Nový Carly

Nový Carly © Ricky Yates

Nearly ten years ago, I drove from the North Oxfordshire countryside to Prague, in order to begin my new life here in the Czech Republic. I drove in my right-hand drive Renault Scenic, first registered in March 2000, which has belonged to me since February 2004. I explained my reasons for bringing my car with the steering wheel on the ‘wrong’ side, to the Czech Republic, in this blog post from June 2009. Then there is a further post asking you to ‘Check this Czech car out!‘ 🙂

The ‘Carly’, as the Renault Scenic has become proverbially known, took Sybille and I all the way to Turkey and back in October 2009. In October 2015, it took us all around Poland. In between those trips, there have been various visits to Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as to many different places within the Czech Republic.

The ‘Carly’ has also taken me back to the UK on three occasions, the first of which I wrote about here, explaining all that is involved in a drive across five countries to Dunkerque on the French side of the English Channel. The last time I undertook the trip was in December 2017, in order to spend Christmas with my children and grandchildren, the first Christmas in 28 years when I wasn’t working!

However, despite my strong affection for the ‘Carly’, back in June, I came to the sad conclusion that the time had come to part with it and buy another car. There were three main reasons for this. Firstly, it has 217,826 miles / 350,000 kilometres on the clock. Secondly, the bodywork is beginning to go in several places, especially around the rear wheel arches. Thirdly and most significantly, various parts of the ‘Carly’s brain’ are no longer functioning. Whilst it would, at considerable expense, be possible to replace the ‘brain’, the Renault dealer in Prague told me that there would be no guarantee that a new ‘brain’ would talk to other parts of the ‘Carly’ and would thus render it immovable!

Having many times driven past Gregi Auta in Ústí nad Labem and seen their wide range of second-hand cars, I decided it was the place to start looking for another car. I visited on the afternoon of Tuesday 19th June and two hours later, I had become the owner of the blue Volkswagen Golf that you see in the photograph at the beginning of this post and below.

Nový Carly © Ricky Yates

Whilst it is sixteen years old, it had only 140,000 km on the clock and the bodywork is in excellent condition. Likewise the engine seems fine. Buying it hasn’t put a major dent in my bank account so, if it lasts the next three to four years, I shall be more than happy. Interestingly, it had been imported from Germany, the previous owner being a resident of the Spreewald area, south of Berlin. Therefore two days after I purchased the car, I had to visit the town council offices in Decín and apply for a Czech registration document and number plates.

On a couple of occasions when in France, I have previously hired a left-hand drive car, therefore driving one is not a totally new experience. But it does still take some getting used to. Even now, nearly three months after purchasing it, I still sometimes open the wrong door to get in to drive. I also often look over the incorrect shoulder to find my seat belt. And I have, more than once, tried to change gear with the door handle 🙂

When I posted a photograph of my new VW Golf on Facebook, I did raise the question of what it should be called. I had a few suggestions and my favourite was ‘Nový Carly’ which is the one I’ve adopted.

I also have one other problem – how do I dispose of an eighteen year old, right-hand drive Renault Scenic, in the Czech Republic?

The old ‘Carly’ in Prague, in the snow 🙂 © Ricky Yates

11 comments to Nový Carly

  • Kath

    217,826 miles is really impressive! Like you, I have always prided myself on buying cheap old cars and making them last until they head for the great scrap-heap in the sky. I used to try to keep to a limit of £400 for a new car, but my last car cost £1000 and, although it lasted many years, is now deceased due to an incurable habit of shaking exhaust pipes off and leaving me stranded. Then two years ago my cousin gave me a car that her children had used only in order to learn to drive and it’s the best car I ever had! A Skoda Fabia with less than 40,000 miles on the clock despite being over ten years old. It had simply been sitting on their drive unused and unloved. It never ceases to amaze me how much of their hard-earned wages people are prepared to spend, or even get into debt over, on shiny new cars which are completely unnecessary in order to get from A to B. However, I suppose if they didn’t then there would be no perfectly good old bangers for the rest of us to buy for a song…

    • Ricky

      I agree with you, Kath – the mileage that the ‘Carly’ has done is quite impressive. It sounds even better when converted to 350,000 km 🙂

      I did look at the possibility of buying a new car but soon discovered how quickly they lose their value. But as you rightly say, if people didn’t buy new cars, then there wouldn’t be any old used cars for us to buy.

      Very glad to hear how pleased you are with your Škoda Fabia. I also did consider buying a Škoda, not least because it’s very easy to get spare parts for them here 😉

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    Good luck with the new car(ly) it certainly looks in great condition and you should get years from it. As for recycling your Scenic surely there must be some ‘scrapyard’/ vehicle dismantler/car crusher type business in your area which would dispose of it for you? There must be some still useful and re-usable spare parts on the old carly despite its attack of vehicular Alzheimer’s disease. It might even be worth a few Koruna to one of these companys to collect it from your home. Happy motoring!!

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,
      Thank you for being such a faithful commenter here. Like you, I hope the Nový Carly will give me several years of motoring.

      I’m sure you’re correct in suggesting that vehicle dismantler would take the old Carly off my hands. The problem is finding one & communicating with them 😉 I intend to make some enquiries in the near future. I do like your expression ‘vehicular Alzheimer’s disease’ which perfectly describes what the old Carly is suffering from.

  • Ricky

    Hi again Sean,

    Further to my previous reply, this morning I delivered the ‘Carly’ to a yard in Decín where it will be disposed of legally & ecologically. I now have the correct paperwork, together with the number plates, to enable me to de-register it with the authorities.

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    That’s great news, I hope the ‘de-registration’ process won’t involve a repeat of the ‘three ticket appointment’ episode from your earlier post on Czech bureaucracy. Happy motoring, Sean

    • Ricky

      Hi Sean,
      My visit to the town council offices in Decín this morning went extremely smoothly. There was only one person ahead of me with the waiting room virtually empty. So I was in & out in no more than ten minutes. I now have my registration document duly cancelled, confirming that the ‘Carly’ is off-road, allowing me to recover the cost of two months insurance.

  • Philip

    Hi Ricky, I was wondering how retirement was going for you – clearly very well. A Mk IV Golf is a thing of beauty, I had one before and is one of my favourite cars – the heavier gauge of steel on the bodywork and robust paintwork putting more recent cars to shame. Hang on to it for a few years and I believe that could even start to increase in value as it is also easier to service than many cars. Our RHD Picasso we brought to Czech is nearing end of life but so far refusing to die despite a withdrawal of care and attention. Best wishes from Brno, Philip and Lenka.

    • Ricky

      Hi Philip, Very nice to hear from you & have you commenting here. Retirement is going well though I’ve still got lots of work to do with the house.

      I’m very pleased with my ‘new to me’, Golf. You are clearly more knowledgeable than me about these things but certainly, I was impressed by the state of the bodywork and paintwork, bearing in mind it is 16 years old. And I do have a carport to protect it from the worst of the weather when I’m not out driving in it. I certainly hope it will serve me well for the next few years.

      Best wishes to you, Lenka and the children

  • Robert E. Doolittle

    Ricky: I apologize for not commenting earlier on your new/used car. It is certainly a good looking vehicle. We are the owners of 2x 2003 toyotas.The sedan has 55 thousand miles on it and the truck/ Tundra has only 22,500 miles on it. the truck has really only been used for towing the boat I no longer own. We follow the alternate plan of vehicle ownership. We buy new, and keep them until they are near death. We have a very good repair shop we use that is expert on keeping cars running. barring an accident, we do not plan on buying a additional vehicles. Have you had any snowfall as yet?

    • Ricky

      Bob – there is no need to apologise for not commenting earlier, especially as I have now been equally slow in approving & replying. Your ‘alternate plan of vehicle ownership’ is effectively the pattern I followed with my previous Renault Scenic. I bought it relatively new & with low mileage & then, over the next 14+ years, effectively drove it into the ground. I’m very pleased with the new VW Golf & will be putting it fully to the test in two days time when I will be setting out to drive to the UK for Christmas.

      Yes – we’ve already had snow. There is quite a covering on the hills as well as in my garden & it has been lightly snowing for most of the day today.