It’s not secret that I like cars. I like to drive. I would much rather be the driver than the passenger. I like windy mountain roads and cars with big engines. My favorite car I’ve ever owned was a BMW 323 Ti Sport – a small car with a 2.5 liter engine that made a lovely rumble when you hit the gas and flew like the wind down French motorways. Second favorite was my Audi A4 Quattro that was smooth and quiet and also moved quite fast and silent for comfortable long distances. I drove my parents all over Europe in the Red Rocket Audi and drove up snowy mountains to ski resorts like it was nothing. Great car.
When I moved to NL I brought my Audi with me. I imported it, which was a bit of paperwork, but not too bad. Then I tried to park it in Amsterdam. And pay road tax in NL. And gas prices. No doubt about it, owning a car in NL is a lot more expensive than owning the same car in CH (Switzerland, not China). So I decided to sell the Red Rocket. Sad, but while living in Amsterdam I hardly ever drove a car, so it seemed a big waste to own it. I started shopping for a replacement.
You need to understand that since moving to Europe I’ve had a serious prejudice against French cars. Bah! No French car for me! Ugly. Unreliable. French! Give me German speed and efficiency and reliability every time.
Then the cost of car buying in NL hit me in the face. I moved from a country with high wages and low car and gas prices (CH) to a country with lower wages and higher costs of cars (buying and running). Not to mention the small spaces for cars here and difficult parking situation. I started looking at smaller and less expensive.
I actually looked at Citroen. Now, this wasn’t easy for me. It was purely economic, not for love, that I first looked. And then I drove a C2 and honestly fell in like. It was zippy in the city. It was cute. It came with auto climate control and fold up seats in the back. It really was cute. And, in the end, the dealer gave me a good deal for my Audi. So I traded. Just goes to show you that anyone can get past serious prejudices given the right incentive.
And now? I love my little C2! I’ve had it for just over 2 years now and I still love it. I’ve had no trouble at all with it. I zoom down the motorway at 125 kph (about 75 mph). With the seats folded down it’s amazing how many sacks of potting soil and new plants you can fit into the back. It’s been a real change in how I think about cars. I’ve had to go from big engined fun to drive “grown up” cars, to a little city car that’s perfect for small compact NL.
Now, let’s see if Mom and her friends will fit in it when they come to visit in September!