I’ve been driving since 1998, and in that time have owned a selection of cars. I thought I’d go back in time and look at all the cars I’ve had in that time. Some of them were wonderful – others, not so much. So, let’s go back to the beginning –
1. Ford Escort Mk 3. (B Reg) 1998-1999
Probably the most stereotypical car an Essex Boy of my age could own. This car cost £500 and was my first entry into the motoring world. It had a tiny 1 litre engine, and felt like it took days to get up to 60mph. It was great for me and my friends from college to pile into and take a trip down to Lakeside, or just cruise around. It was a sturdy old beast too. I reversed into a lamp post one, and the bumper bent – thankfully Dad was able to pop it off and knock it back into shape.
Considering it was 14 years old when I got it – it was in surprisingly good shape. It had a really low mileage, because the milometer had actually been around the clock once before!
2. Citroen Saxo – (V Reg) 1999-2003
The Escort was traded in for a brand new Car – a Citroen Saxo 1.1 East Coast Edition. It was a cracking deal at the time, because it included ‘free insurance’ in the monthly payments. Considering the £500 Escort was costing over £100 a month to insure, getting a new car with insurance included for not much more was a bargain. If you’re shopping around for insurance – then try cheap car insurance by AA Ireland.
This car put in a LOT of miles, and if I’m honest – not all of them at legal speeds. It had a fair bit of poke in the 1.1 litre engine. I didn’t look after the Saxo as well as I should – I don’t think it had a service until its first MOT. It needed 4 new tyres to pass it too! Plus it was the first car I’ve seen the oil light come on whilst driving. It was a fun little car to charge around in – however with G on the way 3 doors wouldn’t cut it, so car 3 came along.
3. Peugeot 307 – (53 Plate) 2003-2006
This sensible 1.4 Litre Pug was a fantastic family car. It was the first car I’d owned with Air Con, which was a godsend for a newborn in a heatwave. I had my first accident in this car – a car driving in the opposite direct scraped down the side of the car. They sped off, and the police were unable to track them down. Within a few months of ownership it needed a few new panels and a respray.
I had to sell it when I got divorced to free up some money – I needed something cheap and reliable, I got that in spades with car number 4.
4. Volkswagen Golf – (H Reg) 2006-2009
Despite the age, the bodywork on this was flipping gorgeous. The colour wasn’t the nicest – ‘Sahara Yellow’ (Gold), but I loved my little Golf so much. There weren’t many / any mod-cons, but it had a beast of a 1.8 litre engine and it FLEW. The parts were cheap and easily sourced, which was helpful, as I was seeing someone nearly 90 miles away. The poor thing was doing 180 miles per day and it was a little warrior, didn’t miss a beat. It drank petrol, as you’d expect – thankfully petrol prices were cheaper then.
It was probably one of my favourite cars I’ve owned, there was something very raw and fun when driving it. I wish, in some ways I hadn’t scrapped it after the clutch went. But realistically, that would probably be the start of stuff going wrong. Sleep well my old friend.
5. Renault Megane – (S Reg) 2009-2010
This car was a mistake, such a mistake. It was fine to drive, and was a pleasant experience. However, it was a money pit. It required a new heating matrix, which meant the interior needed pulling out. Then one of the rear wheels seized – both cost more than the car did. Then, the head gasket went. It was beyond economical repair, so it had to go. I hated this car.
6. Peugeot 206 – (X Reg) – 2010-2013
This was a gem of a find, it was owned by a farmer’s wife and had a very low mileage, and been well maintained. There was a bit of a scuff on the front wing, but otherwise, a fantastic little car. It was fun to drive and reminded me of the Golf in some ways for this. Being a five door car it was great for the kids (especially when J arrived).
It didn’t require masses doing to it – although by 2013 the clutch was going, and it just wasn’t big enough for all the stuff children require. So.. the next car was a biggun.
7. Vauxhall Zarifa – (X Reg) – 2013-2015
My first ever Diesel – this upto 7 seater was MASSIVE. Pounding up and down the motorway was pretty economical. There was bags of room for everything, a great family car. Not the best looking car, and it needed a few bits and bobs doing to it along the way. Notably the ABS sensor was a bit iffy from the get go, and was a bit of a ballache to do at home, but not impossible. It needed a brake caliper and exhaust while I owned it. In the end the Diesel pump started leaking, and these aren’t cheap, so I traded it in for something else..
8. Renault Scenic II (53 Reg) – 2015-2016
This was a little smaller than the Zafira, and a little slower, but it had SO many toys. Everything was electric, and it was probably one of the best cars I had for distance driving. It wasn’t the most economical, but you could sit comfortably for HOURS in the chairs. It did suffer some faults – it needed some new Ignition Coils, and the electronic dash failed. Nothing TOO costly, however – the MASSIVE alternator crumbled whilst I was doing 70mph. I managed to get the car to safety. Sadly, the cost of alternator, combined with the potential damage to the timing belt – along with a service it needed, and a new clutch made it uneconomical to fix.
9. Renault Scenic II (07 Reg) – 2016-
Despite the failings of the old car, I was actually very pleased to find its replacement. It was very low milage for the age, had never missed a service, and was PRISTINE. It lacked some of the electrical toys of the old model, nothing too bad though. Also the Scenic had a slight facelift in that year, where most of the faults of the earlier models were ironed out.
It’s been lots of fun reliving a bit of my car history – I’m gutted I don’t have any pictures of my earlier vehicles. Thankfully, at least I’ve got the memories.