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Convince me that having a larger car than you need is not selfish.

(412 Posts)
Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 09:46:24

Because I cannot think of a single reason why it's not. I'm talking about cars that are huge for the sake of it, not cars that carry wheelchairs, or loads of people, in a relatively compact and utilitarian manner.

But something that only has 4/5 seats yet is the size of a small tractor - and no, I don't think this is wrong if you live somewhere with poor terrain. But if you don't?

1. They take up more space when the last things we need on our crowded roads are unnecessarily supersized vehicles.

2. You can't see past them because they are often much higher than 'normal' cars - great for the person driving the thing, rubbish for everyone else

3. They tend to use a larger amount of fuel than a 'normal' car - which is, unarguably, utterly unfair given the fuel crisis the world is facing.

4. They don't fit into a normal parking space which causes untold problems in car parks.

5. They don't fit in a narrow road so cause hold ups as people try to pass each other.

So please convince me, if you can be bothered, that I ought not to be so cross when I am trying to use the roads and one of these massive tanks makes it difficult, dangerous or just really bloody awkward.

I am willing to listen. It's that or spontaneous combustion really.

LovelyJubblies Tue 04-Mar-14 09:47:39

Because I want a big car.
I drive a mpv and would love to upgrade to a 7 seater.

scarletforya Tue 04-Mar-14 09:49:02


It's the hogging of two lanes at junctions that irritates me. Gits, get out of the way! Grrrrr

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 09:49:39

'Because I want a big car.'

That's supposed to convince anyone that it isn't selfish?

SantanaLopez Tue 04-Mar-14 09:51:14

Because it's peoples own money to do what they want with!

Buying anything is selfish. As long as you can afford it, do what you want.

wantsleepnow Tue 04-Mar-14 09:51:35

Nobody can say it's not selfish, because that's unarguable (IMO!). What people will argue is that they "need" something the size of what they have.

I have a 7-seater 4x4. We need the 7 seats because of the number of children (blended family) but we do not need a 4x4 because we live in a city. I didn't want the 4x4 but DH did because it's a status symbol and he was paying so he chose.

Whenever I can (when only with my kids), I drive our tiny and economical city run-around but I have to confess, I do now love the 4x4 for long journeys. It is comfortable, you can see well, I don't get car-sick... but it is undeniably selfish.

LessMissAbs Tue 04-Mar-14 09:53:06

Hmmn short sighted OP. Several makes of larger cars are higher quality than many smaller cars and built to last. I have an 18 year old Mercedes still going strong. Its very large. Its an awful lot less wasteful in resources than buying a small new car which is going to be scrap after 10 years or so and building a new one to replace it. It also hardly ever needs any parts. Its done 287,000 miles.

I also own a BMW X5 which is converted to the very clean and economical fuel of LPG. I doubt it would be worth spending £2000 to convert a small car to this fuel. I can't say I have any difficulty in fitting it into parking spaces or driving it around the country lanes where I live. If people have difficulty seeing over it then I do wonder how they cope with lorries, buses, etc..

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 09:54:19

Wantsleepnow - I think that's a brilliant post and it frames the situation so well.

We all want something lovely, often, like a comfortable, high up driving position, lots of space etc. but when that is at other people's cost in terms of their own comfort and safety, yes it is selfish I think.

If everyone had their own road, it would be fine (apart from the waste of fuel). But the roads and shared and the size of a vehicle has a direct impact on everyone else's comfort and safety.

This is why it matters.

LessMissAbs Tue 04-Mar-14 09:54:31

Oh, and I don't agree with using small cars in cities because they are convenient. I would use public transport, walk or cycle. In the countryside where you have to cover long distances, then more environmentally acceptable.

WhereIsMyHat Tue 04-Mar-14 09:54:31

This reminds me of a hilarious situation last week in which a mum parked her xc90 in a retail park way over te line of her space into the next where another car was parked. He teenage daughter must have complained as she couldn't open her door properly to get out. The mum got out of her side and then stop cheer leading her daughter to squeeze through the tiny gap in the two cars. What a selfish, utterly self absorbed woman who couldn't see past the end of her own nose.

MidniteScribbler Tue 04-Mar-14 09:54:44

Because when a big bloody kangaroo jumps in front of my car I've got a better chance of surviving in my big 4x4 than in a tiny plastic fart box. Happy to be selfish about trying to survive on the roads.

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 09:57:15

'I have an 18 year old Mercedes still going strong. Its very large. Its an awful lot less wasteful in resources than buying a small new car which is going to be scrap after 10 years or so and building a new one to replace it. It also hardly ever needs any parts. Its done 287,000 miles.'

That's grand. It's nothing to do with it being large though surely? Wouldn't a smaller one have done the same if built to the same high standards? And have used less fuel?

Buses carry more people and aren't huge for the hell of it (though I hate buses too and understand they cause massive pollution and are often (but not alway ) driven by arseholes)

They are arguably more efficient and more useful and more necessary to a larger number of people than a massive car is

vans ditto

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 09:58:05

Midnite if you have to contend with large beasts then go for your life. In the UK this is rare.

Drquin Tue 04-Mar-14 10:00:19

Your opinion, so I'll not try to convince you otherwise ...... If only because there's loads of things we (the rest of society) have that we don't strictly "need". But, we'll sometimes be in the position to opt for something we want, rather than need.

Cars ..... a lot of folk even with the smallest of cars don't "need" them. They could get by on the bus or walking, but it's more convenient than walking 10 miles in the snow or whatever ....

Clothes ..... Why don't we all just have two or three days worth, but insist we put a wash on every couple of days, allowing the spare set to be rotated?

Food that isn't just bread, water and the odd veg?

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Tue 04-Mar-14 10:03:50

"convince me, if you can be bothered, that I ought not to be so cross "

because you have absolutely no power or control over who chooses to buy one and therefore it is a total waste of your time being cross about it.

I agree with you, fwiw, there are many damned good reasons for not having the big cars if they are not needed. For not using cars so much, etc etc, but unless you can actually change it, then you getting cross does sweet fa apart from wind you up and why do you want to go round being cross?

I mean, if there is something you could do about it, then do it. Find something practical that can bring about change. That's worthwhile. But impotent crossness (iyswim) is just so pointless. You'll give yourself an ulcer.

And I am a raging hypocrite because while that is, imo, absolutely true, I actually rage about so many things people do that I have no control over. grin To the point where I indulge in little murderous fantasies wink

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 10:04:30

Yes, with clothes and food, globally these things have an impact. I won't argue with that.

But cars impact directly on other road users. All the time.

My question is about having a larger car than you need. So, that would include those who don't need a car having a car.

gordyslovesheep Tue 04-Mar-14 10:04:34

well follow your argument ...having any car unless you are 100% unable to use public transport is selfish

owning most things is selfish rather than meeting a basic need

I have a big car - 90% of the time I don't need it - but it helps when going camping - here, in the UK, helping the economy and not use lots of fuel to fly abroad

a small car wouldn;t carry the stuff needed to take me and 3 kids away for a week in a tent

also I like my car

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 10:05:01

Iseeyou - fair points all! smile

RestingActress Tue 04-Mar-14 10:06:34

Like LesMissAbs we both have big old Swede tanks, one of which is LPG. It's not about status as they are ancient and a bit scruffy, we just like solid safe cars, and Volvo and Saab didn't make little run arounds.

We do live in the country and DH has a long commute so a small city car would not be suitable, and actually we can't afford to buy anything newer.

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 10:08:03

Gordy I sympathise on the camping front. I took all three of mine camping last year in a fiesta.

With a bell tent.

They had stuff on their laps, that's true, but we coped.

We have a meriva now and it's a lot easier to fit stuff in. Once we don't need to carry a pushchair around or transport a load of things back and forth due to moving house, I will think about downsizing again. I feel uncomfortable having something so big tbh.

(we didn't choose it exactly - we swapped with my parents)

TillyTellTale Tue 04-Mar-14 10:09:11

Mitnite ah, you've reminded me of another reason why I hate 4x4s! Kangaroo bars are presumably great in Australia, where running into a solidly built 90kg animal is a risk.

In the UK, they are an affectation that kills people.

Thankfully, it's now illegal to sell new cars in the UK with them already fitted.

Rooners Tue 04-Mar-14 10:09:17

It is hard to know where to draw the line but there are certain very ostentatious cars about, people freely admit to their reasons being what they are and rather selfish, but carry on regardless.

I think people should take their social and environmental responsibilities a little more seriously really.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 04-Mar-14 10:11:52

Why do you feel uncomfortable?

I have a big car. We like it, and it is nice to be able to fit lots of stuff in when we go on holiday.

I couldn't give two hoots what other people drive and I don't expect them to care what I'm driving either.

MaidOfStars Tue 04-Mar-14 10:12:34

I don't have an absolutely big car but I have a far bigger and far more powerful car than I need.

Why? Because I want to and can afford to. Plus, I'm vegetarian so offset my fuel usage wink

MajorGrinch Tue 04-Mar-14 10:14:34

I suppose it depends on your definition of "need".

I would always get an estate car, even now the kids aren't in it with us 99% of the time.

It's great for getting the shopping in, taking stuff to the tip & once every couple of months a gang of us will strap kayaks to the roof & toddle off across the country for a weekends paddling.

The rest of the time it does a 30 mile daily commute & quick local runs that could easily be done by a teeny tiny car.

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