I can’t decide whether I’m happy to be using the Hi-Cap less. I thought I was being kind by sheltering it in a dry shed, but every venture into its den makes me feel guilty.
It’s not that it’s done anything wrong – I just haven’t been using it as much as I did. And as the mileometer rolls away from 200,000, the more I think a gentle retirement should be on the cards for the 110.
If the Defender was feeling any resentment about not getting out and about so much, its looming MoT gave me a chance to try to get back in its good books. As well as giving it a thorough service before the test, I took the chance to sort out a few niggling problems, including some loose passenger door trim, a temperamental numberplate light and a squeaky clutch pedal. Winter cold had taken its toll on the ageing battery, so I replaced that as well.
I don’t plan to sell the 110. Ever. But I am beginning to worry that continued daily use might be too much for it. The average UK motorist clocks up around 8000 miles every year. The 110 doesn’t usually cover quite that distance, but if it did, and I keep driving until I’m, say, 80 years old, that would be another 432,000 miles on the clock. That’s why I’ve decided the 110 needs some help – a sidekick, if you like.
I’ll still use the Defender for fun, but I’ll leave the main peoplehauling, cargo-lugging duties to a second vehicle. The sensible choice would be something economical – cheap to run, with 40mpg-plus and sub-£100 road tax – and easy to park.
But sensible has never really been my style, so I’m now shopping for another Land Rover instead…