Author Topic: CaB Drivers  (Read 2847 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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CaB Drivers
« on: January 13, 2021, 02:36:26 PM »
I've never driven a car and never learnt to drive. The pandemic is one of the few times I've regretted not being able to drive, given how unsafe public transport is.

I can't imagine ever driving though, it seems very scary and very expensive.

Tell me about driving for you - what car you currently drive and cars you have driven, how often you drive, what you like and dislike about driving. Are you a fan of motorway service stations?

Do you/can you drive any vehicles beside cars? Any lorry drivers/bus drivers on here?

Thomas

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2021, 02:53:05 PM »
I haven't driven since the day I passed my test six years ago. I sometimes tell people it's because I don't have the money for a car, which is true - but little do they know, I don't want one anyway. Delightfully devilish.

The prospect of driving again on busy roads - with their turnings and lanes and lights and many other vehicles - doesn't attract me. I'd be alright driving along a very simple, very empty road. I'd probably be happy behind the wheel if I lived on a Scottish island, driving one mile from my ramshackle cottage to the tiny post office. Wind down my window and bid good morning to the laird. Dog in the passenger seat.

seepage

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 02:55:42 PM »
If any of you admit to driving anything bigger than a Ford Fiesta, you're going on a list.

Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 03:01:37 PM »
Phew, I've got an ancient Fiesta. I learnt when I was 17, then didn't drive for ages till I got a job where it was a choice of 30 minutes drive or 1.5-2 hours public transport, which was the impetus for getting a car. These days, not driving for work but I'm in an extended bubble/family group for COVID, for which it's very useful. Until it dies horribly at the side of the road.

EDIT: For me the main advantage of driving (aside from not catching COVID) is hillwalking and general rambling, where a lot of it is horribly inaccessible for public transport. I think once you've been driving for a while you don't think too much about carrying 2 tons of metal at 70 mph with the imminent possibility of carnage.

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 03:01:53 PM »
I just upgraded to a six wheel drive it's OK.

Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2021, 03:08:44 PM »
I would be lost without a car, I wouldn't be able to goto ice hockey training (when it was on), seeing my partner would be a struggle. A trip to the shop which is a 3 mile round trip would be a night mare. Life is just easier with a car.

After passing my test I didn't own a car for about four years, relying on lifts, or even worse, public transport. Getting a lift or taxi to a station, train has been delayed, fucks sake. Replacement bus service, fuck you.

After you pass your test this is when you're still learning to drive, depending on how much you do, 6 months to a year to be fully confident. I have a C plus E license (Artic Lorries) never driven one after my test though, I would shit my pants driving one again. However, after a few weeks I'd be fine.

As for cost. You get what you pay for. I brought my first Golf a 1.9L diesel for £6,400 in 2013. It had 66,000 miles on the clock. That lasted me til summer last year where I sold it to my mate for £200. It had 158,000 on it then. He's done some work that needed to be done on it and it will last him a long time if he so wished.

Alot of jobs these days don't even look at you if you can't drive. A mate of mine is only still employed as a Postie because of grandfather rights.

My partner she volunteers at North Clwyd Animal Rescue. A 40 minute round trip. She wouldn't be able to do that without her car.

Cuellar

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 03:09:14 PM »
Got car. Meant to put it in for an MOT 3 weeks ago but I just can't be arsed. Useless.

Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 03:20:07 PM »
I had to pack in driving when I was 30 due to a small case of epilepsy. At the time, I was more upset about giving up my much beloved car than I was at nearly doing myself serious harm (I had a seizure whilst walking down a cobbled street and was bashing the back of my head on the ground with some force before a kind passer-by helped out). I am cleared to drive again, and have been for a while, but I got moved to an office in the middle of the city and couldn't justify the outlay on a car that wouldn't be used most of the time.

Buelligan

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 03:28:07 PM »
I am licenced to drive a bus, lorry or car but only in the Cook Islands.  Other than that I have a full motorcycle licence but never ride (the two remaining dear darling loves sleep in an outbuilding waiting for the End of Time).  Never got a car one, two wheels, good.  There is no public transport here.  I get a lift to the shop once a week.  That's all of it.

Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021, 03:28:27 PM »
No interest in cars and don’t especially enjoy driving, but I have to admit I’m glad I eventually learned, as it’s very useful.

Driving would probably be fine, but for the arrogant motorists who genuinely believe they’re so good the rules of the road don’t actually apply to them, and take any instance of a near accident as evidence of their excellence, as opposed to an opportunity to have a good, hard think about driving like an absolute bellend.

markburgle

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021, 03:36:46 PM »
Learned to drive in February last year at age 38, doing one of those intensive courses - all my lessons, theory and test in 2 weeks. Driving always seemed an unimaginable, unjustifiable expense before, but I saved up so I could drive my band on tour.

Obvs EVENTS put somewhat of a stop on that but even so, in October I bought a 5.5 ton van (down-plated so I can drive it on a car license, and kitted out with beds, shower room and kitchenette) in readiness. My prior road experience was a 125 scooter, and then a teensy hatchback for my lessons.

Driving this thing was nerve wracking as hell initially, and I'm still nervous on the narrower streets. But I like the feeling of independence. I liked driving to my bro's at Christmas and being able to drive right to his house instead of having to be picked up by my Dad at the station as if I was still 15.

Guess I'm on that list now

Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 03:49:01 PM »
I tried twice. The first time, aged 22, was so bad I couldn't get away from the kerb. Spent six weeks trying and failing to get away from the kerb. After that last lesson, the instructor said that I'd never be able to drive and that he felt like he was robbing me. So that put me off for a very long time.

At 27, I had another go. Everyone was having a go at me about not being able to drive, the dating pool of women who didn't mind a man that couldn't drive was very, very small and the local bus service had deteriorated to the point that I'd either have to wait 40 mins for a bus into town that regularly didn't even show up, or walk 20 minutes to the main road in the pissing rain to catch the main service, I felt I had nothing to lose.

It clicked instantly. I was away from the kerb immediately, drove home on that first lesson, was on dual carriageways by the end of lesson 2. It actually took me four attempts to pass, though. The first, I buggered up a reverse park, really careless and stupid, the second, the examiner was fidgeting constantly, his legs darting in and out of the passenger footwell like he was going for the brake. Really distracting. He had one massive lunge into the footwell on a roundabout and I slammed my brakes on in a panic. Game over. He also said I'd been straining the engine and that I needed to brake more for junctions.

Exam 3 I failed because I was braking too much for and should have relied more on engine braking when approaching junctions. Exam 4, I forgot all the too much brake, too little brake and drove like exam 1 but didn't bugger up the reverse park. I did, however, get caught up with the police chasing a stolen motorbike and ran through a red to avoid hitting the speeding bike, which made me think I'd fucked it, but the examiner was nice about it and passed me anyway.

My first car was a Mk 1 Toyota Yaris 1.3 in SR trim. Absolutely loved that car (even though Partridge is right about it being a shopping trolley for spinsters) with it's lovely gearstick throw, futuristic centre-mounted binnacle and decent power-to-weight ratio, but had to get rid of it because my ex spent every penny I had and more besides so I couldn't afford to keep it on the road so I sold it for scrap. Currently sharing my other half's mk 4 Vauxhall Corsa 1.4 which is an absolute piece of shit. No power, no feel in the steering or pedals. Wretched thing. I often think about getting another Yaris as you can get them for £500, but I know what a moneypit a car of that age can be.

Feel like pure shit, just want Yaris 1.3 SR back. :(

Non Stop Dancer

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2021, 03:57:40 PM »
I was a late learner (about 28 I guess) and what finally pushed me over the edge is when I couldn't drive my girlfriend and family to hospital when her dad had a heart attack. Having to rely on neighbours made me feel about an inch tall. Subsequently, I've had times when my dad's had a fall and the like and I've needed to be there ASAP, and am very glad I can be somewhere quickly in an emergency.

Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2021, 04:08:13 PM »
Past my test in my early 20's but havent driven for probably 15 years now.

Honestly I never liked it, playing into my OCD like fear of guilt from doing something wrong, not helped by someone I knew knockding down and killing an old couple and being convicted by dangerous driving just after sixth form.

Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2021, 04:16:03 PM »
I never liked driving to work through the back streets of Manchester, but I always enjoyed spinning up to Cumbria to see my folks once I got past Preston and the traffic thinned out. Was often quite tranquil then, a feeling ended only when I got off the M6 onto the A66 heading West and got stuck behind a tractor as soon as the dual carriageway ended.

buzby

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2021, 04:32:45 PM »
Been driving since I was 17, passed my test at 18 just in time to start university. Used to drive to my part time job in Kwiksave on the other side of the city, and for ferrying my disabled mum around. I started off with a yellow 1977 V-reg Mk1 Fiesta 1.1L that I bought off a student from Reading. I had it for 5 years, over which it was greadually repaired/rebuilt/upgraded (rusty panels replaced, respray, some mild engine tuning, heavy duty suspension, Mk1 XR2 seats and 6Jx13" steel wheels). It was a good introduction to how to repair and service a car.

After  I started my proper job after university, it had started to get a bit too unreliable for the morning commute (I had keep a spare battery charged up in the house to swap over if it failed to start in the winter) so I decided to get something newer, a second-hand J-reg Mk5 Ford Escort 1.4LX. This was mechanically more reliable but the handling was atrocious, and it had terrible water ingress problems around the doors. I had this for less than a year, as it was traded in for a brand new Ford Puma in 1997 (one of the first batch of 200 in the country). This was an excellent car, though it ate front tryes and brakes (issues that were fixed by Ford in a production update after 6 months, but were never offered to owners of the early cars). I had that for 5 years, then traded it in for a brand new Ford Focus ST170, the highest-performance car I've had to date. This was top of the range at the time (prior to the Focus RS being introduced) and was probably the fastest and best driving car  I'll ever own.

Since then I've had (all used cars, I've not bought new since the ST170):
2 x 2005 Mk5 Ford Fiesta ST150s (I was carjacked in the first one outside my house)
2006 Mk2 Ford Focus Titanium 2.0TDCI. We formed a carpool in work so I needed something that was a bit bigger and easier for passengers to get in and out of. The 2-litre diesel engine and 6th gear were great for the motorway portion of the commute too.
2009 Mk7 Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.6TDCI. This suffered badly on the MPG front from not having the 6th gear that the Focus had.
2012 Mk3 Focus Titanium 1.6TCDI. This had a complete breakdown at 2 years old due to the clutch slave cylinder failing (a common fault on all Ford & Volvo cars made that year with the 1.6 diesel engine). It was repaired under warranty, but I was without transport for 3 weeks so I decided to get rid and to look elsewhere for it's replacement.
2013 Volvo V40 R Design D2. A lovely car, though the 2013 model year lacked a DAB radio and couldn't be upgraded due to software issues which annoyed me, especially as it became standard in 2014.
2017 Volvo V40 R Design D2. Not quite as nice as the first one - it has DAB at least, and fancy LED headlamps, but after being sold off by Ford to a Chinese company there had been a cost reduction exercise on the V40, and some of the nice touches from the earlier model had been value engineered out.

Given the carpool is never likely to be restarted due to people working form home now, the next one will probably be something smaller and most likely a hybrid (though I'm not looking forward to having to put up with a CVT transmission).

A couple of years ago I also bought a 1972 Ginetta G15 classic car (which uses Triumph Spitfire front suspension and Hillman Imp rear suspension, along with the Imp engine and transaxle) that I'm gradually restoring after it's past life being used as a sprint'/hillclimb car.

I'll probably finish it just in time for petrol to be banned.





Blumf

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2021, 04:33:39 PM »
Driving can be a joy, but in traffic it's a drag, and if it's all someone's ever done - slow town driving - it's understandable why they're not enamoured with it.

Best drive I had was less than a mile in an 1930 AJS 9:



Accelerator and brake pedals are swapper in that, and the gearbox has no synchromesh. Just so much fun, swinging it around the place. Wish I had the money and space to run a classic like that.

Blumf

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2021, 04:42:16 PM »
A couple of years ago I also bought a 1972 Ginetta G15 classic car (which uses Triumph Spitfire front suspension and Hillman Imp rear suspension, along with the Imp engine and transaxle) that I'm gradually restoring

Do you log that anywhere?

Captain Z

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2021, 04:50:16 PM »
It's absolutely brilliant, and genuinely terrifies me to think of the opportunities, gigs, parties, dates, and spur-of-the-moment days out I would have missed out on if I had never learned.

Absolutely hated learning though. I think I wanted lessons as soon as I turned 17 but my parents booked them for me with some local independent instructor who was just not a relaxing person at all. Constantly had me second-guessing myself and feeling nervous, and not making any progress. I passed my theory test very early on but began to absolutely dread the driving lessons and secretly cancelled a few (usually took them during free periods at 6th form) without my parents' knowledge. Began to convince myself that it was just something I couldn't do, or that I'd only end up causing an accident or something. After about a year I told them I wanted to stop and concentrate on my exams and getting into uni, so I did.

Possibly something about the confidence boost of moving away to uni, and the realisation that lots of my new friends could already drive, made me decide that putting it off further was only going to be more hassle in the long run. That first Christmas I came home and booked a set of intensive lessons with BSM and managed to arrange a test one day before my 2-year-old theory certificate expired. The BSM instructor was great and made me feel much more in control. Lucked out on my test - sudden realisation that I could only barely read a number plate from the required distance but got it right, and neither of my two most-feared moves (parallel park and reverse round corner) came up, so I passed first time.

It was still another 6 months until I got my first car, a '97 Ford Fiesta for £1100. That sudden sense of liberation from the minute I'd sorted the insurance is something I'll never forget. Even more so the first time sitting in the driver's seat with nobody telling you where to go or what to do. Just an incredible feeling. All things considered, including many of the reasons other have mentioned above, I'd say being able to drive has made my life at least 50% easier if not much more.

Jockice

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2021, 04:53:12 PM »
Passed my test at the third attempt aged 24, bought a silver Metro not long afterwards and a few months later turned it upside down in a ditch and wrote it off. Not entirely my fault. I was with my dad who was the worst possible passenger, especially when you're on a remote road you've never been on before (an uncle once described him as 'the tensest person he'd ever met'). My dad even accepted some of the blame, which frankly amazed me. And he cracked a rib in it while I was more or less unscathed.

At around the same time my parents were hassling me to apply for Disability Living Allowance, which I didn't want but eventually went for the assessment just to shut them up and hoping to fail. Instead they gave me the mobility component for life. Take it from me, I wasn't happy. But it meant I could get cars through the Motability scheme. I thought I'd get a British car but got treated like shit by the Ford garage so applied to the nearbt Peugeot one. That was about 1992 and I've 'owned' nothing but Peugeots since. I've only driven other vehicles when I've had a courtesy car when my own's been in the garage for various reasons. The last time was around a year and a half ago when it got broken into. I can't remember what my courtesy car was. I'm no good at that sort of stuff. It was black. I think.

The deal is you get leased a new vehicle every three years (apart from at the start of the century when I had problems with the insurers and kept the same car for five years). I now have a blue Peugeot Rifter. I need a bigger vehicle nowadays so I can keep a mobility scooter in the back. I'm not safe even on crutches anymore. I drive most places nowadays so it's more or less essential. I passed my test in an automatic (I think I took my first test in manual but switched afterwards) and now have hand controls. There's absolutely no way I could remember how to drive a manual nowadays let alone actually do it. I'm addicted to automatics. With hand controls.

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2021, 05:11:24 PM »
^ do your hand controls replace the pedals? I always assumed they did but the (figure)head chef in the kitchen I worked at had hand controls on their Suzuki Jimny as they had MS and it was effectively a rig attached to the pedals that pushed either the throttle or brake depending on whether you moved the control arm towards or away from you. This did come with the advantage that if anyone else needed to borrow it (e.g. his brother), they could just jump in it without having to learn the controls.

Cuellar

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2021, 05:14:06 PM »
Can't stand driving and cars, real pain in the arse. Always something to do to them, wash them, get the fixed, all that.

RDRR

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2021, 05:19:53 PM »
Finally learnt to drive just over a year ago, at 27. It's occasionally useful to know that if it comes to it I could drive for work, could hire a car, etc. Can't stand the thought of being responsible for a whole car though, no one needs that extra hassle.

Inspector Norse

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2021, 05:22:16 PM »
I drive a Volvo V60. Owning a Volvo is part of the requirement for becoming a Swedish citizen.

I took my test about six years ago and passed first time - after one abortive attempt as a teenager in the UK, when I took the theory test but never got round to the practical - and also found driving pretty scary to begin with. I still remember the first time I was going to drive myself, when I decided just to have a little drive around the neighbourhood. I'd never driven alone before and about 30 seconds into my drive I turned off the music I'd put on because not hearing what was going on outside the car was freaking me out.

I find that you get much more comfortable over time and a lot of it is pretty easy. I've had a few near misses, I guess everyone has, but always remember one of my instructors telling me that the thing you need to worry about isn't making a mistake yourself, but what other people are up to, and that rings true - there are some absolute arseholes out there. Make sure you keep a good eye on what's going on around you and get the basics right and you're good.

In general we use the car for shopping, and long journeys like driving up the E4 - the stretch from Uppsala to Söderhamn must be one of the dullest driving experiences in the world, basically being a long line of fir trees in the rain[1] - to visit the in-laws, but during the pandemic I've been driving to work when I need to go in. I much prefer taking public transport to be honest, because driving the same routes every day is very boring, especially with the risk of traffic jams at rush hour, aside from the obvious environmental concerns. When we are staying with the in-laws we need the car because they live in a small village which has literally no public transport, but the countryside there is pleasant to drive through: last summer we took a nice driving tour through inner Hälsingland around the Dellen lakes. That's the kind of driving I like doing, not going 10 minutes down the road to do the weekly shop.

I have next to no technical knowledge of what is inside a car and find owning one quite a pain. They're expensive with all the service and things. There are some places here where the neighbourhood association also has a carpool - we've talked about suggesting that for our street, although there are a handful of vehicle enthusiasts who'd probably veto it.
 1. I'm always surprised when the Gävle Goat gets torched, because every time I drive past Gävle it is pissing it down

phes

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2021, 05:23:04 PM »
as soon as you own a car you start making life decisions based on the resolution of car distance/travel time and then you're fucked, it's got you and you'll never know the joy of not owning one. I really miss being able to pootle around the peaks at ease though, cars are pretty handy things

Al Tha Funkee Homosapien

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2021, 05:25:14 PM »
Owning a car is a proper pain in the arse. Just a never-ending money drain.

Driving I can take it or leave it. But at the moment is a fairly big part of one of my jobs

Licence wise I can drive a 'C' class lorry and 'C1' based large vehicle (although never actually driven a lorry other than to pass the test, just did it for a laugh really). Have an emergency response driving qualification for using blue lights/sirens and exemptions.

Blue light driving is a bit of fun, but it quickly gets tiring.

Basically if I could get by on just a bicycle I would

Consignia

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2021, 05:32:45 PM »
My jobs ever since leaving Uni have required me to almost anywhere in the country, usually in out of town business parks. Having a car was so liberating from having to worry about time pressures for getting public transport timetables, especially in the sticks.

Wonderful Butternut

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2021, 05:39:23 PM »
I like driving and I'm used to having a 20 minute commute that can only be done by car because public transport in Ireland is terrible. Also my new job will require a fair amount of home visits and the like when lockdown ends. I generally avoid driving right into the center of Dublin if I ever have to go there cos I don't know the city. So I usually try and get the train if the times suit, or drive to the outskirts and get a Luas or DART into the middle. But otherwise I'll happily drive anywhere if required.

Started driving at 19, had my own car at 20. A 1998 Mazda 323. Good buy, I did my test in it when I was 21 and drove it for another couple years. Then me Da used it for a while (I can't remember why) before I sold it to my sister who drove it for another few years. 180,000 miles on it by the time it left the family and it was still going.

When I was looking to change the 323, Da loaned me his Mazda RX-7 for a week since he was done with his mid life crisis and was looking to move it on. This was just before the property crash and around the peak of importing 2nd hand cars from Japan - which is where the RX-7 had come from - so there were a lot of young fellas with a bit of money going around in Corolla Levins, Nissan Silvas, tuned Civics, etc. Fairly fast cars, but the RX-7 was a lot faster. So naturally they'd all be looking to race me and say "I passed an RX-7" to their mates. After one incident where I was tailed through a 60km/h zone by a Silva and just couldn't resist booting it up to 180km/h and leaving him for dead as soon as the zone ended, I decided not to buy it off my Dad because I wanted to keep my license.

I went completely the opposite way and bought a big Mazda Xedos 9 barge, which I had for 6 years. Very comfortable car and made a nice noise when you caned it cos there was a V6 in it, but expensive to run. Changed to an MG ZT-T diesel for a couple of years, which I liked driving but for some reason it kept warping front brake discs and three different mechanics couldn't diagnose a problem (I was letting new ones bed in properly by going easy on the brake), so I changed it.

I'm now in a 2011 Saab 9-5. Basically since the 323 the cars I've owned have ben relatively uncommon.


I was contemplating getting some sort of early 90s sports coupe that's on the verge 30 years old so it gets classed as a classic and only attracts €63 road tax soon, and thus I can re-sell it and get most of my money back. Since we're going down the hybrid and electric route to stop the planet from getting fucked, I probably won't have many opportunities to have a car like that going forward. But anything I want and that isn't junk is well out of my price range.

Jockice

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2021, 05:47:05 PM »
^ do your hand controls replace the pedals? I always assumed they did but the (figure)head chef in the kitchen I worked at had hand controls on their Suzuki Jimny as they had MS and it was effectively a rig attached to the pedals that pushed either the throttle or brake depending on whether you moved the control arm towards or away from you. This did come with the advantage that if anyone else needed to borrow it (e.g. his brother), they could just jump in it without having to learn the controls.

They're this kind so they're basically attached to the brake/accelerator so you can still use your legs to drive it. Not that I do but in the time that I've using hand controls, there's been the odd occasion when someone else has driven it, like when they're taking it to and bringing it back from servicing, and one occasion when I got an injury that stopped me driving while it was parked in town so had to ask someone to drive it home for me. I presume they used their legs.

There is another type of hand control that is more complicated to use but is easier to attach and remove, so it's often used for courtesy cars. I had that on one of my courtesy cars once (fitted by an actor from I'm With Stupid who I've since seen on Coronation Street). I managed with it okay but found it a bit nerve-wracking (I'm left-handed for a start) so if I've had to use another car myself I've insisted on the push-pull ones. It's safer for everyone.


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Fambo Number Mive

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Re: CaB Drivers
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2021, 05:50:09 PM »
I like driving and I'm used to having a 20 minute commute that can only be done by car because public transport in Ireland is terrible. Also my new job will require a fair amount of home visits and the like when lockdown ends. I generally avoid driving right into the center of Dublin if I ever have to go there cos I don't know the city. So I usually try and get the train if the times suit, or drive to the outskirts and get a Luas or DART into the middle. But otherwise I'll happily drive anywhere if required.

Started driving at 19, had my own car at 20. A 1998 Mazda 323. Good buy, I did my test in it when I was 21 and drove it for another couple years. Then me Da used it for a while (I can't remember why) before I sold it to my sister who drove it for another few years. 180,000 miles on it by the time it left the family and it was still going.

When I was looking to change the 323, Da loaned me his Mazda RX-7 for a week since he was done with his mid life crisis and was looking to move it on. This was just before the property crash and around the peak of importing 2nd hand cars from Japan - which is where the RX-7 had come from - so there were a lot of young fellas with a bit of money going around in Corolla Levins, Nissan Silvas, tuned Civics, etc. Fairly fast cars, but the RX-7 was a lot faster. So naturally they'd all be looking to race me and say "I passed an RX-7" to their mates. After one incident where I was tailed through a 60km/h zone by a Silva and just couldn't resist booting it up to 180km/h and leaving him for dead as soon as the zone ended, I decided not to buy it off my Dad because I wanted to keep my license.

I went completely the opposite way and bought a big Mazda Xedos 9 barge, which I had for 6 years. Very comfortable car and made a nice noise when you caned it cos there was a V6 in it, but expensive to run. Changed to an MG ZT-T diesel for a couple of years, which I liked driving but for some reason it kept warping front brake discs and three different mechanics couldn't diagnose a problem (I was letting new ones bed in properly by going easy on the brake), so I changed it.

I'm now in a 2011 Saab 9-5. Basically since the 323 the cars I've owned have ben relatively uncommon.


I was contemplating getting some sort of early 90s sports coupe that's on the verge 30 years old so it gets classed as a classic and only attracts €63 road tax soon, and thus I can re-sell it and get most of my money back. Since we're going down the hybrid and electric route to stop the planet from getting fucked, I probably won't have many opportunities to have a car like that going forward. But anything I want and that isn't junk is well out of my price range.

Just regarding your mention of public transport in Ireland, I'm astonished how infrequent trains in Northern Ireland and the Republic are according to Wikipedia, including the DART which I think is every 20 minutes? The Luas looks really awesome though, would love to ride that.

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