Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Wheels

We said goodbye to our faithful 2000 Ford Galaxy in April. The kids were sad to see it go even though we had pretty much run it into the ground over the past 12 years. The sentimental attachment to the only vehicle they ever remember having in Italy was stronger than we expected. I don't think tears were shed but they all in their own way expressed their sadness.

For Jonathan and I on the other hand had no problems saying goodbye considering the air conditioner and heat no longer worked, the roof liner was brushing the top of our heads, and the seats were regularly loosing chunks of cushioning. It got us around, but we no longer were able to count on it in recent years for longer trips. Not only that, but we were regularly being banned from driving in to the city of Torino because our emissions rating was a Euro 3. With our need to drive into the city for doctor appointments, church etc. this was becoming a problem as we either had to cancel or risk heavy traffic fines. We are so thankful for God's provision of a "new to us" vehicle!

We have been saving for quite a few years with the help of so many supporters, churches, family and friends. Thank you so very much for your generosity!!! 

We began our intense search for a used 7 seater mini-van the beginning of March. We sought counsel from our mechanic who was all for Italian or German made cars, since they are of good quality and parts are easy to come by. There are many 7 seaters now on the market here in Europe but the back two seats are for very small children, which would not work for our growing giants. With this must have need of 7 true seats, our options were immediately limited to 4 models. And even those models are not equivalent to full size American minivans. We began prowling the internet on a daily basis for something within our price range, lower kilometers, Euro 5 emissions, and from a dealer. We did not want to have to deal with selling our old vehicle privately or paying 400€ just to transfer the Title, along with other hidden expenses that a dealer would cover in their sale. 

We found several finds and as soon as we called on them they would be sold. It was extremely frustrating and took up a lot of our time in March. Finally, we found a possibility in Milan that was not yet sold. Although it was the crazy busy week of Jonathan's preparation for his debate, we HAD to squeeze in a 2 hour drive to Milan to check out the vehicle or risk losing the deal. We were delighted that it had everything we needed and wanted (preferred color choice for Jonathan and Automatic for me!!) We put a deposit down and took the next few days to make the bank transfer, secure insurance coverage on the new vehicle and cancel the old. We returned to pick up the van the day before my mom flew in for her visit. Couldn't have asked for better timing!

2015 SEAT Alhambra (made by VW)
Jonathan loved the new ride so much he made two round trips to Milan that day. One to retrieve the van. The other to retrieve his iPad left in the old van and deliver the title of our Ford left at home. It was a long day with a total of 8 hours driving!

Just as soon as I mastered manual driving...I get an automatic! Couldn't be happier about that fact!!

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