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Our New Skip (On Wheels!)

Our New Skip on Wheels

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know we're all about money saving. We do almost every aspect of our home renovation ourselves and we find new and inventive ways to renovate our home on the cheap. We don't have huge incomes and we do have to manage money on an almost daily basis (literally).

A few months ago my car (a 12 year old tiny Vauxhall Corsa) broke down to the point where the repair cost was more than the car was worth. It's the only car we've ever had between us and it's actually the only car I've ever had - having proudly purchased it at 17 years old. We don't need a car for our jobs since we live so very close to work, but we do need a car for our home renovations; buying materials, and doing skip runs namely. But, we're not made of money and with the kitchen renovation thoroughly underway, buying another car just wasn't on the cards, so we went without.

It wasn't an easy thing to do and it slowed our renovations down a lot. We could no longer just dash out and buy the screws we needed for a job, or another length of timber. Despite living close to town, bigger stores are much further away and sometimes you just can't walk two miles home with three bags of mortar - y'know what I mean? I'm adamant on not paying delivery costs (seriously Wickes why do you charge £45 delivery for ONE bag of mortar?!) so it's meant we've had to beg people we know to go out and bring stuff home for us, or we've had to hire a van ourselves - which yes, still works out cheaper than most delivery charges. But all this was becoming a giant faff and the rubbish and rubble from the renovation was seriously getting bigger and bigger in the garden, with just no way for us to dispose any of it.

rubble in garden

We'd used rental vans a couple of times to get rid of as much rubbish as possible and I even gave away loads of bricks and scrap metal via eBay, but there was still so much rubbish that no one out there would want and it was forever accumulating. The more that went, the more that came. We could have purchased a skip - a cost of over £100, plus the additional fees for the on-road permit. But really? Is continuous van or skip hire savvy money spending? Not in my books! We've never purchased a skip so far and we've saved an absolute fortune doing skip runs ourselves throughout the years and I certainly wasn't about to start wasting money now! So after what felt like forever without a car (three whole months!!), we decided it was about time we bought one.

Of course, we didn't go out and buy a brand new car, we didn't take out a car on finance, in fact, we didn't even go to used sales car showrooms - we went straight onto eBay, setting ourselves the ridiculous limit of £350, to which Grant would tell me "you can't buy a car for £350".

Well, I did.

A car for home renovations

Yes, this really is our new car. It's a 13 year old Renault Clio (renowned for dodgy catches on the bonnet - I know!) and it has the most terrible ugly paint job I've ever seen. Some parts are red, some parts pink, the bonnet has literal peeling paint that makes you just want to get the heat gun out and peel the rest off (a terrible idea, I know - don't worry, I wont). As for the rest, it's either blistered or completely cracked. There's speckled white bits throughout, which presumably is the undercoat primer showing through and generally speaking it's pretty damn ugly. The boot even has permanent marks of some kind of chemical running down it and it even comes with an Aston Villa motif numberplate, just to make it that little bit more hideous (sorry Aston Villa fans!). Oh and the stereo doesn't work either, which I personally find more annoying than all its other faults! But in every other aspect, it's perfect. It has a reasonable mileage, the previous owner had it serviced yearly and it's MOTs for the last seven years have even had no advisories, something that was completely alien to my previous car!

speckled paint on old car
cracked paint on renault clio car
dodgy paintwork on car
aston villa logo numberplate

It's obviously terribly ugly and beaten up (trust me, these pictures barely do it justice!), but I think this makes it so ironically perfect. We've essentially bought a car for our house and its renovations and not for ourselves or the freedom a car brings. But I guess that really is our lives right now - it's all about the house and all about the renovation. We very rarely take day trips out and the purpose of a car for us, really is all about buying materials and disposing of rubble. Would we really want to buy a nice new perfect looking car only to stuff it full of rubble and dustiness? And do I really want to spend a lot of money on a car that's just going to be used like some kind of wheelbarrow purely to load with stuff? It's perfect.

renault clio with bad paintwork

I'm sure our neighbours wouldn't agree with that statement and are most probably cringing at our new purchase. Yes, we're lowering standards on the street and we certainly have the outward appearance of having little to no money (which is absolutely true). In fact, I think our neighbours think we're completely jobless as we work nightshifts and appear to be home all the time..... But who cares what everyone else thinks and how this car makes us appear in 'social standing'. It's not classy, but have you seen our sink-less kitchen?! We ain't classy folk.

Having a car again now means we can buy all the materials we need without waiting or paying for deliveries. We'll be saving money on rental vans and we don't need to spend hundreds on a skip to get rid of all our rubbish either. It was a ridiculously cheap car and I'm hoping it will save us oodles in the long run, not just in money, but in time too. Something which really is important to us. I've already began de-rubbishing the garden, which feels sooo good and I've 'dashed out' to screwfix at least four times already, so it's already been oh so very useful! And if you're thinking this car might be a bit 'small' for buying materials - you would be totally wrong! We managed to fit the most ridiculous of items into our old 3-door Corsa, including 20-odd 2.4m decking boards and a freestanding oven! So I have even more high hopes for how much I'll get into this car too.

Oh and if you're wondering what's happening to my old car, I sold it for £170 to a mechanic who will hopefully fix it up and get it back on the road. So this car really only cost us £180 - can you get more bargain than that?!


One day we'll have a pretty car, but that day is not coming any time soon right now.


Have you / Would you buy a DIY-car or van specifically for your home renovation needs? And what do you think to my new wheels? ;)

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