Me and my car: living the HiLux life
Tell us about your current set of wheels.
I have a Toyota HiLux twin cab. I bought it because I’ve got a lot of work gear. I have the tray on the back with the hard top, so it’s just really convenient and easy.
How did you end up getting it?
I got it three years ago, brand new. It was a pretty easy process, actually, because I knew exactly what I wanted. I had it in my mind for quite a while that I wanted a Toyota HiLux. So I looked online, found what I wanted, then went and did the deal.
What’s the best thing about it?
Because it’s not a luxury car, I don’t have to worry about my kids – and other kids – when they’re getting in and out. And it’s just so easy to fit everything in the back. Whether I’m doing my work or taking kids to and from school or netball, I can just chuck everything in and not really worry about it. My dog cruises around with me, too, so again I don’t have to worry about any luxury fittings.
What’s it like to drive?
I have to say it’s more like driving a truck as opposed to a car, which is not always that nice because I’m in my car all the time. But the overall economy and convenience outweighs the heaviness of the vehicle.
What does your weekly driving schedule look like?
I've got an early start for work two mornings, then I come home and take the kids down to school. I have a few other clients all around Sydney, then I go back and pick the kids up from school, and might also have activities after school. So I do a lot of driving. I probably do about 300 kilometres a week.
Do you have any favourite drives?
Probably the drive between Christchurch and Queenstown in New Zealand. I absolutely love it. You’re literally going up through the Alps, past Mount Cook, which is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It’s just the most beautiful drive you could ever do. I used to do it all the time when I was young because we had our holidays down there. I’ve also just done it again recently, actually, in the middle of winter and it was amazing. When you go up over the pass in winter you may have to stop and put chains on.
How did you find the whole learning-to-drive experience?
It was easy. I was living in the south island of New Zealand and I could get my licence when I was 15. It was a very simple process and I enjoyed it. You just had a few lessons with the instructor, did the practical, the theory and that was it. There was also hardly any traffic when I learned to drive.
What’s your earliest car-related memory?
My father had an old Holden with a bench seat, and I remember us all doing the drive down to Queenstown, which was the one we used to do a lot in the summer. I’d sit in the front, in the middle, because I had brothers who were in the back. I would have been eight or 10 at the time. I also remember it being really hot and we had no air con in the car. They’re certainly happy road trip memories.