It feels like ages ago that we wrote about finding a car to buy, but we’ve finally managed to sort through UK car insurance and the dark art of transferring money internationally, so tomorrow we actually get to pick up our new car.
Insurance here is a real pain – out of all the different insurance providers there are only three different actual implementations of a website for getting a quote from them, all just branded differently. Unfortunately, the first type can only give you a quote if you have a UK drivers license so that ruled out half of them. The second type looked promising except, like most sites here, you type in your postcode and it gives you a list of addresses in that postcode to pick from. Sadly, it didn’t think our house existed and there was no way to manually enter the address or move forward without it. That ruled out pretty much all the other providers. You can call them but they charge you extra for the privilege of having someone read the website to you.
Eventually, I found insurance through Marks & Spencer which actually implemented their own system and could give us a quote. Needless to say we’re paying far too much and will be investigating getting UK licenses before it’s time to renew. On the plus side, it includes roadside assistance and insurance if we drive over to Europe at some point so that’s a bonus.
The money was quite another saga, though thankfully Sandy handled most of it for us. The bank transfer usually takes 48 hours and at most 4 business days so after it hadn’t arrived in 5 business days I asked Sandy to give the bank a call and see what happened. It seems to go through a complex process from our bank to the National Australia Bank then on to Travelex and through a series of international banks until it eventually gets over here. Sadly somewhere along the line it must have gotten lost or forgotten because no one could identify exactly how far along the line it had gotten. Fortunately, around lunch time today (after much anxious watching of internet banking) it turned up in our bank account as if it had never gone missing. The good news is there’s no money left in Australia now so we won’t have to do that again. The bad news of course is that there’s no money left in Australia…
Anyway, must run for dinner. Will post some photos of the new car tomorrow hopefully.