Why Your SUV Won’t Work Here

The Native always marvels at not only how big the roads are, but how big the vehicles are anytime we’re stateside.  He often points out how even the 4 door family cars aren’t small by UK standards.

A vehicle fit for any terrain, but usually driven by a suburban guy who just loves trucks (Dodge Ram 2010 photo via motortrend.com)

We are puppy parents to The Big Brown One and parents to The Duchess and drive a small 4 door, 1.6L engine car.   If all of us pile in and have to bring the pushchair (stroller) and other baby adventuring essentials, Big Brown is ushered into the backseat next to her highness because there just isn’t the room to put him anywhere else.  When we’ve had visitors, he’s had to ride in my lap.  All 60+lbs of him.  If we had another child anytime in the near future, we’ll have to strap someone to the top of our car.  And even then it’s not the smallest car we’ve had.  A friend, who is tall and slim, came over for our wedding years ago and got STUCK in the backseat of our old two door.  We have photographic evidence.

You may be thinking “So,get another car,” but with the lowest local gas price  sitting at $9.61/gallon (yes, you read that right), I’m sure you can understand why we are sticking with our little car with a smaller engine.  Here is the other reason:

A street in our neighbourhood

This is a two-way street.  The cars on the right have their curbside wheels about a foot up on the pavement.  Most car owners push their street-side mirror in after they’ve parked so it doesn’t get taken off.  I saw someone turn the corner right after I snapped this photo and they literally came about an inch and a half from hitting the jeep/rover. I think we’ll happily stick to our small ride.

Anyone have any ideas of how we can strap a big chocolate labrador to a car roof?  (RSPCA, please don’t hunt me down.  I say it in jest….but perhaps you’d allow us to tote him along in an open trailer?  Kind of like a motorcycle sidecar.  He might enjoy it.  Again, please don’t hunt me down.)


8 thoughts on “Why Your SUV Won’t Work Here

  1. Lindsay Borland

    this just makes me smile 🙂 our roads are ridiculously narrow & hilly & have non-stop curves & often look like they should be a one way. i have learned to drive with 1 hand on the horn just to notify the person around the other corner that we may be using the same lane but driving in the opposite direction! we park on the street and folding the wing mirror in is a MUST otherwise it will get taken off by a car or better yet a bus that goes down our road. if it makes you feel any better our petrol prices are about the same as yours. lovely! sometimes i think our lives are too similar even though we life half a world apart!

    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      Love it, friend. We’ve got to pull the horn thing on small country lanes out here. They are the absolute worst (much worse than our road). Most of the time it’s hard to fit one small car on them so drivers have to perfect the art of reversing to find the space until one of you can pass. Your situation sounds similar! I think a trip to England is a must for you and Rob. Whadyasay?

      1. Lindsay Borland

        oh i would LOVE a trip to England, but we just booked a trip to the states for all of August 2012 (4.5 weeks) so threre goes our travel budget and time off for a wee while! we contemplated taking 6 weeks and traveling Europe ‘on the way home’ but rob wanted to spend more time seeing the states, since it is my motherland and he now calls himself 1/2 American, so we are doing the pacific northwest on the way home.

  2. Deborah

    Wow… very interesting post. So from looking at the picture is it okay to park on either side of the road (facing any direction you want to) in England?

    1. Living Life as an Expat Parent Post author

      Yeah, it is. Good observation, Deb. I completely forget that this isn’t the case in the states, but since (as you can see) many of the residential streets are just like one-way streets anyway, it doesn’t really make a difference.


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