On the advertisement
Stargazer, parked outside the house of his ex-owner

Don't roll your eyes just yet. Yes, I gave yet another name to another of my car. It isn't a guy-thing. Don't be a noob, everyone does that except you. Singaporean Mum, M, calls her Honda Jazz "Blu". Never heard Patrick openly say it but we all knew his Mazda 3's name is "Pat Mobile." Steph's car was named, "Dora," by me for awhile, because it is criminal for that Ford Explorer to go without a name. In fact, Stargazer had a Italian sounding name given by the wife of his seller.

The seller Terry, was the best car seller I had ever dealt with. Knocking down the price from $3,900 to $3,350 was only the beginning. Throughout the deal, he had been a perfect gentleman, helpful and very willing to share his experience with the car. Unlike many, many used car sellers I had met, Terry was an owner who was really proud of the car he was selling. In fact, I suspected Terry wouldn't even think of selling if Stargazer wasn't made redundant by the numerous new machines he acquired to "start his retirement." He loved the car and his wife obviously did as well, that explained the endearment name given to their old trusty Rav 4.

Terry went with me for the test drive. Not many sellers did that. We operate on trust in this used car market. Trust wasn't an issue with Terry. He came along because he wanted to give me an orientation. Or I was probably the first potential buyer, which explained his enthusiasm. He showed me how to activate the 4x4 function, the automatic sunroof and general usage. Even when the test drive was finished, he took me around the car and told me what was good and bad. Normally I don't talk about such things but this is closely related to a topic that someone asked me recently so I think I should start off somewhere...

Terry showed me his maintenance log book as well as receipts of maintenance+repairs. It was interesting to note that he did a water pump and timing belt replacement less than 2 weeks ago prior to his advertisement. I was slightly astounded. At least I had never met someone who would do anything like that if he had the intention to sell the car in the very near future. Not only that, the radiator tank was changed 2 months ago in April. If that wasn't enough, various small items had been changed as well, such as brake pads, a couple of water hoses, thermo gaskets and sensor switches. With a brand new radiator, water pump and timing belt, and all four wheels in relatively good condition, my chances of being screwed in this deal would be very low. 

Besides, during the test drive, other than an annoying creaking noise during steering, there was nothing I could complain about the other handles of the car. The gearshift was firm and steady, all 3 pedals were spot on. (And I remembered Terry told me he changed the clutch a year ago too). I just recalled that the battery was changed a year ago, authenticated by the visual inspection on the condition of the battery and a legitimate-looking scribble of the date of installation from the mechanic. The total installation cost of all of the above would be easily worth $2,000 and above. All in all, though it was the most expensive car I had bought in Perth (Barry White - $2,900, Goldilocks, $2,100) it was definitely the most value-for-money deal I had done. I hope the car proves me right in the coming years.

Terry extended his generosity by offering to quote the selling price a little differently. I would not go into this but most of you who had dealt with used cars will know. He also showed me how to remove the spare tyre and where the car jack was located, informing me that the deal came with an additional car jack which he bought and had no use for it anymore. Finally he completed his gentleman tour by handing me the tow bar accessories and gifting me the remaining spare engine oil he used for the Rav 4. I almost wanted to ask him if I could take his pet dog along.

When Terry offered his final handshake and bide us goodbye, he told us the Italian sound name of our new old car. "What would be your name for it now, as new owner?" he asked. Yes, he actually asked that. Jen laughed and took a glance at me. She knew I would name the car eventually and didn't expect me to answer Terry without a moment of hesitation.

"Stargazer," I replied.

And it will take us to do exactly that in the future.


  1. Good choice, I also changed to a 2002 RAV4, the Camry cannot make it already lol

  2. Let me guess. Gazing at the stars through the sunroof on a clear dark night? And yes, it is PatMobile, my humble car :) Stargazer looks great.

  3. Wonderful choice for a family car.
    Keep it up!

  4. Hi Nix,

    I was the one who messaged you on Facebook.

    Thanks for sharing your experience on buying used car in Australia. This page really helps.