I’m moving to Beirut soon and wondering if you have any recommendations regarding the best car to drive in and around the city? Should I opt for a bigger, safer SUV, or a smaller, more nimble little car? – C.R., Canada
This may be the one case where smaller is better. Parking in Beirut is a nightmare, and unless you need the extra room to cart kids around, there’s no point trying to navigate the city’s notorious traffic with a massive SUV. It’s a lesson I learned firsthand when I traded a two-seat convertible for a spacious mom-mobile, and a decision that haunts me every time I’m trying to weave between cars or parallel park.
That said, you’re right to consider safety. Not to harsh your mellow, but the Lebanese Red Cross’s road accident statistics are pretty terrifying. I wouldn’t feel comfortable driving on a Lebanese highway in an entry-level Kia or a Mini Cooper. That’s just a personal preference, though – lots of other people do.
Something else to consider is resale value. According to Lebanese friends with more knowledge of the car industry here, opting for a used Mercedes or BMW (sometimes the same price as a new Kia) would not only be a safer option, but also easier to resell for a fair price down the line.
Of course, you could skip the car altogether. A service, taxi or Uber is often less hassle than driving and cheaper than the cost of parking.
Image courtesy of Reuters