Happy with a hire return
By Peter Caton
The influx of tourists has been good news for the only businessman hiring cars in Murwillumbah.
Used car dealer Phil Taylor says he has been flat out with his hire business ? and that's a pleasant change from second-hand car sales which took a dive through 2005.
Yesterday Mr Taylor said he had been in the used-car trade for "too many years" but would battle on through 2006.
A downturn in the lower-end of the car market, which he loves, has been caused partly by the comparatively low price of some new cars and downward pressure on used-car prices.
"In my end of the market there's always too many cheapies. People can pick and choose a lot more," he said.
"I've got to make sure I get $2000 a car to get something out of it. I'm trying to sell a 15-yearold car for two grand and you can buy a 10year-old car for that. People go for the newer model.
"I don't have to be in that price range but I like giving a car a second life. I see it just like the dog pound. They save a dog's life. I save a car's life.
"I don't get a thrill out of driving a bright new car."
But Mr Taylor said the hire business associated with his caryard was booming, and he does get a thrill helping out people when they are stuck without transport.
The hire car service also appeals to tourists, especially backpackers.
"I'm the only hire man in town," he added.
"Every year I think I don't want to be here next here.
"I should be just tinkering in the garden or travelling around without the stress of someone losing keys or whatever."
Two months ago one of Mr Taylor's friendly rivals, used car dealer and Tweed River Jockey Club president Bernie Quinn, announced he intended to quit the car trade.
Some new car dealerships haven't fared well in Murwillumbah in recent times either, with Ford and Holden dealers both quitting.