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Friday, 18 December 2009

I like Driving in my Car

On Wednesday, delayed a day because of the wi-fi installation problems, we drove 47 miles up to Corvallis to check out a second-hand car we hoped to buy.

Beth had been searching online for a station wagon, under $8,000 with less than 80,000 miles on the clock, and located a 2002 Mercury Sable at a dealership called Power. We wanted a station wagon partly because Beth has owned one before, a Ford Taurus very like the Sable (in all but name, they're the same model both made by Ford), and partly so we would have plenty of trunk space should we need it.

We got there in pouring rain, and located our salesman Frank. The other salesmen looked like he'd just stolen their candy.

We spent about 20 minutes going over the car minutely, noting dings and small dents, checking catches, aerial, tyres, fluids and other things, before taking it for a 30 mile testdrive with Frank in the back guiding us. Partway we changed drivers (Beth to me) so we could both get a feel for the car. One rattle developed while I drove, which proved to be the rear numberplate coming loose at one corner.

Beth had checked this car thoroughly online beforehand, including the Blue Book price, and service history (via Carfax), so armed with this knowledge we went into Frank's office to negotiate. Long and short, we knocked $700 off the sale price, getting plates & registration included(these normally add about $236), and a couple of things fixed too (new bigger wipers, trunk window hydraulic replaced, all fluids topped up).

Beth, again the US expert, had arranged insurance so that if we liked it we could drive it home that day. As a result we drove home separately, now proud owners of our own wheels. We need to go back in 2-3 weeks to get our own plates attached, and also the hydraulic window bar fitted as it wasn't in stock.

Beth had a good drive home in the new car and we decided to return the hire car a week early, since two cars at this time is an unnecessary luxury, so on Thursday afternoon we returned the Budget Rent-a-Car, a Pontiac G3, and saved about $280 on our expected rental costs.

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