I just do not get it. A car is the second most valuable possession of many people and yet instead of storing it safely away in a garage, it is left out on the street, open to the elements, vands, thieves and blundering motorists. Everyone knows how popular Jeremy Clarkson, the Stig and Top Gear are, primarily with men but with many female fans too. There was even a channel called Men & Motors, which just about sums up the love-in, so why, do the people who cherish their 'motor', who wax lyrical about the torque, top speed, cornering or even economy; why do they leave it outside? Now I accept many people do not have the luxury of a garage but many people still do. I have never found a statistic relating to this so I can only go on my own observations over many years, because dear friends I have always been baffled by this phenomena.
You may trade in one job, to move onto a better one. You may even drop a girlfriend or boyfriend, for a more upmarket model. So what is it that that you are prepared to move over your cherished car for. Junk. Yes Junk. Garages full of junk. Old furniture, bits of carpet, clothes that do not fit, but “might do one day”, or perhaps, “may come back into fashion one day.” “Worse still-old shoes.” Bits of wood, “have you seen the price of it! “Kids toys that either or no longer work, are too small or you can not bear to throw away because you remember how much they cost at the time. you can not even remember what it is used for, have lost the instructions, or know you do not have the time to use and will end taking the car to the local garage instead.
So what is it that that being left outside. Well for most people it is their second most valuable possession. Even for people that lease cars it is a big expense. The car insurance, the car tax, the maintenance costs, the servicing and who can forget the price of petrol. People spend a long time agonising over which car to actually buy. The trade-off of style against efficiency; speed versus economy; space or pulling power. After all, a car says something about a person, it creates a persona. Are you racy, stylish, quirky, classic, a speed king, an environmentalist, a family man, a street warrior. A car is not only expensive but an extension of yourself, something you have invested a lot in, both metaphorically and literally.
Yet it is left outside to brave the elements. For the sun to fade the paint-work, the acid rain to corrode and discolour it. For winter weather to ice it up. To be tarnished by the residue of those sticky leaves and the attention of the local bird population. And what of your human neighbors. The car is a literal sitting target for drunk drivers, boy racers, people that do not know the width of their own vehicle, it can lose a wing mirror or gain a dent overnight and there will be no note of apology or admission. There are also elements that think it amusing to run a key down the side panels; those that will happily smash a side window to steal your stereo, sat-nav, briefcase, laptop or even your coat on the backseat.
I just do not get it. Why oh why leave your car outside. Do yourself a favor, de-clutter, sell or dump the junk in your garage. Move the valuable bits to a self storage unit and move your car where it belongs, to the garage. That way you will avoid the frustration of the casual damage, extend its life, maintain its value for longer and enjoy the car for a lot longer.