Me and My Car: Charlotte Bellis and her Hyundai i30
What do you drive?
A 2010 Hyundai i30 1.6-litre that I bought a year ago. I'd just bought a house and thought I should buy something practical that wouldn't cost me a lot of money and would be reliable. It's not the most exciting car, but it doesn't cause me any headaches and is cheap to run.
Who else is allowed to drive it?
I'd let anyone drive it. I've always been a car person and prioritised nice cars, so I've been fairly picky about who gets the keys, but with the Hyundai it's got a few scratches so I'm not that precious about it.
Main consideration when buying a car?
I live in Ponsonby and work in Albany so the more mileage I can get out of a tank the better.
A 1970s manual Honda Civic hatchback. It was 1999, I was 13 years old and my dad bought it for $800 from Turners Car Auctions.
It was a rust bucket but had a cassette player, which was perfect for teenage mix tapes. Dad taught me how to drive on the farm.
He put cones in the paddocks that I had to parallel park between and then we'd do handbrake stops with my grandma in the back seat. That car was definitely a highlight of my childhood. Dad was a great teacher, one of his first jobs was as a driving instructor.
He was infamous in the motoring industry in the 70s and 80s. He broke the land speed record in 1974 in a Ferrari Daytona and won the Porsche Cup and the OSCA Cup. Granted, I probably got a more lively introduction to cars, instead of teaching me how to navigate roundabouts, I was learning how to drift.
Your dream car ...
A Mercedes G-Wagon. Every time I see one I stop and check it out.
Favourite car colours?
White, because it's fresh and stands out, while still being classic. Charcoal grey is classic as well but probably more practical, less cleaning is always a bonus.
Manual or automatic?
I prefer manual but automatic is far more practical for Auckland traffic.
Most memorable road trip?
It involved a campervan and a group of friends. I was overseas and came back last minute for New Year's. It was the early days of Rhythm and Vines and a few mates had hired a Wicked Camper to drive from Christchurch to Gisborne. I decided to jump in and it was a fairly entertaining week.
If you could go anywhere with anyone ...
Being a tennis fan, I'd drive Roger Federer in a Mercedes G-Wagon from the French Open to Wimbledon.
How often do you clean your car?
I am big on a clean car. I usually end up going to one of those car wash places where you put in the coins and clean it yourself.
Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?
I don't mind the Inner Link bus to get around the city but getting to work would take me two hours on public transport.
If you could change one road rule ...
I think you should be able to go 110km/h on some sections of the motorway.
Is there room for cycles and cars on Auckland roads?
I used to be a road cyclist but then I got hit by a car and it gave me a scare. I don't think it's worth it, especially in the media industry we get so many police press releases about cyclists getting hit by cars or trucks. I would love to see a more harmonious relationship and I think more cycle lanes are a no-brainer but outside of cycle lanes it's just too dangerous. Every time I drive down Tamaki Drive it's a headache with cars swapping lanes to pass cyclists and cyclists having to watch for car doors opening.