I didn't want to mention this until I actually got it. But after all the drama on Friday, I might as well. You see, even though Eba (my 1998 Honda Integra we bought for $2350 as a replacement for the Mits Lancer that was written off after a woman crashed into me 1 month after we arrived in Perth) was in a pretty decent condition when we bought it, I've always thought I'll drive it till it's no longer drivable or gets too costly to fix. The previous owner is a car mechanic & he does the servicing himself. He told us that he kept the car in good condition as his wife is the 1 driving it & he wants her to be safe. We've not done any repairs to it other than having my front tyres changed just 5 months ago. A month back, during a routine check, hubs discovered that my engine is now leaking quite a bit. It wasn't leaking when he last changed the oil 5000 km ago. I don't know what's that called but it's leaking from the gap where the top & bottom half of the engine covers meet. I haven't got oil stains where I usually park which means it isn't a terrible terrible leak. That was when I start to seriously consider getting a new car.
I've been checking out some of the cars since early this year, thinking, that way, when Eba does decide to die on me, I'll have already made up my mind about which car to buy next. I never did come to a conclusion though. But the news of Eba's engine leaking prompted me to really look into it. I was weighing the pros & cons of getting it fixed versus buying a new car. I know just to get the mechanic to open up the engine to check where the leak is coming from will cost over a grand & that's excluding parts & labour for fixing it. Also, Eba's approaching 200 km which means I'll need a new timing belt & water pump which can easily cost over a grand too. On top of that, I noticed that when I come to a stop, my engine rpm is swinging rapidly between 700 (the usual) to just below 500, causing the engine to vibrate (as if I've not accelerated enough on half clutch & the car is going to stall on a manual). It occurred once perhaps 3 months back & has been increasing in frequency. I don't know what the problem is, but it sure will cost money to fix. I know my CV joint is also leaking which means it's at the end of its lifespan too. If I were to fix everything up properly, it will probably cost me anywhere from 4 grand upwards. That's not including my shock absorbers which were already worn from day 1. I drive avoiding all uneven surfaces as much as I can. But there's no preventing the squeaking sounds when getting in & out of the car. I thought if I were to spend 5 grand fixing Eba up, I will want it to last another 5 years (going at the depreciation of $1k a year). Will it, can it last 5 years? It's anyone's guess.
When I decided to convert to the full time position, I thought, I might as well buy a new car. I decided to go with Honda since I love Eba so much. The cheapest car in the Honda range is the Jazz. So that's my final choice. It all comes down to the money, isn't it? I get to do this thing called Novated Lease through Smart Salary (my salary packaging company). Though the fortnightly installments for the car is post tax, the running costs are pretax. It means that my fuel, servicing costs, tyre replacement, rego, insurance etc are all pretax. Upon calculation, I will save about $2k on tax a year. As Smart Leasing frequently sources cars for employees Australia wide, they have the buying power & they can source the cheapest car. I know Honda is offering free CTP, extended warranty, free roadside assist as end of the year sale bargain. But the price of the car remains the same. My homework showed that the original Jazz manual is selling for $16999, $19200 for the auto transmission. Sports version costs $22600 & the Luxury version costs $25388. They secured a Sports version for me for $19k, which is the price of the original auto Jazz had I gotten it from Honda direct.
The drama came when I was contacted by the dealer at 9 am Friday morning, informing me that my car was ready to be delivered to me & that he would be sending me an email of a form to be signed which I can emailed back together with my driving license. I requested for 4 pm as that would be about the time I could get home. Past 12 noon, he called back to inform me that the delivery team can only do 3 pm & I agreed. At the same time, I informed him that I would send the documents when I got home from work. That was when he told me that it must be sent to him or the car is not considered registered & the police will tow it away. Why wasn't it mentioned that the documents are urgent?
Immediately, I tried to print the licensing form but alas, the server at my work place was down. I was unable to log on at all. I resigned myself to the fact that the car won't be delivered on that day itself. Then 1 of my colleague asked me to use her computer which was already logged on. I managed to print the form but I couldn't scan it as that computer doesn't have a printer/scanner. I thought I'll just bring the forms home to scan & rearrange for another delivery next Friday when I'm working half day again. Another colleague then suggested faxing it. Alamak! Why didn't I think of it? My colleagues are obviously very excited for me to get my car given all the suggestions they gave me.
On my drive home after work, the dealer called me. So I did the illegal thing & talked on the phone while driving. Halfway through I finally managed to switch it to speaker mode when I came to a red light. He gave me 2 options, to either pick it up in Melville on Sat morning or have it delivered on Monday. So I told him that I would need to speak to hubs to see if he can take leave on Monday. I couldn't do Sat as I have yoga class & I'm going to the dog refuge to see if I can adopt another dog. When I got home, I saw hub's message to call him & that he was still at his work place. I thought it was weird coz he should have been on the way home by then. Turned out that his car wouldn't start & D was on his way there to see if he could fix it. I was like, "Oh my gosh! Can this day get even more drama?" I knew then I would have to pick up the car on Sat so that we will have 2 working cars come Monday. I had to reluctantly cancel my yoga class (I was so looking forward to it), dropped the idea of going to the dog refuge & informed the dealer that I would pick up the car myself.
Early Sat morning, we left the house to set off for Melville. That was when I realised my front garden was trashed. I knew last evening, a bunch of kids were laughing & carrying on right outside the house. I should have gone out to check but I didn't. They had thrown my mulch all over the front door & it was strewn all over my neighbour's door on my right too. Then I found mulch & broken pieces of my grasstree in a heap in front of my neighbour's house to my left. I was the only 1 with the grasstree in my row so it could only have been from mine. Plus, the mulch colour couldn't be wrong. Nobody else used bright red mulch. On top of that, they stole 1 of my solar lamps. I was absolutely fuming! Not even the prospect of picking up my new car could calm me down. Hubs tried but I was beside myself. Now I had to spend money to replace the stolen solar lamp, spend more time & effort sweeping up the mess they made to my neighbours' houses & top up the mulch in the garden yet again.
But when we got there & I saw my brand new car gleaming under the shelter, everything else fell out of my mind. I absolutely love it. When we got home, hubs left with the mechanic for his work place to see if he could fix it. But it needed a new distributor & he was going to source it on Monday for hubs. When he got back, it was almost time for us to get ready for our dinner date. That concluded the mess that spanned Friday till Sat.