Owning a pint-sized car has its pros and cons. My daily-driver is a Hyundai Eon--a micro car, which, despite its size, is a huge pain in the a** to pay for. But I'm not here to talk finances; I'm here to talk cars. And what better topic to discuss--given my experience behind the wheel of a tiny vehicle--than things only small-car owners can relate to. Here goes…
1. You save a lot on gas. Small engines mean small displacement, which in turn means the vehicle consumes less fuel. If you travel around 20km every day, P500 is enough to last you a week! With the way fuel prices are dropping these days, you can save more money. Take that, gas-guzzlers!
2. Parking is a cinch in tight spaces. Maneuvering a small car is a piece of cake in tight mall-parking areas. A simple turn of the wheel gets the job done. My hatchback is so tiny that it often tricks drivers of giant SUVs into thinking there's still a free parking slot.
3. Car washes are lightning-quick. The cleaning is fast because there is less surface area to wet, soap, wipe and rinse. This also means you save time and water. That's good news for the environment. This applies to cleaning the inside of the car, too. And, if you're a mom, that means less space for the kids’ clutter (which will force you to keep everything in order). 4. Everything inside is within arm's reach. Apart from my car's limited interior space and almost nonexistent cupholders, everything I need is easy to reach. I can grab stuff from the glove box without having to strain my shoulder.
5. You will get bullied by trucks and buses. One downside is that small cars aren't easy to see in blind spots of trucks and buses. Being beside a humongous vehicle is a nerve-racking ordeal. Before I move ahead of them, I have to honk and flash my headlights a lot to make sure I don't get crushed to a pulp.
6. Speed is an alien concept. To be frank, my car just isn't fast. It struggles upon reaching its fifth gear. But think of it as a safety measure rather than a disadvantage. The need for speed is not that of a priority, especially when you have kids riding with you -- except during emergencies, which we pray never happens. 7. Flood is the enemy. Downpours are particularly unsettling because I know flood is just around the corner. I don't have the ground clearance or the ride height to even think about testing my car's wading depth. Passing through even just ankle-deep waters is scary. A tiny car is cute, but it won't float like a rubber duck in a torrent.
8. You’ll know what "packed like sardines" feels. Small cars can fit more than you think. Squeezing people inside is one of the challenges of owning a small ride, but I once went on a road trip with five passengers. If you’re riding with little humans, maybe it would be more bearable.
9. Insurance is very affordable. One of the advantages of owning a micro car is that it is incredibly cheap to insure—and you need this for peace of mind, what with the expenses that come with having children. Comprehensive insurance costs just P8,000 to P10,000--even less as I move closer to paying off the entire loan.
10. Potholes are a nightmare. With 13-inch wheels and a suspension that bottoms out more often than I would like, driving my diminutive car can be hell. Conquering countless of bumps and holes on a daily basis can put a strain on your back after a long drive home.