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Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Why not buy a donkey?..."


I have been scanning the  Internet classifieds for a used vehicle the last six months. With a limited budget of under $900, there are many vehicles that come up under the term “island beater.”

What is an “island beater?” When a seller says they owned the car seven years and has never had a problem, I think the odds are about prime for a major problem since the car has over 175,000 miles on it, usually the radio and A.C. do not work, a window or two is off track, some of the doors will not open from the outside, a seatbelt or two is missing, and there is a screeching sound, but they say don’t worry.

 There is usually  a lot of rust and usually not very cosmetically maintained. They will say you can see fine through the crack in the windshield. They will say my mechanic will get it through the inspection, don’t worry; that the brakes are pumped full of air and the speedometer and gas gauge are not working along with a “check engine” light that is covered with a bandage.

Does one really want to invest, or should I say gamble, $900 into an island beater? Sure you may find one that runs and gives you little or no problems, but your odds of winning the jackpot in Las Vegas are just as good as finding a decent, reliable island beater.

Besides, gambling is illegal in Hawai‘i anyway, so why not just by a donkey and not be a dumb ass?

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