Overseas Cars

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If you're stuck overseas - like I was for many years - far away from friends and family in the United States (and very very lonely - sorry, I'll shut up now) ..... you may be forced to become somewhat creative with your time and activities.

First things first: Cars! Trucks! Automobiles! Autobahn!

Just not necessarily in that order. If you are assigned to Asia or Europe as a single or newly married service member, you may opt for the proverbial hoopty for your first car. I drove a hoopty for 300,000 kilometers on German Autobahns from 1985 to circa 1992 - a 1979 Volkswagen Golf, although very well maintained, and the engine never quit as it turned into a rust bucket (partially because I also drove it on every major tank trail in Germany, to include Wildflecken, Baumholder, Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels).

For used cars:

  • If you need to buy a used car - check for an on-base used car lot where service members and employees parked used cars for sale with dollar amounts and specs posted on signs on the card.
  • Read through the Cars sections in classified advertisements in Stars and Stripes newspaper or local command information newspapers (watch for scams with these listings, but note that the scammers usually target people who are selling used cars in the newspapers).
  • Never buy from an off-base used car lot - they are about the same as those in the United States.

New cars:

  • Check outside your base for civilian dealerships that offer tax-free options for new cars.
  • Community Bank or your local credit union can probably arrange for a loan.

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sean kinn profile image

sean kinn 4 years ago from Key West and Budapest Author

Frog Prince, I guess I've always been a one-car man, not sure why. Every once in a while I'd own a second back-up car when necessary. That's funny: "put up wet" :-) (I went through 6 day jobs in 39 months after I retired in Germany in 2001, not sure if that's the same :-). Sean


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Good write. I went through 6 used cars in 39 months in Europe. I'd buy em cheap, drive em hard and put em up wet.

The Frog


sean kinn profile image

sean kinn 4 years ago from Key West and Budapest Author

writer20, one of the funny things about cars at overseas US military bases is that you can name a car - foreign or American manufacturer - and there's probably one being fixed at an on-base Car Care center as we speak. The poor mechanics must go through heck trying to find all the special tools they need for that many different car models. :-)


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

The only foreign car weve had is a Toyota, before and since have been American.

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