We finally bought ourselves a car! We always intended on buying one when we arrived in Ireland, so we both felt that it was needed; it wasn’t fair on Dad dropping us everywhere and we just wanted more independence.
We visited a few car dealerships and I thought ‘well we’ll find a few and then we can choose which one we like the best. There are plenty of car dealerships here so it won’t be a problem’.
Wrong. We only saw one car which suited us! We wanted a car that wasn’t too big, wasn’t too old, was second hand and had a 1.0-litre engine. (Better for insurance)
The first place we visited was the only place we saw one that was suitable for us! So we didn’t have much to choose from. But thankfully it is perfect!
It is a 2012 Toyota Yaris and it is lovely to drive! It’s not too big, it has a camera at the back so when you reverse you can see on the dashboard where you are going, it’s a 1.0-litre, and its very clean and spacious!
Below is a picture of the car type we got. This is not our car!
My Dad had a 2002 Nissan Micra years ago and that was what I used to drive, and I have to say there is a big difference!! It was so hard to get going from 1st gear as the clutch and accelerator had to be perfectly balanced so that it moved (I can’t really explain it well). If you didn’t get it just right it wouldn’t move or it could stall. I thought that every car was like that and you just have to practice, but now that I am driving our new one I now know that that is not the case!
It’s just so easy to move off in our new car, and I haven’t stalled once. With the other one I was constantly stalling because it was hard to get the clutch and accelerator at the correct point to move. So that’s definitely good!
I’m still quite nervous driving as I haven’t driven in years, so my Dad suggested I put ‘N’ plates (Novice) on the car to show other drivers that I’m still practising. In 2014 Ireland introduced a law that every driver who passed their driving test has to have N plates on their car for 2 years after they pass. I passed mine in 2011 so I didn’t have to have them at the time, but I think it’s a great idea. People are more aware that the drivers who have N plates are still not experienced yet, so they are a bit more lenient. I feel safer with them because I do feel I need a lot more practice!
But there are things which I don’t enjoy:
I hate passing cyclists, walkers or slow moving vehicles! I cry when I see a cyclist or anything that I have to pass. I really need to get more confident in doing it. I’ve only had to pass one and thankfully there was no oncoming traffic. ( I was literally on the other side of the road and I’m sure the other drivers were thinking ‘God they are bit dramatic’, but I managed it)
When I was practising with my Dad, there was a slow moving vehicle in front. I kept well away from it so that the other cars behind me could overtake me. Then they overtook the slow vehicle.
Hill Starts. I actually haven’t done a hill start in our new car but I remember in the Nissan Micra I didn’t enjoy it. I felt that the hand-brake wasn’t strong and that I would start going backwards. But I trust our new car so I think this will be fine.
Crossing at a T-Juntion. I hate crossing to the other side of the road when there’s a lot of traffic. I just feel like I will never get across and the other drivers behind will start beeping. At least with the N plates they kind of know that I may take longer than others, which is a bit of a relief!
But I do really like the car. It’s spacious and it even has a radio! The radio in the Micra didn’t work so they were very quiet car journeys!
So my plan is to try and practice everyday so I get more and more confident.
I just really really wish there were no cyclists or walkers or tractors or diggers or any slow vehicle that I have to overtake!