Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Buying a car in Sydney

Congratulations if you have procured a drivers licence by the time you're reading this.Now the next obvious thing would be to get a car and use the authority that has been bestowed upon you by the RTA(Road transport authority). That could be a topic of much deliberation and discussion.Now I'm not one of those men who get a cheap chauvinist thrill in not involving their partners in the decision making even though their hard earned salaries are crucial and decisive to the purchase.That will be the topic of discussion some other day, today we will stick to "CAR PURCHASE".

The day we landed in Sydney, I read all I could about cars and how to buy a good one.Now, like I said in my earlier post, we had no jobs and were still looking for jobs.Australian English and their colloquial expressions were very different from American and British English that we grew up with. So I used to try and absorb it as much as I could.What struck me as quite queer was the usage "Shopping around" which meant to look for the best deal. So were advised to "shop around" and I did my bit of shopping around on the net. The site that i found very useful was Drive.com.au and I still look up reviews on cars on it.It was a very helpful and a very user friendly site.I would recommend it heavily for all looking for some reviews,articles and good deals.They're pretty organized. Even carsguide.com.au was helpful. The period I'm referring to is Oct 2006.We finally bought a car only in Jan 2008.Unlike a lot of people who come here with money for a house and a car, we had none.That's another story. So it took us time to get jobs and save money for a car.
Now,we were advised by the usual desi lobby to buy cars as cheap as $4000.You will get advised too,but please don't oblige such people.It's best to save a bit of money and buy a good car,even if its second hand or what they call as "USED CARS".It's worth it! We initially wanted to buy a Toyota Corolla but I was told that Corollas were a bit overrated and I had the best advice.
My dad had a buyer called Kuwabara,and he's from Kobe,Osaka.He and me had an excellent rapport, and among the things we had in common,there was also a love for cars.When I visited Kobe in 1992,hee took me to all the showrooms of big names in Cars .Toyota,Mitsubishi,Nissan and Honda and of course motorbike showrooms too.He was a racing enthusiast in his younger days and he vouched for Kawasaki.Along with the trips to showrooms I learnt that a brand which is popular may not necessarily be our choice.So i remembered his words of Corolla being overrated and also a German buyer of my dad's called Ertinger,saying that Mercedes was overrated and he would any day prefer an Audi.Anyway coming back to us,we bought a Yaris.Why? Because it fitted in our budget,had only 16k on the odometer,felt comfortable, was good to drive and looked well maintained. My partner wanted to bargain but I couldn't care less because a sale is where the seller and buyer both benefit.A lot of people said $19k was too much and I would've got it cheaper.Maybe,but not with such low kilometres and not so well maintained like this.I had done my homework.Plus because the salesman was happy he kept obliging us later with a months worth tanking up, sending a technician to our residence to tend to something and much more.I'm still friends with the guy even though he left Trusscots in Parramatta(not sure of spelling).We were very happy with the service.

So my advice is to never go over budget,look at a couple of cars and test drive them,take a mechanic preferably before buying,always bargain, let the poor salesman make his bit of profit and see what all they can throw in for free.Try and target the used car dealerships before they hit target which could be at the end of a day or week.They're more desperate then.Once the salesman hits target,he won't be so accomodating.It will come to you with practice.Finally if you believe in God,then ask him to help you to decide on a good car so that you don't end up with a "LEMON".Going to a reputed dealer is a smart move as they can't afford a bad name.Avoid the dodgy ones,which are the lesser known ones.I'm not a big fan of private sales.Getting an automatic would be a good idea,a lot of Indians I know went for manual to save $2k I guess but later all of them switched to automatic.I too wanted a manual to save money but my partner convinced me otherwise and am I happy I did so.It is convenient and easy on the foot.Definitely helps on long drives.So happy shopping mate and drive safely.

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