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to turn down this free car and offend the giver?

(185 Posts)
tygertygerburningbright Sun 20-Oct-13 18:12:54

I genuinely have no idea if I'm being a spoilt brat about this or not, so I welcome opinions!

I have taken about 20 driving lessons, I'm in my late twenties, and I'm fairly confident I'll pass my test before Christmas. I'm a lone parent and a student so don't have much money. My grandmother is paying for my driving lessons. Today she told me she would give me her car when I pass my test. Which of course is lovely! And I am most grateful for the offer. But... I'll try to list my hesitations..

It's a petrol, and I have learned in a diesel (had a few lessons in a petrol and honestly drove crap because I couldn't really get the hang of the whole needing the gas pedal to do manouvers etc when in a diesel its loads easier because you can just lift the clutch and go.) I know I may very well get used to a petrol in no time, but I am worried about it.

It's teeny tiny, like smaller than a Micra, smaller than any car other than a smart car I think. And I am 6 foot. There will be zero leg room in the back seat behind me. And I am training to work in a trade so I need a fair amount of room for tools etc, which there is none in this car.

It's not very nice... This is the crappiest reason ever not to want it, but basically I hate it and would never choose it in a million years.

All that said, I know it's very very nice of her to offer, and I do think maybe I'm being a bit ungrateful about it. A free car is a free car, and I don't think many people's first car is their dream car really. Also, she would be hugely offended if I said no.

I haven't said anything to my grandmother of course, because I think deep down even I know I'm being horrible...

KCumberSandwich Thu 24-Oct-13 15:57:36

my first car (got it in may) is a heap of crap. it cost me £500 quid. it has 4 dents, a wheel trim missing, two doors and the boot don't work and it has a tape player. it's akin to something onslow from keeping up appearances would drive. it is the best money i have ever spent, gets me from A to B, costs almost bugger all on fuel and i dont really give a damn if it gets a scratch or ds covers the seats in sticky stuff.

your first car wont be ideal, ive never driven a diesel but surely with a little practise you would get used to that?

if it is out of the question and absolutely not practical for what you need it for then you need to decline in the politest way you can find- there is little point in accepting a car you can't use and your gran going without a car needlessly.

if you can think of ways to live with the problems then don't look the gift horse in the mouth.

don't look a gift horse in the

HelloBoys Thu 24-Oct-13 13:41:56

My brother used to drive automatics and also diesel where he could be them (don't know if you can get both!).

I drive an automatic petrol.

My brother's first car at 18 was a Vauxhall Astra or something like that - 2nd hand v cheap then VW Beetle etc. Mine was a Ford Fiesta or Ka - new as a relative worked at the plant and my grandma gave me money towards it. My brother took the money but not the brand new Ford with reduction.

My brother is now buying nice cars as he likes them (eg Alfa was last one) mostly automatic but cheap and then if there are things wrong with them he sells them on.

he's just yesterday got back from Liverpool area where he bought a cheap Merc automatic. this will probably last a year if that! his wife (of 2 years) will be thrilled not as it's her money goes into this purchase too!

Glad you saw sense OP. smile

GhostsInSnow Thu 24-Oct-13 13:27:31

Perhaps I was a little snippy in which case for that I do apologise, however, as bogey says I was making the point more that my own low mileage causes issues with my car.

I honestly thought it obvious that someone wouldn't drive that short distance unless they really had to for whatever reason.

Anyway back to op.

Bogeyface Thu 24-Oct-13 11:39:14

I assumed that by posting on a discussion forum she wanted to discuss the topic

No, she was commenting on low mileage cars, nothing to do with wanting to discuss her school run preferences.

If a school is 600m away and someone drives then I would assume that there is a good reason and not question it, and even if she was just being lazy, its none of your business and of no relevance to the thread.

WMittens Thu 24-Oct-13 11:12:13


It was none of your business why she drives to school.

I assumed that by posting on a discussion forum she wanted to discuss the topic; I'm sorry, it was an honest mistake.

IHaveA Thu 24-Oct-13 08:57:10

You were a bit snippy there Juice. Asking why you walked was a reasonable question you can't expect everyone to automatically know your situation.
There is no point getting angry about nothing.

trixymalixy Thu 24-Oct-13 08:54:51

Why should she have had to qualify her post with her daughter's situation though? It was none of your business why she drives to school. Did you really think it hadn't crossed her mind that it is walkable if able bodied? Not judgy my arse.

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 24-Oct-13 08:01:06

Juice Come on, Mittens isn't psychic! She asked a question without realising. I'm sure she didn't mean to upset you or make you angry. flowers

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 22:14:14

I asked a question; there was no judgement on my part. If it 'seemed' that way, you inferred something that wasn't there. As a genuine (i.e. non-passive aggressive) suggestion, if you include sufficient information then we could avoid the 'seemingness'.

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 21:27:13

Put my feed face away? Why? You seemingly judged me without knowing anything about me so yes, that makes me quite cross.

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 21:03:30

And I was supposed to know that how? Put your red face away.

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 19:01:23

My daughter has a disability... I wish she could walk, would be quite marvellous all round. angry

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 18:51:28


My average daily mileage is about 1.5 miles.

If the school's about 600m away, why not walk?

JerseySpud Wed 23-Oct-13 18:33:40

Honestly? Petrol is not that much different to diesel really and you will get used to it. What the difference you are talking about is the engine.

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 17:59:34

Mittens I drive a 99 petrol clio with 33k on the clock. My average daily mileage is about 1.5 miles. It's literally started, driven to school and back and then repeat at 3pm.
Most weekends I need to charge my battery because I just don't go far enough to keep it charged.
Despite my limited miles it does get oil and filter change once a year.

Aside from the issues I mentioned it's possible that the car is still running on the original 2006 tyres, if its not a garaged vehicle then the tyres need close inspection for wear/cracking as well.

WMittens Wed 23-Oct-13 17:46:28


Lower mileage cars can sometimes come with their own sets of problems as well because they are often started, run 3 miles up the road to Tesco and back and put away. They never have a good run to charge the battery and clear out the crap.

True, but much more of an issue with diesels than petrols. Also, a battery should recover the energy used to start the engine within about 2 miles (there was a good site showing how that is calculated, but I'm struggling to find it now).

GhostsInSnow Wed 23-Oct-13 14:53:28

Low miles doesn't automatically mean a better car, check when it was last serviced, it should be done at least every year really even if she was only doing 5k a year.
Lower mileage cars can sometimes come with their own sets of problems as well because they are often started, run 3 miles up the road to Tesco and back and put away. They never have a good run to charge the battery and clear out the crap.

Budget for a service first thing if you haven't already smile

tygertygerburningbright Wed 23-Oct-13 14:35:19

Sorry I took so long to get back on this thread!

You'll all be glad to know I have accepted the offer, negotiating on insurance now because my cheapest quote was £1200!

Its a Hyundai Amica, she has owned it from new and bought it in 2007, she does about 5000 miles a year. I know nothing about cars but I imagine this means its in pretty good condition.

I am learning in a Hyundai i20, so not that much different in models I would imagine, except the petrol diesel thing.

I definitely meant diesel not automatic. But I have learned from this thread that maybe its not actually ALL diesels that you can pull off with not using the gas. Just some cars apparently. Which I guess is eye opening because I could have turned down the petrol only to buy a diesel that needs gas to pull off and do manouvers anyway..

Has been very interesting reading the petrol v diesel debate though!

teacherandguideleader Mon 21-Oct-13 21:20:07

Re: the height issue - I wanted the bigger model than the car I had - bf is over 6 foot. He couldn't get in the bigger model, but the smaller one was fine as although it is much smaller, the roof is higher. Give it a try before you discount it.

My car isn't my dream car but I love it, and it is significantly cheaper to run than my dream car.

My best friend got her first car a few years ago from her gran. I forget the make but it was a Pony model in a beautiful (not) shade of brown. It was horrific and we had a good giggle as we clambered in - it got us from A to B (just not in style).

WandaDoff Mon 21-Oct-13 21:14:12

YABU. hmm

Tell your Gran that if you don't want her generous gift, then I'd be very grateful for it.

ILikeBirds Mon 21-Oct-13 21:11:44


Unless you get exactly the same car as your driving instructor has you are going to find lots of differences that might trouble you as an inexperienced driver, gear sticks in slightly different positions, different spacing between pedals etc. It won't take long to get used to a new car.

Bunbaker Mon 21-Oct-13 20:53:51

"If you do use the back seat for your tools make sure theyre strapped down and secured"

and covered up. My next door neighbour was always getting his car broken into because local criminals knew he kept tools in the car. He now empties the car every night.

If you do use the back seat for your tools make sure theyre strapped down and secured

Melonbreath Mon 21-Oct-13 20:22:38

Wheels are wheels. My first car was shit as, it had two doors of different colours and a different coloured bumper. My mate's dad was a mechanic and knew no one would buy it and it wasn't worth doing up. Result? Hideously ugly FREE CAR!
It was known as the clanger.
I didn't notice how ugly it was when I was in it but I did notice the freedom I had.
If anyone mocked me they weren't allowed a lift. Ever. And I pointed out the perfectly working FREE 1 litre engine which meant my insurance wasn't through the roof either.
In time I got a much nicer car, but it never had the soul that clanger did. Or the nasty wet dog smell.

LunaticFringe Mon 21-Oct-13 20:08:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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