In July 2006 we purchased a smart ForFour 1.1 Passion on a 3-year lease purchase finance deal specifically to take out to Portugal and leave at our villa. Using it for only 10 days 5 or 6 times a year. We returned it to this country in January ready to give back at the end of the 3 yr period on the 28th June this year. The salesman was made fully aware of our intentions and we were told that the service interval was 14,000 miles, which suited us as it would only need one service whilst abroad. At 7,500 miles at Christmas 2007 an insistent computer generated service requirement meant we took it to a main dealers in Portugal and had a full service. The car is now registering only 11,600 miles on the clock and yet again we have a two spanner sign and a minus 118 days showing every time we turn the car on. I took it to the local main dealers today to ask them to sort out the confused computer and was told that the service intervals are use not mileage related and that we would have to have a service with full oil change and filter changes and a complete car check over which is going to cost hundreds of pounds just to have the computer re set, What a con and we cannot return the car without a full service history. Any advice? (The Portuguese regulations regarding UK reg vehicles is not strictly adhered to and impossible to monitor with hundreds of miles of open boarders to Spain. There are literally thousands of UK reg. vehicles parked up in British owned villa garages and brought home only when an MOT is required. They are used on the roads infrequently and provided they are taxed , insured etc., the Portuguese police will not interfere.)
I don't recommend less than one service a year for any car, whatever mileage it does. The Mercedes Assyst system calculates the condition of the oil and tells the user when a change is necessary. It isn’t solely mileage related. However, thanks for the enlightenment about keeping a car in Portugal. Strictly speaking, the maximum allowed is 6 months, after which Portuguese law requires the car be tested, local taxes paid and the car registered to a Portuguese address.
Answered by Honest John on