So…after much deliberation, and with a hint of guilt, we put a deposit on a new car today.

It was not a quick or easy decision, but our old car is fast approaching 100’000 miles, is slowly generating a few faults, and with the arrival of Isaac, is just too small – once the buggy base is in the back of our current car there’s not room for much else. We’re increasingly making trips to see the in-laws down in Devon, and increasingly wanting to offer lifts to other people, sometimes other families who don’t have cars, so wanting a new car wasn’t just about us – it’s about family and friends too.

Yes, I’m into using cycling as transport, but I’m not totally anti-car. Cars have their place. But they should be viewed as a convenience and a privilege, not as a human right.

So we went looking. I suppose I wanted something between a small car and a people carrier, but wasn’t sure if any such thing existed. It turns out there’s a whole world of ‘midi-MPV’s that are just what I was after.

The first one we found was a Toyota Corolla Verso. We were immediately impressed with the space and versatility. Some Internet research showed Toyotas to be reliable and easy to drive, and the Verso to be spoken of very positively – if with a modicum of disdain for its lack of ‘fun’.

The reviews also seemed to imply that the diesel has more like the level of get up and go that a car of this size needs.

We were liked this car from the outset. And we got a very positive impression from the reviews of this vehicle than we got from the reviews of Peugeots and Renaults we saw when looking for a small car a few years ago.

Aside: My favourite review of the Verso said:
– What does the car make the neighbours think? : ‘That my wife is a childminder’
– Why did you buy this car? : ‘Because my wife is a childminder’

We had a choice of three. One we weren’t interested in as it had some visible trim damage and higher mileage. Which left us with a 2.0 diesel – the slightly cheaper of the two and the more efficient car, but older and with twice as many miles on the clock. And a 1.8 petrol, 2008 model with 30,000 miles. It’s less efficient but cheaper to insure.

The diesel sold before we got to make a purchase so we were left with the ’08 petrol.

A quick spin put any fears of it not having enough ‘oomph’ to rest. It’s quite nippy, at least when empty.

We did some other shopping around too, but it was fruitless. This car was ideal and appeared to be a bargain.

I w shocked that our old Peugeot was only valued for trade-in at £200. As I said at the time ‘it’s got £200 worth of tyres on it!’, but it’ll be convenient not to have to make the sale privately, and they gave us a bigger valuation in the end.

So, the deal is done. We pick up on Friday, and will officially own a 5+2 sweater family car. It’s a bit more than we set out to pay, but the car’s age and mileage and versatility means it will last us, hopefully, many years.

Have my cyclist credentials been ruined? Have I self-justified this purchase enough? Or is it just amazing what having a baby does to you?