Jetta Jameson. My beloved chariot is getting a little long in the tooth now. 12 years old, lots of kilometers on the clock, the simple fact of the matter is that she can no longer keep up with my demands (well, she’s not that perky any more). The 100 km there and back daily commute is proving to be too much for her to handle and as such over the last while I’ve found myself taking her in for repair work on a far more regular basis that what I should be doing.
The last incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back to be honest.
I had just spent a couple of thousand having her clutch replaced and her serviced when literally a week later she started leaking water, forcing me to continuously pull over to the side of the road in order to top the thirsty broad up. I took her into my mechanic and his initial thoughts that it can’t be something particularly good. Luckily for me though, his thoughts proved unfounded and the guilty culprits, cracked water flanges, were brought to justice and replaced, but not before putting me out of pocked once again.
At this point one realises that the scale which balances out running an old car against paying off a new car appears to have finally slipped in the new car direction, forcing me to make a snap judgement and decide that enough was enough, in order to get some reliability back in my life, I’d need to swallow the bitter pill of introducing my first ever taste of debt into my life and buy a new car.
So I did.
And it was a particularly painless process. I spent a morning browsing all major manufacturer’s websites, comparing models and prices. I knew I was in the market for a hatchback and something in the 1.4 or 1.6 market. After a quick burst of information gathering and eliminating some potentials thanks to discussions I had with various people (like my mechanic), I narrowed down the possibles to two options. Either a new Volkswagen Polo Vivo or a Hyundai Getz. However, the Vivo lagged behind as a choice right from the get go. Although the base price of a Polo is sitting very low at R107,000, it comes with virtually nothing. Everything else you need to bolt on, and that quickly shoots up the price into the same region as the Getz. The Getz on the other hand was sitting pretty right from the start. Remember, Chantelle has an older 2004 model and I absolutely love her car. I know it, I know how it feels and I know how it drives. So that’s a plus. But of course, the final nail in the Polo’s coffin was the timing of my decision. Television and radio adverts were currently flitting about announcing a R10 000 saving on buying a Getz in the month of March, putting it price at a fairly reasonable R117,000 for the standard 1.4 A/C model.
So in the space of a single morning, I had picked out the make I wanted to buy, picked out the model and derivative, and even contacted the local Hyundai Helderberg (Somerset West) branch to get some more information on the special and specs of the car. They almost instantly phoned back following my enquiry, and I spoke to a nice and friendly woman by the name of Tammy over the phone. She game me the info I asked for and I then suggested that I’ll most likely pop in on Saturday to see her.
Which is exactly what Chantelle and I did the Saturday before last. We met this marvellously friendly and easy going woman by the name of Tammy Geldenhuys who showed us around the car, tantalized Chantelle with talk about the I20, and answered all my loaded questions with ease and honesty, something that I really took to. So there and then I made the offer to purchase, citing that I wanted a matte black 1.4 Getz – and this was without seeing one sitting around or without even taking one out for a test drive. I just knew I wanted it.
The next step was my introduction to Jannie Swart, the financial guy at Hyundai Helderberg. We chatted and I made an official application for finance, choosing to lay down a fairly big deposit out of my own pocket and finance the rest. We chatted, Chantelle left us to have her hair done, and I eventually stepped out with two business cards and instructions on various documents I would need to fax through to Jannie as soon as possible.
Which was obviously Monday at the office. Though as Murphy’s Law would have it, the entire Westlake Business Park was sitting without their Telkom phone lines for the whole morning, meaning that my urgent need to fax had to sit down and take a backseat while I waited upon Telkom to sort out their mess. So much later than promised, I did eventually fax through my documents, though the delay had a knock-on affect meaning that my application to finance took a little longer to get approved, as did the window for getting my car registered by Hyundai. The other bad news coming out of Monday was of course that in the end they couldn’t source a matte black Getz that I so badly wanted anywhere in the country, so I had to settle for my second choice colour, namely the metallic midnight grey version – and man am I glad I did!
What a beautiful colour car. Changing appearance as the light changes, this metallic colour is perfect as far as I’m concerned. And in hindsight, I now have no idea why I wanted the black so badly in the first place. Far, far more practical and beautiful is now what I sit with! :)
Anyway, back to the story. So the delays kept on coming and I kept on phoning to find out what the progress is (my only niggle was this point. They really could have made more of an effort in keeping me in the loop!), until eventually Tammy said everything is sorted, I can come pick up the car on Wednesday afternoon.
Needless to say, a very, very excited Craig departed from work quite early on in the afternoon, picked up Chantelle and the camera and then happily darted through to the dealership, with a grin broader than any Chesire cat’s.
And there she stood. Beautiful. Tammy hastily affixed the giant red ribbon as we stepped inside and after a quick sit down and explanation of things to come with her, I then moved to the boring bit which involves signing paper after paper after paper with Jannie. But it was all worth it. With her shiny new number plates attached and a quick rundown of the interior, she was mine! Letting Chantelle have the honour of taking her off the showroom floor and giving her the first drive, I proudly stood aside, camera in hand. and watched her slowly edge out of the showroom and into the big bad world.
It was awesome.
Anyway, now she’s home and I’m pleased to report, an absolute pleasure to drive. Her low power in relation to a 1.6 means that she’s remarkably smooth to drive and doesn’t feel quite as jumpy as Chantelle’s sometimes does, meaning that I really just eased into driving her with no adaptation at all. She turns well, feels light, has a pretty interior (with radio controls on the steering wheel) and can go as fast as I need her to go, and this pretty much sums up how I feel about her.
I absolutely love driving her and think that the decision in the end was the right one.
(Just a pity it’s going to take me six years to pay her off!)
So world, say hello to the gorgeous Gina G., the new lady in my life! ;)