You drive a Mazda6 and your wife, Melissa, drives a Mazda3?
I started driving Melissa's Mazda3 and thought I wouldn't mind one of these. I got the Mazda6 because it's a family car and has plenty of room for bikes and scooters, but it's still got a bit of style. It's also the first car I've owned with mag wheels and tinted windows. Melissa's is 2005 and mine is 2007, both are grey. We have a friend in the motor industry who sourced them. When he found out I wanted a Mazda6 he said it's a brilliant buy ... but mentioned the colour is close to Melissa's. I couldn't stop laughing when he bought it over. If Mazda want to do a "his and hers" campaign they know where to come. They are really reliable cars. I used to own a Fiat and it was at the mechanics all the time. I could have purchased a few of them with the money I spent on repairs, so reliability was a big factor.
A blue Austin Allegro. The Hydragas suspension was ruined, so after half an hour in it you needed your spine readjusted.
Your dream car ...
A fully restored Ford Shelby Mustang, black with some grunt under the hood. I'd add all the modifications, like nice air-con, ABS, power steering.
Favourite car colour?
Black, without a doubt.
Who taught you to drive?
A driving instructor called Paul. He was a top guy, brilliant teacher and had a good success rate of people passing first time on their restricted test. I was a 16-year-old in Wellington, it's the perfect place to learn a good hill start.
Do you think 16 is the right age for teens to get their licence?
That's a tough one. If I could go back again I would have probably done an advanced driving course. I did one a while ago and the skills you learn in terms of controlling a car are invaluable and beneficial.
Manual or automatic?
On the open road, a manual, I love the control and changing gears. In Auckland traffic, I prefer automatic, especially when you're crawling along and stopping every 5m.
Most memorable road trip?
Driving from Wellington to Auckland after Christmas and taking turns driving with my mate, John, and Melissa. We missed an obvious exit while the passengers were busy gas bagging (I wasn't driving, by the way) and got lost. A storm set in and washed some roads away. It took a while to get home, but was a lot of laughs, good stories and heaps of teasing the driver who shall remain nameless.
How often do you clean your car?
Not enough. A couple of times a year with a polish and the rest of it. I've got two children, they always leave a good stash of raisins in the car.
Tips for keeping kids happy on car trips?
A good playlist, children-friendly stops or a toy shop always work well. Try to make the trip an adventure.
What do you listen to in your car?
Normally sports radio or I'll put the smartphone in, shuffle the songs.
What's a great day trip out of Auckland?
Omaha beach is always fun and a nice place to get away to.
I laugh when people pick their noses while waiting in traffic. But, on a more serious note, people driving dangerously and putting others at risk is a big concern.
Would you rather drive in Auckland or take public transport?
I'm not too fussed. I grew up in Wellington and public transport is a way of life there.
And cyclists and drivers ... is there room for both on Auckland roads?
For sure. Most cyclists in Auckland are really good and it's a great way to stay fit. I try to ride my bike to work in summer.
As told to Donna McIntyre