We have decided to ship our 2003 Kia Sedona minivan here, to Serbia. After comparing costs we have decided that it would be better to stick with the devil we know.
Our van, although higher in kilometers, at 175,000, is still in good shape. And buying something comparable over here (capable of carrying 5 people comfortably with room to spare for baggage both inside and on the roof, and capable of towing almost 2,000 lbs) would definitely be more than $2,000 CAD. We have no plans right now to spend significant amounts of time in Canada in the near future, so shipping it over here makes sense (rather than allowing it to sit idle and depreciate).
Our van has a V6 gas engine, however we plan to convert it to burn propane as soon as it arrives. Gas in Europe is quite expensive (currently around $1.80 per liter) so converting should allow us to save on travel costs. In addition, regular maintenance and repairs should be significantly less here, since we will not be paying a mechanic $70+ per hour union rates. I am amazed every day at how many 1960s era cars are still driven as daily drivers here. A testament to both the quality and the affordability of maintenance.
Having our van will make it much easier to travel to all the countries we have been longing to see, including Macedonia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France etc. We may even buy a small caravan to tow, allowing us to stretch our budget a bit farther.
Currently we are working with a guy in Toronto who regularly ships containers from Toronto to Bar, Montenegro. The plan right now is to put the van in a container and ship it to Bar, leaving mid January and arriving in Bar around mid to the end of February when we will pick it up after our stay in Greece. I will post more details as I get them.