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  • FIRST POST
    • Anonreviewer
    • By Anonreviewer 7th Apr 17, 8:33 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Anonreviewer
    Beware NI car dealers (William Taggart Car Sales!)
    • #1
    • 7th Apr 17, 8:33 PM
    Beware NI car dealers (William Taggart Car Sales!) 7th Apr 17 at 8:33 PM
    Over the past 4 years I have had a disaster buying second hand cars in Northern Ireland - notably 4x4's. Like anything there are good and bad car dealers in Northern Ireland and honest/dishonest folks selling their cars privately. The reality is that I don't know what I'm doing when buying a second hand car. Being able to fill it with petrol is as far as my qualification goes. I will no longer buy a car without getting an expert to give it the once over - it took me losing thousands to learn that lesson. I've also discovered that the safe option of paying more with a car dealer is also not necessarily the safe option.

    Having lost thousands from a private sale on a Toyota landcruiser that died within 2 years and still trying to get my full refund (under the Consumer Rights Act - see below) from William Taggart Car Sales, Ballyclare, I have some advice to give - for anyone keen to learn from my stupid mistakes :

    CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT FOR CARS

    - First up, know your rights, most notably about the Consumer Rights Act. The AA write it up in an easy to understand way. The basics are that you're covered if you buy from a car dealer, but not if it's a private sale. And the key point is that if you discover a serious fault (which the dealer failed to disclose to you) then it's up to THEM to prove that the fault/issue happened after the car left them i.e. the dealer should have had the car fully checked when he took it in before he sells it on - to prevent them buying lemons and deliberately passing them on.

    - Secondly, unless you report the problem to the dealer immediately, then your rights start to fade. You only have 6 months, but you have a stronger case if you report it all immediately. You have to be fair to the dealer too - you need to give them the chance to fix the car. Sometimes mistakes happen. But, if you have any problem which you think was present on the car when you bought it, which wasn't disclosed to you, get back to the dealer immediately and make a record of doing so. Take notes of everything and have a good paper trail.

    How to not buy a lemon?

    Consider paying the AA or similar to do a vehicle check. It’s about £150, so not cheap, but well worth it given we’ve lost £7,500! It's stupid when I look at that now. Why wouldn't I spend that. It's like insurance right? Reminder, it’s not just the cost of the car, serious problems cost money to find and then fix and generally get worse requiring more cash to chase and stop you losing everything, especially to pass the MOT.

    Basic car vehicle check is key too – if you accidentally buy a stolen car you will lose it with no refund. Also this will identify cars that have issues you can’t get insured for i.e. previously written off - the RAC have a good one.

    My story with William Taggart Car Sales, Ballyclare (other lessons to learn)

    - We bought a Mitsubishi Shogun
    - He didn't give me the V5 registered keeper form. Said he'd send it on. It never came. I guess the moral is that if they don't have it at the sale, they don't have it. This gave us doubts over the car
    - He did disclose the fuel pipe repair before we bought the car. When it leaked fuel over my new drive, damaging the drive, I sent it straight back and he repaired the leak. But not the drive - yet. There is a paper trail for this.
    - William did give me a 6 month warranty, which gave me peace of mind (tip - always ask for one) - and when we discovered a serious radiator leak (~ 1 litre every hour of driving) I took it straight back and he said to take it to a garage to get a warranty quote.
    - Sadly the garage discovered rotten sills and wouldn't put it up on a ramp for fear of breaking the sills - so we discovered that we had bought a lemon. We'd had enough and so took it back, left it on his lot and asked for a full refund. Our last car had a rotten chassis (private sale, we didn't spot it) and was scrapped 2 years after we bought it - lost everything + loads of cash welding it to pass MOT's. This was the only way this 4x4 was going. I'm glad we gave it back to him. Had he strung as along, as was the case with the refund, we may have gone beyond the time the CRA protects us
    - 6 weeks of excuses and no refund (over Xmas + major issues ferrying kids to school, work etc) my wife and I finally turned up and demanded our refund. He gave us a part payment by cheque as he had "cash flow issues". We left, it bounced! Seriously, in this day and age!? Maybe written to get us out of there? I hope not. More excuses about why it bounced, then he took my online bank details - 3 weeks, avoiding calls + excuses, no payment. It was only when I said I was going to review him on car dealer review sites that he paid me some cash - within 1 working day. I'm still owed £1.25k. Not good business practice

    Car Dealer Review Sites

    It was only when I went to review William Taggart that I realised that I should have been looking at these sites at the start. Google reviews too. Do use them. I use Tripadvisor for hotels and restaurants and other review sites - don't know why I didn't do this for car dealers. I'm amazed at how few N.Irish car dealers are reviewed. Do try and read them fairly - some people will just be annoyed and post malicious reviews, which are easy to spot (as are the ones from the dealers themselves!) - but if there are enough reviews you do get the gist. On our circuit of the dealers we saw some really bad cars and were treated like idiots by a few - sure enough - reviews of their business reflected that. Away from the negative, good businesses get good reviews - so I'd urge you to post good reviews as well as warning reviews. Good dealers have good cars right...?

    The best review sites I found:
    CarDealerReviews
    CarBuyingAdvisor
    Google reviews - when you google their name, the info on the right, scroll down...

    Summary
    I'm £7,500 out of pocket in 4 years, hoping to get the final £1.25k refund from William Taggart, if not that's £8,750. It's a lot of money. I'm hideously embarrassed but hope that this advice will save others money. Cars - I don't know what I'm doing when I'm buying them. Fact. I need to admit it. What other product that is so expensive would I buy without any knowledge? Opening the bonnet, looking under the car and taking it for a 5 min test drive is not the same as an AA examination. The latter might have saved me £7.5k and lots of hassle. Yes, we want to trust car dealers. Some make mistakes. Some are less scrupulous. But if you do the checks it will help...

    Good luck :O)
Page 1
    • Ticked
    • By Ticked 7th Apr 17, 9:46 PM
    • 422 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    Ticked
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 17, 9:46 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Apr 17, 9:46 PM
    For the past 20 odd years, I and my family have bought 2nd hand cars from one man, never had a problem and never paid over the odds. Always been looked after extremely well. There's no chance of me buying from anyone else, there are sharks out there but also honest people.
    • Robothell
    • By Robothell 7th Apr 17, 10:54 PM
    • 468 Posts
    • 308 Thanks
    Robothell
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 17, 10:54 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Apr 17, 10:54 PM
    It's sad but it's the old case of buyer beware. I've found it's better to bung a few quid to a trusted mechanic to give a prospective purchase the once over before money changes hands (after all they'll be the one to fix the mess you buy). Also make sure to run a check for accidents, unpaid finance, etc. so that you can be sure of what you are buying.
    Life in this world is, as it were, a sojourn in a cave. What can we know of reality? For all we can see of the true nature of existence is, shall we say, no more than bewildering and amusing shadows cast upon the inner wall of the cave by the unseen blinding light of absolute truth, from which we may or may not deduce some glimmer of veracity, and we as troglodyte seekers of wisdom can only lift our voices to the unseen and say humbly "Go on, do deformed rabbit again.....it's my favourite". © Terry Pratchett in "Small Gods"

    Founder member of the Barry Scott Appreciation Society
    • ballyblack
    • By ballyblack 8th Apr 17, 3:09 PM
    • 3,430 Posts
    • 1,761 Thanks
    ballyblack
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 17, 3:09 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 17, 3:09 PM
    You do not state the age of these 4X4's but my experience is that as they get old they are expensive to run/repair.

    So many things to go wrong. That's why many dealers avoid the grief of retailing old 4X4's !


    .
    Last edited by ballyblack; 08-04-2017 at 3:16 PM.
    • Anonreviewer
    • By Anonreviewer 9th Apr 17, 9:45 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Anonreviewer
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 17, 9:45 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Apr 17, 9:45 AM
    I'm now looking for a car

    @ Ticked - would you be happy to share the name of the dealer you trust? I'm looking for recommendations

    @ all - it would be great to get a list of recommended / trusted Northern Ireland car dealers added to this thread - please post below as I'm sure it will be useful to anybody looking for a car.

    @ ballyblack - yes, you're right of course, 10-15 years old. BUT i guess that's the point here - dealers should be checking them over before they take them in part-exchange or buy them? And not taking on anything they wouldn't want a family member to own. Duff cars (which have serious terminal problems where the car is on the way out) shouldn't make it into the system. And that's what I'm talking about here - both cars I bought had rotten chassis, which mechanics spotted in a few mins - which I am unable to spot.

    e.g. The Toyota I had - the mechanic pointed to a hole and said "Where's the [thing that was meant to be there]" I just assumed there was nothing there - should've checked the other side - sure enough there was a metal object there. The bit holding it had rusted away and it had fallen off. It was a private sale [Gumtree] - the seller had painted / covered up the underside issues. The engine was immaculate, as was the front half of the underside (mechanic said "almost as if it had come out of the factory). So they had touched up the problem area to pass on to a schmuck like me. 120,000 miles on the engine, the mechanic said it would do another 150,000+ - that's 10+ years for us.

    So cars like these, with 'obvious to mechanic' relatively easy to spot terminal problems, should never get bought by a dealer. The Shogun I bought off William Taggart needed welding to 4 areas - 4 sills. How did he not know about that?

    Internal issues, sure, dealers won't always spot them. But that's where the warranty covers them - they warrant you for things that pop up that they couldn't have spotted - so everyone is covered. My concern is that dealers take cars too easily on part-exchange without a thorough check. Once stuck with a bad car they have a dilemma - take a financial hit on it or pass it on. You'd have to be a pretty honest broker to take the hit. Given the public are covered by the Consumer Rights Act anyway, this should be a big enough incentive for the dealers to thoroughly vet every car they take on.

    I think the problem here is that people don't know their rights when buying from dealers, get stuck with a lemon and then take on the problems themselves. Once beyond the CRA covered period, or if they don't report problems or make paper trails - they then get stuck with the car. THEN it takes a very honest person not to stick it on Gumtree and off load it to a schmuck who doesn't know what they are buying. Private sellers aren't covered, have no rights - it's "sold as seen". We could have done that with the Landcruiser. The chassis was unweldable, it would never pass an MOT again. I could have got £4k easily by covering the damaged area, sold it in a few days on Gumtree. Morally it wasn't right, so we sold it for parts - got nothing. Too the hit. Morally - well done us. Financially - gutted.

    I have had 4x4's for years - I love the Toyota Hilux engine - the engines are so good they normally outlast the chassis, particularly in wet places like NI. The Hilux joke is that it's the preferred vehicle of the Taliban! In dry climates with no chassis rust they go on and on - very reliable.
    • Anonreviewer
    • By Anonreviewer 9th Apr 17, 9:47 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Anonreviewer
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 17, 9:47 AM
    Recommended car dealers in Northern Ireland
    • #6
    • 9th Apr 17, 9:47 AM
    If you can recommend anyone from previous good experience can you please post their details below and also a note why...? As mentioned above - I'm now looking so will head to their sites. Thanks!
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 9th Apr 17, 9:59 AM
    • 4,809 Posts
    • 3,822 Thanks
    glentoran99
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 17, 9:59 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Apr 17, 9:59 AM
    Sere on boucher road have supplied our last 4 cars, any problems have been rectified immediately, Always got a good deal and have gone out of their way to help, would recommend them in a heartbeat
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 9th Apr 17, 1:05 PM
    • 15,662 Posts
    • 8,971 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 17, 1:05 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Apr 17, 1:05 PM
    You do not state the age of these 4X4's but my experience is that as they get old they are expensive to run/repair.

    So many things to go wrong. That's why many dealers avoid the grief of retailing old 4X4's !


    .
    Originally posted by ballyblack
    +1

    Older 4x4s are bad news generally. Expensive to repair and prone to failure.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 9th Apr 17, 1:10 PM
    • 15,662 Posts
    • 8,971 Thanks
    motorguy
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 17, 1:10 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Apr 17, 1:10 PM
    Sere on boucher road have supplied our last 4 cars, any problems have been rectified immediately, Always got a good deal and have gone out of their way to help, would recommend them in a heartbeat
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    +1

    We bought our 370Z from SERE on the Boucher Road. The salesman was fairly naff but it was a decent price. The car was under manufacturers warranty but had no faults during our ownership.

    Bavarian - they're selling approved used cars so there shouldnt be any issue with warranties. I've had a few approved used cars from there and no issues claiming. I would expect the same with Mercedes

    Prentice BMW - bought a couple of cars there, some issues, resolved no problem.

    I would recommend if anyones budget stretches, to get a car either still under manufacturers warranty (usually 3 years) (longer for some brands) OR thats being sold with an Approved Used Warranty - so thats a proper manufacturer backed warranty, not a third party "Platinum" (cost them £70) warranty.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • ballyblack
    • By ballyblack 9th Apr 17, 3:36 PM
    • 3,430 Posts
    • 1,761 Thanks
    ballyblack
    Its impossible to get any decent warranty on a 10-15yr 4X4

    Anyone purchasing one without any mechanical knowledge is asking for grief no matter where he/she purchases it
    • Anonreviewer
    • By Anonreviewer 12th Apr 17, 7:44 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Anonreviewer
    any other recommended car dealers in Northern Ireland anyone?
    • NeverEnough
    • By NeverEnough 12th Apr 17, 9:35 PM
    • 907 Posts
    • 735 Thanks
    NeverEnough
    Bought my current X5 from JKC in Coleraine - it is an AUC and the process was really smooth and easy, delivered to the mainland to my door free of charge. Tried to get a few local BMW dealerships interested in selling me one, but JKC were the only dealership that bothered to respond to calls, send me videos, speak to me, arrange BMW Finance etc. Would buy from them again, great service.
    • Ticked
    • By Ticked 12th Apr 17, 10:28 PM
    • 422 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    Ticked
    Anonreviewer, I have sent PM.
    • wacko911
    • By wacko911 14th Apr 17, 10:42 PM
    • 664 Posts
    • 283 Thanks
    wacko911
    Bought my last car from a close friend and it's a total lemon. Doh. Don't even think he realised as his last mechanic make such a mess of the engine and charged him a clean fortune. You just never know what your gonna get. Lucky I buy cheap and can take the hit when they turn out to be lemons.
    • chunter
    • By chunter 15th Apr 17, 5:35 PM
    • 1,927 Posts
    • 729 Thanks
    chunter
    Aye buying a 10-15 year old car.
    Not bringing a proper mechanic friend to give the car a once over. (how much? 30-50 quid). Maybe a bit more if checks the car's computer.
    All you're doing is gambling. May as well go into the local William Hill and throw the money on a horse.
    Certainly buying a second hand car now is even more risky now. The technology can be ropey and expensive to repair. So people patch over the cracks and move them on.
    • CEON44
    • By CEON44 15th Apr 17, 7:06 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    CEON44
    O'Loughlins on main Glenshane road at Maghera deal in "prestige" type cars and are good to work with
    I started out with nothing......And still have most of it left
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 19th Apr 17, 10:01 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 428 Thanks
    Zola.
    Good post OP.
    • whiskeygalore
    • By whiskeygalore 20th Apr 17, 12:35 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    whiskeygalore
    William taggart car sales
    Hi i have bought several cars from W Taggart car sales and to-date have been very happy both with the price and service provided.
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