How to buy a Lada Niva in Kiev

The other big event of the week took place yesterday.  We had planned to do some cross country skiing with our room mate and his wife, but the weather wanted something else, and offered a couple of degrees above 0 and rain. What would you do on a rainy Saturday in Kiev? We decided to go buy a Lada Niva. Well, the plan was to at least start to look at Nivas to see what was out there. After all, life has felt a bit empty since the old Lada was parked in St Petersburg in November, and a Niva is actually a real car, which can be used both on and off the road…

We went out to the “Авто Ринок” (Avto Rinok) which is a car market some 20 mins drive outside of Kiev. People come here if they have a car to sell or buy. Judging of the amount of sellers and potential buyers at the location, it seemed to be the most common way of giving a car a new owner in Kiev. It could also be that car changes owners a lot. However, at the first, we were a bit disappointed with the low rate of “made in the USSR” cars that we were looking for. But after some minuets of walking we found what we were looking for, 3 Lada Nivas, in quite different conditions. We started in the low end, testing an old piece of eeehh, car, which seemed to have been painted with silver metallic spray just before arrival to the market to cover the worst beauty flaws. After a small test ride we realized there were more more to it than just flaws.

With the next one, we fell in love, and bought 3 hours later. The start price was slightly over our budget, but the condition of it indicated very good value for money. To be really sure of this, we took it to our own car guru Mr “80 Hrivna” Stas (probably the coolest guy on earth btw). With the seller having his friends with him, we having Yana as our own negotiator, and Stas having is guys looking at the “soon to be ours” Niva, we were as most 10 people standing under the car and discussing the condition of this or that part. With mandatory ok from Stas, and some tough price negotiations from Yana, we are now one Lada Niva richer. Isn’t she beautiful?;)

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