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A sure-fire used car from Austria

Sweet dreams

11/07/2014 09:11 | Comments: 
I’d like to buy a diesel with air-conditioning for €500 in Austria. I would hate to come back home empty-handed. Where should I go?

Totalcarmagazine's own Buyer's guide

Dear Friendly Car Dealer,

as used cars with German or Austrian papers are starting to gain ground in Hungary and I  need a car, I’m feeling brave enough to try my luck. I’d like to buy a gem of a diesel with air-conditioning (preferably a Toyota or a VW) in Austria. What I wouldn’t like is to come back  home empty-handed, or make a sad compromise, so I thought you could give me some  advice on where to go if I haven’t set my eyes on any particular car. I’d prefer a large place  with a big selection and, with a budget of 500€, reasonable prices.



Dear Tamás,

I’m not one to beat around the bush, so here’s what I think: if you really think you can find a Toyota with air-conditioning for €500, I mean it’s no typo, you live in a dream world. I just did a quick search for Toyotas and VWs with air-conditioning on , and here are the search results. Not a single Toyota among them. Even the pictures of the VWs that came up made me think of the back yards of wreckers. So much for ‘making no compromises.’ Those cars are wrecks, full of rust, with disgusting, worn-down interiors, in uncertain mechanical condition, full of evidence of makeshift repairs of car dealers.

If there was a place full of air-conditioned diesel marvels for €500, I wouldn’t tell you - and the public - anyway. I’d buy the babies by the truckload and make a fortune, because I’m a used car dealer, you know, this is what I do. But believe me, there is no such place except in your dreams. A used car in good condition comes with a hefty price tag whether you’re in Austria or in Hungary. Nobody casts away valuable goods for peanuts. I have a feeling that with a budget like yours and a plan like yours your ideas of the additional costs of buying a used car in a foreign country may be somewhat dim, too. You need to get where you’re going to, say, Munich, to name a place not too far away. If you buy something, you’ll have one more car to fill up on your way home. You’ll have to buy a German “Zoll” number plate and motorway stickers for both Austria and Hungary for the two cars. Then there’s the MOT test at home, the registration fee, the license plate, the logbook, the vehicle registration card, the ownership transfer fee and whatnot - there goes a further €1000-1300. Stay at home, my friend. Your chances of success are very, very slim. 


Friendly Car Dealer

"Dear Friendly Car Dealer" is a regular column in the Hungarian edition of Totalcar Magazine. Our Agony Aunt has been trading cars for over 20 years and knows just about everything there is to know about used cars. Should you have any questions for our expert, please send your email to

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