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Help Needed By Car Dunce Requiring Second-Hand Car


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Aren't a lot of cars sold at auction, effectively sold as seen? I think you can only take it back if its stolen (which I believe the buyers premium covers)... ebay is a good bet, when I got mine, what nearly four years ago, I saved over 2 grand on mine...I then found out that a former owner was Jan Molby! Unfortunately the glove compartment didn't have oceans of mars bars in it...

The cheap lots certainly are sold as seen. The more expensive items (ex-fleet and trade ins), usually give you a period (7 days or so), to reject it, if not as described!

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As for the battery, if it's only done a year then it should have another 2-3 years of life left in it, even if it's treated very unsympathetically (i.e. lots of short runs with lots of electrical stuff going in the car). The question is whether for the sake of a £70-100 battery, it's worth trying to salvage it. After all, I presume that you're going to sell your existing car, and without a battery in it that might be a bit of a challenge.

You are either buying seriously heavy duty batteries, or you are being ripped off.

Replaced my battery last year, £45.

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ebay, every time!

If you want to lose your money yes.I would place E bay at the very bottom of the list.Most of the sellers are dickie dealers who have bought other people's problems and wish to sell them on at a profit.We are inundated with the poor sops who have parted with a couple of grand for some heap of corruption - and a large number of them are clocked too.I buy ex lease stock at auction and pass many of the cars on at a £250 - £300 mark up.On these "Trade Sales " I give a 7 day money back warranty.

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If you want to lose your money yes.I would place E bay at the very bottom of the list.Most of the sellers are dickie dealers who have bought other people's problems and wish to sell them on at a profit.We are inundated with the poor sops who have parted with a couple of grand for some heap of corruption - and a large number of them are clocked too.I buy ex lease stock at auction and pass many of the cars on at a £250 - £300 mark up.On these "Trade Sales " I give a 7 day money back warranty.

well I have bought 4 cars from ebay and they have all been fine and well below book price.

I have also viewed 2 that I walked away from.

So you buy a car from auction and flip it, how do you know that it hasnt got problems? Lease stock as in hammered up and down a motorway? I would rather buy an ex police car ffs :D

I have bought 2 cars from trade sellers and like I said, never will again. I dont know if they were both selling part ex's or if one was an auction flipper but they both sold cars that were unsound.

Ebay everytime for me unless it is a private sale. I wont pay extra for middle men or get screwed by them.

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Just a couple of points to buck the trend....

A couple of years ago I ended up taking out a CCJ against a car dealer when it became apparent that the automatic gearbox had been faulty when I bought a car (it wouldn't reverse uphill, something not apparent on the test drive). The dealer did everything to avoid responsibility and even after the CCJ was issued did everything possible to avoid refunding the money, to the point where I ended up getting bailiffs in.

I bought my current car on eBay five years ago for £1300 and it has never once broken down. The car I sold on eBay at the same time for £285 is still on the road.

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well I have bought 4 cars from ebay and they have all been fine and well below book price.

I have also viewed 2 that I walked away from.

So you buy a car from auction and flip it, how do you know that it hasnt got problems? Lease stock as in hammered up and down a motorway? I would rather buy an ex police car ffs :D

I have bought 2 cars from trade sellers and like I said, never will again. I dont know if they were both selling part ex's or if one was an auction flipper but they both sold cars that were unsound.

Ebay everytime for me unless it is a private sale. I wont pay extra for middle men or get screwed by them.

I'd rather buy a car that has done a lot of motorway miles than one that has been pottering around on short runs. 'Arduous driving conditions', certainly as far as a timing belt is concerned, is lots of stop-start traffic.

My OH's leased company car is up for renewal this year, that hasn't been 'hammered up and down a motorway', it hasn't been in lots of stop-start traffic either. That said, if they let us have it for the right price it won't be making it to auction.

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Do cars still use timing belts? I thought it was all fuel injectors and electronic ignition these days.

Cars generally have fuel injectors rather than carburettors and electronic ignition instead of contact breaker points, but timing is something totally different and many cars do still have rubber timing belts.

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You are either buying seriously heavy duty batteries, or you are being ripped off.

Replaced my battery last year, £45.

The former. IMO the extra is a small price to pay for the much reduced likelihood of a flat battery. My car usage pattern is kind to batteries in some ways (I very rarely use it for journeys of under 26 miles, i.e. my daily commute), but hostile in others. For example, during the winter, it's almost always used in the dark with lots of electrical stuff running (headlights, heater fan, rear screen heater, etc.), and on a few occasions each year it sits for 10-20 days in the Teesside Airport car park while I'm away, which can get pretty cold and exposed. On one occasion in the past it failed to start late one night after I stepped off the plane. The RAC bloke suggested putting a top-of-the-range battery in it and replace it every 3-4 years if I was going to leave it for weeks at a time on a regular basis. I followed his advice, and have never had any trouble since. As 3-4 years is about the length of time I tend to keep each car, I put a new battery in whenever I change my car. For having got rid of that problem, I have no objection whatsoever to spending the extra £20-30.

The other car electrics tip I was given when I first started to drive and have been very glad of is to replace spark plugs annually regardless of mileage, and to smear a little copper grease into the threads of the new plugs when doing so. Although most modern cars claim a spark plug life of 30-40k miles, the chances are that if you leave them in for 3-4 years (and especially if the car is not kept in a garage), the threads will rust up, leaving you having to have the cylinder head removed to extract them. This is a particular problem with smaller Fords, e.g. Fiestas, Focuses and Kas. This indeed happened to a colleague after she took her car into a garage when one of the cylinders started misfiring. It appears that the previous owner had left the plugs alone, being unable to get them out. When the garage tried, they warned her that if a ceramic liner shattered she'd be looking at a £400 bill to remove the head and extract the plugs on a bench. It did, and she was. Again, £20 a year as an insurance policy against that scenario is well worth it, IMO.

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I'd rather buy a car that has done a lot of motorway miles than one that has been pottering around on short runs. 'Arduous driving conditions', certainly as far as a timing belt is concerned, is lots of stop-start traffic.

My OH's leased company car is up for renewal this year, that hasn't been 'hammered up and down a motorway', it hasn't been in lots of stop-start traffic either. That said, if they let us have it for the right price it won't be making it to auction.

I agree entirely about the mileage but my point about lease motors - much like ex police cars is that they are not really looked after or cared about.

There is a reason that lease firms dump their motors on auctions.

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I agree entirely about the mileage but my point about lease motors - much like ex police cars is that they are not really looked after or cared about.

There is a reason that lease firms dump their motors on auctions.

We send various manager's company cars to auction but often other staff, within the company, who didn't originally drive the car will buy them at the same money an auction would have raised and never have any problems with them, keeping them for years - some of them certainly also used to, I think, almost immediately sell them on through eBay.

I do agree that great bargains can be had off eBay. Need to watch out for damaged/repaired. Can get a bargain on declared on listing as cat d as there's a stigma attached to it by buyers but, I wouldn't fancy a cat c.

Would also add that even if you're mechanically car literate it's still a bit of a lottery and dealers/mechanics can get done over on p/exs on makes and models of cars they see/work on day in day out. Use you gut instinct and look at least as closely at the person selling it as the car itself.

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Would a credit check on it pick this up?

I'm sure HPI will show it up assuming an insurer has inspected a vehicle post accident. There will be quite bad damaged/repaireds out there where people won't have involved insurers though.

Re auctions, mentioned earlier, last time I went after purchase, you were allowed to thrash the vehicles around the yard at the auction and could walk away if any faults found but once you'd taken it outside the gate, that was it (this was at least ten years ago though).

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Would also add that even if you're mechanically car literate it's still a bit of a lottery and dealers/mechanics can get done over on p/exs on makes and models of cars they see/work on day in day out. Use you gut instinct and look at least as closely at the person selling it as the car itself.

Dealers dont get done over. They will take in a bucket of nails and give you a descent price because they are making money on the mark up on the car they are flogging you and making a fortune on the finance deal if you are daft enough to take it.

They dont care what the state of the car is unless it is reasonably new and they intend to sell it themselves.

They will take in anything and then sell on the cars that they wouldnt consider trying to resell. They often know that a car is a bag of sh1t and sell them off. The middle man, the trade seller, that buys the part ex's and tarts up the stone chips is the guy to avoid. They know full well what state the car is in often having had an mot done on them. I think that this would apply equally to those flipping cars from auctions.

I would use ebay but never a trade seller. Ebay is no different from finding a car in the paper in that it is a private sale. I wont use a dealer as I dont like having to buy vaseline for the deal and I would never ever buy from a trade seller.

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Dealers dont get done over. They will take in a bucket of nails and give you a descent price because they are making money on the mark up on the car they are flogging you and making a fortune on the finance deal if you are daft enough to take it.

They dont care what the state of the car is unless it is reasonably new and they intend to sell it themselves.

They will take in anything and then sell on the cars that they wouldnt consider trying to resell. They often know that a car is a bag of sh1t and sell them off. The middle man, the trade seller, that buys the part ex's and tarts up the stone chips is the guy to avoid. They know full well what state the car is in often having had an mot done on them. I think that this would apply equally to those flipping cars from auctions.

I would use ebay but never a trade seller. Ebay is no different from finding a car in the paper in that it is a private sale. I wont use a dealer as I dont like having to buy vaseline for the deal and I would never ever buy from a trade seller.

I'm only really referring to newish cars dealers are intending to sell themselves on their forecourt.

It's based on what I've been told by this place we take our vans to with problems our own workshop can't fix (the workshop is a mandatory requirement for safety and maintenance inspections on lorries but works on our other smaller vehicles as it's there).

The place is a diesel specialist and is where all the main dealers send cars with tricky to identify problems. Often the car taken in p/ex has been sold on and there's a problem not immediately obvious on a short test drive and the dealer has now got to sort the problem for the new owner. According to the guy who runs the place as soon as a dealer has to ship a vehicle to them they'll be losing on the deal and often by a lot.

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I await, with interest, the first HPCer who thinks he can take a private seller to the small claims court for something breaking/failing after buying a car.

I certainly was under the impression there was no recourse but didn't know if the last government might have brought in some legislation I was unaware of.

You can't have a sold as seen sign but I also did think it was still possible to sell vehicles as a trade sale or certainly highlight faults on which there could be no recourse.

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I await, with interest, the first HPCer who thinks he can take a private seller to the small claims court for something breaking/failing after buying a car.

I am highly dubious about it too and dont see how you could prove that the car was knowingly sold with the fault rather than developing on you. That said, it is theoretically the case that you still have come back against a private seller.

It wouldnt make me spend money fixing a car that I was selling though.

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I'm only really referring to newish cars dealers are intending to sell themselves on their forecourt.

It's based on what I've been told by this place we take our vans to with problems our own workshop can't fix (the workshop is a mandatory requirement for safety and maintenance inspections on lorries but works on our other smaller vehicles as it's there).

The place is a diesel specialist and is where all the main dealers send cars with tricky to identify problems. Often the car taken in p/ex has been sold on and there's a problem not immediately obvious on a short test drive and the dealer has now got to sort the problem for the new owner. According to the guy who runs the place as soon as a dealer has to ship a vehicle to them they'll be losing on the deal and often by a lot.

Yes they bank on new cars with a fsh being ok but this is exactly why many dealers offload p/ex's because they dont want to risk selling a car or offering a warranty on something that will bite them on the rear.

You have more come back against a dealer but you have more than paid for that when paying their price imo.

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About ten years ago, I bought a Pug 405 for £180 all in at the auction in Westbury...lasted me nearly two years...a great buy...

Been there a couple of times - nice, not too big - easy to get phased by the speed and vlume cars going through multiple rings at the big auctions - makes it more difficult to keep on track and single minded in checking and following just a few going through the ring.

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Dealers dont get done over. They will take in a bucket of nails and give you a descent price because they are making money on the mark up on the car they are flogging you and making a fortune on the finance deal if you are daft enough to take it.

They dont care what the state of the car is unless it is reasonably new and they intend to sell it themselves.

They will take in anything and then sell on the cars that they wouldnt consider trying to resell. They often know that a car is a bag of sh1t and sell them off. The middle man, the trade seller, that buys the part ex's and tarts up the stone chips is the guy to avoid. They know full well what state the car is in often having had an mot done on them. I think that this would apply equally to those flipping cars from auctions.

I would use ebay but never a trade seller. Ebay is no different from finding a car in the paper in that it is a private sale. I wont use a dealer as I dont like having to buy vaseline for the deal and I would never ever buy from a trade seller.

That doesn't make much sense to me.I sell all my trade ins to a dealer who sells them on E bay.Last week I sold him a 2002 Mondeo Diesel.The car runs fine until it has done about five miles and the engine is warm.Then it runs like a wooly goat because the diesel pump is fecked.A replacement pump is about a grand.I sold it for £700 so some E bay buyer is in for a nasty shock sometime soon.

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The former. IMO the extra is a small price to pay for the much reduced likelihood of a flat battery. My car usage pattern is kind to batteries in some ways (I very rarely use it for journeys of under 26 miles, i.e. my daily commute), but hostile in others. For example, during the winter, it's almost always used in the dark with lots of electrical stuff running (headlights, heater fan, rear screen heater, etc.), and on a few occasions each year it sits for 10-20 days in the Teesside Airport car park while I'm away, which can get pretty cold and exposed. On one occasion in the past it failed to start late one night after I stepped off the plane. The RAC bloke suggested putting a top-of-the-range battery in it and replace it every 3-4 years if I was going to leave it for weeks at a time on a regular basis. I followed his advice, and have never had any trouble since. As 3-4 years is about the length of time I tend to keep each car, I put a new battery in whenever I change my car. For having got rid of that problem, I have no objection whatsoever to spending the extra £20-30.

The other car electrics tip I was given when I first started to drive and have been very glad of is to replace spark plugs annually regardless of mileage, and to smear a little copper grease into the threads of the new plugs when doing so. Although most modern cars claim a spark plug life of 30-40k miles, the chances are that if you leave them in for 3-4 years (and especially if the car is not kept in a garage), the threads will rust up, leaving you having to have the cylinder head removed to extract them. This is a particular problem with smaller Fords, e.g. Fiestas, Focuses and Kas. This indeed happened to a colleague after she took her car into a garage when one of the cylinders started misfiring. It appears that the previous owner had left the plugs alone, being unable to get them out. When the garage tried, they warned her that if a ceramic liner shattered she'd be looking at a £400 bill to remove the head and extract the plugs on a bench. It did, and she was. Again, £20 a year as an insurance policy against that scenario is well worth it, IMO.

My car usage is heavy on batteries, yet it still takes me four years to knacker a £45 battery.

I always change my timing belt at the recommended 'arduous driving' interval, rather than risk losing the engine. That said it's a cheap job on my current car, last one cost me £40 including labour.

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That doesn't make much sense to me.I sell all my trade ins to a dealer who sells them on E bay.Last week I sold him a 2002 Mondeo Diesel.The car runs fine until it has done about five miles and the engine is warm.Then it runs like a wooly goat because the diesel pump is fecked.A replacement pump is about a grand.I sold it for £700 so some E bay buyer is in for a nasty shock sometime soon.

what doesnt make sense? You have just described exactly what I have been saying.

You took the car in and it is likely irrelevant to you what faults it may have? You sell it on cheap to get rid of it because you wouldnt risk having it on the forcourt or putting a warranty on it.

The guy that you are talking about, that buys from you, is what I would regard as a trade seller. He will likely be listed on ebay as trade and even if he isnt and pretends to be a private seller his name wont be on the v5 so it will be obvious that he is.

He is the middle man, the trade seller that I would avoid like the plague because he buys sh1t p/ex's cheap from the likes of you and sells them off, probably knowing full well that they are a bucket of bolts.

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