Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We Buy a Car

The Kia Carens station wagon has almost 30,000 km on it. We bought it in February. #1 and # 2 sons said that Kia was OK and #2 is going to buy a Kia Sorento in spring. Standard transmission is the only thing I hate about it. That and the price. $25,000 USD.
Needs sparkplugs every 20,000 kms because of the gas. Gives us good mileage, compared to my vans over the years. 10 litres per 100 kms. Comfortable. Tanya likes it and wants to take driving lessons. I am all in favour of that. Then she can see for herself avoiding ALL the holes in the roads is mission impossible.

I’d have been happy with a Lada but there are appearances to keep up, you know. From the bottom on up Lada, Daewoo (built in Zaporizhzhia) and Chevy Aveo. I would have really liked a Fiat Doblo or one of its close mini-minivan cousins, too. They are as popular here as the minivan at home. But they look somewhat boxy, pretty cheap interior in the Renaults and Peugeots we looked at so passed on it. My brother-in-law in Siberia drives a Volga, which is a Russian built sort of Crown Victoria heavy tank. I loved it but Tanya says it is very hard on gas.

Buying the car was an experience. Absolutely no prep work done in the show room. We had to remove all the protective plastic in order to drive it out and WE had to drive it out. We went to the bank and had the money transferred from our account to the dealers. No cheques in this country. They put a red dealer licence plate on it and off we went. I have no idea if we had insurance or not as we drove home from Dnipropetrovs’k.

I took the minibus back to four days latter to pick up the documentation so we could register it and buy insurance. You can’t buy insurance until it is registered and you have to register it in your hometown. It takes four days for the dealer to prepare all the paper. They wanted to know where their dealer plate was. I said they got it back when I got my own plates.

We took the papers and the car to be registered. Four hours later and several offices back and forth, we went to the bank wicket to pay the taxes on the car. Several, not sure how many and we got receipts for them all. Not a lot of money. Much cheaper than Saskatchewan but they got most of their tax as import duty which was in the purchase price. Then the man came out to double check the numbers on the motor, the body and the frame. No match. Dealer had left a digit off the documentation. Back to Dnipropetrovs'k on the minibus.

This time it matched. We got our plates and all the correct documentation which we carry at all times. Registration card is a little plastic credit card. Tanya is the owner; Andrei (#2 Son) and I are the recognized drivers. Anyone else drives it; one of the three of us has to be in the car. We go to buy insurance. He wants to know how many years I have been driving, as it is not marked on my Canadian licence. I said legally about 44 years. He should have asked how many accidents in the last five but as Tanya said, we’d never get insurance.

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