Used cars can be expensive in Lanzarote – it’s simply a function of supply and demand. With a small population and therefore not many new cars being registered here each month, there’s a limited choice. In UK, for example, there might be several thousand small hatchbacks for sale on any given day and all within a few hours drive. Here, there might only be a dozen!
And don’t think all the hire cars add massively to the market – many are shipped off to the mainland when they come off hire.
It all adds up to it making sense to buy a new car, if you can afford to do so – not only are new cars cheaper here than in Northern Europe, you’ll get more for it when you come to sell it!
Having said that, there are now some reasonable options when it comes to searching out second hand vehicles. Next to Mega Centro, and opposite Deiland, you’ll find Autos Dibar, who sell off Plus Car’s ex rental cars, which are generally in good condition. In Arrecife, you’ll find several small independent traders like Autos VIP, Sport Zentrum and Amicars.
There is a free publication called Motor 40, but the best place to seek out private sales is through the free magazine Estohay, or take a look at their website. There are also a few “cars for sale” groups on Facebook.
Cars are rarely prepared well for sale here – quite often they are simply driven into the showroom and given a quick clean. On one hand that means you’re seeing the car the way it really is, but on the other hand, you may be disappointed at how it looks!
Some garages will agree to doing some extra preparation work once the car is sold, for example a small repair, so always ask for it.
Warranty and Servicing
Many of the warranties given are pretty basic, and some only include parts, so be sure you know what you’re getting with your purchase.
Strangely very few companies offer any kind of trade-in service – so you’ll often have to sell your own car before buying a new one. It’s the weirdest thing, but something you just grow to live with. In my opinion, they are missing a valuable profit opportunity.
It’s not normal to negotiate prices here for cars, and in many cases any attempt to do so will be greeted with a blank look and “The price is €xxxx!” It’s always worth a try, but don’t expect to get much of a deal.
There’s a charge of 4% of the car’s value, which is levied by Trafico, to transfer a car from one owner to another. Most dealers include this in the price, but always ask the question, particularly if buying privately.
Cars that are four years old require an ITV (Like an MOT) every two years, and once they are ten years old the requirement is every year. The ITV is displayed with a small sticker in the windscreen showing the expiry date.
Garages often forget to stamp the servicing book, so when you do have your vehicle serviced, be sure to take it to reception with you, and insist on the official stamp.
There are several tyre dealers on the island, in Arrecife, Playa Honda and Playa Blanca – it’s worth getting comparative quotes from a couple – Lanzarote is hard on a car’s tyres, with the hot tarmac and lack of rain, so you’ll be buying tyres quite often.
One issue we face here is that parts stocks tend to be quite low, so your car may be off the road for some time waiting for parts from the mainland. For that reason I’d recommend taking the option of a hire car when yours needs repair, through your insurance company, if that’s available.
Road tax must be paid up to date in order for a car to be transferred to a new owner, so that always needs to be done, and your new tax, with your own local authority, will start from the day you take possession.