Toyota (T)Hailux

For almost as long as I can remember, I have always liked the versatility of pick-up trucks, and I have had many of them in my life. I have had several Mitsubishi, a couple of Toyota's, an Isuzu, and a couple of others, but none compares to the Hilux of Toyota. Back when Thailand was “home", I really loved and cared for my 2004-model Hilux. No less so after pimping it up to become the exact dream car I had always wanted. Sadly though, when I moved back to Norway, it was not financially viable bringing it along thanks to Norwegian tax- and import laws. Additionally, the steering wheel was on the “wrong” side (a certain hassle at all toll-gates and parking garages here). As I sold my Hilux in Thailand, the car had already clocked up some 160.000 kilometers in 4 years, but was in an absolutely perfect shape. It was still shining as it was brand new. †

Today, I own a 6 year old Hilux that has only clocked some 140.000 kilometers but is looking a little more “tired” than its Thai brother. Off course, this one is a second hand car, and I have only had it for 3 years or so now. But, pimping a car in Norway is expensive, and I have not yet been able to afford (as in prioritize) changing the rusty, ugly winter rims. I really want new rims for the car, but, other, more important things come first.†

In about 3 years and a couple of months, I will be able to put in the backseats as well, and re-register the car as a personal vehicle (5 seats, white plates). Today, it’s registrered as a company van (2 seats, green plates). Naturally, I can do it right away, but at 10 years, you don’t have to pay additional, substantial tax (the “tax” declines with 10% each of the 10 years after first registration). Recently, I was thinking about replacing the Hilux with a new model, but if you now registrer the car with green plates, you will NEVER be able to rerigstrer it for more than 2 people (white plates). The Norwegian Government has “so generously” removed this option now.†

Car maintenance in Norway is a pain. It’s harder to keep the car clean here, than opposed to Thailand. I was the car, and a day later, it’s already dirty again. In Bangkok, if you wash your car, it stays clean for at least a week. Also, there is a bigger problem here with rust (the city Government loves to cover all our streets completely with SALT during winter), and with tiny stones being “sucked" up from the streets, by traffic and trucks, hitting the cars (damaging the paint).†

I also find that rebuilding or pimping the car with good quality accessories is both expencive here, and difficult because quality products doesn’t necessarily come from China. Thailand has a greater market for car-customization within all sorts of price ranges. Naturally, I could just send my car to Arctic Truck Norway and let them do the pimping, but I’m no lottery-winner yet.†

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