A month before moving to Valencia, we put our car on the market hoping that it will sell by the time we move to Spain. Our plan was to hire a car for four weeks giving us enough time to obtain our NIE and then look for the ideal family car. Three weeks have gone by (NIE sorted), we still have not had any serious interest. This has put in in an awkward situation; we really did not want to extend another four weeks to our rental car.
We’re up in the campo, a mile away from the nearest town and we NEED a car! Things were pretty desperate at one point and it did not help that we had a couple of time wasters from the internet. Worse case scenario, we will have to rent for another four weeks. Yes, things were not working out so well.
Prior to coming to Spain, we have read every article and advice about buying a car, but nothing can really prepare you until you have experienced it first hand. The Spanish do not seem to mind driving thirty plus year old cars with dents, rust and all. If it runs, they drive. Which is fair enough. But what we did not expect, was when we started to look for a car most of the ‘cheaper’ ones that are in the £1-5k bracket, will have at least over 70,000k on the clock and over 5 years old!
We were looking for a reliable second hand family car that would last us at least for a couple of years without any problems. We thought about buying a new car and at least we will have the guarantee and cover that we will need. But the more we looked for second-hand cars the more we were losing hope.
We considered importing our car from the UK. But that idea was short-lived when we saw how much it would cost and the legalities that came with it. It is possible, BUT we could really do without the stress at that time. With our children to think about, we wanted to get settled as quickly and with less problems as possible.
Two months later and 8 weeks worth of car rental, our car finally sold in the UK, this gave us the extra funds to be able to get a ‘decent’ car. Thankfully we had our Spanish neighbours to help us go to the best second-hand car places. After a week of looking around and comparing what would be the best for us, we decided to go with a 5-year-old Ford Focus Estate, practical, lots of space for the children and suitable for long trips. The paper work was handled by the dealers and we also get 12 months guarantee.
The price was more than we would have like to pay, lets just put it this way, if we were back in the UK we would have got a lot better and newer car for the price. But that’s the way it is in Spain, and yep some things you have to sacrifice.