Sunday, November 11, 2012

Freedom!! My New Car (Still No License)!!

The last few weeks have been crazy between travel, work, kids and trying to buy our new car.  Last I updated, I had two options for my new car - a 2012 Golf and a 2013 Golf.  The 2013 was 10 euros more expensive per month and had less bells and whistles than the 2012.  I was waiting to hear back on if the car was still on hold or if I was going to have no choice but to go with the 2013.

Well the good news is that we got the 2012.  But it wasn't quite that easy and we didn't end up with the one we planned to get.  As we were waiting to hear back on the 2012, I was prepping paperwork that the dealership told me they needed - copies of our NIE (Spanish social security numbers), income information, etc etc.  I gave them copies of Josh's contract, his paystub and more.  However, I think they were hoping for my first born child as well because apparently that wasn't enough.

Back and forth with the dealership, we have been incredibly lucky to have a good friend who has been helping us along this process.  And by helping I mean he has been doing ALL of the talking with the dealership and has had to deal with the back and forth between them and us, essentially playing the middle man.  The dealership was annoying me and I was the one getting the car, he's a saint for continuing to help and not throwing in the towel.

Anyways, initially, I was happy with the dealership - we had accepted on the 2012 pricing and were trying to move on with the financing.  But then they came back to us with another offer.  They actually had another 2012, exactly the same but slightly smaller engine.  Given most of my driving will be city driving, we figured the smaller engine won't actually be a big deal and it lowers the cost by almost 100 euros per month putting me significant closer to my original budget.  It's amazing to me the concessions that we are willing to make compared to what our expectations and needs were in the States.  I don't think Josh would have ever agreed to a smaller engine in the States, but then we also did a lot of highway driving there and it was more of a necessity.  Regardless, I thought it was pretty cool that even after we accepted buying the more expensive car that they came back to us with the less expensive one.

But to think it would be that simple just isn't realistic.  Apparently Josh's paystub, contract and W-2 weren't enough.  We needed our Spanish taxes as well.  I sent them.  But they weren't signed, because they were filed electronically... so we had to prove they had been filed which we could only do by forwarding the email from our accountants stating that this was our electronic copy.  But a pain nonetheless.  So it was a lot of back and forth like this with a lot of "we need this" and "we need that" in order to move forward.  And by the way, not once have they actually asked if either of us have a license to drive said car.

My friend and I went in last week to submit the last of the paperwork and while there the VW contact told us the car wouldn't be ready til at least this coming week as they need to get the plates, registration, insurance etc taken care of and it takes up to 6 days to do this.  I mentioned to my friend that it was too bad because I had a birthday party in Sant Cugat this weekend - unexpectedly he told her this and she came back with, "Oh we can give you a car for the weekend"... sweet!!

So Josh went to do the signing on Friday and at the same time picked up our temp car.  But temp or permanent, we have wheels!!!  And OMG what a freeing feeling!  I didn't drive it Friday night but Saturday morning I actually had to take Jake to the vet just outside Barcelona in Badalona - I never would have been able to get there otherwise and as I drove (illegally), it felt so good to be able to just... GO.  And the best part was that I brought Jake back and then picked Liam up at his tennis lesson and took him to the birthday party - all stress free.  It just felt so good to do things like I normally would have in the States.  There was so much less planning involved, so much less time involved and so much less stress!!!

My temp car, a cute little Beetle sport... the kids have done "punchbuggy black, no punches back" at least a hundred times since it moved into our garage...

I mean the last 3 years hasn't been horrible without a car.  If anything, it's been an amazing learning experience about what we can function without.  Aidan is actually anti-car still - he thinks we should only use it once a month.  But it's been a challenge from a variety of levels, primarily where the kids are concerned.  And I think if we had done this sooner, this would have felt more like home sooner.  But no regrets, only moving forward at this point and it feels good to know that now we can just pick up and go whenever we want.

Still on the agenda... the license.  It's this week.  That's all I'll tell you.  And hopefully our actual car will be ready this week too.  I can't wait!!


1 comment:

  1. That’s a good looking VW Beetle! It would have been better if you also took a picture of the front of the vehicle though. Have you considered buying a Beetle for your ‘actual’ car? This VW range has actually scored pretty well in crash tests, starting with the 2006 VW Beetle, which got a front impact rating of 4 out of 5 and a side impact rating of 5 out of 5 from online car magazine MotorTrend.