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Old 4th May 2016, 22:09   #1
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Default Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

In a few weeks time our four year stint in India is coming to an end. My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed our four years here. Both professionally as well as personally, it has been a great experience.

More or less by chance my next job assignment will take me back to my home country the Netherlands, for a few years.

Last week we spend in the Netherlands. Me, mostly to get introduced to my customer and my team. My wife to get our home in the Netherlands in order.

One of the chores I have to do is to get the missus and me rolling again in the Netherlands. As you can see in my garage I have various cars already. For the last seven years they have been in storage with a friend of mine who runs a garage/workshop. Whenever we visited the Netherlands I would call him the week before and tell him which car to get ready.

Now he has instructions to get them all ready in the next two weeks. I have two garages myself and last week I managed to rent some more garage space just around the corner from us. So all our cars will have a roof over their head so to speak.

About four years ago, when we moved from Kansas City to Delhi, my wife stayed in the Netherlands for a few months, whilst I was shuttling back and forth between KC and Delhi. We decided that we needed just a simple, cheap, reliable runabout for her.

So on a Saturday afternoon we went out and bought a 2002 Ford Fiesta for Euro 1200. To put that in perspective, that is less then my bicycle cost. Itís less then my second hand Royal Enfield Bullet here in India cost.

But we have had numerous Ford Fiestaís, we both like them, I can do all maintenance and repair myself. So we kept this car all those years. It just sat outside our house waiting for us to show up every 3-4 months or so. Occasionally the kids took it out. Never did anything special to it. We showed up, I started it, drove it to the petrol station to check the tire pressure and that was it. It never let us down. It always started, never a problem.

Last year whilst on a trip to the UK my wife got it rear-ended by the Suffolk County Police. Pushed in the rear door. Took a bit of effort, but in the end they actually paid us for all damages. Cant remember the exact amount but it was just about Euro 1200 as well or thereabouts. I never spend that money. I gave the rear door a couple of whacks with a hammer so it would open and close again and left it at that. All you could see was a small dent. Iím fine with that, at least on this car.

About five minutes walk away from our house is a former Ford, now Kia dealer. I know the owner pretty well. We have bought three second hand cars from him in the last fifteen years. He allows me the use of his tools and workshop whenever I donít have the necessary kit. When we moved to this place, it was a real village with only a few thousand people. But small enough that everybody with a shop knew all their customers personally. I like that. Itís all about personal trust and the fact that we keep coming back to him, based on the excellent service he provides.

Proper old school gentleman that takes pride in looking after his customers.
I was looking on the internet for a new second hand Fiesta and came across one that was advertised with our old Ford dealer. So we walked over. My wife fell in love straight away with the colour.

For those of you familiar with my posts you might recall that I typically donít buy new cars. Even second hand cars I only buy with at least 100.000 km on the clock. Shows you are never too old to change your habits.

This Fiesta was just under a year old, with only 17.000 km on the clock. Itís original sales value was Euro 16.610. It was advertised for Euro 12.500. Which proves my point that buying new is stupid. That is 25% depreciation in less than a year! This thing had not even had itís first service as that is due at 20.000km!

He also gave us back Euro 750 trade in on the old Fiesta.

I have owned and co-owned dozens and dozens of cars. All my friends and colleagues are always going on how they manage and negotiate these amazing car deals. If half of what they tell me is true, the dealers are actually paying them rather then the other way around.

I can honestly say that I have never ever made money on any of my cars. Every single one has always cost me a lot of money. I believe the correct financial term is a s**t load of money!I remember once, when living in Brighton I owned a very old Datsun 120Y. As we were moving to the Netherlands at that time I had to sell it. Could not find a buyer. In the end I actually had to pay a scrap yard to take it off me!!

But I can honestly claim that on my old Fiesta I have, finally, finally, made some money. Bought it for Euro 1200, sold it for Euro 700 and thanks to the Suffolk constabulary I got another Euro 1200 in the kitty. So Iím up by Euro 700. Admittedly I had to put a few more Euroís to the new Fiesta but still. At least I can now brag about my car negotiating skills with the best of my friends.

We took it for a test drive and my wife was very very pleased with it. And after having a real banger for the last couple of years, we decided to treat ourselves and buy a one year old car. It is the most expensive and newest car we have ever bought ourselves (the company cars donít count). My Jaguar XJR cost less and was seven years old when I bought it.

Itís the 1.0 Ecoboost version. Nice little engine. I have already ordered the software upgrade for my AutoEngenuity OBD analyser so I can read the Ford specific codes.

This car comes with a pretty exhaustive list of options that hold absolutely no value for my wife. So I tried to explain about the cruise control, the ABS, the traction control, the voice control for the radio and the navigation system, but she is not even remotely interested in any of this lark.

She likes the colour, the fact that it has five doors, she thinks its nippy to drive and that it is near new. For some reason, she is less convinced on the reliability of old cars then me.

This, only because many years ago, our then boring second hand Volvo 340DS left her and our three screaming kids stranded on the motorway. I was told in no uncertain terms to get rid of the Volvo or she would file for divorce. For the past four years I have been living under the thread that in case the old Fiesta banger breaks down she would walk into the nearest car dealer, whichever dealer and would order the first car she bumps into on the spot. Believe me, with my missus that is not an idle threat!

I have been given my instructions to program her (3) favourite radio stations into the radio and show her which button to push to get each station. And she doesnít want to be using the onboard navigation system. I have to put the TomTom in. Iíll hardwire it into the battery so she doesnít have to mess around with the charger and cigarette lighter.

The owners manual is well over 400 pages. Iím one of these nerd, no matter what my wife thinks of it, that will actually read every single page. I will try out and check out every feature on this car or any car I own for that matter. Iím also on the lookout for the proper workshop manuals and technical bulletins. But Iíll probably get those next time we are in the UK.

Anyway, very happy with our new Ford Fiesta. It looks smashing, very nice interior. Even for me at 1.96m its pretty comfortable. its not particularly fast, but you need to drive these things like a cart anyway. Just throw it through the corners, never brake, never lift, ever!The missus doesnít agree, but this is how i drive it when alone.

I really canít make the comparison to India, but in the Netherlands this is a quite a cheap car to buy and to own. Itís relatively light which means low on road tax and it is also very cheap to insure. Its going to get insured in my wifeís name, because its her car, and women get better insurance rates then men.

Here in India I sold my beautiful restored 1975 Royal Enfield 350CC Bullet as well. I have seriously contemplated bringing it back with me. But in the end it would cost a lot of money. I would have to get my motorbike license in the Netherlands. For some reason the Dutch officials wonít trade an Indian bike licence for a Dutch one. I wonder why.

Getting your Dutch Motor bike license involves getting lessons and having to take three separate exams. A theoretical test, a vehicle control test and a road test. I just could not be bothered. Iím really not a biker, Iím more a car guy. I got into biking here in India for lack of a classic car scene they way I like to see it.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12.500 km on my bullet. And I have made countless friends on the various rides. So from now on its just part of the very fond memories I have of India.
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Old 4th May 2016, 22:22   #2
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Default re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Wish you a pleasant journey to your home country. I know you've contributed regularly on this forum, and hope that you continue to do so.

By the way, the car looks hot! Wish you and your wife many happy miles on it.
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Old 4th May 2016, 22:22   #3
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Default re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Wishing you all the best for the future Jeroen.

Wish you fare-well

Godspeed always.
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Old 4th May 2016, 23:36   #4
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Default re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Wishing you all the best and a very Happy homecoming.
Hope to see your regularly on this forum & your new fiesta is
Happy & safe motoring.
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Old 5th May 2016, 05:54   #5
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Default re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Congrats on the Fiesta ecoboost . This is exactly the car am eyeing here in Australia. 2014 or later model(AstonMartin-esq face). Since its not that old the asking price in 2nd hand market here is a bit on the higher side here($15k+).

Wish you lots of happy miles.

P.S : Have fond memories of NL(Eindhoven,Amsterdam,ZaanseScans et al) from 2013 summer. What a lovely place to ride/cycle around. Do reconsider the decision to get a two-wheeler licence
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Old 5th May 2016, 07:24   #6
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Default re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

All the best mate. There is nothing like home
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Old 5th May 2016, 08:57   #7
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Default re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoumenD View Post
P.S : Have fond memories of NL(Eindhoven,Amsterdam,ZaanseScans et al) from 2013 summer. What a lovely place to ride/cycle around. Do reconsider the decision to get a two-wheeler licence
Thanks, I am an avid bicycle rider, but I'm done with the motor bikes. I thoroughly enjoyed it. At the same time, during my 3.5 years of motor biking in the India I have seen quite a few of my friends meet with various accidents. Two people I have met on rides actually died, quite a few ended up in hospitals with various degrees of injuries.

The Netherlands is likely to be a more safe place to ride your motor bike. But still, you are extremely vulnerable. My next door neighbour in the Netherland is the most cautious person on the road I know. And even he managed to crash his motor bike and ended up in hospital for more then 6 month with a hugely complicated broken leg.

I'm 57, I have hurt myself enough in the past doing all sorts of (sometimes) stupid) stuff. I count myself lucky to have had this wonderful experience, but I'm going back to fiddling and driving my various cars and bicycles, piloting planes. (I have my pilot license, but have not flown in India). Also, one of my ambitions is to have a nice motor yachts. And definitely, dont tell the missus, I'm going to get some more cars.

So, its not as if I'm going to be bored and become a couch potato. Plenty of stuff to do, just not on motor bikes any more.

Jeroen
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Old 5th May 2016, 15:49   #8
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Hope you're taking back Indian memories to last a lifetime, Jeroen .

Going back home after a stint abroad is always special. And I'm sure you're excited about being reunited with the cars, especially that Alfa Romeo & Mercedes W123.

Good luck with the move back!
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Old 5th May 2016, 20:24   #9
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Jeroen, thoroughly enjoyed your posts on Team-bhp. Do keep updating here with your experiences with the classics back home. Wish you all the very best!
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Old 6th May 2016, 08:59   #10
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
In a few weeks time our four year stint in India is coming to an end. My wife and I have thoroughly enjoyed our four years here. Both professionally as well as personally, it has been a great experience.
Wishing you a happy time back home. I enjoyed your posts and all the information you have been sharing with us. Please continue to do so!

Have Fun and Safe Travels!
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Old 6th May 2016, 09:06   #11
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Jeroen, I very much enjoyed your posts and a different perspective you brought in to the topics. Hope you will continue to be in this forum.

Have a safe trip back home!
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Old 6th May 2016, 11:18   #12
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Ford Fiesta in India is a pretty "expensive" car for majority of the public.
Of course a lot many white collared folks can buy it but only after setting aside a few months of salary (perhaps years).

Hope you do visit the forum every now and then ... All the best for future.
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Old 6th May 2016, 12:45   #13
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

All the best to you and your family. Keep posting!
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Old 6th May 2016, 14:13   #14
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

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Ford Fiesta in India is a pretty "expensive" car for majority of the public.
Of course a lot many white collared folks can buy it but only after setting aside a few months of salary (perhaps years).
.

I realize that. There are a few cheaper cars around in the Netherlands, but not that many. Most of western Europe cars such as Ford Focus, VW Golf, would be well within the means of many people to own and drive. Real family type of saloons/sedans

Fiesta and the likes are seen as city runabouts, often bought as a second car next to something bigger.

I'm sure its just a matter of time before similar trends appear in India. Its more or less a function of disposable income and how large the typical middle class in a particular country is. Here in India both have been on the rise quite substantially for quite some time.

The other noticeable difference is that many people in India really aspire to own a car. Whereas in the Netherlands and a few other places, for many young professional people, owning a car is just something they are not interested in. Its not about affordibilty, they can afford a car. It's just that they are not into cars, there is no need, no status to attached. Owning a car in say Amsterdam is a royal pain, you cant park it anywhere. Certainly in metro's public transportation is excellent. And in certain (green) quarters owing a car is actually frowned upon. So there is a definite shift to the aspect of owning a car.

The one thing that has always struck me is the difference in salary levels between India and Western Europe/USA. Not so much a Dutch versus an Indian salary, but the differences in salaries within the Netherlands compared to those in India.

Manual labour / blue collar type of work compared to white collared jobs shows a remarkable gap here in India

Take the Netherlands;
Our legal minimum yearly wage for a person over 23 is about Euro 20.000,-- gross. The average income in the Netherlands is roughly Euro 35.000,-- gross

If you earn more then Euro 100.000 gross a year you find yourself in a very exclusive group of less then 1% of the population! So 99% of the working populations finds itself in a bandwith of 20-100K. That's only a factor of 5 between the lowest and the highest.

When I look at my organisation here in India that factor is considerably higher. Another example from my line of work. Here in India riggers (the guys that install for instance antenna's and such on telecom towers) don't ear much. In the USA a riggers earns real good money. Also in most of Europe. It's a dangerous job, not many people are willing to do, so that shows up in the salary!

The distinction between blue and white collar jobs hardly exist in the Netherlands and it certainly doesn't necessarily mean the lowest salary. Painters, plumbers, electricians and such can earn well above the minimum.

The guys/girls on our garbage truck earn on average Euro 33.000 a year!

I'm not saying one or the other is better or worse. I don't think that is appropriate at all. Both situations are a reflection of a long specific national history, one way or the other.

But it does mean that the car scene, what can be considered an affordable car differs wildly.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 6th May 2016 at 14:17.
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Old 6th May 2016, 14:24   #15
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Default Re: Moving back to Netherlands and a new addition to the fleet!

Jeroen,

Your posts have been thoroughly enjoyable. Wishing you a safe journey back home and ofcourse a wonderful time ahead.

Hope you will continue visiting this forum and keep posting!!
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