FreakoutITGeek's Blog

Random IT postings from Freakz

Monthly Archives: March 2015

Another chip off the old block

So after months of deliberation a realisation came to me that my change from a diesel car to an electric was not going to be possible due to the lack of supply of suitably cheep second hand vehicles in central Scotland and my lack of finances and the longer I left the purchase of a new(er) vehicle the more it would cost me.

So I’m now the owner of a second hand Seat Altea XL, purchased through a local Seat dealership.  As a compromise I have gone for an ecomotive version, with low emissions and for my own peace-of-mind loads of mod cons such as automatic lights, Stop-Start technology (should save some pollution & money) and (not something new for my american readers, but new to me) Cruse Control.

As a past Seat Altea owner, I found the change to a new car really easy as it’s just the same car with a few refinements and a bit more space. I have often wondered why more people don’t know about the Altea as it has a lot of space whilst not looking like a big car.

For a couple without kids, a big question is why do I need so much space? To be honest I probably don’t but in the past we have taken our nice and nephew camping and down for a few days away to Alton Towers, something that needs quite a bit of space (especially when camping with our 5 man tent and all the associated equipment).

The Altea XL has quite a bit of extra space that will come in handy as we may also have to take our youngest nephew with his sister and brother (assuming that they haven’t got to that age that hanging out with their aunt and uncle is something that they would rather be dead than doing).  I also use my car for work at times and several laptops and or desktop PCs with monitors can take up quite a lot of space that most cars don’t have (even with the seats down).

My big issue is that the Altea does have some serious blind spots, which can cause you to miss cars, vans and even HGVs , depending on the angle of the vehicle.  I believe that the blind spot is (ironically) due to some security features such as airbags and body strength.  As I’m aware of this issue is shouldn’t be an issue with the Altea XL.

It’s been a while since I bought a car (over 5 years) and I’ve found that the service you receive has slowly deteriorated.  A few cars back (10+ years) I would get the car, either go for the dealerships finance deal (usually more expensive) or get my own finance (There are some great finance deals just now, such as a 3.6% personal loan for existing Nationwide Building Society) but no matter which option you went for you had the car valeted, car mats, good tyres, a full tank of fuel and a nice bunch of flowers.  The last two cars I have purchased have only included two of these options, namely the tires (which are a legal requirement) and the valet (which is sort of the minimum I would expect from any car dealership). In a world where simple actions such as a bunch of flowers and a cheep set of car mats can make a difference, I’m surprised that this tradition has fallen by the wayside especially when there are so many places vying for customers and any small way to make the customer happy can make that customer into a regular, helping to increase the customer satisfaction whilst keeping the business successful, after all it costs more to find new customers than to keep existing customers.

So all in all I’ve got a new (second hand ) car, which isn’t exactly what I want, but a compromise is better than nothing and sometimes you have to accept the changes because sometimes you aren’t able to get what you want.