My Life in Cars - September 2020

by Dick Potter

Thu, 03 September 2020


Dick Potter gives us the gist on used cars, driving laws, and cars that last.

“The car industries continue to foray ahead in 2019, providing us with updates as to how major changes in the form of electrification and automation reshape the automotive landscape”. Yes, you read that date right – it was 2019.

Well, what on earth am I going to scribe about for 2020? As you can imagine, “driving experts” are in the front seat of all this automotive updating and whatnot for us. I considered it my duty therefore to separate the automotive wheat from the chaff, so you don’t have to! 

So, here it is, the most prominent articles engaged with in 2019, in no particular order. 

As expatriates and locals alike, many of us go to the used car market for our vehicle selection. Undoubtedly, we always want to know which vehicle, from which brand, will be the most reliable and last the longest on the least amount of money and energy - not exactly rocket science is it? But here is the bad news on this front. Experts trawling through data from 2019 urge us to consider the previous owner. In other words - experts claim the best used cars are not created by factories, they’re actually created by owners through diligent, proper maintenance and care over the years.

Buying a used car comes with various and sometimes certain risks. The more you know about them, then obviously, the less likely you are to end up with a pile of trouble. Luckily, you don’t need to be an actual mechanic to nab a keeper set of wheels. The professionals to the rescue again then! Their top tip is to assume your used car will require some mechanical attention as soon as you purchase it, and budget accordingly.

MY LIFE IN CARS OF BAHRAINNext up in the expert’s survey: Driving laws. Now they are universal right? Moreover, they’re in place to keep people operating vehicles and those around them safe and comfortable. The definition of “safe and comfortable,” however, may differ in terms of the country in which you reside.

Apparently, in Thailand, law states drivers of any gender must be wearing a shirt while behind the wheel. Hmmm, I’m quite certain I have never in my life packed a shirt to travel to and within Thailand. Perhaps they mean a “T-shirt”?  Meanwhile, if you’re travelling around Spain, anyone requiring corrective lenses must have a backup pair with them in the vehicle.

Moving on, as we drivers increasingly “swerve” towards a more consumerist society, materialistic loyalty to “things” are becoming rarer. I thought, then, you might like to see the results of a survey analysing ‘cars most likely to stay in your garage for 15 years or-gasp-longer. For starters, the top motors you would most likely remain loyal to are all Japanese manufactured. Essentially then, Toyotas hold the top ten places. Honda, Subaru and Acura bringing up the rear end, so to speak. The car most likely to be kept in your driveway/garage for a decade-and-a-half, according to my sources? Drum roll… it’s the Toyota Highlander.

2019 also bid a sad farewell to a select few car models cars and they were mostly sedans. The Ford Taurus was evidently hauled off to retirement pastures. So too-apparently- was the Toyota Prius C, the BMW 6 Series and, sadly, even the Volkswagen Beetle. I confess I was not especially aware of the iconic Beetles demise! Only one SUV-the Ford Flex- was on the list of vehicles that was not expected to make it to 2020.

Given how this year continues to pan out-it will be interesting indeed to see what motoring snippets the “driving experts” will wheel out for us in their 2020 updates?

Safe driving all.