Since I moved home to Norway from Denmark, I’ve wanted to have a car.
In Denmark – at least in inner city Copenhagen – a bike is usually more than enough transportation, when supplemented with a decent offering of buses, metro and local trains getting you pretty much where you need to be.
Getting to an area with decent nature for walking was also no problem.
In addition to that, where I lived in Copenhagen, I had at least seven grocery stores, in different price ranges, within a five minute walk (on flat surface, since it was Denmark, after all…) So, apart from that summer when my lift was being fixed – I lived on the 8th floor – shopping for food was generally an easy thing.
Moving to Norway.
(None of the things below are things that I can’t live with, it is no huge issue compared to starvation in Africa, tsunami in Japan, earthquake in New Zealand, and so on, just so we’re clear on that.)
There is no metro system in my area of Norway. When they renovated the railway track that runs about 50 meter away from my house, last year, – they didn’t put in a railway station close enough to comfortably walk or bike to and from. Hence, using the railway is rather pointless unless first taking a bus-ride to get to a station.
There is one bus running past us, but it is essentially always at least 3-4 minutes late, if not more, and thus never corresponds with any of the other buses that it should be able to, according to the time table. And rarely corresponds with a train because of this.
There are no grocery stores within a five minute walk. The closest is a ten minute walk (which isn’t bad at all, really) but the return is up a beastly monster hill, which isn’t fun when carrying groceries. Within 15 minutes on my bike, there are 6 grocery stores, but as with walking, there is a limited amount of stuff you can get with you home. And the bike still has to be pushed up the monster hill, with the groceries on it.
Every Friday (or close to it), I play bandy (and other ball games) in a gym hall 15-20 minutes away by bus, and afterwards, we go home to someone and socialize. Since getting around by bus isn’t easy, I am then dependent on someone else to get me to the event, and get me home again afterwards. And people who pass by where I live afterwards aren’t always there.
Plus, there are some great nature walks around in the county. Just not in the industrial area I live in. There are some, smallish nature areas here, but not something you can hike in.
All that, and more, has been leading up to the “I want a car” train of thoughts.
I started saving for one, and had a small chunk when I noticed a car advert on Friday. (Ideally, I had wanted to wait until at least summer, so I could save up some more…)
It was 2 years old, and had been driven less than 3500 km. (around 2174 miles). It is small, light, has great mileage for petrol, and very light on C02 emissions. (In a test I saw, apart from electric cars, the Toyota Prius was the only car that had less emissions than this one.) It handled fairly well when I had it out for a test drive. A bit choppy at times, though.
The drawback is that it is… small, and there is hardly any room in the boot for luggage for more than one person. If four persons (forget about five, unless the three in the back are people as thin as planks.) are going, some strategic maneuvering will have to be done to give the two in the back as much space as possible, but it is surprisingly spacious in the front.
But yes, I ended up getting it. Since this is Norway, it cost more used here than it would new any other place on the planet, but it was knocked back about 5665 pounds from the new asking price, and I got new-car guarantee since it was rather new and not driven much. My dad also pointed out that if I want to sell it within a couple of years to upgrade, I should be able to get close to the same for it. (We saw a similar model, one year older, but driven 38000 km, go for only 1133 pounds less than mine.)
I’m picking it up today, and am very excited, and a bit nervous.