Young Master T is nearing 18 next month and in honour of this prestigious birthday and the fact that my Dad spoils him rotten, he has been given his own car. Note my dad spoils him, not me; I'm groaning under the insurance bill for a 17 year old and the cost of driving lessons, test and extra petrol as now he wants me to ride shot gun everywhere he goes...... I don't understand it, his feet worked fine until last week!
Anyway, the car is a trusty little Peugeot 206, it's about 8 years old and apparently really well maintained (I'm trusting my brother on that and a stack of service slips that came with it). New car hadn't even arrived before the questions started. "Can I add alloy wheels?", "Can I get bucket sports seats?", "what about a new subwoofer and sound system?". By the time the car made it to our driveway, unscathed, he'd completely reinvented the wheel in his own mind and was imagining a car that wasn't going to look out of place at Silverstone on F1 day.
The supercar of his dreams, had low wide tyres, apparently great for road handling in the dry on fast roads. He's obviously forgotten that he lives in England, where dry roads only happen twice a year. Skirts and a new low bumper system were also high up on the list, which would be great if we didn't have six speed bumps in the road that leads to our house. Bucket sports seats with harnesses - apparently he was thinking of me then and how much safer I'd feel if he had more than just a seat belt holding him in if he rolled the car!!!! I'd feel safer, if he decided to put of learning to drive until he was 45. He also wanted tinted glass, a new gear stick shaped like a woman's body and a sound system that on it's lowest setting would make the ground shake.
Suffice to say said car is still in exactly the same condition as when it arrived with absolutely no modifications, but it did get me thinking about the changes I'd like to make:
1. Instead of just a driver and passenger airbag, I'd like the air bag to inflate around the entire body of the car; safely cocooning all occupents in a kind of giant Zorb ball at the slightest hint of bodily damage.
2. I'd like parking sensors built in around the entire circumfrance of the car. Which would not only beep if he got close to hitting something, but switch off the engine if he ignored the warning signs.
3. I'd go one farther with the parking sensors and have the car designed so that it could scan the surrounding area and park itself.
4. In my dream car world, the car would have a breath sensor inbuilt and if any alcohol was found in the driver the immobiliser would kick in.
5. I'd like a speed limiter, not one that stops the car going over 70, but one that scans the road signs and limits the car to the actual speed of any given road.
6. I'd love it to GPS back to me at home command the exact location of the car at any given time. Especially useful on days when you just know he's not keen on going to college and the beach is calling him.
7. My best one would be that it ran on some kind of new fuel that doesn't cost me half the gross national debt each week to finance.
8. and finally I think I'd like it to be self cleaning as although at the moment, it's being cleaned all the time, I'm not exactly looking forward to my water bill.
I doubt I could get all of these, but with a £1,000 I could insist on the harness seat belts, the parking sensors, a great sat nav, a wonderful alarm system for the car and a hands free phone system, which could make me a slightly happier and less worried M. And this would hopefully leave some money over for the change in insurance costs from modifying the car to include these lovely little gadgets. The alloy wheels, tinted windows and new completely sexist gear knob can stay sitting pretty on the shop shelf for some other young lad. Not quite a bond car, but definately a super little car for a young lad starting out.
I started this blog post after reading about a great little competition idea over on Temp Cover.com http://blog.tempcover.com/news/competition-time. They provided us with fantasically helpful cover when we bought the car as my dad bought it in Bristol and we live in Devon, so he needed to be able to drive it just for two days. They also provide cover for learner drivers and young drivers, which is not easy to find.