Dec. 22nd, 2010

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On Monday TWO people expressed interest in buying my car, which has been sitting on the road for the last couple of months after failing its WoF. (One man enquired of the couple across the street about who owned the car, and they'd been vaguely wondering about the car too so were spurred on to ask me too.)

I explained the situation to both of them: that the car was in need of approximately $2000 of repairs, and I was looking at getting $300 for it from a wrecking company so I guess I'd sell it for that. Both sets of people knew or were panel beaters, which I guess makes the repairs much more feasible than it would be for me.

The first man was asking me if I would take payment in installments (no) and was a bit waffly, but I said I'd text him before I got it towed. (Which I haven't done before now because these companies can only come during work house, so I was going to arrange it for when I have leave next week. I should also mention that when I say "wrecker" I mean "happy farm with puppies".) The couple from across the street seemed a bit more likely, and said they'd come back the next day when I had found my list of EXACTLY what was wrong and the costs I'd been quoted for repair.

So yesterday they came back, I told them the details, and they said yep, they'd take it. Did I have change of ownership papers and did I want a deposit? I said no bother, and that I'd get those papers tomorrow.

After they left, I started feeling a bit odd: $300 was actually less than I wanted for the car. Taking such a low price from a wrecker was offset by the convenience of having it towed away. Had I made the effort to sell it as-is, where-is on TradeMe I could probably got more - not enough to have made it worthwhile to get around to paying to list it, but still. Plus the petrol was nearly full (another $70 or so worth) and the registration is good until March.

Plus, I didn't know how happy I was with the idea of someone else driving my car - it would have been okay if it were far away, but if it's right across the street...? I phoned Mum and Dad to ask if they thought it would be unethical to tell them that I had just received a quote back from another wrecking company for $400 and would they match that? Dad quite rightly said that that would be silly and that I should just phone them and tell the truth and ask for $400. Worst comes to worse, I can still get the tow next week, but wouldn't it be better to have the car driven and looked after rather than wrecked?

He also put his finger on the fact that I did not want to let go of the car and didn't like other people having it.

Anyway, I left a message on the buyer's phone explaining that I'd felt rushed - which I HAD, I'd never anticipated anyone just asking to buy the car and it happened so fast I didn't think about the price I was asking for - and saying I'd feel happier with $400. They asked if I'd do $350 (no), thought about it, and said we'll still take it, can you have papers tomorrow.

So, my car is going to be sold. Although it will be a relief to have it gone (and not getting another $200 no-WoF fine, ouch) I still feel wibbly. So I thought I'd try articulate a tribute to my little blue car:

The car is a 1995 Holden Astra. My parents bought it in the late nineties. I learnt to drive in it - its poor clutch put up with two teenagers figuring out this whole "manual" thing. It was the car that I was first allowed to go out by myself in, that little bit of freedom that meant I could go visit my friends in the evenings and not worry about buses. There were also moments like being allowed to drive on my first big road trip on my own - it was trust from Mum and Dad, and that meant a lot.

In about 2004 or so, Mum got a new car. My brother was disqualified from driving at the time (plus I'm the oldest, HA!) so I was given the little blue car. (Not that it was very little, but Dad's car was big and blue, so.) I was flatting with Zanne in Wellington and even though I used buses every day, it was a lot more freedom: grocery shopping became a lot easier. I was a car owner, whoo!

It meant moving to Auckland - and LIVING in Auckland, damn the public transport - was possible. I had my first car crash in it. (Just a fender-bender). I learnt basic car maintenance. I paid for insurance and registration and WoFs. It took me up and down and across the North Island. It got new wheels and a new exhaust bit by bit and new windows when it was broken into.

I think, basically: I've had the car in one way or another, for ten years. It's been through a lot with me, cost me a bit, but generally been such a good little car. I guess it's a symbol of becoming an adult in a lot of ways, and I'm going to miss it a lot. I'm sentimental, and I'm going to cry over it, but it's MY car.

Goodbye, little blue car. I'm going to miss you. :-(

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