New Car Smell
My first car was a 20 year old Hilman Imp that cost £100 in 1993, just after I passed my driving test on the 6th attempt. It had a back window that didn't lock and a seatbelt that went over your knee, like a useless ribbon. It never went above 50 miles per hour and on my first trip in it (to a garage), I managed to reverse it into a parking space and found myself unable to maneouvre out again. Two burly enraged mechanics got tired of watching me, and ended up picking up the car (with me inside it) and carrying it a few feet so that I was freed. I never went back to that garage, although I drive past it every day of my life on my way to work.
The poor old Hillman Imp lasted all of six months, and then during an ambitious and foolhardy trip to visit my parents, it conked out on the A685, in the middle of nowhere, forever. After that I bought a little Renault for £400, which regularly conked out on hills, and used to make a hideous grinding noise when going round corners. A series of better second hand cars followed, gradually getting bigger and more expensive. My most recent one (a Nissan X-Trail) lasted five years although it almost permanently had a yellow warning light on the dashboard, and every time I took it to get serviced it came back with more problems than I had started with. I endured it vibrating scarily for the past year when it went above 70mph on motorways, but after its last service last week, it stalled 5 times on an A road, and I decided I'd had enough.
So now I have a brand new car - no previous owners, straight from the car shop, place, thing. It is like a spaceship, with buttons that I don't understand and will never use. If I reverse, it shrieks when I'm about to hit a wall. The music system has bluetooth and starts playing songs from my Iplayer. There are dual air conditioning systems for the front seat. Even the glove box has its own air conditioning unit. And the integrated satnav says "please" when telling you to turn left.
I will be paying for it until I retire, and I keep putting it into reverse when I mean first gear. But I finally have a car with the number 12 in the registration number. And it feels quite nice.