Costa fortuna

I spend a lot of time in the South of Spain each year and, instead of car hire, have been considering purchasing a good used car instead. The problem is the cost of purchasing a vehicle. A Mondeo selling at £7,000 of £7,500 in the UK would cost around £10,500 (@ 1.15 euro to the £). Do you know why this should be? They seem at a loss themselves as to why there is such a wide difference between Spanish and UK prices. What are your thoughts? Is it profiteering? Is it the exchange rate? Or just the way things are? What are your thoughts on buying a car in the UK and converting to LHD then drive it down to Spain? Buy a LHD car in UK - but this option seems as expensive as buying in Spain? Consider purchasing in another EU country then drive into Spain for re-reg? Car auction - BCA has several auction sites in Spain and other countries, but I confess I have no experience of this option.

Asked on 21 November 2009 by

Answered by Honest John
Sterling has collapsed against the Euro (and most other currencies). Spanish horse traders have sewn up the used market in the south. They are the only people who can buy at auction and they add a 30% + profit margin to anything they buy. The other factor comes from translating UK prices to Euro prices. Though new and used prices have been going up, UK used prices remain much lower than in continental Europe. But there is no way that converting a RHD car to LHD is economically viable, and the car would not then meet Type Approval. Buying LHD in the UK is dear because unless they are UK distress sales the cars have to be sourced from the much dearer Euro market. In Spain, the process of certificating and registering a car from another country is a nightmare, even if your Spanish is fluent. And you cannot now register a car in Spain unless you are resident there for tax purposes on your entire world income.
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