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Which Make/Model of car to consider or avoid

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Posts: 56
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Topic starter
(@bdgfn)
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Joined: 2 years ago

We currently live in Germany and will be moving to Portugal when I retire around the end of the year or early next year. We are starting to look for a good used car to purchase here and drive to Portugal. I am familiar with the importation process and know that as long as I can show I have owned the car for at least six months I will not have to pay import tax. My question is about which type of car we should be looking for, or what cars we should avoid. Obviously, we are not looking for a big car, truck or SUV, but something smaller, but still large enough to be able to carry our golf clubs back and forth. Yeah, priorities. LOL  Our first thoughts are Toyota or VW as they are good vehicles, last a long time if properly maintained, and should be easy to find a mechanic to work on there. I am looking at a 2013 Ford C-Max TDI, European Specs. Would this vehicle be easy to find a mechanic to work on? European Fords are very common here in Germany. I am thinking we should avoid cars from the UK, like the Mini Cooper, now that the UK has left the EU and it would probably be more expensive for parts, etc. Any thoughts on which makes or models of cars would be preferable will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Posts: 734
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(@mrbife)
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Joined: 17 years ago

In my view you already own the perfect car for your use here - the Yaris.  Send your bigger items down using BPSped or one of the other German courier connections.  Import the Yaris (low cost because you know its full history, its older and has lower value) and just enjoy it. 

Golf clubs do fit in, it's a practical car for a place where there is absolutely no point in owning any kind of new car - the weather, lack of care by other road users and the road condition don't warrant an expensive car.

However at some point I would advocate having two vehicles,  from the point of view of 'failsafe' the Yaris for some journeys and then an Electric Vehicle as a local runabout.  Put in a carport with solar panels on it and you have very low cost motoring and a backup.

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 231

@mrbife

About the thick wheeled electric scooters I see running about, how come they don't have licence plates?
Is it another Portuguese illegality? As to my knowledge anything on the road without pedals needs registration and insurance, not to mention helmets and road tax.

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VIP Member
(@old-bloke)
Joined: 13 years ago

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Posts: 2116

@itexpert7

Article 112 of the Codigo da Estrada applies (subject to power and speed of the scooter).

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Posts: 306
 bife
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(@bife)
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Joined: 15 years ago

I had a Focus C-max in the UK - absolutely loved it and a pleasure to drive. Never had any probs as did not the friends who bought it.

I also had a focus estate here in Portugal and loved it too, never any probs too

Focus' have a very reliable rep, and parts are cheaper and relatively easy to work on (for modern vehicles) but are not not cool

VW have a very good reputation, but not at all always deservedly. My wife's Polo always has problems, and VW very good at making money the 'printer ink' way - every time you need to change something you have to buy the whole thing and parts expensive - e.g 30 cent interior light door microswitch on our polo requires whole new door lock assembly at XXX Euros (and this not working means that buzzer doesnt go off if leave lights on and open door - how many times have I had to go jump my wife's car?!?. Horrible to work on too. My mechanic mate at home is always swearing about his Golf and VW in general. At least my old 70's campers were easy to work on and individual parts could be replaced(air-cooled engine rebuild an interesting puzzle tho)

Maria Pia good for Veedub parts you cant get in a normal motor factors (in Lisbon)

https://www.autopecasmariapia.com/

I know nothing about Yaris'

Do NOT get a Freelander (especially a Petrol one or any early one with weaker reduction boxes) although I love mine because on the roads here is often pretty off-road due to the potholes and it makes it more comfortable. And you can intimidate the Portuguese drivers when they inevitably try to do that to you. I have to put the prop on before the MOT and take it off again after every year tho as the viscous coupling is of course Kaput. There are loads of them here.

I found these online people good

https://www.pecaslandrover.com/

Mini Cooper? they are German now - unless you are talking about an original one - if so don't - you will spend more time hitting your head on the roof than sitting on the seat 🙂

Its always a lottery buying a used car tho, and you cant tell if yours will not collapse imminently either, so you are always between a rock and a hard place.

I hate buying cars - it was so easy when I was growing up in the UK and I could go with my mechanic dad into his workshop and sort it out (last time I asked his advice on a problem he said he was glad I was a thousand miles away 🙂 ). That and older cars are so much more environmentally friendly - they might put out a few more fumes (hence in cities it makes sense to remove them), but having to replace huge chuncks of things every time something goes wrong and paying loads cause only the test machine can diagnose is not exactly good. AND how much carbon footprint is there in the fabrication of a brand new car and in the earning of the money to buy it? Sorry - I am ranting 🙂

I would definitely recommend buying a dongle anyway so you can at least see basic fault codes tho, mine has been great:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B016I5WYVS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Use it with Torque app on phone

So - I say Focus, but the one you are looking at could be rubbish - I am as much use as a chocolate bicycle, aren't I

 

 

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Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 2 years ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 56

@bife Thank you much for the response. I already have a engine light code reader and have used it quite a bit on both of our current vehicles. I agree, buying a used car is pretty much a crapshoot.

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Posts: 56
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Topic starter
(@bdgfn)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Our search is over. We bought a 2016 Mazda CX-3. Big enough to carry some "stuff" (like golf clubs and pull-carts) and a bit smaller than a large SUV. We will not be moving until late this year or early next year, so we will have owned the car for more than 6 months. The CX-3 is a very reliable car, lower maintenance costs, and has a very high approval rating. I know there are more popular cars in Portugal but our research showed that the most popular cars were also the least expensive and the lowest reliability rating. Thanks to everyone who commented or made suggestions. We both really appreciate your input. Love this site!

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6 Replies
Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 231

@bdgfn
Is it considered a car for the road tolls? Some SUVs are considered larger vehicles and have much more expensive road tolls.

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Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 56

@itexpert7 It is a compact SUV or cross-over. When the person at vehicle registration here pulled up the vehicle by VIN it showed up as a 4DR SD. I guess we will see when we get there. Thank you for the input.

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Premium Member
(@itexpert7)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 231

@bdgfn

I found the website: https://www.viaverde.pt/Ferramentas/classe-veiculos
Yes, luckily CX-3 is class 1 🙂
It all depends on the height of the car at ... the front axle!

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Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 2 years ago

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Posts: 56

@itexpert7 Sweet! Good to know! Thank you!

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Community Member
(@pipfinder)
Joined: 1 year ago

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Posts: 34

@bdgfn Sorry I did not see that you had already bought when answered earlier and I think you have made an excellent chioce I did not consider the CX-3 as I thought you did not want an SUV but that one drives like a car and is a great buy. Well done

 

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Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 2 years ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 56

@pipfinder Thank you, and no worries. I probably should have posted that I purchased a car already as a reply to my original post. We actually are picking it up tomorrow. The dealer is over an hour away, but used CX-3s are very sparse in this part of Germany. They are abundant near Berlin and Hamburg, both at least a 7-hour drive each way.

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Posts: 2590
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(@martin)
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Joined: 17 years ago

dont forget this good motor

Killing a Toyota Part 1 | Top Gear | BBC - YouTube

 

check out parts 2 and 3

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1 Reply
Premium Member
(@bdgfn)
Joined: 2 years ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 56

@martin Thanks, but as I mentioned a few days ago, we already purhcased a Mazda. We were looking for a used Toyota, but couldn't find one that met our requirements in our price range.

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