After 200,000 miles of careless ownership, this old friend will be towed away today pic.twitter.com/heMmA6C2y6
— Henry Tapper (@henryhtapper) May 28, 2022
To my embarrassment, I own a car. I haven’t driven it since Christmas, it sits unloved on a little tarmac in Eton. Yesterday I tried to start it and found the battery flat, I contacted the AA and found my MOT was out of date, they wouldn’t help. I phone around and found a chap called Jimmy Mohammed who came down from Slough and made me a cash offer to take the car off my hands for a monkey. Money and keys were exchanged, logbook will follow. The car will be towed away this morning while I am sailing Lady Lucy up to Goring.
The car was purchased in 2003 by Eagle Star and has been driven by me for over 200,000 miles. It is hard to think how much time I spent in her in the early years of the decade. She had 195,000 miles on the clock in 2019 , since the pandemic started, I have scarcely started her.
Leaving a car behind means leaving insurance, MOTs , road tax, petrol stations and repair bills behind. Exchanged for Zip Cars and Ubers , our wonderful train system, Boris bikes and that most wonderful of things, the human body. But having had a car since I was 20, I now realise that I am in a new world.
You might call this a step on my road to carbon neutrality, I wouldn’t be so grand, it is more a step on the road down the new normality. My son is 24, he has had a driving licence since he was 17, he has never driven a car without an L plate – never wants to.
I am actually joining a virtuous loop of non-car owners which spans (but does not include) the generations with dependent children. It strikes me that the savings I make from not having a car will pay for the increased spending I will incur on those essentials like heating and eating that will cost so much more.
Why didn’t I cut driving out of my budgetary framework some years ago? I wish I had!
I’m grateful for Jimmy Mohammed who is taking a load off my mind and a monkey off my back. All the same – I’ll miss the old car and the fund I’ve had with her.