The other side of posh new cars; hiking up profits; poor condition
Readers raise their motoring gripes including having to drive older cars for financial reasons.
I don't expect you to understand what I am writing about this week because you are driving big, posh new cars all the time.
For me, and many more like me with seven and eight-year-old cars, the reality is different.
We spend a lot of the time worrying about something breaking or being let down when we need the car most.
I live in the west of Ireland in what people living in Dublin commonly call a 'remote' area.
It is beautiful in the summer but when the Atlantic wind and rain whip around the house, I get a terrible sense of being alone.
I have a mobile phone, my nearest neighbour is a couple of miles away so really I am completely dependent on my car to do my weekly shop and so on.
The point I am making is that people in areas like this rely on our cars far more than people in big urban areas where there are buses and trains and taxis.
We are part of the fabric of what so many call 'rural' Ireland.
We are also part of the tourist fabric of the country; without our custom in the winter would small towns survive?
Enough people have left the economic desolation over the past few years.
Farmers get disadvantaged area grants and rightly so because if many more flee the land the west will become one giant wild-life park.
I'm not looking for anything financially, but I would appreciate some recognition of the fact that so many people rely on their car and that they pay a big price for that.
I honestly do not know where I will get the money to buy a three or four-year-old car in 2016 or 2017.
That is, I hope for you and the likes of you, a sobering thought as you write about so many people buying new cars. I don't wish to dampen people's spirits but a little dose of reality never went astray either.
(Gerry, I promise you I - and all others who contribute to Independent Motors - perfectly understand what you are saying. We try week in and week out, especially Aidan Timmons and I on the Advice Desk, to advise people who have scarce resources on what is the best thing to do. And I understand how reliant people are on their cars in more remote areas. But you make your point well and I'm sure it will strike a chord with many)
I hope you will keep a close eye on how car prices go in the New Year.
With all that demand you keep writing about surely many dealers will be tempted to add on another bit of profit?
I would fear they would be less likely to knock off a few euro to get a deal than they would this time last year- or certainly the year before.
(Eddie: I think competition is fierce and that will help keep prices keen. And you can always shop around for the best deal - more so now than ever.
But don't forget that dealers have to make a living too. We often lose sight of that.)
When will people learn to mind their cars better?
We Irish are truly awful when it comes to keeping our vehicles in some sort of reasonable order.
And I've never seen anything like the abuse some cars got in shopping-centre car parks over the Christmas.
No car was built for that sort of treatment.