Remember what I said about things being less stressful over here? Remember how much I hated doing paperwork just to get here? Well, guess who's going through the process of buying a car in another country, and has to do a lot of paperwork to get it done?
In a lot of ways it's really not much different than it would be at home. In fact, going to the auto dealers is the easy part! It's interesting, at home when you step onto a lot you are immediately swamped with pushy salesmen, but here you are kind of left on your own for awhile, then you can go find a salesman, or they will come out to you. And they aren't at all pushy when you're dealing with them. It could, though, possibly have something to do with the fact that they were all totally dumb-founded that we would want to move from California to Scotland. One guy, when I told him that I had just moved here 4 days ago from California immediately said, "Why?" The other nice thing about buying a car in Scotland is that you don't have to bargain - the price is the price. I LOVE that! I hate that game you have to play with the dealers in the states. Oh yeah, and there is no sales tax on top of the price - isn't that sweet? No, the process of looking at and choosing a car is much easier here. It's getting insurance as a still "foreigner" to get the car that's proving to be the hassle.
Here's what we are dealing with - in order to buy a car, you have to have car insurance - makes sense. So, today I tried getting insurance online, but it wouldn't accept my credit card because the address on the card (Grass Valley) is different than the address I put in for over here. In order to open a bank account here so I can get a Scottish credit card address, I need, of course, to have a physical address. Makes sense, right? Only we won't have our permanent address until September when we move to North Berwick. The property agents in North Berwick said we could use that address, but since we won't be there yet to collect any mail we should get P O Boxes to use in the meantime. This was good to know, because we hadn't found anywhere in our research while at home that mentioned P O Boxes in Scotland.
So, first thing tomorrow we're off to North Berwick to get our P O Boxes, then off to the bank to open accounts, then I can buy a car! I seemed that it was going to be difficult for me to even find one, because I refuse to go back to driving a manual transmission, which is what the vast majority of the cars are that are driven here. I gave that up long ago with the really fun Saab Turbo Convertible I had. In addition to sitting on the other side of the car and driving on the other side of the road, I don't need to be hassling again with stick shifts and clutches! However, I've been lucky enough to find a great little Rav 4 (with automatic transmission) that will be perfect for Dory and me. So, I put a deposit on it until I can get the insurance, etc. straightened out, hopefully tomorrow. Then I'll have my own car for all the travels Dory and I will be doing for work and for play. I gotta tell ya, though, spending money like this when I don't even have an income yet is pretty scary. Since this is how I will be getting around to get to work, it's obviously a much needed expense.
Becca and Har also looked at cars today, and they are deciding between a couple of different models of cars. They will also need to go through the same process as I do, so it's going to be another busy day tomorrow. They will need to go through the same process as me to get everything straightened out, but this it's one more thing ticket off our list of things to do.