Car Choice: Don't give up your pride and joy – buy a sack of spuds
Sunday 18 September 2011
Lin Evans loves her MX-5 sports cars, and has run them for the last 20 years. But after a move to the Cotswolds, the last two winters have been a problem as the Mazda can't cope with the snow, and she has had several scary experiences. However, Lin does not want a boring car, would love another convertible, but realises that the MX-5 may have to be replaced. Her budget is £20,000.
A car for the head
Lin told me that experts had said that snow tyres would not help, as the MX-5 is so light. Well, perhaps she could try putting a bag of potatoes in the boot. This could actually transform the handling by putting weight over the driving wheels at the rear. I know of several BMW owners who have done this and found that, combined with snow tyres or snow chains, their car behaves itself. I would urge Lin not to give up her pride and joy. Personally, I put my large rear-wheel drive car away during really bad weather and use a Land Rover. Maybe Lin could hire a 4x4 when it snows? I really think that the extra weight in the boot and proper tyres or chains would be the answer and be much cheaper than buying a car that won't make her very happy. I am sure Lin is a good driver, but perhaps she should also modify her driving style and take lessons through the Institute of Advanced Motorists. A registered charity, their Skill for Life package costs £139, and if Lin passes she will become a member of the IAM.
A car for the heart
Lin's MX-5 is rear-wheel drive which can be more of a challenge in wet or wintry conditions, so one answer could be to simply go for a front-wheel drive car. If Lin wants a sports car which is fun to drive, has driven front wheels, and has the roof missing, then she should look no further than a Mini convertible. The Cooper or Cooper S are the ones that Lin should consider but there is a huge list of extras that can increase the price. The basic Cooper convertible starts at £17,235. The Pepper pack, at £925, adds air conditioning, floor mats and fog lights. Then the Convertible pack, at £400, factors in seat heating and a wind deflector. It doesn't end there, as Sport Suspension at £150 could be something she needs. Perhaps Lin should consider a slightly used example. Her £20,000 will buy a top of the range Cooper S, with the best Chili pack extras, registered in 2011, and with just a few thousand miles on the clock.
Looking to buy?
Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF or email James Ruppert at carchoice@inde- pendent.co.uk, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.
Life & Style blogs
What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
iPhone 6s photos leak shows new phone will be thicker than iPhone 6, could make cases defunct
Overly-controlling parents cause their children lifelong psychological damage, says study
Women really are more attracted to men who make them laugh, study finds
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 4 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...