So I once again have a set of 4 wheels and several tons of steel at my disposal.
Not going to win any beauty contests, but I don’t think I did too badly! It’s a 1996 Honda Accord Station wagon. I originally was thinking about getting a normal, small sedan, but after talking to a few people at the hostel, decided to move up to station wagon. The reason being is that sleeping in your wagon is a great way to save money in the summer – and there are some really awesome places to do just that in the south island. Nothing like waking up to the beach outside your car or something similar. Since the costs were pretty much identical (though gas will likely be slightly more), the savings I can make by sleeping in here instead of a hostel are pretty substantial. And it’s not a bad looking car for the money either – $2000NZD got me a Honda with 185,000km.
The interesting thing about the kilometers though – they can’t always be trusted here. The vast majority of cars in NZ are imported, used, from Japan. Apparently it’s pretty normal for the odometer to come looking…a little too good. I got my car at the Ellerslie Car Fair, a MASSIVE market of private sale cars put on every Sunday. There were probably 500+ cars there today, ranging from ~1000NZD to near new cars. The majority were under $5K though. And it was interesting the range. Seeing 1995 cars with under 100,000km is highly, highly suspect, given they might only be asking $4000 for it. Pretty much if it was too good to be true, avoid. I got mine a thorough inspection before, and while the car isn’t perfect (passenger door kinda squeaky with the lock, brakes need replacement soon), it was in pretty good overall shape. Hence, I took it! I hope that it lasts the year, and sees me around both islands. It drives smoothly without funny noises. Plus, has quite a few nice little amenities, like automatic climate control, power windows and locks and a tape deck!
By the way, I totally rocked the parallel parking on the backward streets here, on my first attempt and everything.