Saturday, August 1, 2009

A new motor

I drive a car that’s practically a classic and family, friends and colleagues have been giving me heaps for years about it. They can’t understand how I’m not embarrassed to be driving such an old car.

I just don’t care actually. As long as it starts when I need it (I have a work vehicle for to and from work each day so I only need my car for personal use), and is straight, tidy and economical to run then I don’t care whether it’s 1 year old or 30 years old.

I see people spending huge amounts of money on a car and I can’t understand what it is that makes them need to have the newest flashest thing available. Even if I was rich I can’t imagine spending a great deal of money on a pile of metal that drops significantly in value the second you drive it off the lot. It’s a status thing I guess.

Anyway my brother/mechanic now advises me to take the plunge and get something newer as it is becoming increasingly uneconomic to keep my wee motor on the road.

I’ve looked around and figure I need to spend about NZ$10k to get something reasonably modern (i.e less than 10 years old) and tidy and with a decent warranty. 

OK then I start looking and this is where the problems start. I just can’t bring myself to walk onto car sales lot and run the gauntlet of potentially aggressive and increasingly desperate used car salespeople. I know times are tight but c’mon guys…

I have to find a way to steel myself against any overly pushy sales types so I don’t get pressured into something I don’t want. I’m not saying I am a push over but as a car is so relatively unimportant to me, there is a risk that I take the path of least resistance and hand over my hard earned cash on the first thing I see just to get the hell out of there and get the process over with.

Advice anyone?

025It’s pouring with rain so I couldn’t be bothered taking a photo of my car to show you but found this one taken last summer to give you some clue as to the exact vintage we’re taking about here.

It’s a 1984 corolla station wagon.


  1. Just be firm in what you'll pay and be prepared to walk away, and I mean WALK AWAY, if they don't meet your needs.
    Also it doesn't hurt to take someone with you so you have some backup.

    Good luck.

  2. My advice would be, and I don't mean this in a chauvinist way...take your brother with you. Car salesmen, world wide, love it when ladies walk on to the lot alone..for the very reason you stated. At least your brother being a mechanic, will put them on the defensive. Just a thought.

  3. I used to have a 1981-2? Toyota Hatchback. Bright yellow, sunroof. Loved that little car. When my sons came along I had to get rid of it because when they sat in the back seat their legs stuck straight out and the front seats were in the way.
    Absolutely take your brother or other well informed male with you.
    Make sure to steer the conversation yourself by repeating what you have said when they inevitably ignore your words.
    "I don't want a convertable",
    "No, I don't want a converable".
    "If you can't listen to me you are wasting my time" walking away.
    Don't be talked into anything you don't want. As inconvenient as it may be you may have to go out a few times.

    Do some research on the internet before you go to see what features or makes you prefer.

    Resist the urge to be nice. You are looking for a car not a pal. My husband is in sales and sometimes but not often he deals with women buyers. He would never try to talk anyone into something that wasn't right for them or their business. Hey do you want to buy a flat deck tow truck? He's your guy. You would not only have a new vehicle but you could run a towing business on the weekends.

    He always says "there's an ass for every saddle". You just have to find the right saddle.

  4. I knew a car salesmen for a while. One night over beers I asked him 'how do you do it? I mean you have to lie to them." His answer was very good, he said 'the lie is in what you don't say'.
    Car dealers are sucking the big one now in America. A dealership closed this week in my area. I read the artical in this morning's paper while eating breakfast. I enjoyed every morsal food and sip of coffee. Back in the day, the dealer Earnie Haire, ran off with a trophy wife, he came back home to get some stuff, his bitch wife shot him 6 times with a 357 magnum. She walked on the charges and took over the business. (lol) now 25 years later her boys are out of business. Oh it's a Ford dealer.
    Sorry to take so much space, just flowed from the morning joyful news.
    Good luck on the car shopping. Be ready to walk away. Do it once or twice just for fun. It gets better with practice.

  5. On another note: (chuckle) that is the worst photo of a car i have ever seen. Nice looking house though.

  6. OK I think I've got this;

    STEP 1: get some help
    STEP 2: do some research - know what I want.
    STEP 3: be firm. be very firm.
    STEP 4: listen for what's NOT being said.
    STEP 5: get better at car photography :-)

    I appreciate the tips everyone. Thanks. Operation find new car begins today.

  7. Yu sed: "I can’t imagine spending a great deal of money on a pile of metal that drops significantly in value the second you drive it off the lot. It’s a status thing I guess."

    I tackled this question awhile ago. This is the answer I came up with. The way I see it is, yeah, some....nae many, do. But the same question could be asked of people who spend thousands on say, a rifle, or a book, or hundreds on a comic, or a fancy clock, or one of those fancy eggs things worth TENS OF THOUSANDS...

    Cause they enjoy it. You may not see the point in a rifle worth 2 grand but if that's the cost of a weapon of that quality and you have a passion for shooting then it's worth them.

    I bet there's something out there that you find worth it...

    Anyway, car shopping sucks. Good luck. For what you want I'd aim for a late '06 - '07 Toyota. Still got some manufacturers warranty on it, nearly new, and parts are a dime a dozen in UnZed. I like Commodores, but it's like a 3.8 litre.

  8. Yeah I get what you're saying Moko but the gun or the book or the Faberge egg don't immediately devalue the second they become 'used' - they have serious resale value.

  9. So does a 1971 Mach 1 Mustang.


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