Thursday, March 30, 2006

In With the Old

A North Carolina licence plateYou may remember that I recently bought myself a car, which, I must tell you, is great to drive. The only problem was that the tape deck didn't work, so I was stuck with listening to the radio. Today, I took the car to the dealer to get my licence plate (click here for explanation). While there, I asked them to look at the tape deck. They couldn't find the problem, so they replaced the tape deck. I was pleased to note that they were happy to do this free of charge despite the fact that I bought the car without a warranty.

I bought the car from a Saturn dealership and I have to say that I am very impressed with their attitude. The chap who sold me my car also sold Mark his car. We like the no-haggle pricing and the non-pushy sales technique. Everyone at the company seem very laid back. Other dealerships that we have visited have been very hard-sell, which makes me dig my heels in and not want to buy from them.

Anyway, the point of this post was not to sing the praises of a Saturn dealership. The point is that my car only has a tape deck and radio. There is no CD player. At first thought, this seems rubbish. However, not having a CD player has forced me to abandon the usual, modern fare and drag out some golden oldies that I only have on tape and so haven't listened to in years. So far I've listened to They Might be Giants, The Saw Doctors, Primal Scream, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Jesus and Mary Chain. It takes me right back to the good ol' days. I'm looking forward to delving into the old collection to see what else I can find.

I also bought a set of tapes of the BBC dramatisation of Emma (Jane Austen) for only $10 from our local used bookshop. I know that almost everyone else likes Pride and Prejudice, but Emma is my favourite. I'm looking forward to listening to these in the car too.

It all makes me want to do a lot more driving.

Licence Plates

In the UK, one buys a car with the licence plate already on it. The new owner then registers their ownership of that car with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). When the car is subsequently sold, it keeps the licence plate and the ownership is transferred to the new owner.

In the US (or at least here in NC) when one buys a car it doesn't come with a number plate. The dealership orders a new plate in the name of the owner when the car is bought. The buyer has to pay for the new plate as an additional cost on top of the cost of the car. The buyer is issued with a cardboard 30 day licence plate until the actual one arrives. I'm not sure what happens when a car is then sold. Does the owner surrender the licence plate back to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or do they keep it to put on their next car?

The other thing here is that vehicles only have to have a number plate on the back, not on the front. I'm thinking of getting an England flag for the front of mine (especially as this is a World Cup year).


Joe Weaks said...

1. Is the car "new" or "used"? Even a used car bought from a dealer will have a 30 day at least warranty.
2. Get a cassette adapter and then you can use Mark's new mp3 player in the car.
3. I, too, have liked the no-hassle approach at Saturn.
4. Some states require front and back plates. You'd be surprised how different processes such as licenses, plates, etc. are from state to state. I just moved from Texas to Missouri and I'm still lost. Currently trying to figure out this whole State Income Tax thing.

Viola said...

1. It's used -- 2001. We had the option to purchase a 30 day warranty but didn't bother. We thought that Saturn would be reputable enough to have not sold us a total dud. The chap we bought both the cars from seemed an honest sort, so I expected that if anything went wrong within the first few weeks, he'd sort it out for free. It pays for us (as the customer) to have a good opinion of them so that we can be more likely to take our cars there for servicing.
2. We've already bought a cassette adapter for Mark's car. If it works well, we're planning on getting another one for my car.

Lorraine said...

You're definition of golden oldies cracks me up!

Antigona said...

In California you need to display a license in the front as well. Boy do I know this! I once received a ticket for not having one. It was a "fixed" ticket though. It means as long as you fix the problem withing a certain period, you are off the hook...

Ren said...

Go for the England flag and I'll put my Brazilian one back on! We had a Brazilian flag on our front and we often would be stopped or waved down (even on busy streets)and asked if we were from Brazil. All of them expressed interest in getting to know us better, but usually a back up in traffic would keep the encounter short. My husband and I have considered making up some cards with our contact info so that we can see these Brazil enthusiasts again! Maybe you'll meet some other English people in the area.