Sunday, 10 February 2019

The Drive

Hello dear readers!

You know, sometimes it’s easy to forget just how long I’ve been doing this.

I mean, there’s the odd ‘time-hop’ on Facebook, but I don’t always look at the date on those so perhaps that’s not the best measure, when it comes down to it. This week however, something has occurred. An event has arisen that happens as regular as clockwork and, as it’s potentially blog-worthy, sand as I know I blogged about it on it’s last occurrence, it puts a definite bookmark in the old diary.

Yup, this week saw new car day!

Pump Action
Now, to add a little context to that, this is an event that happens every three years. As a disabled driver, I take advantage of a scheme called Motability, which means that the mobility allowance that the government kindly provides for me, is used to lease a car. This car is provided straight off the production line and stays with me for the aforementioned three years before heading back to the dealership to either be sold as used, or, possibly more likely for the previous incumbent, sold at auction. It’s a neat little arrangement, one in which no-one really ends up losing out by all that much, and it has the added advantage of keeping me mobile.

Three years ago, I wrote this post (oh, the shame), about my, at that time, brand spanking new Toyota Auris, a car that I decided to call Ruby, owing to her deep red colour (imaginative, I know). Ruby and I have had a good run together. She was my first Hybrid (That is a mixture of a petrol and electric vehicle), and part of the reason for going for her was to watch the old fuel economy and potentially save a few quid at the pump, money still failing to grow on trees and myself remaining the very epitome of a financially ‘careful’ Yorkshire man although the flat cap and whippet must have got lost in the post at some point.

To The Limit
Anyhoo, as time went by, it’s fair to say that I became a touch obsessed with mileage. It turns out that what started as a money saving exercise soon devolves into a game of uber-careful driving, of slow, steady braking and keeping firmly within speed limits (Which of course I always have done yer honour). This game was something that lasted well into the second year of ownership, and was only really relegated to the back seat by my diagnosis of MS. That pretty much turned everything on it’s head, changed priorities, gave me a shiny new collection of stresses and worries and, well, caused me to take my eye off the ball.

I think that may now have changed.

I would probably have gone for another Auris, in a perfect world. Having made the decision, following the above diagnosis, to give up work, money is somewhat of a rarity however and any disposable cash seems to have already been disposed of before the opportunity arises making the initial deposit on the Auris that little bit difficult to justify. I therefore scoured the price list of new lease cars that was sent out to me in November of last year for a Hybrid car that was available for a nil deposit. It was a difficult quest, Hybrids being a little thing on the ground, but eventually I came across the Hyundai Ioniq. After more research, and a trip to the dealership, it was a car that I was willing to take a punt on and I’m so glad I did.

Economy Class
The Auris was a nice car, and as I said, I would have had no issue with going for another one. Bella, my bright blue (Bluebell-a… No?) Ioniq though, well she might just be better. The cabin is spacious and comfortable, the boot makes getting my wheelchair in the car a doddle, and the drive is fantastically smooth. It also comes with a sufficient amount of information settings to more than satisfy my micro-management of fuel consumption. Thus far, with the car straight out of the box, a brand new engine finding it’s feet, a driver getting doing the same, and the unfortunate advent of storm Erik, I’m getting forty eight and a half miles to the gallon over the first fifty three miles. This I count as not bad but I know I can get better, and as both Bella and I bed in, and the weather gets a little more clement and perhaps a tad warmer, I’m going to look to push this just as far as I can.

The game is most definitely afoot!

Until next time.

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