Adventures in buying a car

Mo and Justin scouring the online classifieds
One of our first priorities since arriving a week and a half ago is to find a car we'd like to purchase.  It's a lot harder to run around and look at potential places to rent, go to the grocery store, go to the gym, and run other errands buying lots of stuff we need right now when we're totally reliant on other people to drive us around.  The Mogard family (with whom we're staying) and some other friends here have been AMAZING to drive us thus far, but we'd like to remove that burden from them as soon as possible.  (We've felt a little like pre-driver's license high schoolers again, wanting/needing to go places but always having to ask and call other people for rides...and that's not super great for us or those constantly driving us around.)  :)

So we want to buy a car.  The thing is, buying a good car within our price range is not an easy task in this country.  Right now, buying or leasing a new car is not an option for us financially, so we are going the used car route.  This is what we have learned that makes getting a good used car here a challenge:
  • Locals do not service their cars like we are accustomed to in America- one Australian we spoke to told us if we buy a car from a local we'll probably give it its first oil change ever.
  • Major problems are common and likely imminent- Because most people don't do much to take care of their cars, they wear out sooner.
  • Prices are high- Imagine what it might cost to buy a used car from Craigslist in America and double it.
  • Owners may not be honest with you about the condition of the car- We have been told it is not uncommon for someone to tell you something that isn't true in order to please/honor you, but that can be a big problem when they aren't being honest about what may be wrong with their car.  It is a common practice to take a car you're considering buying to a mechanic who can give you his opinion on its condition before you decide to purchase it.  Not even this is foolproof, though- we know of a couple who took their car to two separate mechanics and had it checked out and okayed, only to buy it and discover it had some major issues.  The good news is we think we have found an honest mechanic through our friends here.
We have had one car checked by a mechanic so far and he told us it had been in a pretty major accident so was all out of alignment and crooked, so we decided to pass on that one.  Tomorrow we will be having the mechanic check three different options and are hoping one of those will get the okay.  Will you join us in praying for wisdom and guidance in making this decision?

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