Buying a car in Portugal can be a little tedious. It’s not the buying process that’s a problem, it’s finding the right car at the right price that’s so tedious. You see, second hand cars (and new ones, actually) are notoriously expensive here. You certainly have to be prepared to travel to get the right vehicle.
Buying a car in Portugal
Last week we took a day trip to Oporto to have a look at a second hand car. Oporto is a five hour drive from the Algarve, by the way. We’d spotted this Mercedes ML on Stand Virtual, (Portugal’s equivalent to Auto Trader) and thought it might be the car for me. Although the car is twenty years old (yes, you read that right), it had less than 100,000 kms on the clock and appeared to be in tip-top condition. So, a drive to Oporto was in order.
We arrived at about 2pm and went straight to the car dealership where we met Paulo, a very sweet Portuguese car salesman who suggested we take the Mercedes for a test drive. So the three of us hopped into the car and (with Michael driving) Paulo took us on a full-on tour of Oporto and Matosinhos! It’s such a lovely part of the country, one we’ve only been to once before. Had we not been so busy, we would’ve stayed overnight, but it just wasn’t possible on this occasion.
Anyway, we came to the conclusion that the Mercedes was perfect for our needs so we returned to the dealership and did the deal. We also discovered the car has only ever had one lady owner, which was music to my ears lol. Afterwards, I drove my lovely new (20 year old) car all the way back down to the Algarve, (behind Michael who drove our other car). It was fantastic, and although I was utterly exhausted afterwards, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
I’m absolutely delighted with my new Mercedes ML, which I’ve dubbed Mel. I do know it’ll take a little time to get used to parking such a large vehicle though, as I’ve only ever driven small cars in the past – Fiat Puntos, Mini Cooper, Renault 5, etc.
If you’re buying a car in Portugal, I’d definitely recommend looking a little further afield than just here in the Algarve. For some reason, cars here tend to be at a premium – they are cheaper the further north you go, hence our trip all the way to Oporto.