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Thread: Get a Decent Car?

  1. #1
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    Default Get a Decent Car?

    So I arrive in Auckland with no car, and not sure where to live. Any advice in great, less expensive areas to live?

    Also --what car/truck would you advise as it sounds like roads aren't that great? Are drivers that bad or are the roads the issue?

    What should I budget for to pay for a car/truck? Any particular car lots etc. that'd be good to use? Thanks!
    Last edited by Char; 9th June 2011 at 03:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    That's a pretty wide question there! For people to be able to help then some clues may help as what works for one won't work for another. If you're on your own, living in Auckland and enjoy 'urban activities' then a small car is going to be what you need. A keen mountain biker that's going to be catching the train into work each day and wants the car for trips to Rotorua every other week with the OH and 3 teenage kids will want something different.

    However, when you land then I'd suggest a $6-8k nissan wagon of some variety, keep it for 6 months, then when you've figured out what you really need then get that. Less than $5k and you're scraping the barrel. 15k seems to be a pretty wide range of choices, most will be imports from japan - 5-10 years old, pretty low mileage and apart from the radios possibly being a pain will be pretty solid. Over $20k and the options are very wide and you're getting into franchised dealer used car territory. I got a 2006 Pajero for less than $20k from a main dealer, although pretty high mileage.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char View Post
    So I arrive in Auckland with no car, and not sure where to live. Any advice in great, less expensive areas to live?

    Also --what car/truck would you advise as it sounds like roads aren't that great? Are drivers that bad or are the roads the issue?

    What should I budget for to pay for a car/truck? Any particular car lots etc. that'd be good to use? Thanks!
    Some hints would have helped me to answer better. As Duncan suggested go for cheaper one first and once you get hang of driving here...then go for car/van of your choice. I once saw hummer for NZD 58K on trademe but after looking at the traffic here, it was never a choice on list , ended up buying 2003-Nissan cedric, its a hybrid between Rolls royce and Merc, more than anything I choose it for family as they love the comfort inside.

    Roads are not bad, you might be aware that NZ floats over volcanic material (and made up of it as well) so roads are not flat - generally. People drift between lanes....one possible reason is because we all come from different countries and driving conditions..(few drove LHD for most past of their lives).

    You can find lots of places to buy cars, I heard there's one weekend market in Greenlane (again beware of looks, they just buff up cars for shiny looks). 6k-10K would fetch you good deal depending on the manufacturer/make/model you prefer.

    Hope that helped a bit.

  4. #4
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    I had a previous post about shipping a car, but in the end decided not too. In my limited NZ experience I found the roads to be very "rollercoaster" like, so pretty good fun to drive on.

    I'd never drive an SUV, but have spent hours trawling trade me to try and get a detailed list of cars, prices, best deals. I came to the conclusion that Subaru's (especially the excellent Legacy) represented the best value. There's also a decent number of manual subarus out there.

    As far as I could see is the European Cars should be avoided. BMWs, excellent as they are, are very expensive compared to the UK. 8K NZD gets you a decent 14yr old E36 - in the UK that's under 1K! The prices get nearer the UK the more you spend, but even so. Almost every car is a petrol, and almost every car is auto - shame really as it strips out some of the fun.

    Audis and VWs have even bigger price discrepancies to the UK, and most are auto too (plus almost all have the revolting fake woodtrim around the dash).

    I did spot a 318ti individual on trade me earlier though at 9900 NZD on a 2002, low mileage, auto of course, standard car. Not a bad price, probably be gone by the time I arrive tho!

  5. #5
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    Default Thanks for Advice

    Oh roller coaster roads...should be interesting! I had a Ford Escape (4x4) in the past that I really liked...but make just take the transit for the first few months, especially if I'm living close to work (which I plan to).

  6. #6
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    Hi there....

    Agree with Duncan74, get a Nissan or Pajero for the first few months and then see where you are on the transport requirement.

    We made the (hindsight) mistake of buying an Audi A4 when we first arrived; beautiful drive, comfortable, not too thirsty, reliable and I guess we bought for comfort zone as we had driven Audi's and BMW's in the UK.

    BUT, and here's one of our many lessons, when the water pump went south, the mechanic rubbed his hands and charged us just $1,600 to take the whole front off to access it!!.. the whole lot, including sourcing the parts came to $2,650. So, European cars can be well expensive to fix.

    Another thing touched on by Duncan74 was the question of what you want to do with your car ie is it fit for purpose? When we had the Audi, there were lots and lots..... and lots of wee roads that we thought "Oh..wonder whats down/at the end of that?"...only to go "nah!" too low or too bumpy or not enough tarmac for the low slung Audi to deal with.

    And as the Audi could very easily go (cough!) above the 100km speed limit (OH has a few speeding fines as testiment) what, we thought eventually, do we need a car that is expensive to fix, cannot get us to the places we want to go, has more power than is required etc etc....

    Soooooo, we ditched that and now drive a 98 Jeep Cherokee that can be fixed easily, the engine parts are accessible, can go anywhere, isn't too fast, nor too thirsty and we can sling camping gear and gas kitchen in back! Oh, we do live just outside Nelson (a bit "rural" then) which also was important on the type of vehicle we actually needed, rather than what we thought we actually wanted...

    Phew... just re-read post...sorry about the ramble but I guess Duncan74 said it much more succinctly

  7. #7
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    I guess this is all subjective and depends whether or not you see the car as a utility vehicle with the aim to keep costs as low as possible, or something to be enjoyed for pleasure if you enjoy a nice car and driving.

    I'd personally never go near a Nissan - interiors are revolting, cheap plastic and trim (I once had a 2007 or so Primera briefly as a company car, and it was nasty), and whilst they're reliable, deathly dull to drive. But then again, suppose, if you're not bothered about that sort of thing, then they are very cheap!

    But if was spending 20K, well, 20K gets you a 2005 VW 2.0TDI GT from a VW dealer, or a 2008 Nissan of some sort, well, the VW will be better to drive, better interior and a more enjoyable car to drive. Will cost more to repair, but even so....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun777 View Post
    few drove LHD for most past of their lives
    ...and some still do, yet somehow miraculously manage not to drift aimlessly between lanes...



    Daniela

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by edw123 View Post
    I guess this is all subjective and depends whether or not you see the car as a utility vehicle with the aim to keep costs as low as possible, or something to be enjoyed for pleasure if you enjoy a nice car and driving.
    And that's the nail on the head. Over here then in general cars are seen as a tool. Outside of Auckland, where things are a little different, then even the boy racer cars don't tend to be polished, and kept looking nice. Yes they have the wheels and dustbin exhaust, but they are still more focussed on moving than in the UK where like it or not many where kept very clean and tidy.

    The general culture is that a car/truck is to get you to the beach / boat / bach where you then do your surfing, hunting and fishing. Those all need wet / messy kit and you'll be covering the vehicle with roof racks and tow bars, so 'wasting' a good days fishing pimping a car is pointless. So that's at the 'show' end of things, but my take on life over here, admittedly based in Tauranga and time in Roto-vegas and Hamilton, is that it permeates down to the everyday too.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan74 View Post
    Over here then in general cars are seen as a tool. Outside of Auckland, where things are a little different, then even the boy racer cars don't tend to be polished, and kept looking nice. Yes they have the wheels and dustbin exhaust, but they are still more focussed on moving than in the UK where like it or not many where kept very clean and tidy.

    The general culture is that a car/truck is to get you to the beach / boat / bach where you then do your surfing, hunting and fishing. Those all need wet / messy kit and you'll be covering the vehicle with roof racks and tow bars, so 'wasting' a good days fishing pimping a car is pointless. So that's at the 'show' end of things, but my take on life over here, admittedly based in Tauranga and time in Roto-vegas and Hamilton, is that it permeates down to the everyday too.
    Yeah, that sounds about right (but who can afford a boat and a second home on the beach is beyond me).
    When I got here I was totally appalled at the exterior condition, interior condition, lack of service history, high mileage, and sky high prices for the afore mentioned conveyances. The condition of cars for sale over here, especially private sales are all of the above and every single one has at least one large dint or evidence of body repair. Most cars for sale over here for top dollar prices you would not be able to sell in the UK as they look like someone has been round the bodywork killing flies with a lump hammer and then cleaning it with a bucket of mud and a brick. And if you do find a "straight bodied" car (most obtainable from Jap imports specialists and later part-ex models from main agents, then it won't be long before it gets driven into, scratched, knocked and banged around by the number of Kiwi drivers who, and lets be fair to them, are the worst drivers I have ever seen this side of the African Bush... they will drive into you on car parks and then just drive off (cause most of 'em probably don't have car insurance as it isn't mandatory over here as yet!!). A "person" in a rust and white coloured SUV thing hit my Falcon (which was perfect bodywork and ALWAYS kept polished) backing out of a space in P&S and stuffed my rear wing in causing $600 worth of damage and the ignorant "person" just drove off with out batting an eyelid. I saw this as I was coming out of P&S but was to far away to catch them. My wifes Mazda Lantis (again with very nice bodywork and polished) was hit right down the back door and the back wing causing $1600 - $2000 worth of damage and it moved the rear of the car over about 18 inches, and once again the ignorant "person" just drove off (this one was as it was left in a road side parking bay at a garage one morning to have some work carried out). So, don't think you are going to get the same quality of vehicle over here as you would in the UK for a similar price (not sure about Canada though) or if you do get a reasonable one the Kiwi drivers will soon having looking like everything else on the road.

    Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear but in 3.5 years here thats my experience with cars and I can only call 'em as I see 'em, Kiwi drivers have NO respect for other people's cars at all... also finding an honest repair garage will take you a long time as well, be prepared to get stitched up on repair prices until you find a good, honest garage.... it's taken me 3.5 years to find one.

    Best of luck
    Cheers
    G
    Last edited by Falcon_XR6; 11th June 2011 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Yet another Typo......

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