Seeing as how there's some interest in the cost of things, I present to you a minor follow-up. I brought the truck into the garage last week. She was being sluggish going up hills and I was worried something catastrophically bad was about to happen. Plus, she needed an oil change.
As it turns out, all she needed was some new spark plugs. And an oil change. Now, I don't know how much that pretty routine maintenance costs down south, but here in Iqaluit that's just over $500, thank you very much.
This has nicely accelerated an idea that Cathy mentioned a couple of weeks ago...we need a new vehicle. There's nothing really wrong with the current one. I'm just tired of going to the garage and they know my name. And spending at least $2,000 a year on just routine repairs and maintenance to make sure the truck is running all right. A new vehicle, assuming it isn't a lemon, gives us a few years grace on that front.
And finally, we haven't had a new vehicle in years. Cathy bought her last new car in 2000, the Hyundai Accent we got rid of last year (and which currently lies dead in front of some guy's house on Green Row) and I had a lease on a Cavalier. We're two adults both doing well for ourselves, so I'm trying to convince myself it's not an extravagance. It feels weird thinking about a new vehicle when we're going to Australia shortly, but contemplating it we are. The funds have already been budgeted and allocated for the trip and we do have enough money for a new vehicle.
The two we're looking at are a Honda CR-V and a Toyota RAV4. They have the highest ratings and, best of all, neither company is likely to go bankrupt like GM (Dad has been trying to convince me that GM going bankrupt would have no impact on buying a vehicle. He's not having much luck. If you can't run your company, I'm not having much faith in the quality of your vehicles right now.) And it needs to be a four-wheel drive given the state of roads up here. The problem is, how to buy a truck when you're thousands of kilometres from the nearest dealer, negotiate a fair price, arrange financing, get the features you need (block heater, battery blanket, remote starter, winter tires) and then get it shipped to Iqaluit without ever walking into the dealership.
Given my inexperience with buying new vehicles, this would be stressful at the best of times. Trying to do it from afar adds to things. I think we're actually contemplating flying one of our fathers to Montreal or Ottawa, getting him to buy it and put it on the sealift and then flying home. Or even buying it in St. John's, driving it to Montreal and shipping it from there.
We'll see. All of this depends on many factors and I strongly suspect it won't come together for this year. But, you know, if anybody out there has advice on how to go about doing these things from up here and not get gouged to within an inch of your life, I'd be curious to hear about it.
1. Military wives - The Decemberists
2. Up on that cloud - Blue Rodeo
3. The infinite pet - Spoon
4. Mockingbird - Ryan Adams*
5. Silver road - Sarah Harmer and the Tragically Hip