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Buying Used

Discussion in 'Motoring & Motorsport' started by mattamomo, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. mattamomo

    mattamomo Registered User

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    I got incredibly lucky with my first car. Chanced it at a small, independent seller on a £1000, 07, Ford Fiesta 5/6 years ago with 30 odd thousand miles.
    Abused the thing, never serviced it, absolutely nothing had changed since I bought it except pads, one disk and a few tyres. Didn't give a crap about it as I knew the dogs would ruin it and that was it's main purpose.
    Yet despite half a decade of neglect, at 105,000 miles it has lasted well beyond my expectations.

    Approaching the end of my masters course, it's time to get something a little nicer, but I'm also skint having spunked tens of thousands on my degree. Looking for a reliable second hand purchase, I'm not fussed about power, just want a compact hatchback that is comfortable, decent to drive and has some decent features around £4500-£5000 (mostly city diving with motorway driving to and from uni). But most importantly it needs to be a safe way to buy.

    What's the best way to ensure you get a good deal on a second hand car and what should you look for from the seller to suggest they are keen to amend any issues you may have (Warranty, AA certificates etc)
    I'm not a car guy so honestly no idea. Looking at older Polo, Focus and Fiestas at the moment but narrowing them down is a pain.
     
  2. Shane

    Shane Registered

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    Mate, second hand car dealers are complete tossers 100% of the time. If they can get away with hiding a fault then they will. Dealers are usually the best bet as you'll usually get a used car warranty from them.

    Tbh though, if you're looking at Fords then the market is seriously competitive, so you should get a bargain or two. Always test drive, always dip the sump and always check your tires and last mot certificate. I always make sure they bang on a years tax as well.

    With older small hatchbacks, if the oil in the sump is any other colour than black or light translucent brown then walk away. If you go to view a car tell them you want it to be cold when you get there. Warm cars hide oil leaks. Always look underneath for any signs of big oil leaks and if there's any coolant stains around the radiator filler cap (in a splatter effect) it can be a sign of overheating.

    Tbh mate the list is endless. :laugh:

    Always haggle the price though, I've never paid asking price, even from a dealer and always take a torch. You'll look like a dick but it's worth having.
     
  3. StretfordEnd

    StretfordEnd Fools can be kings.
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    All fair points, but no.1 for me on a used car is the bodywork. If it's not immaculate then walk away. You can replace tyres, brake pads, pipes, tyres and discs, just about all the mechanical bits could be replaced but once the bodywork is goosed it's time for the scrapyard.

    One thing Shane didn't mention is a service history, and in particular you need to know when the timing belt was last changed. If you buy a car without knowing how long the timing belt has been on it then get it changed immediately, it'll cost between £80 and £150 typically at a local garage If it is perished and breaks you're looking at £500 - £1500 and quite possibly writing off the entire vehicle.
     
  4. Shane

    Shane Registered

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    Timing belt on a car like that will realistically write it off.
     
  5. mattamomo

    mattamomo Registered User

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    Yeah I'm looking mainly at dealers that include a warranty and if possible have approval from the likes of AA or RAC.
    Will keep in mind those tips.

    Saw a nice 06 VW Golf with 60k miles, and 2 owners and a newly fitted cambelt listed for £3k from an AA approved dealer but the thing went immediately :laugh:

    Having no luck finding 09 and beyond Fiesta's with low millage from reputable dealers even at £4k
     
  6. StretfordEnd

    StretfordEnd Fools can be kings.
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    I assume you've tried Autotrader?
     
  7. mattamomo

    mattamomo Registered User

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    I did indeed.
    Finally found something I liked, Renault Clio s TCe 2010, 55k miles, looked in very fair condition for £2.9k.

    Checked as many things as I reasonably could but there is always something to miss, luckily the dealer includes a 6 month warranty that covers everything except the common cheaper jobs (pads for instance), MOT, service, history check, valet, 80 point inspection and nothing but positive reviews.

    Fingers crossed :laugh:
     

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