called MY website...
Now, our new car (which we shall call Sherman, out of respect for its go-anywhere AWD system) seems very nice indeed, and I am pleased with our purchase, except for one detail which threatens to mushroom into a life-consuming obsession...
I've always had a small part of my attention on the fuel consumption of any of our vehicles, especially as a Brit in North America, and therefore having previously owned and operated vehicles which merely sniff petroleum fumes by comparison to the American and Japanese-made behemoths which plague-er-populate our roads in Canada.
At present we have a small pickup truck which, while only a few years old, has as many bells and whistles on it as does a plank of wood (we like its simplicity) - and its fuel consumption is a merry little game of mental arithmetic at the pumps, even though it hardly varies at all. It's small, relatively economical, and very, very useful, even if it does only seat two people.
Our back up car is a fourteen year-old Volvo which is comfortable, wonderfully fast (it's a T5) and possesses the longest list of potentially terminal faults known to any car since Mr. Daimler decided that strapping an internal combustion engine to a cart was probably going to be a bit of a giggle. I love driving it but it is our nemesis (the worst car that I have bought since 1986), and along with all its many other faults, it also insists on using rather a lot of liquid hydrocarbons. It likes to tell me just how much oleum (the online spell-checker doesn't like 'oleum', but it is a real word) it has used via the very informative display in the dashboard - the very same display which also tells me that our brakes have failed, the traction control has failed, the ABS has failed, and that basically, we're all going to die - immediately before clearing itself and deciding that it's a lovely day for a drive in the countryside after all. It is about to be placed into semi-retirement, glared at repeatedly, and possibly donated to charity.
We used to have a small, fast little hatchback too. It was fun to drive, but getting into and out of it was a real problem for me, requiring the services of an on-call orthopedic surgeon on average once every three months. It too had a surprising thirst for gasoline, although the large engine under the little hood did its best. It was a good car, but the size of a large shoe. It has been exchanged...
Now, we have a 'Sherman', and it has lots of doohickeys, buttons, lights, readouts and computers - and clever transmissions and things - with which to keep our fuel consumption down. And there's my problem. I'm already driving everywhere with the 'eco' button pressed in and a grimace on my face, and every journey ends with a little report on the fuel consumption for that trip. It's taunting me! I can't get away from the darned thing - it wants me to know ALL THE TIME how much fuel it's using! I don't want to know all the time (well, yes I do, but you know what I mean) - I want some peace! I want to relax! I want it to run on fresh air, or solar energy...
Instead, my waking hours are being progressively filled with this issue - how much gas is the car using????!! It doesn't help that we live halfway up a small mountain and no matter where we go, in order to get home we have to climb up a ridiculously steep, long gradient (the town planners like roads that give you vertigo) and thereby destroy all the petroleum-sipping, gentle driving that we've been doing until that point. I suppose we could leave the car at the bottom of the hill, but that's a long way from our home, and after a day or two, I'm pretty sure we would find some hobo living in it and filling it with cooties. I'm not prepared to take things that far.
What I am prepared to do, however - and I know that this makes me sound more than a little strange - is to make damned sure that when we move in 18 months time or so, we do NOT choose somewhere new that is on top - or close to the top of - of a fucking hill!!!! Buying a new house based on fuel consumption concerns...sounds perfectly sane to me.
Now, where's my phone - the one with the handy, dandy fuel consumption conversion tables...?