Sunday May 26 this year was a very sad day. Earlier that month I’d taken our faithful old vehicular servant Honda Accord to get his MOT. He’d failed, miserably – brakes, several parts of the exhaust, £800-1,000 to fix. Ouch

I’m conflicted. We’d had that car since about two weeks after we arrived in England in 2001. It’s the longest period I’ve ever owned a car for in my life. We’d done over 130,000 miles in it. He’d taken us around Ireland (twice), Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, too many places to count in England from Northumbria to Cornwall. He’d been a hard-working faithful servant, should I let my heart rule my head and get him fixed, even though it probably didn’t make sense? Especially as his insurance and road tax were also due. It was going to cost me anything up to £1,400.

Since he’d been semi-retired a few years before that he only now did the occasional airport run and Banbury station run when I had to go into London. Did it make sense to keep a second car? No. Luckily a mate of Kerrie’s said that she’d take him as spare parts for her daughter’s Honda, so he went to a new career as an organ donor.

But what to do for those infrequent occasions when I needed a second car? Hooky Car Club. After all, one of the cars (the Zoe) is at the school, virtually opposite my house, there’s a Polo as well and the Skoda for those bike maintenance trips into Banbury where I don’t even have to disassemble it.

Since June I’ve made 15 trips – to run errands in Banbury, to take #1 car for servicing in Oxford, for the day when I’ve had to go to London, the Polo even had a nice three day holiday at Banbury station when I spent several days at a team meeting in Bristol.

It’s so simple to book the cars when I need them and the costs have really vindicated my decision, those 15 trips have only cost me the princely sum of £157, I reckon I can do a heck of a lot of trips before I get anywhere near that £1,400 figure.

I do have to be a bit more organised to book the cars reasonably in advance, in some cases they’re immediately available but I realistically can’t expect that, but I usually know when my trips are happening so as long as I remember to book a week or so in advance, it’s been fine.

The Hooky Car Club is working really well for me.

John McCormick