Louise Limb – contributor

vitaraIf I was concerned last time that my finances were becoming stretched by my coy little motor after a couple of big garage bills, I was set to see even more moths fluttering from my rapidly emptying purse this month. I’d forgotten for a moment that my insurance was due.

I’d been with a big broker attached to a very well-known breakdown organisation. It handles a fair proportion of the nation’s roadside repairs and gives me peace of mind. The insurance side of things had been okay last year, too. The renewal premium for 2010 had me stunned. As I’m the wrong side of 50 now, I wasn’t expecting my car insurance to be over £450! I run a three-door Grand Vitara with a sensible diesel engine and with the same specifi ation as she left the factory, not a Hummer with blacked-out windows, Lenso wheels and running on nitrous! I rang a couple of the specialist 4×4 insurance guys and not only got myself back down below £380 but with the addition of off-road and business cover. No longer would I have to pretend that the Grand only ever drove on the M6 and that I am a shop assistant.

To celebrate, and to give the Grand Vitara her annual treat in the Lake District foothills, I took her up some tracks on private land above Cartmel, once the big boys of the War of The Roses (and girls this year!) had finished doing rugged things with proper Land Rovers and winches. I let Bob drive the Vitara up a really steep bit of grass as I am, yes, a complete scaredy cat and had visions of sideways rolls, as I’d once seen a Discovery on road tyres do precisely that, and Bob’s driving is, let’s be honest, a bit more advanced than mine. My Grand leapt up the hill without a backward glance and once up top and on some rocks, Bob had to admit the Suzuki was ‘very capable’ in four low.

Hmmm; there’s a funny faint grinding noise now from the clutch, after nipping in and out of 4WD a few times, but I’m trying to ignore it. Instead, I keep telling her she’s the ‘Landie Killer’, which is more than you can say for any pimp-mobile Hummer.


Model: Suzuki Grand Vitara

Spec: 2.0 Td

Mileage: 42,670

MPG: 31mpg

Recent costs: £377 for insurance

Arrived: Oct ’08



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