We moved to Portugal sight unseen. Moved to Leiria sight unseen. Signed a 3 year lease for the apartment sight unseen. So we might as well buy a car sight unseen too, right?
We have been talking about buying a car for the past few weeks now. I have been pretty sick the past 2.5 weeks. Bad cough, lots of congestion, a fever on and off. I lost a lot of sleep because laying down would make me cough too much. During that time Kyle had to do pretty much everything because I had to save the little bit of strength I had for work. We had already wanted a car, but me being out of commission sealed the deal. We looked at leasing options, but just like in the states I have never been able to see the benefit of leasing over buying.
In the US when I buy a car I do tons of research. I like SUVs and I like Honda and Nissan, so I tend to start there. I look at gas mileage, safety, features. We wanted to get a hybrid here, but it’s out of our price range so we looked into diesel. We decided that we prefer diesel over gasoline because it seems like it will be more efficient and better on the car over time. So for us buying a car in Portugal meant walking into a dealership and asking if they have any automatic diesel vehicles. They had one. We bought it, lol. Maybe…
The process is both similar and different than in the US. There is no test drive. They plug some numbers into a computer and show a list of monthly payment options. I forget all of the options, but they had some really long term ones, like 8+ years. We added a few warranties, which were cheap. We paid half of the down payment right up front. Then they wanted all of our info to see if we would get approved for a loan. It’s a little nerve wracking paying so much without even knowing if we will be approved. We didn’t bring any paperwork with us today, so we made do using our phone apps and screen shots. When we got home I spent over an hour getting some things together to email. I emailed bank statements and payments stubs. It would be easier if you have Portuguese income or have paid taxes in Portugal, but I am paid in USD and we haven’t paid taxes here yet, so we had to do it the harder way.
We spent just over 3 hours at the dealership and then I spent another hour or two getting everything together at home. When we left the dealership we still had no idea if we had been approved. I still don’t know right now. I figure it will probably take a few days at least. So fingers crossed that we get approved for financing! Since they don’t do credit scores over here I’m not really sure how they decide who to lend to or what the risk factors may be.
The car we (hopefully) bought is in the shop getting fixed up. They are painting it and replacing two of the tires. It’s a 2014 with 84000 kilometers. I don’t even know the make and model and I don’t even care. A car is going to give us so much freedom. We have made it work for an entire year and a half and we did it and it was fine. But we are both so excited at the thought of having a car again. It definitely brings a lot more cost, but hopefully it will be worth the trade off.
They did have a car in stock that’s just like ours (but not automatic or diesel) but a few years newer so they showed it to us. They said that all of the features will be the same. I really love the one they showed us. I was very adament about not getting a car when we moved here, but we’ve been here for a whole year and a half now and I think we’re ready. Having an automatic will make it easier. I can kind of drive stick, but only do it every decade or two, so my skills are pretty rusty. We keep talking about all the places we will go when we get a car. High on the list is Tomar because the bus schedule from Leiria doesn’t work, so we haven’t been able to go.
I’m not too sure of the next steps. Hopefully we get a happy call or email soon. We still owe half the down payment. We transferred the first half to them, so we will probably do the same if we get approved. They said that they will drop the car off at our house, which would be awesome. Next up is shopping for car seats, and then some road trips! I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. We still have to wait to see if we even get approved. Oh, and we need to figure out how to buy car insurance. And figure out the tolls. Well, plenty to keep us busy while we wait.