Our Little Blue Matiz

A little over two years ago we made our first ‘big’ decision and bought our first car together as a married couple. A 1999 Daewoo Matiz for the price of $200. Now I realize that it doesn’t look all that great on the outside…or the inside for that matter. When buying your first car as a married couple, you’re not typically dreaming of rust spots, no air con, and having to sit sideways in the back seat because it’s so small. Oh and when we first bought it, anytime it would rain, we had to push start it. Nothing says ‘First Year Bliss’ like pushing a clown car in the pouring rain on the way to work. Don’t worry, we eventually got this fixed.
daewoo matiz

We bought the car for a mere $200 from some friends who were upgrading (I don’t blame them). When we purchased it (aka us handing them cash and them handing us the keys…how official) we had anticipated that it would only last through the summer rainy season, another two months. For less than what we spend on groceries in one month we thought it was a great deal. Little did we know that our little blue Matiz would still be chugging along two years later.
daewoo matizThe only negative with our dream car is that it wasn’t exactly legal. And by ‘not exactly’ I mean not at all. We bought it from friends who bought it from a teacher who was leaving and who never gave them any paper work in order to unsure or title it. So in the two and a half years that we had it, we never had it insured and it still technically belonged to an owner who was long gone by that point. Not the smartest choice but one we willingly made for the chance of a cheap car in a different country.

We honestly weren’t too worried though seeing as how in the almost three years we’ve lived here, we’ve never gotten pulled over and even if we were, many times cops in our town do not know much English and don’t want to deal with waygooks (foreigners) so they usually wave you on. We were golden…

Until…I walked out of class one day to my boss telling me he had very bad news. And of course I stared sweating thinking he was angry with me for playing Hangman in class…again. Turns out I had parked illegally right outside of the school (weird seeing as how there were dozens of cars surrounding mine and they were just fine) and my car had been towed. Oh and better yet, he started asking me ‘Who’s Matthew?’ Apparently they had figured out our little secret. So after a very awkward car ride with my boss to the tow station, we grabbed our things and said goodbye to our  love. They wouldn’t let us take it because well…it didn’t belong to us…technicalities. But that’s ok because we found out that there were over 70 tickets linked to the car from us and previous owners. But thankfully we didn’t have to pay those…because it didn’t belong to us.
daewoo matizSo what started as our trash car, quickly turned into our favorite and we’re sad to see Ol’ Blue go and get impounded at the end of the month. We’ll be framing the key to always remember our first little clown car in Korea.

  • http://perkythoughts.tumblr.com/ Per @ Perky Thoughts

    Awww.. It’s a cute clown car! Definitely worth the $200 :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      It definitely was! I just wish we could find cars like that in the states!

  • http://www.fromtheretoheretheblog.com/ Jay

    I can’t believe it only cost you $200 and I’d say it was well invested!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      Best 200 dollars we ever spent!

  • LifeChangesii

    Cute story! Good thing you were able to get out of all those tickets.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      that’s what i’m most happy about!

  • http://megancstroup.blogspot.com/ Megan C. Stroup

    Aww what a cute/funny/sad story. Sorry you have to say goodbye to your car, but yay for the memories! P.S. – When I see/hear Daewoo, all I can think of is Pineapple Express haha.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha! i never even thought about that! hilarious movie!

  • Agness

    Awesome car, nice you will have a blast on the road! Where are you heading next? :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      ha thanks! we loved that thing! we’re heading up to seoul next!

  • Iva

    LOL I love this post 😀 You guys were very lucky, considering all the legal issues you could have had 😀

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha thanks! we consider ourselves pretty lucky too!

  • sarahdweaver

    Chelsea, I’m sitting at work giggling to myself as I read this. My coworkers already think I’m totally mad, so no worries there.

    I’m looking forward to finally meeting you. Too bad I won’t be riding around in this gem.

    S

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      ahh! i’m so glad that i finally get to meet you too! too bad we don’t have it anymore, your time here won’t be as special haha!

  • sam

    YES! I love this post. I love that things like this happen all the time when you’re living abroad. That is amazing that there were so many tickets and you didn’t have to pay any of them! Poor ‘ol blue. Do they do police auctions over there? Could you buy it at auction haha.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i know! it’s crazy because we would NEVER try to have an illegal car in the states! but here it seemed ok haha. and no, sadly, they took it straight to the impound and we were told it would be crushed within the month : (

  • http://www.littleredpurse.blogspot.com/ Leah S.

    That is an awesome story. I love that you paid $200 for this little car and ended up lasting you 3 years!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i know! i couldn’t believe it either!

  • http://www.thebartlettsabroad.blogspot.com/ Erica @ thebartlettsabroad

    I love this! So sad to see a car going!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i know, we were so sad to see it go! but it was still a good ending to a great car : )

  • Rachel Murphree

    This story is awesome. It sounds like it was the best $200 ever spent!

    -Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      heck yes it was! we are still in shock how long it lasted us!

  • http://www.diariesofanessexgirl.com/ Kate Hall

    Lol this story made me chuckle! Also, my first car was a Daewoo Matiz too! I didn’t expect her to last a week but she served me well!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      really?! i LOVE those cars! too bad they’re not in the states. they run forever!

  • http://megantofrancewithlove.blogspot.com/ Megan

    Back in the States my dad bought me my very first car when I was in high school for $500, and he really only thought it’d last maybe a year.. it started out with over 200,000 miles on it but I ended up driving it for 5 years and it just felt weird to sell it. I went so many places in that thing! Such a cute idea to frame the key though!!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      whoa! that’s so crazy! i love older cars, they seem to last forever! my first car we traded in at 250,000 miles. and the dealership took it site unseen! they definitely got the short end of that stick…

  • http://thesirenstale.com/ Caitlin @ The Siren’s Tale

    This is so cute :) It’s amazing that a car that was going to be a quick fix ended up being a trusted pal! Here’s to old blue and the great memories it gave you!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      yes! we should have a toast : ) and a goodbye party haha!

  • Megan Thudium

    That’s a pretty funny/cute story! I love the ending.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      thanks! i’m glad you liked it!

  • http://avidaebelaofm.blogspot.com/ Marisha Bailey

    This is such a cute story! :0)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha thanks! we loved that car and was sad to see it go!

  • http://perpetuallycaroline.blogspot.com/ Caroline L.

    Noooo I was hoping the car got a new, warm family too like Zeke did :( But oh well, all’s well that ends well. Everything feels so final! Wishing you the best from here! xx
    Perpetually Caroline

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha nope, not this one. it got crushed! ahh well, the legend dies with us so it’s still ok : )

  • Casey

    Such a hilarious story from start to finish and what a fantastic investment for $200 to have used the car for so much :) You’ll have great memories of that car!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha that car will forever live on in infamy! it was so awesome and probably a car that we would never have back home but we were so proud of it here!

  • EmilyHornburg

    No! I love your little blue car! That’s so sad! It’s good that this means hopefully you’ll get a better car that’s legal one of these days… but still! :(

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i know! me too! we’ll see what car we get next. thankfully we actually have another car here (cheap but not THAT cheap!)

      • EmilyHornburg

        That sounds like a good plan to me. I can’t wait to see pictures!

  • http://hemborgwife.wordpress.com/ Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    The car we had in California while legally mine was so beat up and old, at one point when I went to get in it for work in the morning sometime in the night someone decided to kick it really hard and so there was foot stamped into the side which was so ugly but I still cried when we left it when we moved!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i got so overly attached to this thing! i was so sad to let it go! beat up or not, when you have a car, it’s your baby!

  • http://www.chicadeedee.com/ Dannielle @ Chic-a-DeeDee

    haha this was like our car in New Zealand, but everyone seemed to do it and no one cared. People even leave cars at the airport with signs saying, “free, take me” because they don’t want to go through the hassle of getting rid of their cheap cars.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      it’s crazy how those things seem ok in different countries! i can’t believe the airport part! i would LOVE if they did that here! all the foreigners would be sitting around waiting at the airport for someone to dump a car ; )

  • http://www.jade-moat.com/ Jade Moat

    Oh wow, what a hilarious story! At least you didn’t have to worry about paying the fines :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha i’m SO relieved! we were going to sell it before moving to seoul anyway so the timing worked out great!

  • http://lulug1975.blogspot.co.uk/ Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

    At least you got two years out of blue! Thank goodness you didn’t have to pay other peoples fines too!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i’m SO glad we didn’t have to pay the fines! i can’t imagine how much that would have been!

  • http://www.inspirationsparks.com/ Laura @ Inspiration.Sparks

    Aww!! I have a little blue japanese car and i call her Ol’ Sexy like the Doctor calls his Tardis because it look super small on the outside but it’s pretty roomy on the inside! Although mine wasn’t $200 it was more like $2,000 but still pretty cheap and reliable! 😉 I’m glad you guys didn’t have to pay those tickets! Thumbs up Korea!!!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha! i love the name! and 2,000 is still a great price! i can’t imagine finding one that cheap and reliable in the states!

  • http://inkandadventure.blogspot.tw/ Jamie

    I love this story. so sad you had to say goodbye, but I think it was a good investment! many of our friends in Taiwan have not-quite-leagal arrangements surrounding their driving situation… it happens :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      it’s crazy how things, priorities and legal standards change when we move overseas ; )

  • http://www.thehappytype.com/ Crystal Turpin

    I love how the legalities of the Korean system actually worked in your favor, because that is so not the case normally. Poor little blue, but at least it kept on going for longer than you thought!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha i know! we would have NEVER had an illegal car in the states but in korea it worked perfectly of us!

  • http://mrsgaeul.com/ Autumn

    Aw, that really sucks! But I’m glad you got a solid two years out of it. :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      yea but you’re right, i’m so glad we had as much time as we did!

  • http://sometimesztakespictures.blogspot.com/ Z K

    Aw, this car sounds like it had a good long life (and who knows…might go on to live some more!) looooove all the sweet pictures of you guys with it. :]

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      unfortunately they told us it would be impounded : ( ahh well, the legend dies with us!

  • http://www.mylifeandlemons.com/ Kenzie S

    What a sweet story surrounding your little Matiz! I’ve never seen or heard of that car before. I’m sorry that it was towed though, that always sucks.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i LOVE that car! if it were in the states that’s what i would get when we go home!

  • http://livinitupashayup.wordpress.com/ HayUp

    adorable!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      haha thanks! we loved that car!

  • http://www.abreathofforeignair.com/ Sally B

    Maybe for the best… those Matizes are actually kind of dangerous / prone to flipping at ridiculously low speeds. Hopefully you have the cash to invest in a safer replacement car and one that can be legally registered in your name :)

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      oh man! i had no idea! thankfully for the two years that we had it, there wasn’t one problem with it! (except not starting when it rained ; )

  • http://www.sunshine2thesquareinch.blogspot.com/ Beka Johnson

    h ha ha!!!! This story is just so funny. I still remember her barely chugging up the hills after Bible study.

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      bahaha! when we all had to LEAN forward and pray it would make it! i miss that car