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Choosing the family car

(65 Posts)
YellowTulips Thu 21-Jan-16 14:49:12

So I genuinely don’t know if I am being unreasonable or not, so I thought I’d ask the MN jury and take the feedback on the chin!
So a bit of back story here which I’ll try and keep as brief as possible.
I love cars, always have (legacy of being an only child with a car obsessed father).  DH on the other hand, whilst a keen biker, can appreciate a nice car, but ultimately can’t get overly excited or enthused about them. 
We’ve been married 13 years and for the first 8 had only one car (mine obviously) which I chose and paid for.  We really had a tacit agreement that I had control over cars and him over his bikes (though to a mutually agreed budget in both cases). 
Then 5 years ago it became clear we need a 2nd car for a number of reasons.  My car was still the “family car” but we bought a second hand Mini Cooper S as DH’s car – mainly for when he needed to be out and about with the kids.  All fine and everyone happy.
Then DH changed jobs which meant he was doing long distance travel, which happened to coincide with the timing of me changing my car.  So we had a re-think and traded in my car and the Mini and the  “family car” for DH whilst I indulged myself (I admit it) on a 2 seater sports car.  I chose “my” car and we mutually agreed on the family car.
So now the (very first world) dilemma.  We want to replace DH’s car (mine is fine, I love it and the mileage is low). However we can’t agree what to get.  My view is that “his” car is the “family” car and that given I have to drive it a lot (as mine is a 2 seater, so pretty much whenever I take the kids somewhere) then I should have equal say in what we get, even if nominally its “his” car (and he still gets to choose his motorbikes!). His view is that it’s “his” car and he should ultimately decide what (nice but boring as he doesn’t get enthused about cars) we get and the fact I have to drive it lots is just a consequence of me choosing a 2 seater for my car. 
I appreciate it’s not the worst problem in the world and we are lucky to be able to talk (--argue--) about a new car.  That said am I being unreasonable?  Should he have full say over the car or should it be a joint decision?  Thanks in advance

Katenka Thu 21-Jan-16 15:12:59

Yabu. You have a car you love. Let him pick the other.

You only drive 'his' car as you chose a two seater. Why not trade yours in and get something that actually fits your kids in.

Peevedquitter Thu 21-Jan-16 15:17:01

Yabu as he has to drive it the majority of the time. Having a two seater car when you are more than a couple is an indulgence.

ComposHatComesBack Thu 21-Jan-16 15:26:44

YABU - you picked a car on your own, knowing that you had children to ferry around. I assume he didn't kick up a fuss despite knowing it wasn't the most practical of cars for someone with a family.

So his car is now his choice. The only reason you drive it at all is because your own car isn't fit for purpose. If you'd made a more sensible choice for your own car this wouldn't be an issue.

YellowTulips Thu 21-Jan-16 15:28:09

We actually drive the family car pretty equally. I'd also point out that he obviously can use my car when he wants.

But hey ho, so far I look like I'm the one in the wrong here confused(looks forward to future with DH choice of car...)

SweetAdeline Thu 21-Jan-16 15:28:46


BeaufortBelle Thu 21-Jan-16 15:28:52

We are the other way round. My car is the family car that DH only drives occasionally, I have 100% say over it. DH has the "fun" car and has 100% say over it.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Jan-16 15:29:32

YABU. You have a lovely car, he gets a boring awful car that suits him.

I still think you get a say, just not the casting vote.

Katenka Thu 21-Jan-16 15:34:36

What you are saying is that you should get to pick your own car and half equal say in the car you share.

Well technically ok as you share it, think it's a bit off. You only share it because your car isn't practical. You wouldn't have to share it if you had a car that actually fitted your family in.

All the guff about your being an only child of a car enthusiast is irrelevant.

BombadierFritz Thu 21-Jan-16 15:35:11

Sorry op another yabu
Compromise might be the best option though. Its a family car. None of them are that exciting!

YellowTulips Thu 21-Jan-16 15:39:17

Sorry just to add...

Before I bought my car I did discuss with DH as it would mean I would use his car more. He was fine with that. If he hadn't been I would have made a different choice. ATM if I need his car he just takes mine (he likes it so it's not like he's driving something he hates).

I guess I wouldn't have a problem with him choosing his car if he actually really liked cars!

It just feels (seemingly unreasonably based on feedback to date) that he's getting the full say on something that isn't that a big a deal for him, but is for me blush

Tutt Thu 21-Jan-16 15:40:44

DH's 'car' is our family car and I have a 2 seater that I love, he chooses as I choose when I change mine.
We now have a huge 5 seater truck that I hate driving but he loves but it's his choice so I just suck it up.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 21-Jan-16 15:40:54

It should be mostly his choice as yo have yours.

But having said that, he should choose 3 or 4 possible ones, then you can choose together from those.

I need a new car. One that all the doors work on would be nice.

Katenka Thu 21-Jan-16 15:41:35

But you still could have picked something that suited the family better.

He didn't mind you picking something that would effect him.

Honestly I would let him have this one

HermioneWeasley Thu 21-Jan-16 15:43:22

What does he want to get and what do you want? How different are they?

ComposHatComesBack Thu 21-Jan-16 15:45:06

There's a world of difference between saying 'I don't mind you getting the two seater, you can use my car when you need to'


'since you've got a two seater, you can pick my car as well.'

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Jan-16 15:45:30

I don't see why you can't choose together and have vetos on certain things. That's how we chose the last car.

YellowTulips Thu 21-Jan-16 15:49:27

He's looking at 4x4's (medium sized not the really big ones).

I don't really like them (it's not like we will go off road!) and would rather get a saloon or coupe (like we have now), which would be more fun to drive and still practical for the family.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Jan-16 15:51:46

Oh God, I've changed my mind. I hate the proliferation of those on the roads.

Your higher driving position is great for your visibility. Means I can't think ahead and watch the road but whatever. Grrr. <rants>

GeminiRising Thu 21-Jan-16 15:52:07

Going against the grain here - if I'm reading the OP correctly DH has his own motorbikes (which he can't ferry the kids around on either so was as equally selfish as buying a 2 seater) so I don't see why is it U for OP to have her own 2-seater car, DH to have his motorbikes and the joint car to be the 'family' car which they make the decision on together?

Katenka Thu 21-Jan-16 15:53:24

so I don't see why is it U for OP to have her own 2-seater car,

Don't think anyone has said she needs to get rid of her car. Just that if she had a more practical one she wouldn't need to borrow his

YellowTulips Thu 21-Jan-16 15:55:18

We are struggling to find common ground as the type of car is so different.

If it was a matter of choosing one 4x4 or one saloon over another then tbh I'd be happy to go with his preference over make/model (I'm not that unreasonable!) wink

But I am struggling with the 4x4 thing - yes I know some people love them (and some need them) but I really don't like them.

BeaufortBelle Thu 21-Jan-16 15:55:34

You have a sports car of your choice. Why shouldn't he have a 4 x 4 of his choice? I don't get your issue. We're the other way round. Who pays for the cars btw. Please don't tell me your DH does.

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 21-Jan-16 15:57:39

I think his bikes = your two seater.
Therefore family car is a joint decision. And not be a Chelsea tractor smile

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 21-Jan-16 15:58:39

Also, if he's not really a driver can he park? Because people attempting to park those things when they don't know how is excruciating.

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