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Patricia W

Advice, oh wise ones!

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This forum is noted for the sensible advice it gives on lots of topics -  not just chicken related!   However, I can argue that this will impact on the quality of my chickens’ lives.    Sort of... I need a new car.  

My much loved Citroen Picasso aged 11, 133,000 miles just failed its ‘ MOT.   It’s repaired and we’ll get it through the retest but it has made me realise I need to start looking around for a replacement.   I’ve had Citroen Picassos since 2001, and love them for their adaptability as a chicken carrier, Omlet cube carrier, general rubbish carrier, plus we’ve used them twice a year to drive 900km to Spain and back so they are a comfortable drive.  And reliable - apart from the air conditioning...  Before I retired I drove 35k a year in it.

Alas, they are no longer made !   So, suggestions for similar vehicles needed.    I seem to remember DM had a Berlingo.   So that’s on the list to look at.   We no longer need one to drive to Spain as OH has a Beast which can do that.   So I need a vehicle to transport chickens, grandchildren, rubbish to the tip and comfortable enough for the odd long journey I do these days.  Might possibly be new ( not sure I need to go that far though) or preloved about 3 years old.   Ideas??? What have you find useful? 

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What about a Skoda Yeti? I have an ancient Fabia estate which has been wonderful...boot like the Tardis! OH has an Octavia (as you know!!!!) and we are both impressed with our Skodas - they are, to all intents and purposes, VWs!

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My mom has a Skoda Fabia estate and it’s a great car! Much better quality than Dacia and just about the same price range. My moms Skoda is 8 years old and so far problem free.

And we can take just about anything we would want from Ikea in it. Including two new large armchairs.

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I used to love my Berlingos Patricia, and had them from the original van up to the Multispace, the latter was by far the best and more like a car. My only misgiving about them is that they are under-powered for the type of vehicle they are, so are rather ponderous when loaded. I also needed to have a 4x4 for the terrain I cover that the sheer impassibility of the roads here when we get any snow. The Berlingo is like a cavern in terms of storage with all sorts of stow points, and the boot is enormous with the back seat down (we once slept in it after a festival). I use my vehicles for anything from car duty, lugging around all the kit for my courses, shifting livestock and towing. The X-Trail I now have suits me just fine for what I need and the lurchers seem to like it too.

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My mom used to have a Suzuki Wagon Air, which was very similar to the Berlingo. I called it the 65+ bus. It was slow and quite vulnerable in high winds, but it did have space for about 60 m2 of laminat flooring.  It was our space benchmark for a new car. We drove away laughing many times from Ikea with our bookcases and stuff, with other people trying to squeeze a pan in their luxury station wagon and having to leave their kids behind.

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Yes! The ability to transport objects other people can’t, was a very important part of the Picasso.  Maybe I’ll have to take an Ikea book case with me when I test drive!  I’ll look at all these.   

The other features I realise I want: 

- a manual not an automatic.  I’m getting on a bit so don’t want to be one of those old ladies who mistakes the accelerator for the brake; 

- a comfy ride, but with enough power to cope with motorways; 

- reliable air conditioning.  This was a weakness of the Picasso’s; 

- a sat nav, touch screen ideally or at least not one where you have to dial the destination letter by letter. They annoy me. 

I don’t care about the colour, trim level etc, and although I love the idea of an electric one, I don’t think now is the time.   

 

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I drive a Renault Kangoo for work. Basically the same as a Citroen Berlingo. I think it’s great but as DM said it’s not overly powerful.

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I'd steer clear of built in sat navs P - they are usually pretty pants (unless you get a brand new car) and then cost a fortune to buy the updates from the brand dealer. I have a Tom Tom one, which is brilliant and the price i paid included a lifetime of map updates... if you hang around, they do regular offers. Having said that - OH traded in his Audi 'hairdresser's car' (soft-top sports thing) last year for a Skoda Karoq; it is an automatic, but drives really well, has tons of space in it and the sat nav is  really very good. I was prepared to hate it, but actually find myself liking it.

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Posted (edited)

We've just replaced both of our cars with fully electric ones and they're amazing. 100,000 miles is, I believe, considered to be fairly end-of-life for most combustion engines, but electric vehicles can go up to about 300,000 (depending on the car) before things become an issue - and should the battery get knackered, they can be replaced provided the rest of the car is in good working order.

We have a Nissan Leaf which is the 'city' car with a range of about 150-160 miles before needing a full charge, and then we have a Hyundai Kona with a range of about 350 miles for any longer journeys we need to do.

Initially we were both concerned about whether or not we would enjoy them as we would be limited by milage, however, we realised that the Ford Focus we had only had a range of about 380 miles max and the DS3 which was a diesel did about 500 - but we thought about it and realised that in all the years we'd had those cars, we had only ever used either of them beyond their maximum range on a handful of occasions.

We were also concerned about the charging times and availability of charging points, however, Zap Map has made it really easy to find charging points and plan the routes, and if you use a high-capacity charge point, you can get your car (depending on the car and the charger) fully charged in about 1.5 hours. When we've done long journeys in the past, we've always ended up stopping somewhere for lunch or a break for an hour or so anyway, so it doesn't really make it any less convenient.

We also signed up with Pod Point which means a lot of low-capacity chargers are free for us to use (generally you have to pay for high-capacity chargers regardless of the service).

And we're also on a fully renewable energy plan, so we get to full extra smug that we can drive anywhere we want without generating all those nasty fumes! :)

Oh, and it should be noted with the mileage that our cars are a generation behind the newest models, so the ones being released now will be adding a lot of extra miles. I suspect within 10 years the technology will have improved so much that the low-end cars will all have a range of about 200 miles and be fully chargeable within a couple of hours, and the high-end cars will have a range of about 500 miles and be fully chargeable in under an hour.

Edited by AndyRoo

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Much as I'd like to 'go electric', it just isn't practical for me - I need the 'grunt' of a big diesel engine to carry/pull what I do, and there's no way I'd be able to recharge it at home - I am lucky if I can park in the same road, let alone near the house... another thing not factored in in the drive towards using electric vehicles. Plus, I could never afford a new car, so old 4X4s are the way to go for me.

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6 hours ago, The Dogmother said:

Much as I'd like to 'go electric', it just isn't practical for me - I need the 'grunt' of a big diesel engine to carry/pull what I do, and there's no way I'd be able to recharge it at home - I am lucky if I can park in the same road, let alone near the house... another thing not factored in in the drive towards using electric vehicles. Plus, I could never afford a new car, so old 4X4s are the way to go for me.

You can get electric 4x4s with the same power as their combustion counterparts, though if you buy them new they do have an eye-watering price tag.

Charging the car can be tricky if you don't have a driveway, but you can get 3-pin adaptors if you're able to park outside your home so you can charge them by running a cable from your living room to the car. The charge rate is a lot slower, though. That's what we did until we had the Pod Point installed. If you put it across the pavement, you have to be careful it doesn't create a tripping hazard or obstruction, obviously.

I think within the next 10 - 15 years, you'll probably find public charging points on most streets for people who don't have a drive. I was speaking to our Lord Mayor the other day, and she seemed to think something like that would be a the long-term plan for the city (as so many people in Bristol don't have their own driveway). They're also on about allowing people to drill 'ditches' so that you can run charging cables across the pavements without causing a problem. I'm sure there'll be a fancy pants futuristic way of doing it before not too long.

I think once diesel cars are phased out, there'll be a big update on electric vehicles, so there'll be a lot better infrastructure around it - especially in bigger cities. From next year, with the exception of delivery vehicles and taxis, diesel vehicles have effectively been banned in Bristol anyhow.

Although this all may become a moot point because if we don't drastically cut emissions within the next 20 years, there'll be barely anyone left alive to drive electric cars in a hundred years.

15 hours ago, Patricia W said:

I usually use Google maps on my iphone.  So maybe I just need a built in holder for it! 

Have you tried Waze? That's been the best SatNav app I've tried so far - I was so impressed by it, I actually chucked out the old Garmin I had.

If you're buying a new car, you could check to see if it comes with CarPlay software as all you have to do then is connect your phone to the system and it should effectively override the built in nav with whatever system you decide to use - provided it's CP compatible.

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1 hour ago, AndyRoo said:

Have you tried Waze? That's been the best SatNav app I've tried so far - I was so impressed by it, I actually chucked out the old Garmin I had.

I used to use Waze, but absolutely get fed up with the constant updates it needs to do when I want to navigate. Quit downloading voices!!!

Now I just use the Apple maps app, which is very good too.

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1 hour ago, Cat tails said:

I used to use Waze, but absolutely get fed up with the constant updates it needs to do when I want to navigate. Quit downloading voices!!!

Now I just use the Apple maps app, which is very good too.

Yeah, that could be frustrating. Although I don't remember the last time it tried to install a new voice, so I either got so used to it that I don't even notice anymore, or I managed to find a setting to prevent it doing that and I forgot. I like the fact that it can be live updated by drivers/passengers on the road. I know some of the fancier satnav software gets the updates from the news, but I like the fact that you can get it there and then.

I don't think I've ever tried the Apple maps one, so maybe I'll give that a go. That's my one gripe about the cars having their own 'built in' SatNavs is that you can only get the software updated once a year for free at the dealers - or you have to pay a small fortune for more frequent updates.

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Apple maps and Google maps both use driver information nowadays to update during driving. Both of those apps got so good the last couple of years that Waze got overtaken by them.

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2 hours ago, Cat tails said:

Apple maps and Google maps both use driver information nowadays to update during driving. Both of those apps got so good the last couple of years that Waze got overtaken by them.

Ah. I didn't realise they'd been updated with driver updates. Maybe I'll have a look at them at some point then.

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6 hours ago, Geoid said:

How much are you looking to spend? 

Interesting question, Geoid!  When I was working it made sense to buy new and I got a car allowance. Cheaper than a company car.  Driving 35k  miles a year paid the running costs.   No such luxury now!  And, my car used to be our primary car, with my husband driving a mini as he worked locally.  He now has an Audi Quattro which is our main car.   He likes to keep his cars ‘nice’ .   So mine  will be the car I use to transport grandchildren with sticky fingers, animals and my wet oil paintings etc.  ( Did I tell you the old one has an innovative modern colour scheme? ).    I’m looking at 2 to 3 year old ones from £8k-£15k.   I find myself drawn to big cars..... 

Andy Roo, as Cat Tails says I  have Waze on Google maps on my phone/iPad.  Great for avoiding traffic jams!  The best Sat Nav we ever had though,  had a choice of celebrity voices.   I remember Ozzie Osbourne, with a choice of swearing or not swearing and Joanne Lumley.  Made for fun journeys! 

 

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How about a Vauxhall Combo Life?

You can get a used (2020 model) for around £12,000

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The thing is Andy, I can't usually park in my street, let alone outside the house and I dread to think what would happen to a cable strung across to a car - it would disappear or be vandalised.😂

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4 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

 to a cable strung across to a car 

Illegal too ;) 

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Trip hazard. My road is a narrow Victorian street with parking on both sides; unless i am around during the day, I can't usually park near the house, let alone outside.

Anyhow... I digress.

That Combo Life looks an interesting little shifter of stuff. Neighbour has a Dacia Duster and loves it to bits.

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We looked at Dacia, but compared to Skoda it was all cheap plastic and the standard models just came with a steering wheel.... everything else was optional.

But think you can get a new Skoda or Dacia for that price range though.

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Volkswagen Touran. My dad has one and it is massive! All the rear seats can either fold down or be removed completely leaving a flat load bay. It can easily seat eight adults and it is a very smooth ride. Drives more like a petrol! 

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We're on our second Vauxhall Zafira - very flexible for carrying extra people or large items. It's popular as a motability car (doe that scheme still run?) so when we bought there were lots of low mileage 3 year old cars available at a reasonable price. You have to re-register them as non disabled for car tax but that's very straightforward.

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