We Bought a Car in New Zealand! Now What?
Yes, we're still on a $15 a day budget. But we just bought a car.
After asking the locals about the best method of transportation in New Zealand, we discovered that buying a car is the way to go.
So today we headed to a place where backpackers buy and sell their cars. There we found two German girls selling their '93 Subaru station wagon for NZ$2,200 (about $1,200 USD.)
They had just had some mechanical work done on it and it sounded like they took good care of it.
Given that it was half the price of the vans that were for sale and would use a lot less gas and was at a good price, we were sold.
Buying a car in New Zealand is a lot less complicated than in the States, but there certainly is a process you have to follow.
We had a legal check on the car to make sure there were no outstanding tickets that we would inherit. We had to do some 140-point mechanical inspection. We had to buy insurance (which you have to buy a minimum of 3 months at a time). And we had to transfer the title.
All that junk costs money. Not to mention the car costs money too! So I asked the two German girls if they would be willing to sell the car to us for a flat NZ$2,000. They discussed it amongst themselves in German for a few seconds and then said, "We will do that if you take us out for a coffee or something."
We paid for the car in cash. It felt like some sort of shady illegal deal with all that cash spread out on the table.
Now we have a car... in New Zealand.
I'm now very frustrated. We didn't plan. We haven't really planned any of this trip so far. We just blindly fly to a country, or hop on a bus and ride into some random town without planning a thing.
Sounds stupid? It is. I don't recommend it. Some may think it's cool - "living on the edge" and never knowing what happens next. But before you buy a stinking car, you should at least know one town you want to drive to.
We've been in Auckland for over a week now. That's more than ample time to plan a journey through New Zealand. But I was busy working on web projects and William was doing whatever he did all week long.
Neither of us planned. So what happened? We drove our car to a Couch Surfing friend's house and started to talk about where we'd drive with our new cool car. Then we realized that it would have been way better for both the time and the money to buy a car in the south island and drive it up to the north island since that's were Auckland is and that's also where we fly out of.
But in our very unplanned trip, we'll be driving from the north island down to the south island where we either drive all the way back up to the north island, or buy a plane ticket to the north island.
Either way, it would have been way better had either one of us planned just a little bit.