I want to buy a car in Brunei. I thought it involved checking out the dealers, identifying the cheap / bottom of the range car that called out 'Me, me! Take me home!' and then sorting out whether to pay cash or go with a loan.
Well, that naive notion was stymied at the first opportunity. We headed off to the Toyota dealer to see how much they'd want for a Toyota VIOS, a popular small car here in BSB. They were quite happy to engage in conversation for 30 mins before telling us that the VIOS in the showroom was only an illusion. They didn't actually have any in stock. No, they didn't have Corollas or any other small cars in stock either. Nor any medium cars. It was all the fault of the floods in Thailand apparently because that's where most of the cars are sourced. But, all was well, because the wait was only expected to be 3 - 4 months.
The next thought was, well we had a Ford Focus in Al Ain and it served us well. Let's see what Ford has to say. "Yes, there are many colours. Yes, they are available now. You just put down a deposit. Delivery in three months maybe. Or you can take the Mondeo. We have one Mondeo in stock." There seemed to be at least a bit of equivocation on the meaning of the word 'now.' The story there was that there were so many cars in Brunei that there were restrictions on how many dealers are allowed to bring in. I have to say that 'no cars' is a pretty small number to be allowed to bring in!
Floods in Thailand? Restrictions on numbers?
At Diahatsu they have a few Terioses / Teri-ii / Teriosi, only in black or silver, but they are available now. Yes! Problem is, the warranty is rubbish. One year - and we have to pay parts - and labour depending on the issue. It also seems to be a rather 'chunky' car for a tiny 1.5 engine. So question mark on that one.
Other dealers had 7 million car-seeking customers' cars lined up out the front, we couldn't even get a park. So we set aside the 'which car to choose' issue to follow up finance issues. No joy there either. Amongst other problems, we need to get our local d/l first and a range of other certification.
So I'm imagining a pretty mauve car sitting out front in our parking lot. It's brandless, featureless and existenceless, but I like it.