One of our first chores here in Whangarei was to make several decisions. One of those was to rent or buy a good used vehicle for transportation. Our good friends from SV SuAn had just returned to Whangarei with a used van they were planning to convert into a camper vehicle to use for traveling around New Zealand. They had picked up the used van at a wholesale lot in the Auckland area. They had a Rent a Dent from a local company and let us use it while they started converting their van. Okay we had wheels for a few days but it would not be permanent. We decided that we would also travel down to Auckland to see what we could find on the lot. This worked out great because Jilly’s family has friends that live in the Auckland area.
So we contacted Sean and Donna to let them know that we’d be traveling through. They insisted that we stay a night with them. Okay, everything was set in place. We rented a Dent to drive down to Auckland to the Grande Motors, the wholesaler. This was one of the easiest purchases I have made except for a fifteen pack of Carlsburg beer at the beer store. We found a Toyota Wish that was a 2005, a used import from Japan, that we thought was a good deal. They put some gas in it, gave us the keys and said, “Take her for a spin”. The motor looked very good for its age and everything seemed to be tight in the steering, transmission and other operational equipment. There were about 92,000 kilometers on the odometer. The price of the Toyota was $6050 NZD ($3932.50 USD) that included taxes and six months of vehicle registration. They had to prep the car and fix the radio before we could take it off the lot. We left a deposit and spent a wonderful night with Sean and Donna. We became instant family members with them.
The next morning we all went down to Brown’s Bay for breakfast before saying our goodbyes and heading back to the car dealer. The car was ready. The only thing we had to do was get it registered. I rode with the salesman to the motor vehicle department about a half a block away. We walked in without an appointment and up to the first available window. The transaction took about five minutes and we were out the front door with two license plates and the registration. California could learn a few things from the process here.
We drove back to the lot, picked up Jilly, said our goodbyes and were off northbound with a really nice used vehicle. We are not sure if we will keep it stored at Sean and Donna’s when we leave for next season or sell it before departing. We are still up in the air about that.
A little financial statistics: For the same amount of money we spent on the car we could rent a car for about one hundred days. We will be here for a little over 180 days so we are about $4,400 NZD ($2,948 USD) ahead of the expenses. Insurance for one year was about $450 NZD ($300 USD) and that transaction was done over the phone prior to picking up the Toyota. Off we traveled back to Dazzler with our faithful stead.
We now have wheels to get around in and see what New Zealand has to offer. Tally Ho!
Captain Dan and Jilly