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Car dilemma

This health scare arrived just as I was set to go to Italy to import a second hand electric car! I have been researching these for some time. I wanted to go electric for ecological reasons, but also because I wanted a car more fitted to travelling round Europe than my lovely little Smart.

I have come to terms with the fact that my love of travel must now be nearer home – I would find it difficult to be comfortable with excessive air travel, not to mention the fact that I suppose I ought to acknowledge my age, and travel more prudently.

There is so much of Europe that I still want to visit, not least explore other parts of France and see more of Italy, which I love so much. You could argue that it would be sensible to take a train and then hire a car at the other end. But as I discovered two years ago in Morocco, it becomes increasingly difficult to hire cars as one gets older.

I actually love driving, but recognise also that future journeys must be done in shorter bursts with more rests than in the past. This fits in with the idea of having an electric car and stopping regularly to charge the battery – slow lane tourism.

I chose the Nissan ENV200 because it is long enough to fit a camp bed in the back (if I remove a seat). It is very similar to the Citroen Berlingo I had before the Smart, though slightly longer.

It is no longer in production, so the price has come down, and I have been hunting for a second hand model. I soon discovered that almost nothing is available in France, loyal to their home grown alternatives. And I learnt that the bargain ex-demo cars I found in Italy and Spain were not viable, as you have to pay VAT on importing a car that has done less than 5000 km.

Then I found one – in Florence – registered in 2019 but with only 14000 km on the clock. I ordered a report on it and then this morning I got cold feet. I knew I was not well enough to drive a car back from Italy this month and decided also that the car would simply cost too much.

Sanity has prevailed over dreams – for the moment. But I have not given up the research!

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