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Going to Rome

I am heading to Rome with my family next summer for a three year assignment. Currently I drive a Honda Odyssey (we have three children, all in car seats.) What would anyone suggest re taking the Odyssey to Rome (it has low mileage but is a 2002) versus getting something else to take to (or buy in) the Eternal City?

A new Maserati Quattroporte should fit the bill.

Contact the US State Department to see if you can take your Honda with you. You may be able to if you return it to the USA at the end of your assignment. Local rules vary, and you need to be certain first.

I was thinking more along the lines of the biggest Fiat made…

Have you spent much time in Rome? That Odyssey would be a TIGHT squeeze if you need to actually drive it in Rome. There are a number of multi-seat Fiats, Fords, and Renaults that might be a better fit on Rome streets. Lots depend on what you plan to do with it.

When is Rome, do as the Romans do…Take the bus…

Or drive a Smart car - one of the places where that makes good sense!

Would you wanna try and cram yourself, wife AND 3 kids into a SMRT?

People who take a car to a place where service and parts are not available will have a lot of problems. Find out if the Honda is serviceable there.

Also, costs of taking the car may be excessive unless your employer pays it. Or, unless you make lots.

Here in Mexico, I have a plan of high-reliability maintenance, in hopes of not having break-downs on my Sienna. It is a worry, but I cannot afford a second car just here in Mexico. So far so good at 174,500 miles on it.

Yet, the VW models which are so expensive to maintain in the US, here are more practical, because they have parts everywhere and mechanics who are used to them. I do not mean the old Beetles, though that is certainly true, too. A popular model where you are going to live is often the best choice, if you can get a model to serve your needs.

If you compare the size of that Odyssey to that of the vast majority of cars on the road in Rome, you will see that the Odyssey is HUGE by comparison. The size of your van will be a problem when trying to navigate narrow streets, and will make parking impossible in many situations.

IMHO, if you take the Odyssey to Italy, you will very quickly wind up needing to buy or lease a smaller vehicle, and then you will have the problem of what to do with the Odyssey.

Not only are you going to have trouble with the size of the Odyssey, but you’re also going to find that service will be much tougher to come by, since Honda simply doesn’t sell the Odyssey there.

Considering the shipping and potential import/export costs, I think you’d be better off selling the Odyssey and then buying something in Italy if you truly need a car (mass transit is much better there than it is here, and traffic in Rome is horrendous).

If you wanted to stick with Honda there, look at the FR-V. They do have miniscule market share in Italy, though, so even then they may be hard to service. In Italy (as of February this year), Honda was the 25th best selling brand, with a 0.553% market share.

Not only would Honda dealers be few and far between, but that Odyssey would be a nightmare to service…

The popular car makes over there (market share greater than 5%, or about what Hyundai has in the US) are: Fiat (24% share), Ford (10.5% share), VW (6.5% share), Renault (6.1% share), Citroen (6.1% share), Opel (5.8% share), and Peugeot (5.7% share). I’d start researching those brands if you think you need a car there, and pick something that they make.