Viewing 36 posts - 1 through 36 (of 36 total)
  • Buying a used car privately
  • Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    What precautions can I take to best mitigate risk?

    Caveat emptor and all that, so how do be most aware? I’ve done an Experian car check, is there any benefit to doing an HPI check as well, or are they pretty much the same?

    Are AA/RAC inspections still a thing and are they worthwhile?

    Premier Icon i_like_food
    Full Member

    For me (I know nothing about cars) i view it in a risk-reward basis and that’s dependant in the value of the car I’m buying.

    So £2000 car from a mate with a service history. Zero checks other than the basic HPI on a website etc.

    £6000 car from a stranger, AA check (or once paid a mates mate £100 who was a mechanic)

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Free Member

    I don’t think there is anything you can do. Sold as seen. Things can look ok but still blow up on the way home. I know we all want someone to take responsibility but ultimately it’s your choice. If it’s a decent price and the owner comes across ok then that’s about as good as it gets!

    Premier Icon walowiz
    Full Member

    I’ve just bought and sold privately for my wife’s car and somehow I’ve done well on both side of the deals.

    It’s no different to how it always used to be. HPI check (never used Experian). if you’re not au faint with what to look for – take a (mechanically sympathetic) friend who is for a second opinion.

    I’ve never had any need for an AA / RAC inspection, but depending what your buying could be worth it. Google recalls for the make / model, known / common faults etc

    Oh and check that both keys work :), alongside everything electrical in the car.

    What is evident, is with snitch, cazoo, motorway, WBAC etc there aren’t as many private sales as there used to be.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    I’d take someone who knows how to check the basics, or a AA style check. Catastrophic engine blowing up on the way home is probably quite rare, but lots of faults such as worn suspension, electrical faults, leaks etc can be found easily (but not if you are interacting more with the seller more than the car) If you know your way around a car, taking a friend just to handle the seller can be useful as then you can completely ignore them whilst you have a good inspection.

    Every car is sold for a reason, either a change in circumstances (good) or just as likely, some anticipated or recurrent fault or upcoming bill, could be as simple as a full set of tyres or a major service/cambelt.

    In my opinion the safest purchase are ‘end of 3 year lease’ dealer sales, and for private sales, one owner from new but it’s 3 years old so I’d better sell before the dreaded MOT (but those buyers would normally trade in)

    Premier Icon jimw
    Free Member

    Vcheck or total car check are the best checking services as they look at salvage records to pick up vehicles that may not have got onto other registers so picking up issues that HPI and others miss.

    https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/product-group-tests/352843/best-car-check-websites

    My only experience of a ‘comprehensive’ RAC check ended up with the car breaking down on the way home from picking it up and finishing the journey on a flat bed truck and a £500 bill. RAC maintained that they were not liable as the fault was ‘not obvious’ when their mechanic looked at the vehicle. Make of that what you will.

    Premier Icon Tallpaul
    Full Member

    How much is it, How old is it, what is it?

    Broadly, due diligence should be commensurate to risk which is decided by the above.

    My preferred ‘HPI’ service is now https://www.vcheck.uk/ as it gives a bit more background than the mainstream providers.

    Obvious stuff like make sure the name and address on the V5C matches the seller and property where you view the car ie don’t buy it from ‘their brother’ in a pub car park.

    MOT history check online can tell you a little about recurring issues/general maintenance.

    If you’re not that savvy with cars, I’d recommend enlisting a friend/relative to view it with you.

    Premier Icon jkomo
    Full Member

    When you transfer the money do a small amount first, get them to confirm the amount sent, just to eliminate any errors there.
    If it was cheap I’d have a drive, check it brakes in a straight line, check the oil isn’t in a state, listen for any knocks, on a bumpy road.
    Saying all that the last car I bought I only looked at one side of it, didn’t do any of the above. The side I didn’t look at had been badly rattle can sprayed, really badly. Anyway the car has been brilliant.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    Merc CLS350D Shooting Brake, 2013, 125k miles, £11950 negotiated down to £11250 subject to satisfactory checks and test drive. The seller has driven me around in it and it’s smooth and fast. Sounds lovely (for a diesel). Looks to be in good cosmetic condition. I need to do a full document check, but the seller seemed genuine. Company car on the way is the reason given for sale. MOT’d in November, failed on out of adjustment headlight, now fixed. Passed all previous MOTs and mileage seems consistent.

    It’s a lovely looking car but it’s right at the top of my budget so I’m being cautious.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    I’m fairly car savvy; swapped engines, done clutches, brakes, suspension and head gaskets on older cars but newer stuff is a bit of a mystery.
    I popped the oil filler cap off and the oil is clean with no mayo visible. If it has one, I’ll do the same with the dipstick today.

    Premier Icon bsims
    Free Member

    Check the tyres for a start. If they don’t match, at least across each axle the owner probably doesn’t give a shit about it. Also condition of tyres and brand – not ditch finders.

    Premier Icon davros
    Free Member

    Take @molgrips with you.

    Premier Icon Mintyjim
    Full Member

    Make sure it’s had at least one gearbox service. I think with the Mercedes 7 speed auto linked to the 3.0 v6 tdi it should have been 40k miles.
    Great engine/gearbox, I’ve had a few and they’ve been fantastic.
    It’s really easy to service, including the gearbox if you have access to a four post lift.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Take @molgrips with you.

    Oof!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    No, my specialty is being ripped off by dealers not private sellers.

    Re that car, it seems to be generally reliable except for the inlet manifold issue where the bolts were overtorqued at the factory. But that is on the 4cyl engine, you should be alright with the 6cyl.

    They are glorious cars if you don’t have silly low profile tyres, but not very economical especially on windy or hilly roads or in town.

    Not easy to work on the engine in mine, as you are probably aware I did loads of work on my Passat but I could not access the inlet manifold on mine, far too much stuff to remove and not enough space, and that was only the 4 cyl. V6 must be even more cramped, and it’s a huge bonnet.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    vcheck came up clear. Experian wants me to put the VIN into the online form.

    Some good points about checking the basics. I’m taking a mat and a torch so I can scrabble around underneath it.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Engine mounts can be a bit worn too. Check if it shudders when putting into drive or when the engine stops during start/stop operation.

    Also don’t think you will find a dipstick.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Oh btw if you do decide you want some AMG wheels with tyres let me know 🙂

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    I’ve bought it. 😳

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Might as well play the lottery tonight too, you’re obviously feeling lucky 🤞 😂

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I’ve bought it.

    Gotta say I’m jealous of your V6, but then I did get 50mpg on my 400 miles yesterday so I have to keep telling myself that 🙂

    Take it for a long motorway drive or a windy B road and you’ll feel better about it – there can’t be many cars that are so good on both whilst still being able to carry four adults in serious comfort and tons of stuff.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    Might as well play the lottery tonight too, you’re obviously feeling lucky

    Like I’ve got enough money left to play the lottery…

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    Do I need to read molly’s thread in it’s entirety or can someone give me brief precis?

    Premier Icon pandhandj
    Free Member

    Molgrips bought an expensive used merc from a dealer. Wasn’t happy with it but didn’t have the bottle to challenge dealer. Tried to fix it himself and made up loads of ifs, buts and maybes to justify his lack of bottle.

    Sorry molgrips but I couldn’t let the the truth get in the way of a funny story 🤪

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Wasn’t happy with it but didn’t have the bottle legal grounds to challenge dealer.

    Useful tip though, you can get sunglasses holders on eBay. They are genuine Mercedes parts for retrofit and they come with instructions and all.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Full Member

    I’ve bought it. 😳

    The guy that looks after our vehicle knows his stuff , let me know if you want him to check it over he’s I’m Offenham.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    Thanks for the offer, who do you use? PM me if you like.

    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ
    Full Member

    Will do .

    Premier Icon chrisyork
    Full Member

    Genuinely just bought a car for £14k from a main dealer, it would have been cheaper for the equiv private but expect to spend money if you do.
    This car has so far needed it’s one year warranty it came with and I’ve had around 2 grands worth of work done for free!
    All hail the warranty!!

    Premier Icon 28mpg
    Free Member

    Molgrips bought an expensive used merc from a dealer

    Reading the thread . By dealer don’t you mean car supermarket. Let’s not confuse the two.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    In the last 10 years my wife’s Clio has needed nothing other than routine servicing, my 3 Series needed a front spring and my 5 Series needed a rear suspension airbag and a light control module.

    All hail the luck!

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Full Member

    Buy the owner not the car. I’ve bought two privately. The first, we turned to a lovely huge old house in the country, the owner said it was his wife’s car and had hardly been driven. She now had another so it needed to be sold. He handed us the keys and said take it for a spin. So we did. And bought it.

    Premier Icon doomanic
    Free Member

    The owner seems a very nice chap. Nice house in a nice area, huge motor home and brand new i3 on the drive. He’s getting a company EV, hence the sale. He’s had the car just over a year and had it serviced in November so it doesn’t feel like he’s flipping it or ditching it.

    Premier Icon fossy
    Full Member

    It’s always a gamble, but dealer or not, the risk can be similar. ‘Warrenty’ usually just covers engine/gearbox.

    We bought a £2k Aygo, from a dealer, just to keep my son on the road as he’d blown his engine on his fabia (tuned to 170 bhp), and also for daughter to learn to drive in.

    Car was pretty good nick, but despite a MOT in September, the beakes had nothing left on the pads and th discs were shot despite no additional miles in 2 months how it passed it’s MOT like that ?

    No biggy as repacements were £38 (disks and pads), then it needed the rear lights, and stop tail re-sealing as it was letting in rain water into the boot where the ‘electricals enter the body – known issue.

    Checked under and the exhaust was crusty so we expected to change it. Son hit a big pot hole, and it sheered the cat/manifold weld – another known weak spot, so we had to get manifold back, cat and new exhaust – cost £700 fitted.

    Touch wood, it’s been absolutely fine since, no other issues. The car had a full service history, and had passed most MOT’s. ony fails in the past had been either worn pads or a blown number plate bulb.

    Oh it will need two tyres before summer, so £100.

    Premier Icon andy5390
    Full Member

    Keep an eye on the clutch adjustment, I nursed mine through another 2 years after I first noticed a bit slippage.

    You’ll need 3 wrist joints on each arm to access the cable adjusters if you DIY 😁

    Premier Icon cucuros
    Free Member

    Don’t forget some basic rules american-reia.com when buying a used car. Before you buy a car, read all the paperwork of the car carefully. You can ask the seller in advance to send the necessary information and find out what you need from home. If you look at the car at an acute angle, it is easier to notice the putty or primer. On the other hand, a mirror and flashlight can help look in hard-to-reach places. It should be dry under the hood, but the engine compartment cleaned to a shine is a bad indicator. Most likely, the owner tried to hide oil leak in such way. After a you check under the hood, you can move on to interior. Look for mechanical damages: upholstery scuffs, scratches and cracks on plastic surfaces.

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