The Perfect Goodbye

Giving Up Driving Can Have A Happy Ending –chantelle

Most of us remember our first car. From the first dollar saved, the thought of owning our very own ‘Handsome Holden or ‘Fabulous Ford’ was one that filled us with pride, anticipation and above all great excitement.

For 18-year-old Chantelle it was no different. With a brand new driver’s licence in hand, she was finally ready to find the perfect car. “I have worked very hard and saved for a long time to buy a car,” she explains. It was Chantelle’s mum, Selena, who first told her about a very special Mazda that arrived at Manheim Auctions – her workplace of seven years. “I found out about the car by coincidence when I heard the auction staff talking about what great condition it was in with low kilometers and a full service history”, Selena explains and continues “my daughter just got her licence so when I showed her the car she got so excited”.

The golden gem, a 1998 Mazda 232, arrived at the auction site after being donated to Kids Under Cover’s Donate Your Car® program. At 98, the previous owner decided it was time to stop driving, and instead of selling the car – her trusted companion of 18 years – she decided to donate it and thereby help young people at risk of homelessness. Goodbyes are never easy, and as the apple of her eye for so many years, she left a letter for the new owner who would be taking over her cherished car. In the letter, she explains how the car has been a real “gem and unfailingly reliable for 18 years.” The letter concludes by offering the helpful recommendation: “You will soon need to get new tyres but other than that the car is going really well.”

When Selena and her colleagues found the letter in the car, they were all heartened by the previous owner’s thoughtfulness. “Everyone I spoke to were so happy to have found the letter. One staff member was even close to tears, she was that touched by it”, says Selena. When Chantelle heard about the letter she was even more determined to place the winning bid at the auction. “Once I saw the car I really hoped I would get it. And when it went up for auction I was so nervous, I couldn’t even watch. And when I won the bid I was so happy”, says Chantelle.

Now the proud owner of her very first car, Chantelle feels incredibly lucky. “The car has given me so much independence – now I don’t have to ask my mum to take me everywhere.” Knowing that she has also helped a young person get the support they need makes her new car even more special. “I am studying to work with children so am really happy that the money I paid for my car will go to Kids Under Cover”, she says. Chantelle couldn’t be happier with her new car and says, “the letter left in the car was so lovely and I am really grateful that the previous owner looked after the car so well.” As a special thank you, Chantelle plans to send the previous owner a card and photo of herself with her new car as reassurance that the golden gem is in good hands.


Contact us on or call 1800 801 633 to find out how you can make a difference by donating your car or by purchasing one of our donated cars.


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