I’ve got a car again / またクルマ買っちゃいました


I’ve made up my mind to have my own car again. Two years and nine months have passed since I parted with the last car in May 2008 and then moved to a house much closer to central Tokyo after I did it. The place where I currently live is so convenient that you can live without owning any car. Nevertheless, without a car, it’s difficult to go on a slight outing late at night, to buy bulky goods from Costco, or to drive a car aggressively to get rid of your stress! 🙂 To do them you can hire a car at the nearest rental car shop, but it’s less convenient than having a car you can do as you like. That’s why I’ve decided to get my own car even if it’s much more costly.

To find an appropriate car, I checked Yahoo! Japan, Goo-net, or other websites listing up used cars and shops after I got a bonus last December. Of course, I had no choice to have a brand-new car. I wanted to have a small-sized, 5-speed stick shift car instead of a large automatic saloon because I wanted to do as Englishmen did (most of them drive stick shifts rather than automatics). I thought that manual transmissions were better for small cars giving more pleasure to drivers and that it would be the last chance for me to drive a stick shift as almost all cars to be released in future would, petrol or hybrid, have automatic or continuously variable transmissions.

At the end of last December, I found a car that I felt to be nice at a small used car shop in suburban Tokyo. It was a 2002 Peugeot 307 Style (1600cc petrol), costing just 380,000 yen! I decided to buy it without hesitation.

It took much time from the purchase to the pickup. In Japan, you must register a car you buy to the government before owning it, and before the registration, you must settle a parking space and have the garage certificate from the nearest police station. To have a garage, you must sign a contract with a local real estate company offering car parks in the area where you live. The trouble is that the real estate company and the police station open only on weekdays, so I had to take a day (or some hours) off to do those things.

The average parking space rate in the area I live in was about 30,000 yen per month, but I found a car park renting a parking space for 26,500 yen per month.

Anyway, all of the procedures to have the car had been done and I picked it up today.

I arrived at the used car shop almost at noon today. As I’d already paid 80,000 yen to the salesman last month, I paid the rest of the price of the car (300,000 yen) at that time. I received a key so that I could drive it home.
I wondered if I could drive a stick shift smoothly as I’d never driven it for almost 17 years, but I got used to the manoeuvres of it very soon. An indicator lever was put on the left side of the steering wheel and a windscreen wiper lever on the right side, just opposite to those of normal cars sold in Japan, but that didn’t complicate me. This car was much easier to drive, giving much pleasure of drive to me.

Its next car inspection is due in August this year. I’m sure I can spend enough money on it because I’ll get a bonus in June this year. I don’t want to let it go like the Honda Accord I had three years ago due to a lack of money for car inspection.