A few months ago, my Renault Clio stopped working for good. After a few visits to a garage, I knew there was something very wrong with the car. Every time it came back, it felt exactly the same, if not worse. It was horrible to drive - very bumpy and making funny noises; I could feel the clutch going all crazy, the car wouldn’t go up a hill or a small inclined road, and the whole thing became frustrating. I was scared for a moment that I would soon be left car-less!
Of course the car issues brought new challenges! For example, as I became unable to drive the car (it was really, really bad), for a few weeks I had to go back to buses, and let me tell you there’s nothing worse than going back to buses after you’ve owned a car! - (And take it from someone who always traveled by buses until 2015!) Buses are overcrowded, rush-hour is the worst, and it takes SO LONG to get from point A to point B with all the stops...a nightmare!
The reason I chose to get a secondhand car as my first ever car (and especially as a first car in the UK - remember, I am Portuguese and we drive on the other side of the car/road), was because I had very little if no driving experience at all. I passed my driving test just a few weeks prior to moving to the UK, so even in Portugal, my driving experience was ZERO, apart from driving lessons. After a year driving the Clio around I got more used to the english driving system, and looking back I feel that it was very good for me not to jump straight into a new car, as I could have more easily had a crash. As with everything in life, practice makes perfect. And I needed all the time I could get to practice my driving in the UK. Not to mention the extremely expensive insurance I would have to pay for a new car as my first car.
A year went by - (crash-free if I may say so myself...), and after the Clio died for good, I started using my boyfriend's car every now and again, whenever I really needed. But this was not practical. Luckily, he works mostly nights, so it was easy to take turns and manage things nicely. However, sooner or later I would have to get myself another car.
Bruno and I drove past a Fiat dealership the other day, and we decided to stop and have a look, ask a few questions and work out prices to see if it was affordable for me to have a Fiat 500. We even went for a test drive and I remember thinking that the car felt so smooth, easy to drive and VERY, VERY comfortable and straight forward. No complicated buttons or confusing screens. It was all nice and neat. Little did we know that on that same day I would decide to actually get the car! I decided to go for a Fiat 500 Lounge in grey. A few days went by for the classic background checks, referencing and other admin related things and I found myself giving my Renault Clio to the Fiat garage for exchange. All I was given for the Clio was a miserable £100. Yes, you heard it correctly...£100! I paid over £550 for the car about a year ago... so I managed to lose £450. Shocking! Especially considering I've only had the car for a year!
I tried to put all of that behind me, and as soon as we signed those papers I was smiling from ear to ear! I could not believe I had my dream car right there for me! You know that feeling you get when you don’t actually believe what’s happening until you’ve got it or you’ve seen it? That’s just how I felt. I couldn’t wait to get inside my NEW car!
The Fiat 500 I chose actually already had some mileage, as it belonged to show rooms, but that also means that the price came down significantly, and regardless, we’re still talking about a 2017 car.