Buying a second hand car in Spain …

Our 37 year old Suzuki Santana has started costing a bit of money for repairs, and is just getting a bit, well, old …

It’s a bit agricultural to drive, still has a manual choke and no power steering etc. It has been a wonderful thing to own, and perfect for here, but a couple of months ago we started looking around .

This little car has done us proud over the last few years! We’re not sure yet whether we’ll be selling it, or keeping it just for using round the campo!

The problem we have here is that the road to our house has a really tight corner and the road is really narrow, so we’re a little bit limited on what sort of car we can have. We looked at a modern Jimny – but they’re really expensive! That would be the best option – they are a great little 4×4 with fabulous ground clearance. In fact, all second hand cars here are really expensive compared to the UK!

Both of us have always wanted a Land Rover Defender but they were just completely out of our price range, so we stopped looking at them and tormenting ourselves – you’d need to spend at least €15,000 for a decent 30 year old one!

So we had about six different cars that we thought would be suitable for here, and that would fit up the drive without too many problems, and so started having a serious look about.

We were just getting to the stage of pulling our hair out when our lovely mechanic, Fran, sent us some pictures of a Jimny and some Vitaras that were in a garage in Roquetas. Now this place only sells to the trade, not normally to the public, and Fran knows the chap very well.

So off we all went in a jolly this morning, and we decided to go for the Jimny – it’s only 16 years old and has just 107,000 km on the clock – it has been in a slow accident and there’s a bit of cosmetic damage, it needs new tyres and a service – but an absolute bargain at €5,000 – half what we’ve seen the others at. Even better, we can still take the entire roof off this one, the same as we can with the Santana – a real must for us! Rog and Fran took it for a spin and when they came back the verdict was ‘buy it!’. A quick phone call to our insurance company, and five minutes later we had a cover note.

But here’s the hilarious bit … we drove it away without paying the man a penny! ‘No problem, pay me later’ he said! Really!!

We stopped at the gestorias on the way back to sort the paperwork to change the car into our name – that costs just over €100 here. Top tip – never ever bother trying to do this yourself – always get a gestoria to sort it – it’s well worth the €50 fee! We tried to do it ourselves when we bought the Santana … no, no, no, never again!!! At one point I actually stamped my feet, and was close to tears of frustration!

We’ve taken it straight to Frans garage for him to sort the required work over the next few days or couple of weeks, depending on the queue for the body shop!

Looking forward to getting it once the bit of work has been done and it’s had a darn good clean! Not that it will stay clean for long here!

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