...will soon be ours. If you replace the word "new" with "14 year old". That's right - we're (almost) car owners. Buying a car in HK is a peculiar experience. We went to a yard that had been recommended by a few people online as having good warranties and honest sales dudes. Got there just after lunch, and in the sales room there were four people standing around, all of whom were studiously ignoring us. The salesroom had three cars, the cheapest of which I'm guessing was HK$250,000 (two of them were Porsche). Unsure what the hype was about this place (four salesman, three cars and still no service? Please...), we stood around for a bit longer until a young chap walking into the shop from across the street cocked his head and asked us if we needed any help. There was nothing about him that suggested he actually worked there, but we took a punt (it was a nice change from being ignored by the old guys) and said that we were looking for a second hand car. "Louis" (as we found out later when we exchanged names) said that he'd take us to the second hand lot, and proceeded to take us to his car across the street.
After packing George and his throne into the back, we hit the motorway and ended up in a carpark building in Quarry Bay, about 10 minutes away. We went up and up and up the building ramps until we ended up at their second hand "showrooms". Well, replace "showroom" with "top floor of a very random carpark building", and you'll have a better mental picture.
Louis happily walked us around the "lot" and pointed out which cars were within our budget. The first one we wanted to drive was an old Renault which didn't start - even with a jumpstart. Perhaps the engine immobiliser was still on (quite possibly the case if Louis was inadvertently trying to sell us a car that someone had innocently parked there while heading to the shops - after all, it was a carpark).
We were then pointed in the direction of a blue 1995 BMW. Now we were in the market for something like a late 90s Toyota Corolla, but apparently there is a "Cheap Toyota Black Hole" somewhere in Hong Kong. Reasonably priced Toyotas in Hong Kong are as easy to find as real chicken in a Chicken McNugget.
Anyway, after Rachel took the Beamer for two pedestrian-paced laps of the car yard parking lot (I still haven't got my Hong Kong licence and was happier in the back with George anyway), we decided to take the thing out for a proper street drive. Apparently it was a pretty easy car to drive and we ended up - unsurprisingly - back at the car sales offices, where a lovely chap called Toby put on a rather slick performance in sealing the deal. We figured that it wasn't really a popular car, as he knocked 15% off the price before we even thought about haggling. To cut a long story short, once the insurance and transfer papers are sorted, and once they get a new warrant of fitness for it, we will be the proud owners of this little beast:
We have yet to name this fine piece of German machinery, but are open to suggestions.