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  • Second hand car buying – advice please!
  • Premier Icon 2tyred
    Full Member

    New car time in the Tyred house.

    Know roughly what I want (smaller MPV type thing, C-max/Zafira/Scenic etc) for carting children, bikes and stuff. Looking for an 07/08, paying around the 5000/6000 mark.

    We’ll destroy the interior, so will intend to keep it until it becomes uneconomical to fix. Driving is a necessary chore, don’t really care about how fun it is to drive. Looking for petrol, smaller engine and would prefer as few electrical components as possible.

    Just buying it (ie cash or whatever) is an option, as I don’t see the point in paying interest to get it on finance.

    Thinking of going to a smallish dealership with a good local reputation so I can try a few different cars.

    What I’m not sure of is how best to negotiate the sales process!

    Am I right in thinking that no-one just pays the price on the big sticker on the car? If so, what should I be aiming to pay if the sticker price is, say, 6k?

    Am I in a weaker or stronger negotiating position if I’m not taking the dealership’s finance arrangement?

    If negotiating’s the way to go, how am I best to approach this? Are there some good phrases to use? How interested should I appear if there’s a car I like?

    Sorry, I have little interest in cars – I can barely recall how we did this the last time (probably about 10 years ago) – so would love some advice from those in the know!

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Full Member

    Am I in a weaker or stronger negotiating position if I’m not taking the dealership’s finance arrangement?

    Weaker. So don’t tell them you aren’t until you’ve agreed a price.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Full Member

    Here would be a good starting place – http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/buy_sell/buying_used/the-two-golden-rules/

    Premier Icon 2tyred
    Full Member

    Nice one, that’s a good read – cheers!

    Premier Icon 2tyred
    Full Member

    bump… anyone??

    Premier Icon Sidney
    Free Member

    Whereabouts are you based? Aston Barclay auctions in Chelmsford have fleet sales and there have been quite a few petrol C-Max from the motobility scheme for sale there. Fair proportion are autos but usually low mileage. Could be worth keeping an eye out on their website

    Premier Icon cb
    Full Member

    Sidney – anywhere that ‘sold’ prices can be obtained? Just wondering how cheap nice motors go for at places like that.

    Premier Icon 2tyred
    Full Member

    Interesting, hadn’t considered auctions. Can you do that sort of thing online?

    Premier Icon nigew
    Free Member

    What about having a look on Ebay?
    Just make sure the descriptions seem sensible and honest.
    just bought an ’05 sensible mileage Vectra SRI for low money in a regular auction on there.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Are you PXing? If so it makes the whole negotiation thing a bit harder IME as you have two prices to worry about. I just used the auto-trader website valuation thing to check how far off the prices of cars advertised were (before visiting the dealership) and used that as my target price. Did a Glasses guide valuation on my PX car to which along with Parker’s was a fair bit lower than the Autotrader valuation (most dealers seemed to be working on the lower valuations or worse so I just accepted the Autotrader valuation must be skewed for some reason on my car, it was £1500 than the other sites).
    Anyway once you’re in a position to go see the cars then if you are serious about buying then either make sure the finances are sorted first or just go to check the condition etc. first, don’t bother starting to negotiate a price unless you’re ready to buy there and then. When you do start negotiating make sure you have a list of alternatives to hand so you can be ready to walk away and say the offered price isn’t low enough and you’re going to see a similar, cheaper car at the next dealer etc.

    Edit: the discount you should be getting off sticker will vary due to demand for the model and how much the dealer has slapped on. Key is to try and get close (or lower…) than the online valuation for the car. I’d say £500-£1k off a £6k car is where you should be aiming from an ‘average’ priced dealership.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Full Member

    Also don’t discount the idea of buying privately or from Ebay.
    I personally always buy privately as I believe that you can judge a car by meeting the previous owner, its not foolproof but dodgy people have dodgy cars. Nice middle class professional families are often just looking to beat the trade in price when getting rid of a car.

    Not a huge fan of auctions either as ones in Yorkshire are often poor value.

    If buying from a dealer, find a few cars in different dealers that you would be happy with and let the dealers work their price down over a week or so until one of them comes up with a final price you are happy with. Also check things like tyres and disc brakes, if these are worn then you could easily be spending an extra £500 to £1000 to replace if doing at a garage.

    Premier Icon HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    I’ve been looking recently and i’m finding a lot of dealers say the car has “service history” only to be presented with a book with some stamps in it. How much can you trust these? I’m guessing they are useless? It seems pretty easy to obtain stamps or books on ebay.

    Why would someone buy this for instance??
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENUINE-VW-VOLKSWAGEN-SHARAN-SERVICE-HISTORY-BOOK-WITH-10-STAMPS-/290758426422

    Premier Icon logical
    Free Member

    Stay away from the Citroen Xsara Picasso. Worst handling car I’ve ever tried. Cross channel ferries have less body roll and easier steering.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    The only hint I have- always be prepared to walk away. Know what it’s worth to you, and don’t pay more. But at the same time, don’t expect the dealer to give it away.

    Premier Icon jet26
    Free Member

    Try decide what you want in advance.

    The phone call of ‘I want car x in this colour and model what’s your best price’ worked well last time – got a big discount off the price just over the phone and more when went in.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Full Member

    Toyota Corolla Verso in 1.8 VVT guise. Exactly what I have and fills all your (and my) criteria. My only complaint is it’s a little small for us now, but it’s fine when compared with other class rivals. If you’re not doing big miles it’s a real coin toss whether a diesel is cheaper to run year on year.

    They are so deeply uninteresting and untrendy you can pick them up for peanuts privately, and being Toyotas are ideal if you’re not clued up on cars – very reliable. So also perfect to buy privately IMHO.

    I got one for £1500 cash with 40K on the clock, trading in my same aged Leon Cupra a few years back and have had about 4 years and 40K out of it without a murmur above usual consumables.

    Premier Icon falkirk-mark
    Full Member

    If you go to look at a car and do not like anything/ seller /summit about car then walk, trust your instinct. plus let any dealer think you are p/xing some crappy car he would not want on his forecourt and ask for a price without p/x, if you aint taking finance do not tell him till you have figures you want in writing.

    Premier Icon Sidney
    Free Member

    cb and 2tyred – didn’t see your replies until now, been a tad busy.

    They don’t give sold prices except once they accidently showed the reserve for every vehicle for that days auction. Prob won’t happen again! I’ve been down a twice to get a feel for prices. Felt like prices had gone up in the 8 months or so since I visited, though it could be down to time of year.

    For auction prices use parkers or whatcar. Their auction prices are about a month out of date (according to my mate at work….).

    Finally, Aston barclay does have a online live buy though I don’t know if thats open to public. Might be trade only. Would be worth looking at vehicle at site before bidding.

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