Car Chat with Andrea Gilligan

Andrea Gilligan

We talk driving test tales, Route 66, dream passengers and road rage with Newstalk Breakfast Briefing presenter Andrea Gilligan

Your current car? I drive a 3 Series BMW. It’s an old one though – 2004. I bought it years ago.

Is a car important to you? Yes, I suppose I’ve always had a car so I can’t imagine not having one. I couldn’t wait to start driving and I learned to drive at a young age and then bought my first car when I was 18. I spent my summer holidays working so I could save up to buy it. That was right at the height of the Celtic Tiger. How times have changed. I think it’s probably a rural thing as well though. Public transport wasn’t readily available in south Donegal when I was growing up, so we were constantly hounding our parents for lifts everywhere.

What car do you have your eye on next and why? I have my eye on lots of cars, but the vast majority of them are way out of my league. I’ve always loved the BMW Z4, but I could never afford it. It’s a dream car – my ‘if I ever win the Lotto car’. I like small sports cars like the Mazda MX-5. I’m not really into big jeeps. I suppose I don’t need a big car, so I’ve always been partial to smaller cars.

What sort of state is your car in (inside or out)? Inside, it’s in really good shape. It has cream and beige interior so I’ve always had to mind it and keep it clean. On the outside, though, it could definitely do with a good wash.

What’s in the boot and the glove compartment? Probably an umbrella, coats and shoes. My boot is always like a wardrobe and the glove box is probably full of old car tax discs.

How would you describe your driving, then? Doesn’t everyone think they are a good driver? I’d say I’m impatient. Well, I’m impatient in general, but I definitely am in a car. I hate sitting in traffic so I try to avoid it at all costs. If I’m driving home to Donegal on a Friday, I try to go before 3.30 or after 7pm. The prospect of sitting in traffic for hours doesn’t appeal to me.

Ever crashed, got a parking ticket or points? Unfortunately, all of the above. I’ve had two accidents, neither of which were my fault. I got a parking ticket and points a few years ago, but they’ve since expired.

Have you ever experienced road rage (either passively or actively)? Every Friday on the M50. I hate when cars drive right up behind you and start flashing at you to move on or when they flash at you to go through lights when you are waiting for a filter light. I find it so stressful when cars start beeping at you.

What was your first car? My first car was a Volkswagen Polo, followed by a Hyundai Coupe, but my favourite car of all was an Alfa Romeo GTV. It was a fabulous car and I loved it.

Who taught you to drive? My dad. I remember begging him to bring me down to Rossnowlagh beach during the school holidays on a quiet evening to teach me how to drive. I’ve so many great memories of learning to drive on the beach when it was empty. I could drive by the time I was 17 and I couldn’t wait to apply for my test. I was mad to get on the road. I can still hear him saying “if you break the two-second rule, you’re a fool”.

Any driving test tales? I remember I tipped my mum’s car the week before my driving test. I was trying to practice reversing around the side of our house. Needless to say, it didn’t look promising, but I learned my lesson and passed my test!

Dream drive in a dream location? It sounds terribly American, but Route 66 in a Ford Mustang. However, I want to be a passenger. It’s one of the few long journeys I’d love to experience, but I want to sit back and take it all in.

Who would be your dream passenger? Someone I could sing along with. I’m not a good singer, but I love the idea of just driving along on an open road in a convertible singing at the top of my voice. Ideally, it would be a journey I’d do with some of my closest friends. I think we’d have great craic.

Passenger, you’d least like? Trump!

Andrea Gilligan presents Breakfast Briefing and Between the Lines on Newstalk


26th November 2019

Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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