But we’re living in Spain. And we need to buy a car.
We ventured out last weekend to try to do just that. We had a few phrases of Spanish to hand, but we hoped that all we would need was “¿Hablas español?”. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The car salesman we met didn’t speak much English.
He was however, very resourceful. Typically, on every car salesman’s desk, along with a calculator, is a computer. And generally these computers are connected to the internet. He sat down at his computer, beckoned us over and started typing sentences, in Spanish, into Google Translate. Genius. We took over the keyboard when we wanted to reply or ask him a question. It was in this way that we managed to discuss our car-searching requirements.
Unfortunately, we didn’t find the car that we wanted on that occasion.
Other than the language barrier, there are some other obstacles in buying cars in Spain. The first being that car garages seem to be closed for more time than they are open, especially in August. During the week they observe the siesta, like a lot of businesses do. At weekends they are only open from 10am – 2pm on a Saturday. During the Malaga Feria they don’t open at all.
Secondly, it’s difficult to buy a car without having a car. The garages are geographically spread out, and they don’t tend to be within walking distance of the city centre. Taxi fares aren’t as cheap as they were in the Philippines.
And then there are the websites you scour to find cars… don’t get me started on them. Suffice it to say that it’s just better to pay half our annual salary to get taxis to find cars in physical garages.
Will we find our feet or our wheels first?