Sometimes I think of getting a car. I don't really need
one as such at this point, but it would make my life more convenient in a number of ways now and certainly in the near future.
Then I invariably end up reading something like this and feel glad that I'm not burdened by such a thing.
Yet. Oh, here I go again.
EDIT: By the by, I sort of study automotive engineering. I'm afraid that I'm not proficient enough to make any sort of educated guess at this stage, but I would be interested to hear what the cause turns out to be.
It really depends on your driving needs and habits. A tale of two cars:
Mine, bought my 2009 used in 2011(?) with 50,000 miles on it. It's my work vehicle so it hauls 300 pounds of parts, tools, and luggage, plus me. Nearly all highway miles and I go pretty relaxed so I'm beating the mileage rating by 10-15%. Solid car, and this is the first real problem I've had with it. And it's still a car I can drive (and have been periodically since I got it back last week). So while the problem is frustrating for now, it has to be fixable. Got an 'appointment' ("drop it off in a couple weeks") from a local guy who was referred to me from the last shop. Took him on a test drive last night and we'll see how it goes. Oh, and I should be getting the remote 'ears' between now and then, so maybe we can narrow it down a bit before I drop it off. He said he thought he heard something from the rear end... I'd like to keep it but did find a nice "certified" replacement nearby, basically a newer version of the vehicle I've been borrowing from my wife. Might go look at it today before the weather turns nasty later on. My long-term concerns revolve around it being the work vehicle - it needs to be reliable so I get to the customers when scheduled, and it can't leave me stranded hundreds of miles from home.
The wife's main car, bought new in 2007 as a 2008 model, is pretty much just a commuter. About 20 miles each day, and it's sitting at around 65,000 miles some eight years later - that's low-mileage here in the US. Also problem-free for the most part but it's starting to make suspension noises - also solvable. For now, we plan to keep it for a long time.
Not sure about the operating costs over in your area, but insurance and basic maintenance in my area are pretty cheap so that isn't really a factor in my decision for one vehicle over another, at least when looking at 'normal' family cars.
The big decision is often: new, not-so-old (2-4 years) used, or older (5+ years) used. In your case, I might consider an older used car in good shape. If I remember right you use your bike a lot, in all seasons, so the loss of a car for a while wouldn't be the end of the world. And car payments are no fun; neither are repair costs, but rarely do they cost more per year than loan payments. Do you have a good used car market over there? Ours is generally good here, though rust can be an issue. An older used car should be easy to sell if you decide you don't really need one for now.