On Monday we decided on a house and in the excitement and desire to just be settled we made sort of a spur of the moment decision on car in the freezing cold rain.
Test driving and deciding on a car while your teeth are chattering is never a good idea. Trust me.
It was a ’91 BMW that was priced right as it’s owner was scheduled to PCS (i.e. leave) our base in two days time. We thought it too good a deal to pass up and began the process of purchasing the car.
A few hours later that decision began to not sit so well with me. One because it was a manual transmission and my husband doesn’t know how to drive a stick-shift. The thought of teaching him didn’t freak me out or anything like that. I’m sure we probably would’ve gotten into an argument or four along the way, and I was sure I could teach him in an afternoon. However when I really began to think about driving this vintage-behemoth (behemoth around here anyway) I began to think perhaps we hadn’t made the wisest of choices.
Because of the age of the car it also didn’t come with things I’ve grown accustomed to in an automobile. Things like ABS brakes and air bags to name a few or even cup holders as they are an up grade when purchasing BMW’s here the original owner decided he could do with out. Clearly this person didn’t have children who had an affinity for sipping their juice boxes while driving.
Yesterday morning around one I woke up with a gnawing in my stomach. That car was not right for our family. I tossed and turned. Switched on my iPad and began looking for other newer cars. Yes we’d have to spend more but having a good safe reliable car was the important thing.
I was able to get passed the glove box not working properly or the fact that in order to lock the driver’s side door I’d have to use the trunk. I liked that it was in pretty good condition and that the owner had put on great tires and upgraded the sound system. What I didn’t was the driver’s side window wouldn’t go completely up. Leaving a space about a half inch wide. I’m cold here in our rental car with the heat on. I figured that would be an added distraction. When you add that and the manual transmission, plus the way my Italian neighbors drive and the small narrow roads I figured we were asking for a collision.
We cancelled that purchase and bought a car ten years younger. It comes w/ air bags and ABS brakes, and windows that close completely. I forgot to look to make sure it had cup holders, at least I know I wont freeze while driving.
Now that I’m on the topic of purchasing a car I thought I might share some information we learned for those who are PCS’g here.
I honestly think it would be easier to buy a house in Italy. In order to purchase a new car we’d have to wait about 8 months for it to arrive as we’d have to order it with the specifications we wanted. Furthermore military members overseas can only finance new cars though their banks like USAA.
Purchasing a used car was very simple as we used a local dealer who is well established with the base and all the regulations they and Italy require. Selection was very slim as automatic cars go quick and are few in number as most people here drive manual transmissions.
However if you plan to purchase a vehicle from an Italian dealership there are some rules you need to follow and should make sure you use a dealership who is familiar with the process to ensure things go as smooth and as quickly (hahahahahaha) as they can.
All of the rules will be explained to you in detail when you in-process and the information is readily available from the Pass & Registration office. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll answer them to the best of my knowledge or at the very least point you in the right direction.
We’ll get our “new” car in a week after all the paper work has been filed and officiated. Until then we’re driving a rental.