Firstly, we did receive our luggage and secondly I would like to mention how hard it is for your brain to go to sleep when it is technically only 4 pm in the afternoon, so with a fair bit of tossing and turning we got a couple of hours in before heading out to Abbotsford to secure our rental accommodation for the next 4 months.  Beautiful location, accommodation very modern and fully furnished which makes it easier in the long run and the hosts were very friendly and easy to get on with, we officially move in on Sunday.

Now to purchase a car! So the Canadians call their car yards – auto malls which is a little different but makes sense.  Digby had done a fair bit of research on the type of car that would suit our needs and settled on either a Dodge Grand Caravan or a GMC Savanah Van (bit like the Scooby-Doo Van).

We looked at 4 Dodge Caravans, these vehicles have the back seats that fold down into the floor well, this is the main feature we are looking for.  Sales guy was really helpful and the pricing was really reasonable for the age of the car.  Most Canadians only do about 20 000 km a year and usually like to change out their cars around the 150 000 to 180 000 km mark.  Pricing for a 2011 model with 170 000 km sells for around $8 000 and a 2012/13 model is around $10 000 – $12 000.

We attended a couple for car yards and it was pretty much the same advice, except one salesman who told us we were getting a great bargain for a 2012 Dodge, but when we opened the doors, it stunk and had a massive dent in the back and a big crack in the windscreen – got out of there pretty quick.  Next was an auto mall in Abbotsford we saw a Dodge, spoke to the salesman but it was a bucket seat vehicle which doesn’t fold down, he asked if we had seen the Chrysler Town and Country which is the same as the Dodge but with a load of extras.  So, after a test drive, we settled on this car, well if I am going to live in it for 6 months I may as well have a few comforts – electric doors, 2 x DVD players, 5 power packs and a sun roof.

We got a great deal on this car, purchasing it was easy and completed in an hour including the test drive.  In Canada you must purchase insurance when you purchase the car, you do not get to shop around, the auto broker meets you at the car yard and you complete all the paperwork then and there and they issue you the number plates.  Digby had an idea what the insurance costs would be but failed to tell me, so when he gave us a $3300 bill, my face doesn’t hide my reaction. After I picked myself off the floor, we negotiated the price by removing the comprehensive part but that was only $200 difference so not worth arguing about. So, within 2 hours we were the owners of a new car, fully insured and mobile.

Digby and I would like to say a big thank you to our Tamworth friends whose parents live in Abbotsford and have offered us the use of their shed for when Digby decks out the car, very generous and we appreciate their support.