My Ownership of a Mk4 Vauxhall Astra
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
See that picture? (You most likely do, if you don't you have a problem) Well you may recognise it as the background for this website. It's also my actual car. A lovely 2002 Mk4 Astra Hatch, with 5 doors, in a lovely, almost matte like White. I bought it for £550 in January 2020, and yes, it is my first car, which means it only has a 1.4 litre engine, but it isn't exactly what you'd call, you know... weak. I mean yes, it's not quick, but there are slower cars. 0-60 is a smidge under 12 seconds, and it WILL do over 100 mph. Just. But who cares anyway, it's not like you're allowed to. And as it's a first car and the insurance is so ridiculously pricey, it's not even worth it. That, and I have a black box monitoring my every move.
I'll be honest, ownership hasn't exactly been stress free. The amount of money that has been spent on the car including the car itself and insurance, is well over £2000. And that was before I started earning money. A few things it's had done include rear suspension, front brakes, the exhaust (twice) and those brand new, gleaming shiny headlights. But there's something about fixing your own car that has a really good feeling to it. It's like the first time you buy someone a gift. You feel accomplished.
And even though mechanically it's sound, to say it's in flawless condition is a stretch. I mean, the rear demister doesn't work. Like at all. And when you live with the, oh so lovely weather of cold wet England, that's a problem, especially at this time of year. And then there's the stereo. It was originally a cassette player (what's that?) but was changed to a CD player. That's good, and I deliberately bought a bunch of CD's for the car. Worked fine for about half a year. Started playing up. Would never work when you first started the car. Had to remove and replace the disc. A lot of faff, but you know, you have to make compromises sometimes. Nowadays you'll be lucky if it works at all. But, whatever.
Overall, I'm overly quite happy with the car. It hasn't gone HUGELY wrong, and did pass it's first MOT in my ownership. Some things could be better, such as the fuel economy. It costs £50 ish to fill up, which isn't too bad. But you only get about 250 miles in one tank. That's not great for a small car with a small engine. But what can I say. I love it. If you're thinking of getting one, don't hesitate. Comfortable solid car.