The NOT owns three cars. One pick-truck is stationed at the observatory, and is used to transport things at the observatory. This car includes the option to use 4x4 wheel drive, and we standard use it to transport the staff between the Residencia and the telescope at the observatory during winter. In case of bad weather, the car is also used to transport the staff to and from the observatory. The other 2 cars are regular car, normally used by the staff to travel to and from the observatory. The oldest of these cars was bought in 2004, and it started to show fairly frequent (be it mostly small) problems. Both cars are regularly in use at the same time, and it was decided to replace the oldest car. To improve safety, and be more flexible during the winter, we decided to look for a car that included the option to use 4x4 wheel drive. Several dealers were approached, and different cars were tested. The best offer was received for a Subaru XV, which was purchased. In the end, correcting for inflation, the cost of the new car was nearly the same as the cost of the old car which did not include 4x4 wheel drive.
Thomas Augusteijn 2013-12-02