Ireland day 0150. Friday 25 February 2022- Progress
A tricky, edge of seat day for most of the world today.
But by way of slightly lighter relief, from a purely personal point of view, I can at least report some progress on the much more mundane topic of the purchase of a Yaris for the Dawsons. But no – not the Yaris.
Yesterday I had received news that the missing registration documents for the blue Yaris we viewed 14 weeks ago had finally turned up. Hooray indeed. But this morning the joy was short-lived. Because when I tried to arrange insurance for the car before going down to the garage actually to buy it, I learned that the quote I got back in November was no longer valid and the car was to all intents and purposes uninsurable. The reasons why are quite complicated but the biggest factor was the turn of the year from 2021 into 2022.
The car was originally registered in 2001 and as long as it was 20 years or less since the year of registration, the quote was valid. But once we went into 2022, it was suddenly 21 years since the year of initial registration, so the car became “classic” (yes really). So regular insurers wouldn’t touch it and the specialist vintage broker I spoke to delicately explained that Yarises – even when 21 years old – aren’t considered to be “classic”.
So we were stumped. Anyway, as our friends were leaving today, after a very successful and enjoyable visit, we accompanied them on the 102 to the airport then once they were safely on their way, Val and I went to find a café to try and figure out what to do next.
After a bit of googling, we drew up a shortlist of three possible alternatives Yarises. The first dealer, when I called, told me the car had just been sold – even though it was still on their website. The second, which Val did a background check on, turned out to be an imported car of opaque pedigree. The third ticked all the boxes in terms of actually having registration documents, a relatively low mileage for its nine year age, a full service history, and an impeccable pedigree. It was also only just a few km down the road from the airport, right on the main 109A bus route, so easy to get to from where we were. Finally, the dealer was offering it with a 12 month guarantee and free roadside assistance for a year. The downside was that by quite a large margin, it was the most expensive vehicle we looked at.
Anyway, we decided not to mess around any longer – after all we have been dithering about the car for almost four months now – so booked a test drive and hopped on the bus to Ashbourne. We took the car for a test drive and it didn’t disappoint. It didn’t have some of the features we had hoped for, and was a smaller engine than I had really wanted. But it seemed solid, simple, and felt good to drive. I also liked the fact that it was mostly mechanical – without lots of electronic gizmos which in my experience always and expensively seem to go wrong. So I phoned the insurance company and found that this one was indeed insurable so after a bit of negotiation we agreed a price and have put down a deposit. The car won’t be ready for another week, but at least now we can look forward soon to having our very own car at long last.
On that happy note, there was just time to retrace our convoluted bus journey to Malahide before it got dark. Once back in the flat we decided to celebrate a successful visit from our first ever guests, and the cutting of the Gordian car knot, with a couple of glasses of wine. So altogether, despite a shaky start, the day turned out very well for us. Let’s hope this can be a harbinger of better times to come for everyone in the wider world, too.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)