I admit, it was one of the sadest days this year when I had to give away the most awesome car we ever had, our beloved Audi A5. But it was part of the deal. We know, a car like that would’t fit the country-lifestyle we’re aiming for in NZ, we would need something bigger to be able to carry some big items or even sheep in the trunk. At least some minor offroad capabilities are a must too, considering all the gravel roads we have experienced on our previous road trips.
We allowed five days to find a new car once we arrived in Auckland. That was actually the main reason to arrive in Auckland rather than on some closer airport like Christchurch or Wellington. We knew there would be a much bigger variety to choose from and so we did plenty of test drives at various car dealers.
We finally bought the very first car that we had tested, a 2011 Toyota Vanguard. It’s a japanese import car, has only 53,000 kms on it and literally looks like a brand new car. We have no idea how the previous owner was able to keep that car in such a perfect tidy condition for over 3 years. Not a single scratch! Thanks, Japanese guy!
The Chinese car dealer looked a bit dubious though. Seriously, we’d never dare to buy a car from a sole trader in Europe. But hey, in NZ everything is a bit smaller and ‘simpler’. ;) At least he was able to show a registered car dealer certificate and I also made a picture of his driving license to be sure about his name – which was different from the name he used for this business. He said nobody in NZ would be able to pronounce his Chinese name correctly, so he renamed himself to “Robert”. Funny. We also did a pre-purchase check at VTNZ to be sure it’s all ok and they didn’t find any problems.
The documents were signed within 2 minutes at a supermarket carpark and 10 minutes later on a Sunday (!) the car was successfully registered and brand new plates were installed. It’s incredible how un-complicated things can be in NZ.
The only obvious downside of the car: The dashboard unit/GPS/radio speaks only Japanese and is not compatible with NZ radio frequencies. ;) We’ll get it replaced soon! It was still a great deal – we hope. Future will tell if there are some hidden issues with the car.