Friday, May 25, 2012

News from England

We arrived in the UK on 16 May, which was a week ago Wednesday, and settled in very quickly this year.  We unpacked immediately, hiked over to Morrison's (supermarket), and managed to stay awake until around 8:30 in the evening, which is at least a semi-respectable time to go to bed when you're that tire.

So why no word on my blog since then?  Because we've been very busy!  Besides church in Liverpool on Sunday, ladies' Bible study/knitting group on Monday, Angela and Stuart's discussion group on Tuesday, dinner with Julia and David on Wednesday, we've been car shopping. 

And yes, we've bought a car!  Other than its color (black) it's perfect for us:  small, inexpensive (second-hand), a reasonable-sized motor so it can handle hilly country, and it has a rare automatic shift.  We decided trying to re-learn the stick shift and with the other hand would be just too much, given that there is also the factor of driving on the wrong side of the road. 

It's a Vauxhall Corsa, that's a GM car.  I had intended to post a picture of it here, but that's one feature that is no longer working on these outdated library computers.  Anyway, it's 5-door model, a hatchback. 

The whole process of acquiring it was a nightare.  To take possession of the car, you have to have auto insurance.  To acquire UK auto insurance, you have to have a driver's license.  To obtain a UK driver's license you have to show you are a UK resident.  To become an official UK resident, you have to apply at the British Embassy in the United States! 

We had given up and were ready to lose our deposit when Demetrios mentioned he had driven all over the UK before, when he was in the US Air Force, and had no problem.  I asked, 'Who insured you then?' and his eyes lit up.  USAA, the very same company from whom we already have auto insurance in America!  So we gave USAA a call, and asked could we add one more car to our policy.

Yes, certainly.

Well, but it isn't in America, it's in England.

No problem.  We can cover it so you can drive all over Europe.

What will it cost?  It was competitive with UK insurance.

How will we pay it? 

Using the same automatic bank draft we already have in place.  We'll just add this new amount every month.

But we are only going to drive this car three months or so every year.

So we'll put it in 'storage status' whenever you aren't driving it, same as we do with your cars in the US, and we'll charge you virtually nothing for the months it's in storage.

Do it!


So simple, so easy in the end, after days of wrangling and running into obstacles at every turn.  Now we feel we have a great deal more freedom in this country.  We can go where we want when we want, whenever we may have enough money for petrol, which over here costs 4 times what it does in the US.  We can take a road trip or two every summer.  (No, we couldn't do that with a rented car; rental prices are prohibitive.)

Stuart and Angela have proposed for our weekly discussion group a book entitled Love Wins (can't italicize or underline that with this computer) by an American pastor, Rob Bell.  I'll post some snippets from this very interesting volume tomorrow, God willing.


Matushka Anna said...

Good thinking on the insurance! What a lifesaver!

Anam Cara said...

Wonderful! So glad it worked out so easily! We love USAA. They have been our insurers for years in a number of different countries.

Rob Bell, huh? I can't WAIT to hear what is said about THAT book!

Maruti Ertiga Price said...
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Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

That muts have been such a relief to get it all sorted ! You have experienced the best and worst British weather has to offer in a short space of time since you arrived, haven't you, Anastasia ?