Help with buying a new car

06/17/2010 - 00:03

Hi everyone My family is moving to Tuscany for one year starting in October 2010. I want to buy a new car that we will use throughout the year of our stay. There are four of us including two small boys 8 and 6. Does anyone have a suggestion of what kind of car we should purchase? I was thinking along the lines of a Subaru Forrester or something similar. We will be driving all over Western Europe and in snow conditions. We hope to re-sell the car at the end of our stay in thirteen months. Are there new car dealers that might buy the car back after that time? We currently drive a German car in Australia. Should we buy a locally made Italian car for service reasons? We have also been advised to buy a diesel car. Is this a good idea? Please help. Cheers



There are lots of previous threads on buying cars, which you might like to check out. As non-residents, you can only buy a brand new car in Italy, and then only if you have the right paperwork. I would first check out with the Embassy what they think that paperwork is, then contact a dealer for your choice of car and get him to agree to the purchase on the basis of that paperwork. Subaru are fairly well represented here - about the same as in UK - which may be a lot less than you are used to in Oz. Tuscany should have all the world's cars represented so no particular reason to stick to Italian. Diesel definitely as diesel cars are more popular in Europe (think resale) and diesel costs a lot less than petrol. And I recommend you start saving now for your insurance indecision Terry

In reply to by SirTK

Thanks SirTK. That advice concures with random comments we have received from Australian car dealers. Subaru sounds good as I used to own a Forrester and it was superb in most conditions. We were a little worried about buying a non-Italian make and offending the locals in our small town community. I guess that may not be an issue. We will look for a Subaru Diesel. Thanks again.

Moving from Oz? I imagine the long travel to Italy! I cannot help you in this kind of issue, what I know for sure is that diesel is cheaper than petrol! Also, if you buy an Italian car, it will be easier to buy related products or to repair it if something doesn't work.. that was my personal advice. Valentina

It would be worth looking into some of the long-term car rentals - generally sourced out of France. These schemes are backed by Renault and Citroen as far as I know, and they get a very good tax-break from the French, but they are only available to non EU visitors. Unless they have fallen foul of French government money saving cuts, various US friends swear by these deals.  

I moved here (also Tuscany) from Oz (Sydney), arriving 5 or 6 weeks ago, and by dint of keeping up the pressure have just today got as far as being allowed to put my precious cash on the table and get a car, which I expect to get in a week or so. I'm sure it could take longer! So for a single year, I can't say whether the long-term hire or lease schemes are good, but I can say that they would be worth looking into. Oh, we are also in MS! Good luck Alex

Thanks to all who have posted re our car plight. We did consider buying an Italian car Valentina but are unsure which brand to look at. We don't have much experience with Italian cars in Australia, apart from the luxury Ferrari's. We can't afford those. As far as leasing a French made car, we found out that the leases are only for a maximum of 6 months. As we will be there for a year we would need to start all over half way through our stay. Also the cost was around $20,000 for the cheapest, smallest car. We think we could buy a new car for a lot less and then recoup most of the money when we sell it after just one year. Does anyone know a car dealer who would be happy to buy the same car back after a year? We expect to lose a fair bit of money this way but it has to be better than a $20,000 lease. Comments anyone?

Hi Aussie family. We are kiwis living in Marche. As far as I know, you'll not be able to buy a used car in Italy, as you do not hold 'resident' status. My sister visits from NZ and uses the French car rental option as already mentioned in posts above. She has the car delivered to Rome, and drops off in Rome. She signs a contract to buy, but does not pay for the car, she only pays the rental charge.  Even if you have to do the 6-month handover and do that in Rome it may still be worth while. Alternatively, do the mid-term handover in France (Nice for example) and include that in a holiday in France. I would advise the smallest 4-door car (or station wagon) you can get, because most of your driving will be around Tuscany and the villages in Italy have tiny tiny streets, hence why Italians are experts in small cars!  It will be most unusual (but not unknown) to get snow in Tuscany. You can get snow chains if you are headed up to the mountains in winter (often they are required in mountainous areas, they are here).  Another cost, if you manage to buy a car, the road tax and insurance in Italy is very expensive (compared to the UK). An option, if you know anybody in the UK is to go there first, buy the car and insure it in the UK, and drive down to Tuscany. You can buy LHD in the UK. Enjoy your stay in Tuscany.

Hi Cantinone Thanks for your post. We have pretty much ruled out the French leasing option as I was quoted over $20,000 for the cheapest, smallest car for one year. We will actually be living in Bagnone MS on a residential visa for thirteen months which would work out to cost even more. We figure that we could buy a new car for less than that and then sell it before we leave and recoup most of the initial cost. We were thinking about a Subaru Forrester (because I've had one here in Australia) but are there good safe Italian cars that are similar? Are they cheaper to buy and reliable too? We are worried about driving all around Europe with left hand drive and the safty aspect of that. If we do get in an accident we want to walk away intact. I drive a Mercedes C200 now and it has airbags everywhere. I'd even consider getting one of these from Germany if that's easy to do. Even if we lose a few thousand on the car over the year, we would be way ahead. We really have no clue how to buy a new car in Italy and how to insure and register it. In Australia it is pretty easy and of course the language is not a problem. Any help on these issues would be greatly appreciated.