Used car buying advice

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This topic contains 329 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by Bob Williams 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #10887

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman

    Looking at a few cars tomorrow and was wondering if anyone had any advice?

    I’ve not needed a car for years (more than 10) so I’m a bit rusty. I know the basics like checking the dipstick, tires, steering wheel, gear knob, wear to the interior and pedals.

    It’s Skoda Citigo’s I’m looking at, all 3 years old, SE spec (all I need) and from a big car supermarket place near me.

    I’m aware that the sales people at this place like to rush you and try and get you sign up for credit but I’ll be paying all in one go.

    T.I.A

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by RSB.

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  • #20087

    PlaneMan
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    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,075

    I was parked in a disabled space, which as I’m sure you know are huge, so if it did happen there the driver shouldn’t be on the road.

    I’ve managed to get most of the paint off but some of the scratches are deep enough to catch a finger nail in, that means £.

    It’ll probably set my new car plan back by about a month or two, fecking barsteward.

    Edit.

    Forgot to say thanks to Steve.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by PlaneMan.

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    #20090

    JayCeeDee
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    @jayceedee
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    That’s always a pig when that happens – it really p*sses me off. It used to happen loads in the van – people seemed to care even less with them.  We’re you adjacent to standard spaces or in the middle of other disabled bays??

    Good luck with Asda – let’s hope their cameras aren’t just for show!!

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    #20097

    PlaneMan
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    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,075

    JCD, I was about 7 spaces into a long line of disabled parking bays, there must be about 20, if not more

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    #20105

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 1,559

    I don’t park in the disabled bays as I don’t trust old people to not to chuck their doors wide open.

    I live to park the furthest away as I can. Or at least further than most people will walk. I drop the wife at the door, then go and park.

    If the carpark is small or relatively full, I’ll pick the most expensive cars to park between. My thinking is they won’t want to chip their doors.

    I don’t know if you have been in a GTC, but being a 2 door coupe, the doors are stupidly long, in a carpark, I have to pull my chirr right back, to be able to exit. If you think of a long door, the angles on them are all wrong for tight spaces

    Also my doors are just over heavy. It’s because the doors make up the majority of the rigidity, but still they are too heavy. My 9 year old can’t open them when I revers down my hill. It’s about a 1:3 so the weight plus gravity makes it a pain. The wife struggles too.

    Though you can slfeel the quality difference with Hyundais Coupe that looks like the gtc. As they own their own steal, they put about 25 percent more high strengh steal in their cars than any other oem.

    When I got in an i30 Coupe (iirc) I neatly ripped the door off it was that light. Most would see this as a sign of a lesser quality, but in fact it’s the oppersite. As they put in more extruded steal in the car, they don’t need the doors to add to the ridgidness. So they just need a simple door.

    If your ever at a garage, go and geck out how stupidly heavy a GTC door is. The 5 door astra, just has normal weight doors. It does give a good quality thud noise. But that’s just mind games.

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    #20114

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
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    Jay Cee Dee; when I was in the trade some years ago (around 1985) there was a young lad who built up his own small garage business a few miles from us, and bought a Scimitar GTE at auction. Fitted a recon 3 Ltr Ford lump and wanted to stick a turbo on it, came to me for advice. Two things, I said:

    *You neeed specialist-work lower compression heads, or you will eventually see the pistons coming through the bonnet at speed.

    *You need to uprate the suspension and steering, do something aerodynamic to stick it to the road. I’ll give it some thought…

    He did neither and blew the motor spectacularly on the M1 at some ridiculous rate of Knots. The thing burnt to a crisp on the hard shoulder.

    Stupid boy, with the luck of the stupid: not a mark on him.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #20129

    JayCeeDee
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    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 670

    They were a bit like the Daimler Darts the old bill used for Motorway patrol in the 60’s/70,s. Wonderful in a straight line, but no weight to keep them anchored.

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    #20131

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 1,804

    Yes John: they had a V8engine, not a Jaguar motor, it was Daimler’s Own. My old boss had one in 1982. Chassis collapsed due to advanced Tinworm rot.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #20133

    Richard
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    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 1,282

    I think they used their V8 in one or two of the saloons as well. It never had the same image as the Jag motors though I don’t know of any major issues – I just do not know that much about them.

    The Met police had a few of the Darts, I remember cycling past them on the A2 and looking enviously at such an impressive for the time motor on the way home from school.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Richard.
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    #20150

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 1,804

    As I recall, the Daimler V8 had less coolant loss/overheating problems than the Jaguar equivalent. It was very light, being alloy, and the power/weight ratio in such a light body, gave it great acceleration. Jaguar killed it of course, after the saloons were found to be so much better than the Mk. X Jag:     http://tinyurl.com/y7ykzkfz

    All Daimler-engined V8’s are very rare cars now, premium prices for the survivors. Even basket cases fetch good money.

    Something which broke my old boss’s heart when I told him in later years. I asked him to hang on to the remains and store them: we had plenty of storage at the time. Unfortunately he could not read my crystal ball.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #20161

    PlaneMan
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    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,075

    After looking at the damage with a calm head it’s not worth repairing it. It looks terrible to me but my mum and one of her neighbours could hardly see the damage. I had to point all the marks out in detail. I guess that’s the autism.

    I’m trying to look at it this way:- better for it to happen to an older car than a very nearly new one, which is potentially closer than I thought.

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    #20164

    Richard
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    @sawboman
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    Bob, I was surprised that being in the trade he was not prepared or able to take on, or know someone who could take on the chassis work. Shame, a number of interesting cars went that way but for a does of care and consideration. My old physics master had a pre war Singer sports car that had a damaged chassis and in the end he could not repair it so it went to the tip, damned shame.

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    #20165

    Richard
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    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 1,282

    After looking at the damage with a calm head it’s not worth repairing it. It looks terrible to me but my mum and one of her neighbours could hardly see the damage. I had to point all the marks out in detail. I guess that’s the autism. I’m trying to look at it this way:- better for it to happen to an older car than a very nearly new one, which is potentially closer than I thought.

    PM, take it from me, sometimes it is better for you to find a way to let things like that go. Sadly I know you will wake up some nights fuming over the issue. You might be able to use one of the pen type colour restoration filler paints to make it good enough to pass muster with someone less detail oriented. If so please bask in the glow of restoring the problem and let that wash the pain away.

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    #20167

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,075

    Richard, thanks.

    Some of the scratches are to deep to be filled by an amateur. Removal of the white paint has helped a lot. Most importantly the dash hasn’t rattled today, after I gave it a good shove in the passenger footwell. The noise was driving me insane

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    #20283

    PlaneMan
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    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,075

    Just been to SEAT to look at the new Ibiza, looks great but the interior quality feels cheaper than my current Swift and the SE spec is mean, 5″ screen and no parking aids of any kind. The new Swift is far better specced and the interior quality is better and it’s a lot brighter in the cabin, it’s no Audi but it’s not trying to be. The Ibiza in SE spec was disappointing,FR is better but still no parking aids and it costs a lot more. Feels tom that VAG but the brakes on a better interior to preserve sales of the new Polo/A1.

    I played some games with the salesman and managed to get a p/x offer of £3.3k for my car, slap bang in the middle of the book value. Will go and see Suzuki later in the week and see what they offer, they have Swift SZ-T that’s been there a while with under 3.5k miles on it.

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    #20285

    Richard
    Participant
    @sawboman
    Forumite Points: 1,282

    I think you are finding it a bit more interesting and a challenge which makes it more fun, I was under the gun to get something a while back so game playing fell off the table. Perhaps it was all for the best but now I am left with the little car, complete with nearly 100,000 miles on the clock, a nearly new couple with one just over 2,000 and one just under 2,000 and a wife who cannot drive her car, (the one with less than 2,000 miles) for the conceivable future and certainly the next 6 months or so. My big issue is keeping them all charged up and running.

    Anyway enjoy the game and the challenge.

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    #20286

    PlaneMan
    Moderator
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 1,075

    I’m not quite ready to buy yet, hopefully not long though.

    I find that the car dealers around me are quite keen to sell at the moment, that always helps. They have pre-reg cars that have been sitting for a while.

    When mum got her Captur the salesman was desperate to make the deal but claimed he couldn’t move on the price any further than he had.  So I held out for a proper spare wheel, an alloy, mats and paint protection. He robbed the mats and alloy from a brand new Captur. We were walking away when he finally caved in. 😀

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    #20288

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Points: 1,804

    That’s exactly how to do it Nolan. Years ago when my old place sold cars, I hated buyers like you! 😉🙄

    Bob, I was surprised that being in the trade he was not prepared or able to take on, or know someone who could take on the chassis work.

    Richard, my old boss was almost entirely without patience and forethought. He entered a 3-Way partnership after Miners’ Strike left us short of funds, to set up a Hire business. I begged him not to go with one guy, who was known to me through trade friends. Sure enough, the ratbag left with most of a year’s profits and the other made an offer for the Hire Stock, then took it away. The hire funding kept us afloat and I convinced the boss to stay with ‘bread & butter’ MOT tests, repairs and maintenance, plus Classics imports and rebuilds, which had begun the promise of making serious money.

    On a holiday in Devon, doing my “off the beaten track” routine, I made a wrong turn and had to ask a Farmer directions. I noticed a shape under a tarpaulin in the barn and asked questions. It was a ’53 Chevvy Corvette droptop with just 3.000+ on the clock, damage to the nearside but repairable. Apparently his son had been thrown clear and died: his dad wanted to get rid of it but was loath to do so. I said I could possibly have it bought and removed to Nottinghamshire, miles away, and he asked a fair price. I phoned my boss from the B&B we stayed at, but he would not help me buy it. Those cars even then (early 80’s) were worth big money: nowadays, a good condition ’53 model would fetch fantastic money at a top end auction.

    But the Daimler chassis was really gone: he left it in a draughty, unheated shed for too many years.

    And I was right about Classics: the more profit we made, the better the cars we could import. Californian containers kept arriving at the garage! We had a great name for Classsic rebuilds. I still see some that I worked on at Shows today – “Do you have all the MOT’s?” – “Yes.” My name has been present on many invoices and old-style MOT certificates. Conversation ice – breaker!

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Williams.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #20290

    JayCeeDee
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    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 670

    My big issue is keeping them all charged up and running.

     

    You need one of THESE, that you can alternate on the two new cars, and the older one, if it has an EOBD, or one of THESE if it doesn’t.

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    #20298

    Tippon
    Keymaster
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 935

    Those portable jump starters are a godsend. I used one on the bike a few years back and got eight starts out of it before it needed recharging. Just make sure you buy the right one for you car. Mine was rated for petrol only, but I didn’t find out until I tried to start a diesel and it all went wrong 😀

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    #20304

    The Duke
    Moderator
    @sgb101
    Forumite Points: 1,559

    Car dealers hate me, as I know exactly what I want when I walk through the door.

    I’ll say ”I want model x, eginge x in this spec. And maybe x option. What’s your price?”

    They start the patter, and I’ll say, ”I know what I want, as do you, all I want is a price.”

    If they carry on with the patter I’ll just leave. They always call with a price. Then back again with anther offer within 24h.

    I don’t blame them for their tactics of up selling as if some is going to send upward of 20k and they don’t know what they want, haven’t put any effort in, to me it’s their fault they are about to be fleeced.

    I said call me back, for my last car, I didn’t give them a number, I gave them my email. They hate that as they can’t sweet talk you. Email haggling is the way to go. And when you stop responding they get twitchy.

    It also helps to mention rivals cars in detail that are in direct competition to the one your looking at.

    Ie if say a fiesta St, I’d drop in, it’s a shame it doesn’t have a LSD like the corsa vxr, or just drop in ”god this interior would really suit them vxr seats”, compare hp figures.

    Not in an obvious way and not directed at the sales man, just in a browsing way.

    As they they are continuing their patter, look at your watch, or have the wife say ”have you seen the time”, you I’ll reply with, I’ll leave that price with you, as we have an appoint ment at Vx in 30 mins. Then leave and go home.

    You’ll have an email in 30mins with their first best price. My reply would be somthing like, ” really, ford of (next town) is x cheaper, but I’d rather not go that far to get it, leave it with me. Thank for your time”

    Tomorrow you’ll get anther offer.

    My old man was a haggler, as a kid he would embarrass me. He could walk into a shoe shop and come out with a second pair for half price. Ive never been able to do that.

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