My First Car Attempt

By Gerrard Hakizimana

I played with toy cars a lot when I was a kid. Whenever my mother brought me to the store, I’d get upset if she didn’t buy at least one vehicle toy for me. I remember she was once fed up with my dependency on toy cars, she said she wished I grew up quickly so I could buy a car of my own.

Around February of last year, my boss told me he sold used automobiles as a side business. I always dreamed of owning a car. I thought back on my childhood obsession over cars, and about my mom, and I told him, without hesitation, that I’d like to buy a car from him. I was twenty-one and had a driver’s license. A compact car is what I wanted, and my supervisor was enthusiastic to help me out. I told him I could have the money in a week. Since I was staying outside the city and he was in Lilongwe, the capital, he gave me the directions to his home.

At around four o’clock, I picked up a friend, and we went straight to my boss’s house. When we arrived at his location, he showed me every automobile he had in his compound, and I got to pick one. I’ll never forget that day, because I finally realised a long time dream. I picked a Daihatsu Hijet car which was made from Japan. I liked it because it was a small truck and I it would very helpful carrying tomatoes from my garden going to the market. My friend checked it out and reassured that it was in fine shape. I didn’t waste any time and immediately gave my boss the money, signed the purchasing documents, and then we went on our way.

When I first opened the car, and sat down on the drivers’ seat, I felt as if I had accomplished a life long dream. I checked that all the doors were closed properly, turned the ignition, and listened to the beautiful sound of the engine. I was smiling nonstop. I connected my phone the car’s Bluetooth and played my favorite playlist. I loved the look of trees flashing by, as I listened to my favorite music. I felt as if I owned of the road, like a king in a jungle of vehicles. The car smelled great, and I felt like a different person in was in another world, different from the one I was used too before driving.

The car’s transmission started to malfunction the next day. It was the worst day of my life. How could my supervisor have misled me to purchase a problematic vehicle? My thoughts froze up and I had no idea why he’d do such a thing. After a few hours, I called my friend with whom I had gone that day to buy my car and told him what happened.He concluded that my boss must have known of the vehicles condition, and was worried that if I found out, I wouldn’t buy it anymore. I explained that while returning the car was a good idea, I could not go back home with one that has problems.

Around 6 o’clock in the evening, I arrived in the capital city, and went to my boss’s house. We sat down in his living room, and I informed him of the situation and asked for a refund. My boss claimed that the car was in good shape, and that he could not give me my money back. When I tried to say something back, he insisted again that the car was in good state. I knew he was lying, so I told him again that I wanted my money back. He then suggested that we should meet his friend who was acting as a witness when I bought the car. I told him that I was okay with it but when we reached at his friend’s place, we were told that he went to Tanzania and he would take long to come back.

I told my boss that I would not wait for his friend. I realized he was just buying time. I did not say much, but I did let him know that the judge in court would decide whether or not to return my money to me because I hadn’t used the automobile for a full day. He then said he didn’t want to take this to court and that he would restore my money, but that I should allow him some time because he had already spent it. I accepted because I didn’t have the energy to argue anymore. I headed back home after handing the car’s blue book back. My supervisor gave me my money back two weeks later than he had promised, and I decided not to never buy a used vehicle again and to instead save money for a brand-new automobile.

2 March, 2023