Me & My Car: Perk of the job
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Melissa Carter, travel industry sales manager at Europcar NZ
What are you driving?
An automatic 2017 Grand Cherokee, Limited Edition Trailhawk. It’s a new edition to our fleet and it’s a good-looking vehicle. It was an easy choice, especially when I found out it had a heated steering wheel. I am lucky to be given a new car to drive every three to six months.
We’ve got an amazing range of fleet and it is great being able to showcase these cars to my clients. The more familiar I am with a car and what features and benefits each one has, the easier it is to pass this knowledge on.
How does it suit your personality?
This is a good-looking car that has a lot of grunt.
Who else drives your car?
My partner is allowed to, although he always uses the old “it’s a lot safer if I drive” excuse when we go out. Of course, this is not true, he just likes being able to drive our new cars.
What do you always have in your car?
My children’s car seats, a USB charger for my phone and a good lip gloss. (A girl never likes to be caught without one.)
How often do you clean it?
Working for a rental car company has its benefits and we’ve got a great team of groomers on call if my car’s in need of a clean.
Do you prefer manual or automatic?
A manual car would always be my first choice although they are harder to come by these days. Once you’ve learnt to drive a manual car, you can drive anything.
A 1965 VW Notchback. I was given this for my 15th birthday. I went straight to the licensing centre that weekend to book my driver’s test. Once I got my learner’s licence, my uncle would take me out every Sunday to practise driving and we'd end up going on all sorts of driving adventures.
If you could own any car?
A 1967 Shelby GT500. Nothing beats hearing a V8 Mustang starting up.
Advice to young drivers?
Owning a car is a privilege. Treat it with respect and it will never let you down.
How do you keep your children happy on longer road trips?
I have two children and my partner has two (some would call us the Brady bunch). Luckily the kids love a good singalong, so we throw on a good play list and we’ve got the trip covered.
If you could take a road trip anywhere with any celebrity?
What girl wouldn’t want Channing Tatum on a road trip? I’m not sure how the conversation would flow, but I know the view would be great.
Great day trip out of Auckland?
In Auckland we are close to some great day trip destinations. I’m not the type of person to just sit around on the weekends so I love to be able to take the kids on little road trips. Hamilton is one of our favourites as we have some great friends there who we love to visit.
Music you listen to when you drive?
I like to flick, so my last playlist included everything from Bon Jovi, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, Six60, Coldplay, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Drake, you name it really.
Other drivers … what irritates you most?
People who follow too closely and brake suddenly.
Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?
Working for a rental car company, I am going to have to say I’d rather drive.
What’s your take on Auckland’s traffic?
An improved public transport network, especially out at the airport.