Avs, Savs, and new wheels: Day 1 in Auckland

Our first 24 hours in Auckland were successful! This is a very specific success criteria, judged on the eating of avocados, drinking of NZ Sauvignon Blanc, and the acquisition of 4 working wheels with an engine (the Sav came several hours before the driving- no risky business here).

After a nice lunch in chic Devonport, North Auckland, we focussed on our Big Task: getting a car, while D&R took the ever calm and undemanding Ziggy to the beach to let off some steam and try to interact with some other canines (or at least be able to look at them- it was almost a complete success!).

The car buying process was quite easy once we knew how to go about it. Adrien did some good research into what we needed to get, to check, and to leave with. All fingers pointed to Trade Me, an online New Zealand institution where you can purchase literally anything and everything you could possibly need or want, from the essential (bedsheets) to the luxury (Cartier watch) to the absurd (A life size statue of Elvis playing guitar).

We found a few in our price range, luckily Adrien knows a thing or two about cars, and phoned up a guy in our region who was happy for us to check out the car this afternoon. Just in case any of you out there find yourselves in New Zealand needing some transportation, I will leave a list below with the steps to take in order to acquire such a thing!

The car is a 17-year-old automatic VW Golf, which I am thrilled about as my driving competencies don’t extend to using a gearstick with great ease. It really is a relief to have this car, as it means we can relax a bit and can leave on the planned day for our road trip. There was a fair amount of choice, even though we had to err on the expensive side of things to get what we wanted and felt secure with immediately, but the plan is of course to sell the car when we leave, so we can hopefully get a good chunk of the cost back in several months’ time.

It has been a great start to the trip, made even better of course by the very warm welcome from Rona,  Dave, and pup. Tomorrow is Christmas Day and we will be celebrating in true Southern Hemisphere style, with a morning at the beach followed by a barbecue!

Merry Christmas Eve one and all!

Steps to buying a Trade Me car:

Decide on your budget- we went for a maximum of 4,000 $ (around £2400/2600€).

Ideally select a car with less than 200,000km already driven.

Check that the WOF is up to date  so you won’t have to pay for it immediately anyway (like a U.K. M.O.T, or a French contrôle technique).

Check that the car’s “rego” has been done too- this is the registration of the car. The seller of our car updated it quickly before we arrived so we’re good until March.

Check that the car’s cam belt has been replaced a reasonable amount of time ago as this can be very expensive to do yourself.

Check that you will be able to pay easily- our guy seemed to be a professional trader so had a card reader (which did incur an extra 130$ to use with an international card), but some may ask for cash or a bank transfer.

There really is a good amount of choice so check the location of the seller carefully so you don’t end up wasting too much time getting there.

Then when you are there you will need to look at more technical points and get the corrrect paperwork sorted out- we used this checklist and it was really helpful and clear! car_buying_checklist

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