TLDR – We bought a car, a Citroen eBerlingo 7 seater. Had a car charger installed at the house, and Maddex got a RAD bike.
Buying a car
We sold / gave away our cars almost 6 years ago before moving to Ireland. Life without a car, for the most part, has been much less stressful and more enjoyable. I miss road trips, DO NOT miss driving or owning a car. We’ve taken a few road trips around Ireland and rented cars for those. Signed up for Gocar and rented cars by the hour when we needed them. Bus, Trains, and Bikes have met most of our transportation needs. Covid came along, and road trip car rentals went from 50e a day to 300e a day. Mixing in our desire to travel around Ireland more outside of the easy transportation bubble we’ve existed in the last 6 years, we decided to purchase a car. Last May 2022, we ordered a van, thinking it would be a few months.
Michelle set out straight away to obtain her Irish license. Ireland will not convert a US license. You must get a permit, take 6 lessons, and take a drive test to be awarded an Irish license. It took Michelle about 9 months from start to finish with the huge lead times for the tests. She passed the first time; Impressive! Due to covid shortages, a few months for the car turned into about 10 months of wait. Knowing the time was near in March, we had a charger installed in the house. Finally April 2023, Alan emailed me and said the car was ready.
Picking up the car
How to pay for the car. Citroen offered some low-interest financing that appealed to the maximum financial extraction in me, but the pain of the house loan paperwork was still fresh in memory. Thinking it over, we decided to pay cash for the Van for the simplicity of life. It means we’re super low on fast cash savings, but it also means so much less stress. On the day I rode Mila’s bike to AIB in Dundrum and obtained a bank draft for 40,7503, which was crazy simple. From the bank rode to Citroen South Dublin and picked up the car. 10 months, a few phone calls, and emails later finally met our salesman Alan in person. Besides taking a while for the car to be built, the entire experience was pleasant. Best car buying experience I’ve had to date.
The Car Charger
We ordered the car charger installed from GoElectrical Ireland – Ordered online a few emails, a phone call, and a few days later, the installation was completed. The two lads who did the work were skilled and did some great work – Zero complaints. They cut some holes in the ceiling to run wires, even patched and mudded the holes. Top-notch service. Only downside. Oddly, a few hours after the lads left, one of the wires for the main fell out of the breaker. They might have bumped it, but I don’t blame them – they were working in the opposite corner of the panel. I think it was close to coming out on its own. When I put the wire back in, I checked the connections for all other wires in the panel, and a number of them were loose. Whole turn lose. – tightened everything down for good measure.
Another Odd Irish bit, we needed to have a ground installed for the charger. Like the house was not properly grounded before? Not sure. code seems to have changed in 2014 to have a better ground—still no Ufer in the country’s electrical code. Cost an extra 150e to install the ground. The green bit in the image above is a cover over a meter-long ground rod the lads drove into the earth. If you ever see a green box around a house in Ireland, it’s the ground for the electrical system.
Bonus – new bike for Maddex
Same week the car arrived for the family. A new bike for Maddex arrived. He’s outgrown his Cube Ebike and needed an upgrade; kids keep growing. We ordered him a RAD Rhino 6 fat tire bike. Looks like a motorcycle almost.love it !! Bike arrived a few days before the new car. Been a good week for the Millfam.