My best friend, Christine, just got given a car. A freaking car! I was gobsmacked when she told me – I mean, she’s not even 18 or anything. She did just get her P-plates, so I guess it’s to do with that, but still. I can’t imagine my parents doing that for me.

I’m not saying that in a bratty way. I just don’t think it’s the type of thing they’d want to spend money on, which is fair. It’s not like they’re loaded, and they’ve always encouraged me to investigate money management solutions for myself. As a result, I’ve learned a bunch of stuff about what’s actually involved in owning a car. That includes an endless list of costs, from annual insurance premiums and registration to regular servicing and repairs. I so don’t need that in my life – not while I have the luxury of living fairly close to the inner city.

As an example, my mum just had to take her car in for a tyre repair. Preston has a few service centres, but they were all closed when the tyre blew out because of Easter. So she had to pay for a tow truck to come and get the car and store it overnight until the mechanics were open again. What a pain! I know that that type of incident isn’t an everyday thing, but still, it was unexpected. Mum actually had to use the swear jar (much to my little brother’s delight).

Meanwhile, dad’s always complaining about one car-related cost or another – if it’s not an air con repair, it’s a transmission service. Northcote, he says, is a terrible place for driving to work, because the peak hour traffic means you’re always stopping and starting. He has all these theories about how this affects the car, none of which I pay that much attention to, but he might be onto something.

Besides, now Christine can drive me to Splendid On The Grass after our HSC exams. What do I need a car for?