Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It wasn't easy, but I have a car!

I found a car on our bulletin board at work! It's an F Reg (89) Honda Civic and it's an automatic gearbox (transmission). I went and looked at the car Saturday, April 16 and bought it that day. But, I did not have insurance yet and the car didn't have Road Tax so I had to get all that set up before I could actually drive it home. I tried to set up the insurance that day but had to make a deposit with a credit card to set up the payments. Since the UK banks will not let me have a credit or debit card here yet, I had to sort that through my American account. I got that taken care of and then had to get my road tax. Road Tax is essentially equivalent to registration costs and covers road improvements, etc. The registration plates on a car typically stay with the car here and change owners, so it always has the same registration number. I tried to get my road tax sorted after work that following Tuesday and planned to pick up the car that evening. However, when I went to the post office to get my sticker and pay the tax I was told, "Sorry, love, you have to go to the DVLA (aka DMV) in Birmingham to get your road tax." The reason was the previous owner had the title registered under a disabled class and I could only get it changed in Birmingham. My supervisor agreed to give me the afternoon Thursday and got me to the train station to head to the DVLA in Birmingham. The DVLA in England is basically just like your local DMV back home! You take a number and wait for what seems to be an excessively long time given there is only about fifteen people sitting in the waiting area. I even had the pleasure of observing an irate customer inappropriately take out his frustrations on the worker who was assisting him, just like the DMV back home! Once I got to the counter, it was quick and easy and I had my road tax (It's the white label on my windshield). I picked up the car the next Friday evening. I drove quite a bit over the weekend and cheered out loud when I survived my first ring road. Then came Monday morning (two days before Mom arrives)....I had spent Sunday afternoon on the motorways to gain comfort for when I picked mom up on Wednesday morning and was feeling good. Monday morning, as I got in my car to go to work, I pulled the choke (manual level to assist with gas flow when starting the car) apparently too far out and it stuck! Worried I would flood the engine, I stopped the car and managed to push the choke back in. Once it was in, it wouldn't come back out! After freaking out a little I managed to make it to work a half hour late and then one of my co-workers followed me to the mechanics. I had had the car for just over 48 hours and was already taking it to the shop! Such is my car karma!!! It appears I did not have a good understanding of how to use the choke appropriately and it may have been my fault. But, it is now fixed and although I wasn't able to pick mom up from the airport, at least I'll have the rest of the time she is here to frighten her on the roads!

His name is Rusty!
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1 comment:

leslie said...

he's so cute! who would have thought that the place to go when you need a taste of home is the DMV!