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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. As I´m getting ready to fly here soon, more questions come into mind.

My wife and I want to buy a used car in France once we arrive, but not sure as to which is best in terms of availability of replacement parts. For example, here in Panama, Toyota rules because most of the shops carry japanese/korean parts (almost 99% of the time I can buy replacement parts for my toyota in any shop)

So...What do you recommend buying as a used car based on your own experience?

Thanks

Alx
 

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Hello everyone. As I´m getting ready to fly here soon, more questions come into mind.

My wife and I want to buy a used car in France once we arrive, but not sure as to which is best in terms of availability of replacement parts. For example, here in Panama, Toyota rules because most of the shops carry japanese/korean parts (almost 99% of the time I can buy replacement parts for my toyota in any shop)

So...What do you recommend buying as a used car based on your own experience?

Thanks

Alx
I'd buy French not Asian. The vast majority of cars here are French although that is slowly changing. Consequently servicing, spares etc are readily available. There's one Toyota dealer in the nearest town but about five Citroen/Renault/Peugeot.

Be prepared to buy a diesel (much more common and cheaper to run) and a stick shift - automatics are much rarer and hard to find.

Do some research on prices here: Voiture occasion - Annonce auto, achat et vente voiture occasion - La Centrale.fr to get an idea of what you want. I'd buy from a dealer as well to get good warranty and service.

Hope it helps
 

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If you happen (like me) to like Toyotas, you should know that the Toyota Yaris is now being manufactured in France (and this fact is trumpeted on their ads lately). It really depends on what dealerships are available in the area in which you'll be settling - and actually, although it will cost you a bit more, it's not a bad idea to buy a used car from the dealer so you can initiate a decent relationship in case you have need of repairs, etc. (The dealers will also handle much of the registration transaction for you - which helps when you're new.)

Replacement parts are a funny thing here. There is a law that limits some replacement parts to genuine manufacturer parts. I'm not sure which parts are so limited, but have heard tales of folks going to Belgium to get "generic" parts since they aren't available here in France.

Also, the dealerships vary by location. While the Peugeot dealer may be great in one town, the Renault dealer may be much better in the next town over. And in the town where I take my 18 year old Toyota for service, it often seems that at least half of the vehicles you see are Toyotas. (The dealership is family run and just super!)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right Bev, I love Toyota´s engines which brings another question. What is the life expectancy of the Citroen/Renault/Peugeot engines?

For example, Toyotas and Hondas are known for building good engines. In fact, I have put about 200 thousand miles (yes miles, not kilometers) on my toyota corolla and it still runs fine.

Phrasing the question above in anther way, How much mileage/kilometers can you expect to put on Citroen/Renault/Peugeot engines without running into major issues.

Thanks

Alx
 

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Many dealerships with cheap cars, leboncoin is full of crooks. So are other website, be carefull.

If you are not good with mechanics, buy a brand dealership or garage, not fro a car dealer who are not mechanics in any way, just merchants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Many dealerships with cheap cars, leboncoin is full of crooks. So are other website, be carefull.

If you are not good with mechanics, buy a brand dealership or garage, not fro a car dealer who are not mechanics in any way, just merchants.
Interesting! We have a few of those crooks here in Panama as well.

And GALLUS, when you say buy from a "garage", what does it mean?

Thanks

Alx
 

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Right Bev, I love Toyota´s engines which brings another question. What is the life expectancy of the Citroen/Renault/Peugeot engines?

For example, Toyotas and Hondas are known for building good engines. In fact, I have put about 200 thousand miles (yes miles, not kilometers) on my toyota corolla and it still runs fine.

Phrasing the question above in anther way, How much mileage/kilometers can you expect to put on Citroen/Renault/Peugeot engines without running into major issues.

Thanks

Alx
I was surprised by the high mileage on used cars here given that most are stick shifts and driven mainly on urban or country roads - more wear and tear than say a US car driven on freeways. However it seems that 200,000 kilometers is not unusual on older cars, average seems to be about 20,000 kilometers/year (12,000 miles). People keep their cars longer and get the most out of them.

Having said that - I got some major issues on Chevrolet engines with less than 40,000 miles.

It will pay you to buy from a dealer (not necessarily the same brand though), you will get better service, warranty etc. We actually bought our Peugeot from a Renault dealer but cannot fault their after sales service.

Bon chance
 

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I have more confidence with Peugeot than Renault. Before I retired from the French public service here my gouvernment dept like many others was and still is doted with a fleet of Peugeots (diesels), large and small. Numerous drivers, vehicules used every day and turning over lots of kilometers. They were serviced regularly were kept for about 5 years some having done over 400 000 kms (which is not much per year compared with some fleet cars)

In 1989 I bought a new Peugeot 305 Diesel Estate as the family car. In 2005 after 350 000 kms I took it to the scrap yard to be recycled - it had taken me around much of Europe with the kids in the back often towing heavy trailers full of camping gear. I had to recycle it mainly because the rear suspension started to give up but the engine was still turning over well.

2005 - 2009 have had 1 Renault and 2 Opels - sold them on quick.

Since 2009 now equiped with a 307 HDI Diesel Estate which I'd bought second hand from a Peugeot dealer - 38 000 kms on the clock and a 12 month after sales service which took in charge any break downs etc. Not had any break downs touch wood, it did 1200 kms on holiday last summer on one fill-up, not bad for motorway driving and cruising around mountain roads in the Alps.

So I am pro-Peugeot !!

As many have said beware of private sales and car dealers on plots of land, who sell very often ex fleet cars that have done an enormous amount of kilometers.

I may be wrong but as far as I can remember the average distance covered per year by the average family car is some where between 10 000 to 15 000 kms. If you are thinking of buying second hand look at that aspect.

Also have a classic car but that's another subject

Good car hunting
 

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I've found that second hand cars are relatively expensive in France (compared to the cost of a new car)
?????
Lots of folks have mentioned that. One (possible) factor is the every-other-year controle technique that all registered vehicles have to go through. (And to sell a used car and change the registration, the vehicle has to have a recent controle technique certificate.)

The tests are pretty thorough and if it doesn't pass, you have 2 months to correct the problem (no matter how much it costs) or else the car is off the road. It's not a perfect system, but it at least assures that a used car is in running condition.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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