Our days of Uber and Lyft are mostly over. My daughter-in-law, Cathy, bought a 2010 Dodge Caliber SXT Sports Wagon from a private used car dealer this morning. That was after my younger son, Jon, and her cashed two IRS tax refunds, one from 2016 and one from 2017. We had enough for the car, six months of insurance and then some.
Cathy doesn’t have a driver’s license yet, but she has a permit. Jon doesn’t have a driver’s license either. I drove the car to the gas station, filled it up with gas, and then drove it home. Cathy and my wife, Josie, vacuumed the inside and then washed the outside. The right side wheels need a lot more cleaning, more than they cared to do today.
This is Jon and Cathy’s first car, an island car. I say island car because they only have two or three years left on the island at most. Hawaii is usually a three-year tour for Army soldiers and Jon has already been here for more than a year. Heck, Cathy arrived from the Philippines more than a year ago.
They paid $2000 for the car. Other than some minor cosmetic damages on the outside, it’s in good shape. It doesn’t have to be in great shape because it only has to last them until they leave the island in a couple of years or so. The dealer is a former Marine (like me) and we all got along great. He even offered to buy the car back from them when they get ready to leave the island.
Josie and I have drivers licenses from Arizona, both still valid for a few more years. As nonresidents, we don’t have to transfer our licenses to Hawaii. Jon has never had a license, and he’s 33. It’s a long story I don’t want to tell unless I have to tell it. Cathy’s never had a license but then, she’s from another country.
I have a car for me and Josie, but it’s in the Philippines. Jon and Cathy were using Uber and Lyft when they needed to go places. Using any kind of ride services can become expensive quickly. I prodded Jon to do his taxes, helping him in the process, so he could have the money to buy a car. They bought the car and the next step is to get him a license.
We found the car through the Facebook Marketplace group. It took a week for me to find something worth buying at a price they could afford. They lucked out with this particular Dodge Caliber. Older models were being sold for more than this one. It even has new tires on it.
Cathy knows how to drive. She’s had practice with driving coaches in the Philippines as well as the United States. I just need her to get used to the Dodge Caliber before taking her road test. Jon is a completely different story. He has never had any practice at all.
I can get Cathy ready in a week. It will probably take months to get Jon ready and that’s all I want to say about that.