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Great 'Tips on buying a second hand car' Hunt
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# 1
Former MSE Penelope
Old 04-04-2011, 11:58 AM
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Default Great 'Tips on buying a second hand car' Hunt

Great 'Tips on buying a second hand car' Hunt

Buying a second hand car comes with its fair share of risks, so we want some MoneySavers' tips on making sure you don't get ripped off and where the best places to look are.


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Last edited by MSE Archna; 06-04-2011 at 10:48 AM.
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# 2
Lost Prophet
Old 06-04-2011, 11:16 AM
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This relates more to buying 'New' cars but I'll say it nonetheless...

A new car would cost anything from 15,000 for a family sized car. My example was a Diesel Mondeo a few years ago. I got it when it was just over 1 year old and had 6,000 miles (I think) on the clock. It had a done very low mileage for a diesel and also for a car of its age. The sales guy said 'the previous owner wanted the upgraded model' which could of been an excuse for 'it had lots of problem' but it was 100% fine for, apart from a few niggling issues that the warranty sorted

I paid 10,000! The price for the car originally was 17,000 so I saved 7,000 by getting a car with low mileage, 1 year old and in excellent condition. I would recommend this to anyone looking at buying a new car. As soon as you drive the car off of the forecourt you lose a massive amount of money and it goes to show that buying a 'Near New' second hand car is much more beneficial!

I got this one from a main dealer (Jennings Ford) so it goes to show that main dealers don't always rip you off - they have also been great with any of the niggling problems I have had (Alarm System Service Warning appearing randomly)

Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 08-04-2011 at 12:28 PM.
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# 3
n_hatton
Old 06-04-2011, 11:16 AM
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I always buy with a Full Service History and work on the idea that every MOT and service should cost significantly less than If I was paying a loan on a newer car. I.e. I bought a car 6 years ago for 350 with FSH and the MOT and service never costs more than that original price. The car is approaching 200,000 miles and runs like a dream (my girlfriend is still using it).

My general tip would be always buy a car with Full Service History. Any vehicle I've bought that hasn't has always never worked out financially. It generally means the timing and all other engine maintenance has been well done. This means the engine has had less stress on it over the years and will generally last longer and better. It also maintains better fuel economy.

Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 08-04-2011 at 12:29 PM.
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# 4
Strider590
Old 06-04-2011, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n_hatton View Post
My general tip would be always buy a car with Full Service History. Any vehicle I've bought that hasn't has always never worked out financially. It generally means the timing and all other engine maintenance has been well done. This means the engine has had less stress on it over the years and will generally last longer and better. It also maintains better fuel economy.
You can't and should never rely on the presence of service history or a valid MOT as guide to vehicles condition. There have been recent scandals of staff at dealers/garages stamping log books for a quick backhander. An awful lot of garage's don't actually carry out the work they claim to either (why should they when the customer will never find out?).
You could end up with a nice shiney service record and a car that's never seen an oil change in it's life.

If you don't know what your looking for, then get the vehicle inspected by a professional. It's worth paying that extra cost!
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# 5
mclean1979
Old 06-04-2011, 1:25 PM
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1. If possible go to the salesman with your own finance organised. Often they will offer you a 'flat rate' of say 7.2% for instance that actually works out at around 14% APR. If taking finance through the salesman, ensure you are aware of the APR which we are more used to dealing with.

2. If trading a car in always check the value of it first. If i see my car with similar mileage, condition etc selling for 7,000, expect the garage to give you around 1000 - 1500 thousand less than that as they will need to service, replace brakes, possibly tyres etc. Best to get it valued at a few garages first and then go into the one you want to buy from armed with that information.

3. If you know the rough value of your trade in it is much easier to work out what is called a changeover price (the value of the car you buy minus your trade in and on the road (tax)). If you go into a garage and offer a changeover price, ensure it is a around 500 less than the ticket price of the car.

4. Be ready to walk away to get the best deal, dealers will not want you to go to their rival and will try to get the deal done.

5. Don't be afraid to lie and say you were offered such and such car with such and such trade in from a competitor.

6. The best time to shop is after new reg comes in or even better, end of financial year.

I managed to get a car 600 under the ticket price using the above. Never accept the price on the car, you must test the dealer and see how much they can move on the price. This will depend on the car/time of year etc.

remember you are the one who holds the cards.

Last edited by Former MSE Penelope; 08-04-2011 at 12:29 PM.
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# 6
keithz987
Old 06-04-2011, 1:45 PM
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LostProphet - you seem to have got a good deal particularly from a main dealer. However, there is a flaw in your argument if you are comparing the 10000 you paid with a list price of 17000. No-one pays list price for a new Mondeo. In 2006 I bought a diesel Mondeo Estate and got a 30% discount via an internet broker.

4 weeks ago, I bought a brand new Ford Focus (list price 17365) for 12004 i.e. a 31% discount. Both cars were supplied by Ford main dealers but those prices would not be available to people who walk into the showroom, only if internet brokers are used.

The dealer who supplied the Focus has an identical 1 year old model on his web site for 3000 more than I paid.

Discounts of 30% are not available on all makes and models but are available on mass-market cars like the Mondeo and Focus.

Apart from the unquantifiable pleasure of having a brand new car, there is the 3 year warranty, no doubts as to its history and a higher value when you come to sell it. In addition you don't lose thousands as you drive off the forecourt.

So, I believe that if you can get a big discount on a car supplied retail by a main dealer then that will be a better deal than a 1 or 2 year old car. Have a look at long-established brokers like drivethedeal.com and broadspeed.com where all money is paid to the main dealer.
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# 7
grandadsmith
Old 06-04-2011, 1:54 PM
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Handy Link Here
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# 8
jockosjungle
Old 06-04-2011, 3:12 PM
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If you've no idea how much your old car is worth, try webuyanycar.com to give you a quick quote being honest about the condition. They're pretty bad about giving that quote in cash but it is a ballpark figure. I tried trading in my KIA Picanto at a KIA dealer and was offerend 1000, WBAC offered 1700, in the end I traded it in at Fords of Winslow for 1650, it was easier than haggling with the crooks at WBAC. However had I just gone to the main dealer and was took in by the head gasket failing and how they'd lose money at 1000, I'd have been ripped off.

If you're not looking at the bottom end of the market and have some cash, consider an ex=motability car. They've usually been well maintained and have FSH, often they've not been driven far either!

Quite a few more modern cars come with longer warranties, I purchased a 3 year old Kia Ceed SW Diesel for 8k with 13k on the clock, thats half what it cost new and has 4 years left on the warranty. As Korean cars depreciate quite fast from new a Hyundai or KIA can be picked up quite cheap, with decent set of extras and a few years left on a warranty (a warranty from a used car dealer is about 400 a year)

Aside from this, the usual applies. Shop around, most large car supermarkets and dealers, right down to private sellers stick their cars on autotrader so its a great way to compare prices. Try and take someone who knows a bit about cars, make sure you test drive a vehicle.

Consider your own finance if you need it, an 8% loan with Tesco is much better than you'll be offered by a dealer. The places which offer 0% finance, make sure you compare how much you will be paying back, they're usually priced high if you get your calculator out, probably well over 1000 more than they should be. There are also mileage limits on some deals. It'll often work out cheaper to get an 8% loan from one of the large lenders, than a 0% deal from a garage as you're paying over the odds for the car.

The 2nd hand dealer will try and sell you things like reversing sensors, a warranty, gap insurance and some sort of fancy coating for the cars paintwork. If you need any of the above, take a look online before you agree to make sure you're getting a good deal. Dealer tried to sell me reversing sensors when they were fitted as standard on my 2nd hand car, the fancy coating is also probably already on the car as they'd have sold it to the sucker who previously owned the car. Gap insurance can be got cheap online and consider the warranty carefully, it may not be worth the paper its written on. If you buy from a 2nd hand dealer, you will be offered these products so don't get blind sided and agree to the hard sell, take ten minutes and research online.

Another good idea is to decide if you really need a car at all. I accept my wife and I need one vehicle, we were going to have a second one as we thought we needed it (she also owned one but it was off the road). While the car was being fixed, I used public transport, got a lift or walked to work, after six weeks we accepted that a second car was a luxury we couldn't afford and didn't need. We're now a once car household and about 2000 a year better off. Although a car is nice to have, my first car directly coincides with the first time in my life I was short of money and forever shall be.

R
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# 9
hartcjhart
Old 06-04-2011, 4:33 PM
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personal recomendation
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# 10
Zork
Old 06-04-2011, 6:34 PM
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I found this website a while back, apparently written by ex car dealers. I hate buying cars and try to avoid it so don't know how accurate it is, but take from it what you will.

The info is in the 16 links on the left.
www.carbuyingguide.org.uk/best-buy-car.php
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# 11
mclean1979
Old 07-04-2011, 9:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jockosjungle View Post
If you've no idea how much your old car is worth, try webuyanycar.com to give you a quick quote being honest about the condition. They're pretty bad about giving that quote in cash but it is a ballpark figure. I tried trading in my KIA Picanto at a KIA dealer and was offerend 1000, WBAC offered 1700, in the end I traded it in at Fords of Winslow for 1650, it was easier than haggling with the crooks at WBAC. However had I just gone to the main dealer and was took in by the head gasket failing and how they'd lose money at 1000, I'd have been ripped off.

If you're not looking at the bottom end of the market and have some cash, consider an ex=motability car. They've usually been well maintained and have FSH, often they've not been driven far either!

Quite a few more modern cars come with longer warranties, I purchased a 3 year old Kia Ceed SW Diesel for 8k with 13k on the clock, thats half what it cost new and has 4 years left on the warranty. As Korean cars depreciate quite fast from new a Hyundai or KIA can be picked up quite cheap, with decent set of extras and a few years left on a warranty (a warranty from a used car dealer is about 400 a year)

Aside from this, the usual applies. Shop around, most large car supermarkets and dealers, right down to private sellers stick their cars on autotrader so its a great way to compare prices. Try and take someone who knows a bit about cars, make sure you test drive a vehicle.

Consider your own finance if you need it, an 8% loan with Tesco is much better than you'll be offered by a dealer. The places which offer 0% finance, make sure you compare how much you will be paying back, they're usually priced high if you get your calculator out, probably well over 1000 more than they should be. There are also mileage limits on some deals. It'll often work out cheaper to get an 8% loan from one of the large lenders, than a 0% deal from a garage as you're paying over the odds for the car.

The 2nd hand dealer will try and sell you things like reversing sensors, a warranty, gap insurance and some sort of fancy coating for the cars paintwork. If you need any of the above, take a look online before you agree to make sure you're getting a good deal. Dealer tried to sell me reversing sensors when they were fitted as standard on my 2nd hand car, the fancy coating is also probably already on the car as they'd have sold it to the sucker who previously owned the car. Gap insurance can be got cheap online and consider the warranty carefully, it may not be worth the paper its written on. If you buy from a 2nd hand dealer, you will be offered these products so don't get blind sided and agree to the hard sell, take ten minutes and research online.

Another good idea is to decide if you really need a car at all. I accept my wife and I need one vehicle, we were going to have a second one as we thought we needed it (she also owned one but it was off the road). While the car was being fixed, I used public transport, got a lift or walked to work, after six weeks we accepted that a second car was a luxury we couldn't afford and didn't need. We're now a once car household and about 2000 a year better off. Although a car is nice to have, my first car directly coincides with the first time in my life I was short of money and forever shall be.

R

WBAC usually offer well below the actual value. They offered me 4795 for my car and i got 5500 at trade in, that is a bit of a difference
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# 12
grandadsmith
Old 11-04-2011, 5:38 PM
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HPI it.

Just HPI'ed this one :-
'Mazda 323F for sale Welwyn Garden City, '

HPI check reports
It's a category C,
Its been previously written off.

And HPI/DVLA reported mileage :-
10 th Sep 09 50K
22 nd Oct 09 30K ??

Wife says NO,

But if it's a good repair,and the engine is good ?
Its cheap ..


Wife says NO..

Cheap HPI Check for Cars - MoneySavingExpert.com Forums



Last edited by grandadsmith; 11-04-2011 at 6:10 PM.
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# 13
thebarefootchef
Old 13-04-2011, 4:18 PM
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I bought a 7 year old Porsche 944 in 1994 for 7,000
17 years later it's worth a fraction of that, but it is so ridiculously well built that it had to have its first new exhaust last year when it was 23 years old.

Similarly, I bought a 17 year old VW camper in 1996 for less than 3,000. 15 years later, I still have it and it's worth at least 10,000

You only really lose money on cars when you sell them, so buy a car that you really like and keep it forever.
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# 14
5555tt
Old 21-06-2011, 1:47 PM
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I am interested in this from the Newsletter hunt , a few weeks back ;was mostly hoping for suggestons on good 2nd hand car sites like pistonheads, usedcarexpert seems ok'ish but lacks enough info on cars mentioned; autotrader is good though
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# 15
Stanley01
Old 29-09-2011, 8:10 AM
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One needs to be careful while investing on an used car.Once you get the feeling of trust then you can go for the investment and for this it is essential to take the help of professional car dealers.
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# 16
JeffAllan
Old 11-11-2011, 9:50 PM
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Motoring is expensive. Work out your costs for 2 years or 5 years or whatever on a spreadsheet or piece of paper rather than just acting impulsively when you see those nice alloy wheels and that air conditioning.

I'm assuming you know roughly what you want to buy and what your budget is.

And think about the following..

1. Depreciation is the biggest cost. Unless you buy a car say older than 7 or 8 years old, but then you may have something thats unreliable and expensive to repair. A good balance is to buy a car thats 3 years old and run it for 3 years. Look at prices of different age cars on autotrader.co.uk and ebay - magazines like Parkers and What Car are way out.

2. If you like the idea of a nearly new car, you can probably buy a new car on broker websites like 'drive the deal' and 'autoebid' for the same or less than the cost of a nearly new car at the local dealer ! Plus you can choose the spec, colour etc. Stick to german cars and some japanese cars and the projected depreciation over 3 years plus may be affordable.

3. In fact, never buy from a dealer. You can save thousands by buying privately! More than enough buffer against major repairs. But I recommend a full inspection by the AA/RAC and HPI check. If you're not comfortable with the car or the vendor, walk away.

4. Shop around for finance. Personal loans usually beat any dealers deals (but I told you to stay away from dealers!). Offer cash/cheque and reduce your offer to strip out the financiers profit the dealer has built in.

5. Cars are expensive.

6. You can get estimates of servicing costs in What Car. Then factor in extra for unforseen repairs (more for an older car, and more for foreign/exotic cars).

7. Estimate your mileage and factor in fuel costs. A diesel probably
makes sense if you do a high mileage (12k+ a year), but they tend to be more expensive to buy.

8. Insurance - estimates in What car and Parkers, or get a quote. Important for younger drivers!

It will all look expensive, because it is ! But divide into a monthly amount and ask if you can afford it. Compare different cars.

If you can't be bothered with the above you can't go wrong with a 3-7 year old Ford Fiesta, Focus or Mondeo, VW Polo, Golf or Passatt, Honda Jazz, Civic, or Accord or almost any low mileage car in good condition below 2k. Check its got a full service history and I recommend less than 70,000 miles.

A mate of mine spends no more than 1000 on a used car then runs it into the ground. No depreciation or finance, and very cheap motoring. I like to spend more and I buy nearly new cars for reliability, comfort, driving enjoyment and image. Your choice.

Happy hunting and happy motoring.
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# 17
JeffAllan
Old 11-11-2011, 9:54 PM
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Default Jeffs TOP TIPS p.s.

.. and sell your old car privately if you can for the best price, usually the best deal.

And stay away from those low offering dealers at We buy any car !
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# 18
Johnny Barnes10
Old 12-11-2011, 1:36 AM
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Any tips for the "banger buyers", like me?! Sub 1500.
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# 19
scotsman4th
Old 12-11-2011, 2:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Barnes10 View Post
Any tips for the "banger buyers", like me?! Sub 1500.
Thats not a banger, thats 3 bangers.

1. Forget car auctions. Additional charges are around 25% added on to what I look to pay.
2. Ebay Ebay Ebay. Avoid Gumtree.
3. Research your seller. My last one came from someone trading without declaring, but had sold loads of cheap cars whilst keeping 100% feedback which is quite an achievement.
The ebay one before that was a genuine private seller, 200+ positive feedback (looking to keep it that way).
4. Google the car your looking at and see the faults. Ask the seller if the cars displaying any of these faults.
5. If the cars not as described, walk away.
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# 20
andygb
Old 12-11-2011, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Barnes10 View Post
Any tips for the "banger buyers", like me?! Sub 1500.

I saw an ultra clean Peugeot 55 reg 307 2.0L XSi with 47K miles, FSH and full MOT, and even a couple of months tax (Unheard of at auction), go through a local ADT for 1500 last week. Certainly not a banger, and I would have happily used it myself.
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