I will be moving to Poland with my wife and baby son in July. We will need a car, and trying to calculate value is tough for me, knowing very little about the Polish market.
I don’t know how much we intend on driving, but probably the occasional couple hundred mile trip on the weekend. I would like to keep my purchase price below 5,000 dollars and have something that is easy to fix where I can maybe take it to the guy down the street who operates out of his house’s garage, and not be too afraid of the guy not being able to get parts, not having too many special tools, etc.
The other aspect of European cars is the use of natural gas. It looks like “lpg” is big in Poland as many of the cars I checked out on allegro.pl have the natural gas option. Does this add to the complexity of maintenance? Will this provide more value per mile than a diesel engine?
The car has to be relatively safe, and a wagon with the room would fit our style as a growing family. There seem to be a lot of 10+ year old German cars that can be had pretty cheaply (allegro.pl). So far I like the Mercedes and BMW wagons from the early nineties. But something tells me that a 5 year old Honda Jazz would be a much smarter choice even if it might cost more upfront.
Unfortunately, aside from American land yacht fetishes of a few Polish citizens , my knowledge of that market is next to nothing. But that’s never stopped me before, so why start now?
As an expert in all things cars with a deep sense of cultural sensitivity to all automotive markets, I recommend you
import some buy something similar to Panther Love. Need a wagon? Find the most common platform on the market and buy that wagon offshoot. If this was the late 1990s, I’d recommend a Ford Sierra wagon because of its historical success across most of Europe, its built-in mechanical simplicity/durability and its RWD design for some potential fun.
Obviously the Sierra is too old, so look at the Sierra’s modern counterparts: Ford, Opel, Renault, VW, Peugeot sedans that are also wagons. What’s the most common platform on the streets? What is the easiest to service if mechanical complications lead to communication failure between a Polish mechanic and a frustrated Ex-Pat.
Poland for all intents and purposes should be like any other country in the EU. Though I understand that there is some rather fast driving of near new cars from Germany to Poland for some reason.