And the Winner is…

We’ve been having a blast looking for a vehicle here in Germany. As many of you know, we sold our Targa to a friend in Dusseldorf last year, I sold my ’79 Beetle Convertible through a consignment lot, we offed the Tahoe to a wholesaler, and a good friend and Aptos neighbor bought the BMW. If you know us at all, you know that it’s ‘against our religion’ to buy a new car, so the hunt for a good used one ensued.

Silver, black, and white. Your 3 color choices in Europe!!!

Silver, black, and white. Your 3 color choices in Europe!!!

All along, Theo was trying to sell me on the idea of a BMW 500-series sedan for cruising. We need to allow enough room to travel with the two dogs, luggage, and occasional guests. And we wanted something comfortable, but small enough to fit in the teeny parking spaces and NARROW parking garage ramps!

Then I’m thinking…brocante shopping, flea markets, the occasional home improvement project…that an SUV would be better. Plus, I’ve been driving a full-size SUV for over 15 years and am so used to sitting up high (not to mention how much easier they are to get in and out of as we age and get a little wider and weaker!)

And so we piled in the car with our brave friends, August and Sybille. Sniffed on countless cars and SUVs in every little town—BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Audi, Ford, VW, and Renault. It was an exhausting few days.

August trying one on for size.

August trying one on for size.

It was interesting to experience the wide variety of test drive procedures, varying from them simply handing us the keys with no questions asked to:
• “My wife has the demo car out today doing some shopping.”
• filling out paperwork with signatures and copies of licenses
• the salesman in the back seat
• “can you come back on Thursday?” Wha???
• to the quintessential ‘non-service’ experience—no one in the showroom…anywhere

In the end, my ever-German husband could not bring himself to seriously consider a non-German automobile, so we ordered what appeared to be an EXCELLENT used Audi Q5 at an amazing price. When it got here from another dealer, we sat in it playing with all the bells and whistles. Then Theo froze when he saw the average gas mileage was 15 litres/100 kilometers!!! With the price of gas at €1.40/liter, we did the math and figured the big 3.0 engine would be a gas hog, so backed out of the deal.

imageBeing that Theo truly believes that he has BMW in his DNA linkage, we scoured for the newest, lowest-mile, most loaded 5-series sedan we could find. Lo and behold, we found his dream car. A 2012 (first registered in 12/2012–so almost a 2013 as T is so quick to point out to me), BMW 520 Diesel in Titan Silver Metallic with Piano Black interior. It’s loaded and comes with a warranty. They’re putting new tires on the front and detailing it for pick-up next Thursday.

Paying for the car was quite an experience. Other dealers and our friends had told us that cash was king. So while we were in Dusseldorf the other day taking care of paperwork at our bank, we picked up €30,000 in cash bills! We get ready to dispose of the huge bulge in Theo’s inner coat pocket and the sales guy tells us the maximum they can accept in cash is 14,900 and the rest will need to be transferred (money laundering laws, you know). So we left with the extra €15,100 and went on a wild shopping spree at the nearest jewelry store!!! Just kidding, we will re-deposit the cash and transfer the balance on Monday.

And so, I have a happy husband. Even though I’m not a huge fan of silver cars (19 out of 20 cars in Europe are silver or black), and I feel like we’ve ended up with a Grandpa Car, he’s happy and that’s worth something. (I’m holding my cards tight to the chest to get the house I WANT!!! Heehee!!!)

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6 Responses to And the Winner is…

  1. Debbie lauber says:

    Great story. You’ll love that car. Really zippy, nimble, and can hold what you need to carry. Two more weeks and you’ll be on your way to your new crib! Three more weeks and I’ll be on my adventure!! Yikes! Miss you. Not the same without you.
    Love you!

  2. Paul says:

    After all these years are you really surprised you ended up with a German car? In my mind it was a foregone conclusion. Like you, I love my Denali, but I don’t like the gas mileage but I keep it because it’s in such good shape and when you need that much room it’s awesome. Having said that beyond the cost of fuel in Europe, I can’t imagine trying to maneuver a big SUV on some of the small streets. It sounds like you guys are getting settled into your new normal. You’ve missed some really hot and humid weather back here of course you wouldn’t have felt that impact on the beach. Good luck with the house!


  3. Stewart says:

    How will you get that Louis the 14th armoire in that little thingy. Cheers

  4. Kathy Tansey says:

    Wow nice ride Mama and Papa! You are Grandma and Grandpa after all! You can never go wrong with a BMW. We concur! Have fun in that beauty!

  5. Anne Sherwood says:

    Enjoyed your car tales…last weekend we went to the Volkswagen dealer to look at the 2015 Golf as a possibility for me… It was named best car in 2015 from Motor Trend mag, but I haven’t test driven it yet… I liked the fancy Passat too!

    Loving your chair…so comfortable and inviting and the new TV is all set up on the lovely oak chest of drawers. Thanks for your generosity!

    Just isn’t the same in the “hood” without you both, Annie and Alfie included! I just loved seeing you come and go and the way you live life to the fullest! Know you’ll enjoy your adventure in France to the fullest! But come back early and often!

    • says:

      So good to hear from you, Anne. We’re missing the cool nights of Aptos, as it’s been quite warm in Germany, but we’re having a great time so far!

      I’m so happy that you could use those pieces. It makes me happy for them to go to a ‘good home.’

      We start our journey to France tomorrow, so stay tuned!

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