The one underrated thing that makes any relocation easier

When you think of all the things that can make your relocation easier, a spacious car probably doesn’t come top of the list.

The one underrated thing that makes any relocation easier
Volvo's new XC40 is a small SUV with smart storage.

But when you’re living in a new country, it can suddenly become a necessity in ways you might not have realised.

In those first few months, for example, you’ll spend who knows how many hours carting around new furnishings to help make your new place feel like home. And what better way for the whole family to embark on a weekend adventure.

Indeed, when living abroad, your car becomes so much more than just a way of getting from A to B. It becomes the mobile hub that opens you and your family up to a whole new world, helping you to explore and familiarise yourself with your surroundings so you too can navigate your new home like a true local.

Diplomats & Expats get a new Volvo at a favourable price. Find out more.

Stephanie Lindqvist and her family on vacation in Florida.

Just ask Stephanie Lindqvist, an American expat currently living in Sweden. Along with her husband Johan and their two children, Stephanie has spent the better part of the last twenty years relocating across the globe in places as far afield as Turkey, France, the Philippines — and now Sweden.

“A spacious car definitely helps you settle in somewhere”, she says. “When we were living in Turkey we drove all over the country in our Volvo. When you have a car that you can comfortably fit everyone into you can go on the most amazing vacations and stop off wherever you want.”

The brand new Volvo XC40

Volvo’s new XC40 is a small SUV with smart storage.

There's a place for everything in Volvo's new XC40.

The cleverly designed interior helps you to make the most of the space in your car. There are dedicated nooks and crannies for everything from your phone to a box of tissues, as well as retractable hooks to stop personal belongings moving around while you’re on the go.

And if all that’s not enough, it has a built-in bin so you won’t have to empty rubbish from footwells and car doors after your family road trip.

Request a quote on a custom Volvo XC40

There’s even a fold-up floor in the trunk to keep things from shifting while you’re driving. Perfect for any relocation when there’s always plenty of need for space to pile in shopping or suitcases.

There's plenty of smart space to pack up your belongings in Volvo's new XC40. 

“When you move there’s always things you forget or don’t bring,” says Stephanie. “It’s really important to have a car you can fit everything in. It just makes life so much easier.”

But what if you aren’t planning to relocate with your car?

The good news is that, with Volvo Cars’ Diplomat and Expat sales schemes, you can have a custom XC40 delivered to your next posting. It’s also easy to have the vehicle shipped back to wherever you call home if you one day plan on moving back. And the whole deal comes at a very favourable price.

Find out the benefits of Volvo Cars’ Diplomat and Expat Schemes

The perfect city car

One major consideration when choosing a car for your relocation is whether it’s designed for your local terrain.

“There’s always different requirements when you relocate,” says Stephanie. “In Istanbul, it’s really hilly and, although winter is short, it can snow. So we needed a car that could handle that.”

Volvo's new XC40 is made for city life, but can handle adventures!

She adds that it was totally different when she was living in France, and different again now that she’s in Sweden.

“In Paris, you don’t want a big car because it’s a total pain to park. There’s often just 30cm between you and the car next to you! And now we’re living in the suburbs in Stockholm, we really need a car because otherwise you’re really cut off.”

The XC40 is Volvo’s smallest XC yet, so although spacious within, it’s built for the tight spaces that accompany city life. It also comes with Volvo’s standard City Safety feature, which activates the brakes automatically to avoid a collision if a pedestrian, cyclist, or large animal unexpectedly appears in the way.

But with its all-wheel drive, 246-hp turbo four-cylinder engine, and effortless steering, don’t discount the XC40 as an SUV that can take you and your family out of the city and on an adventure whenever you want to go off exploring.

You can choose from the full range of Volvo’s models, including the XC40, using Volvo Cars’ Diplomat and Expat schemes. Request a quote online and get a custom Volvo delivered to your next posting so you can drive in style from the moment you arrive.

Find your nearest Volvo Cars’ Diplomat and Expat Dealership

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Volvo Cars Diplomat Sales.



France tightens grip on polluting cars by ramping up eco taxes

The French government is going to start fining more owners of SUVs, big sedans and other oversized cars in a bid to dissuade the public from buying polluting vehicles.

France tightens grip on polluting cars by ramping up eco taxes
Photos: AFP

France’s government presented on Friday a new set of penalties for polluting cars circulating on the country’s roads.

The new fees are part of France's “bonus-malus écologique” which is an environmental tax system in France that sees drivers taxed more heavily according to how much CO2 pollution their vehicle emits.

As of January 1st 2019, SUV's (Sport utility vehicles), big sedans and other large cars will be slapped with penalties of between €50 to €10,500 depending on their polluting level, fines that in fact already exist.

The difference is that the emission threshold for cars will be lowered by 3 grams, from 120 to 117 grams of CO2 released per kilometer.

That means the number of cars penalized is likely to rise from the current 16.5 percent to 27.6 percent in 2019, unless there’s a considerable switchover to less polluting cars by the French public.

The average penalty fee will also almost triple from €50 to €145.

Vehicles that release 140g of CO2 per km will see owners having to cough up €1,050 in their next vehicle registration, €5,113 if it's 154g/km and €10,500 if it's 185g/km and over. 

For non-polluting vehicles, namely electric cars, the bonus system for 2019 has not yet been announced.

The measure – announced on Friday morning by Ecological Transition Minister Nicolas Hulot and Transport Minister Élisabeth Borne – is part of a draft law on transport and mobility.

“The new penalties are in line with technological improvements, and have been drafted with the approval of the entire industry,” said the Transport Minister.

“It will affect anyone who decides to buy a vehicle that’s more polluting than average.”

French authorities are planning a further reduction of the emissions threshold in the years to come, around 3 grams every year.

The aim is to make sure France’s fleet of approximately 40 million vehicles becomes progressively more and more environmentally friendly.

Which cars are most affected?

German carmaker Mercedes will continue to bear the brunt of France’s new eco taxes.

Over the first six months of 2018, its customers have already spent a total of €27.7 million for the privilege of driving one of their bigger polluting vehicle models.

Audi drivers also coughed up €21.3 million in eco taxes, Volkswagen € 19.7 million, BMW € 18.5 million and Porsche €17.5 million.

All in all France’s government has already pulled in €172 million in eco taxes.

By contrast Renault drivers benefited from €19.6 million in bonuses, thanks in particular to the French carmaker’s electric Zoe car.

Financial bonus rewards for green eco cars are believed to only benefit 1.3 percent of the car market at present.

It remains to be seen how the French government will change the bonus system for 2019, although the 2018 regulations will remain in force until the end of the year one way or another.

These see anyone who buys a new electric vehicle get up to €6,000 docked off the price when they register the vehicle and between €500 and €2,000 when going from a more polluting diesel or petrol vehicle to an eco one.

Find out if you’re eligible for an eco discount on your vehicle here.