A different kind of holiday stress

2년 전

One week from now we're going on holidays. The plan is to go France and enjoy some weeks of quite hiking on the Alpes. The mountains do not attract as many visitors as for example Paris so we're hoping to avoid a local lock down and be able to return home. And walking in the mountains it should be fairly easy to keep 1,5 meters distance from strangers. So I think the chance of trpuble is slim. Should be a relaxing holiday. That is, if we get there...

Two weeks ago my car broke down. And that car was supposed to be our transportation for the holidays. I never really enjoyed that car. It is beautiful to see, which is the one and only reason I bought it five years ago. In case you're interested, it's a Citroen C4 Grande Picasso. It has however caused me a lot of trouble in the five years I have used it. And cost me more money for repairs than I like to admit.


Earlier this year the car already needed an expensive repair. It was a choice then of buying a new car or to have this one repaired and hope for the best. Obviously, I did not makehe right choice then.

So when two weeks ago it turned out the car needed another expensive repair and the troubles of earlier this year were actually still not over, I was very reluctant to spend more money on the car. On the other hand, where do I find a new one in three weeks that is large enough for all our camping gear, not too old, not too expensive and above all a litlle (make that a lot) more reliable than the Citroën?

Imagine, first we thought we would not be able to go to France because of COVID. And now that the lock downs are lifted, we can not go to France because of the damn car!

Normally I'm not a guy to lose sleep about whatever. This time, however, I had a night of tossing over trying to answer the question: to repair or not to repair, to buy or not to buy?

That was the first time in my live I had to fret over the question which car to bring with me instead of for example how many t-shirts I would need for the holidays.

I did not sleep well, that night....

In the end I realised I did not trust the Citroën anymore. What guarantee was there that, there would not crop up some other problem or the same one again while on vacation? I once had to go to the garage in France (with another car). That was quite a challenge. I speak French well enough to order croissants or some coffee, not to explain what is wrong with a car, nor to understand what the mechanic tells me what should be done and what it would cost.

Exit Citroën, enter, ah, well, bugger, I need a new car 🚗.

Normally I would look around quite a bit for what I would like, search the Internet, compare prices and specifications, read as many reviews as possible, ask for other people's experiences, etcetera, etcetera. However, there was hardly anytime for that. I needed a car, and I needed it quickly.

I sat down and thought, what brand do I personally have the best experiences with? Ford. Okay, what models are within my spending power? C-MAX. Is it large enough for us to take everything along we need to go camping? No. Is there a slightly larger model? Yes, Grand C-MAX. Okay, is one available nearby and on short notice? Yes, two. Okay, let's try that one.

It was actually, a kind of point-and-click way to buy a car.

And there it is, our new car.


Let's hope it brings us to France and back again safely.

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