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Old 16-03-2017, 08:19 AM   #1
WHIZZER
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How to buy a Car ?

Ok Im sure everyone is well versed in this but thought would jot down the things you should do

This is more for a New Car -
1 - Look Around ( obvious) -but look further than just your home towns you will be surprised how prices differ in different regions

2 Homework - know what you want in the car - spec - trim etc

3 timing - End of year sales - new regs etc all impact so time it right

4 Haggle options not just price- you might just get certain things thrown in

5 Don't believe all you hear - the salesmen might tell you that it cant be done - keep pressing ask them to ask sales manager etc

6 Don't seem to Keen - tell them you have other options to look at - that you will see if their deal is competitive etc - don't let on you need a car now !!!

7 be prepared to walk away

8 Look at Finance - Pcp will help with the deal but check the APR's

9 - Make sure you check the car - the spec - the condition - if in doubt point it out !
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Old 16-03-2017, 08:49 AM   #2
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Pretty good guide!
let me just add a lil extra...

2.1 - Check buyers guides (especially with 2nd hand cars)
know what issues to look out for, if they have common problems and have they been sorted

also, now that its available online - check MOT history

Last edited by donfresh; 16-03-2017 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 16-03-2017, 10:00 AM   #3
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Sound advice.


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Old 16-03-2017, 10:06 AM   #4
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Join up a member's website specific to the car you are looking at.

You'll quickly learn good and bad points about the car from owners. You'll also find out the discounts and perks to fight for.
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Old 16-03-2017, 10:13 AM   #5
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if in doubt point it out ! Mmmm, When have I done that before
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Old 16-03-2017, 11:25 AM   #6
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Use one of these with private.

https://www.theaa.com/resources/Docu...s-contract.pdf
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Old 16-03-2017, 06:57 PM   #7
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All the relevant legal advice is here:
http://https://www.citizensadvice.or...ng-a-used-car/
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Old 17-03-2017, 12:50 PM   #8
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So this is my take on this and I think this is an especially valuable thread that hopefully will be found by people when they're searching the internet.

USED CARS

- Find out the cars that you like and are in budget. If you're on the cheaper end of the scale and buying privately don't be afraid to look at cars a couple of hundred over your budget. If you're at the other end of the scale don't be afraid to look at cars up to £1000 over budget. At dealers on the higher priced stuff, you'll find you can get quite a lot off.

You can find cars where 'all bets are off' and you can get a cracking deal that seems almost impossible but you've really got to do your homework and speak to as many different sellers as possible.

There is the old adage though, if something does actually seem too good to be true, it probably is.

- Look on owners club forums and car forums for problems with the make and model of car you like. You'll know what to avoid and what to accommodate for. Don't make the mistake of letting it put you off a certain car, unless it's something pretty horrific, all cars have their faults, it's how you deal with them that matter.

- Once you've found a car you like, do an MOT History Check.

https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk

you'll get a reasonably good indication of how it's been looked after. For example if a car has advisories on an MOT, then when it comes back around the same advisories are still there or worse it made them fail. It's an indicator they do the bare minimum.

If you see an MOT where there are advisories then the next MOT it's clean or has different advisories, typically this means they get stuff done and keep their car well.

- HPI CHECK. There isn't any excuse for not doing a HPI Check. The minimum you should be doing on lower end stuff is to check to see if it's ever been involved in a write off. CAT D is usually smaller claims, CAT C is more serious. However both will effect the value of the vehicle and with CAT C, safety might be an issue AND some insures won't insure the car.

On more expensive cars, believe it not even from things from a grand upwards, you need to make sure they don't have finance tied to the car. It's fine if there IS finance attached to the car, as long as have a deal set up with the seller that YOU pay or WATCH them pay the finance company when you buy their car off them.

Some smaller dealerships and new dealerships have a special stock finance package whereby they can buy lots of stock in on finance to then sell on until their bank accounts are filled enough to do it with their own cash. This is normal practice.

- Go and see the car. Even if buying on eBay you really aught to see the car before comitting to buy. What looks good in pictures may look like a pile of rubbish when you get there and in some cases the other way around, a car might look a bit grubby but underneath maybe mechanically perfect, some people don't make great sales people

- When you're at the car you're thinking of buying. Check the service history, book packs and everything else the owner can give you. Check for evidence of all the basics. Regular services and on older cars and cars with 5 year changes, make sure the timing/cam belt has been done. A good indicator of a good owner is if they get the water pump done at the same time. (some cars do have water pumps run off a different belt or electronic so make sure you know beforehand)

If the car is aging and it hasnt had a timing belt and water pump done. Cost that into your negotiations.

Visual Checks
- Brakes - look at thhe disc brakes. They shouldn't be corroded on the faces, there will more than likely be corrosion on the outer edges. If the car has been standing, there will be surface rust, check them after a test drive if that's the case. Make sure there isn't a massive lip which will be obvious when you see it, you'll also be able to see the thickness of the pad.

- Tyres - check the depth, you can see the minimum depth using the markers in the grooves of the tyre, usually situated in a groove that runs the entire circumference of the tyre.

Check the sidewalls - make sure there aren't any deep cuts or large cuts where you can see the cord, don't be afraid to poke and manipulate a cut to check it out, it's your safety after all and mention it to the seller if it's unsafe.

Check the shoulders i.e each of the outer most parts of the main tyre tread, if one side is wearing thin (going bald) but the other side isn't, there is an alignment issue that is needed and more than likely new tyres - cost this into negotiations.

Bodywork - Take your time and look over the entire car, note any deep scratches as they won't typically come out and any dents. You've got to be realistic with your expectations with the age of the car. You can't expect it to be perfect depending on the age, it'll just be a bonus if it is.

Check under the car, in the engine bay and the boot area to see if there is overspray, this is where you'd almost see colour 'going over the lines' like in a colouring book. If there is paint on rubber hoses and engine components, there is a chance it's because it's been in an accident.

Engine - Make sure the cars engine is COLD. Stone Cold. Ask the seller to make sure this is the case for when you turn up. This way you can start the car putting full strain on glow plugs/spark plugs/ battery, starter etc. You can always do a hot start test once you've driven, to test for compression issues and hot starting problems but you will miss your chance at cold starting if it's warm when you arrive to see it.

Check the colour of the radiator fluid. It will be a nice clear orange, clear green or on older vehicles clear blue. If it's rusty coloured, it's not been maintaned well and could be a result of not being changed in years and years. If it looks oily, you'll see shiny stuff on the service when you look in the tank, this is contamination and you should work out why it has this.

Check under the oil filler cap for any mayonaise type substance, you shouldn't see anything, if there's a white grease looking stuff under there, it means the headgasket is on its way out or is already gone. Not usually a cheap job so my opinion is to walk.

check the oil on the dipstick, make sure it's between the min and max marks, diesel cars will typically have black oil, fresh oil in diesels turn black almost immediately as they are decent to absorb particulates. Oil in petrol cars should be more brown looking, newer cars it'll look like treacle, older cars it will have black tinge but on kitchen towel, it'll bloom out into a brown colour. Make sure it doesn't seem watery.

Start the car with the radiator cap off (REMEMBER COLD ENGINE) and make sure there aren't lots of bubbles or thrashing of the water in the radiator/expansion tank. Indicator of head gasket or EGR cooler issues.

Test Drive - test drive the car. Make sure you have suitable insurance that covers you and make sure the driver has insurance on the vehicle.

The minimal you should do.
- Listen for any knocks
- When you brake if it pulls to either side or judders
- Accelerate and listen for any strange engine noises or gearbox whines. (Including turbo whistling).
- To test the clutch, you may not want to do this but it does work. Get the car at a stand still and put it in 4th gear. Give it some high revs and pull up the clutch fast. If the car stalls straight away, you're good for a while yet. If it slips, you'll hear the car trying to move, the revs will drop but sort of bounce a round a bit and will take long time to stall or you will actually slowly start driving off! The clutch will need replacing. Again price this into negotiations (Be aware modern cars can have Dual-Mass Flywheels. This will typically need replacing when a clutch is done which means an expensive repair).
- Make sure the car doesn't overheat. Most cars will sit around the 90 mark.

The Buy

Check the log book for owners, make sure it Tallys up with the HPI check. Sports cars, convertibles etc usually have a high number of owners, family cars etc usually have lower numbers, ofcourse just be sensible and have a little look how long the current owner has owned it for.

The log book should have a RED front page not a blue one. Also hold it up to the light to check for DVLA watermarking. Check the VIN on the logbook with the VIN on the car, easiest place to see as people get funny if they think you're checking if it's a rung car, is the windscreen, usually bottom right but have seen it bottom left and the centre, just match the numbers There will also be vairious places around the car that it is stamped and on a plate in the engine bay.

Haggle. Don't try to take the micky as you'll put the sellers guards up, be respectful but explain why you're offering less than they're asking. Apart from expecting it, if you explain you want this fixing, this sorting, cars for sale at lower prices than this one etc, they'll be reasonable with you and you'll more than likely come to a good price.

Do the deal if everything feels right, stop worrying, ring your insurance and drive home or pay your deposit and have the dealer do as they promised, MOT, valet etc and arrange a day to pick it up.
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Old 23-06-2017, 10:17 AM   #9
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Have to agree with all the above , doing your homework on forums key to getting best deals as well, along with Coast2Coast, Car Wow , Drive the Deal for start to get where the market can be at for the car you want.
Also try to get a dealer that has plenty of allocation for the car you want and also remember the Guaranteed future Values can be altered with some dealer groups even though they tell you they can't came across this on the Merc.
Also the power of telling them what you want to pay after loads of research is so powerful leave the offer open a couple of weeks you will be surprised how many come cack from saying not a chance in getting the car at that price to saying they can do the deal.
The games the sales staff play are close to pathetic just remember that many don't even question deals before they buy shocking I know.
On collection always have someone with you to fully inspect the car before papers signed to make sure for one it is perfect and that the extra's you ordered are on the car, as sometimes they are not been there on two new cars.
Finance APR and fee's is key many dealers break rules still quoting flat rates.

Don't forget after you reach max discount don't close till you get tank of fuel and trade discount on any accessories you want for your new car and always ask for free touch up paint to seal the deal and jobs done.
Also if you have a great dealer contact sometimes worth taking the deal from them as can help in future warranty claims and also other cars in future also if want to sell car back.

Last edited by Derekh929; 23-06-2017 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck88 View Post
So this is my take on this and I think this is an especially valuable thread that hopefully will be found by people when they're searching the internet.

USED CARS

- Find out the cars that you like and are in budget. If you're on the cheaper end of the scale and buying privately don't be afraid to look at cars a couple of hundred over your budget. If you're at the other end of the scale don't be afraid to look at cars up to £1000 over budget. At dealers on the higher priced stuff, you'll find you can get quite a lot off.

You can find cars where 'all bets are off' and you can get a cracking deal that seems almost impossible but you've really got to do your homework and speak to as many different sellers as possible.

There is the old adage though, if something does actually seem too good to be true, it probably is.

- Look on owners club forums and car forums for problems with the make and model of car you like. You'll know what to avoid and what to accommodate for. Don't make the mistake of letting it put you off a certain car, unless it's something pretty horrific, all cars have their faults, it's how you deal with them that matter.

- Once you've found a car you like, do an MOT History Check.

https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk

you'll get a reasonably good indication of how it's been looked after. For example if a car has advisories on an MOT, then when it comes back around the same advisories are still there or worse it made them fail. It's an indicator they do the bare minimum.

If you see an MOT where there are advisories then the next MOT it's clean or has different advisories, typically this means they get stuff done and keep their car well.

- HPI CHECK. There isn't any excuse for not doing a HPI Check. The minimum you should be doing on lower end stuff is to check to see if it's ever been involved in a write off. CAT D is usually smaller claims, CAT C is more serious. However both will effect the value of the vehicle and with CAT C, safety might be an issue AND some insures won't insure the car.

On more expensive cars, believe it not even from things from a grand upwards, you need to make sure they don't have finance tied to the car. It's fine if there IS finance attached to the car, as long as have a deal set up with the seller that YOU pay or WATCH them pay the finance company when you buy their car off them.

Some smaller dealerships and new dealerships have a special stock finance package whereby they can buy lots of stock in on finance to then sell on until their bank accounts are filled enough to do it with their own cash. This is normal practice.

- Go and see the car. Even if buying on eBay you really aught to see the car before comitting to buy. What looks good in pictures may look like a pile of rubbish when you get there and in some cases the other way around, a car might look a bit grubby but underneath maybe mechanically perfect, some people don't make great sales people

- When you're at the car you're thinking of buying. Check the service history, book packs and everything else the owner can give you. Check for evidence of all the basics. Regular services and on older cars and cars with 5 year changes, make sure the timing/cam belt has been done. A good indicator of a good owner is if they get the water pump done at the same time. (some cars do have water pumps run off a different belt or electronic so make sure you know beforehand)

If the car is aging and it hasnt had a timing belt and water pump done. Cost that into your negotiations.

Visual Checks
- Brakes - look at thhe disc brakes. They shouldn't be corroded on the faces, there will more than likely be corrosion on the outer edges. If the car has been standing, there will be surface rust, check them after a test drive if that's the case. Make sure there isn't a massive lip which will be obvious when you see it, you'll also be able to see the thickness of the pad.

- Tyres - check the depth, you can see the minimum depth using the markers in the grooves of the tyre, usually situated in a groove that runs the entire circumference of the tyre.

Check the sidewalls - make sure there aren't any deep cuts or large cuts where you can see the cord, don't be afraid to poke and manipulate a cut to check it out, it's your safety after all and mention it to the seller if it's unsafe.

Check the shoulders i.e each of the outer most parts of the main tyre tread, if one side is wearing thin (going bald) but the other side isn't, there is an alignment issue that is needed and more than likely new tyres - cost this into negotiations.

Bodywork - Take your time and look over the entire car, note any deep scratches as they won't typically come out and any dents. You've got to be realistic with your expectations with the age of the car. You can't expect it to be perfect depending on the age, it'll just be a bonus if it is.

Check under the car, in the engine bay and the boot area to see if there is overspray, this is where you'd almost see colour 'going over the lines' like in a colouring book. If there is paint on rubber hoses and engine components, there is a chance it's because it's been in an accident.

Engine - Make sure the cars engine is COLD. Stone Cold. Ask the seller to make sure this is the case for when you turn up. This way you can start the car putting full strain on glow plugs/spark plugs/ battery, starter etc. You can always do a hot start test once you've driven, to test for compression issues and hot starting problems but you will miss your chance at cold starting if it's warm when you arrive to see it.

Check the colour of the radiator fluid. It will be a nice clear orange, clear green or on older vehicles clear blue. If it's rusty coloured, it's not been maintaned well and could be a result of not being changed in years and years. If it looks oily, you'll see shiny stuff on the service when you look in the tank, this is contamination and you should work out why it has this.

Check under the oil filler cap for any mayonaise type substance, you shouldn't see anything, if there's a white grease looking stuff under there, it means the headgasket is on its way out or is already gone. Not usually a cheap job so my opinion is to walk.

check the oil on the dipstick, make sure it's between the min and max marks, diesel cars will typically have black oil, fresh oil in diesels turn black almost immediately as they are decent to absorb particulates. Oil in petrol cars should be more brown looking, newer cars it'll look like treacle, older cars it will have black tinge but on kitchen towel, it'll bloom out into a brown colour. Make sure it doesn't seem watery.

Start the car with the radiator cap off (REMEMBER COLD ENGINE) and make sure there aren't lots of bubbles or thrashing of the water in the radiator/expansion tank. Indicator of head gasket or EGR cooler issues.

Test Drive - test drive the car. Make sure you have suitable insurance that covers you and make sure the driver has insurance on the vehicle.

The minimal you should do.
- Listen for any knocks
- When you brake if it pulls to either side or judders
- Accelerate and listen for any strange engine noises or gearbox whines. (Including turbo whistling).
- To test the clutch, you may not want to do this but it does work. Get the car at a stand still and put it in 4th gear. Give it some high revs and pull up the clutch fast. If the car stalls straight away, you're good for a while yet. If it slips, you'll hear the car trying to move, the revs will drop but sort of bounce a round a bit and will take long time to stall or you will actually slowly start driving off! The clutch will need replacing. Again price this into negotiations (Be aware modern cars can have Dual-Mass Flywheels. This will typically need replacing when a clutch is done which means an expensive repair).
- Make sure the car doesn't overheat. Most cars will sit around the 90 mark.

The Buy

Check the log book for owners, make sure it Tallys up with the HPI check. Sports cars, convertibles etc usually have a high number of owners, family cars etc usually have lower numbers, ofcourse just be sensible and have a little look how long the current owner has owned it for.

The log book should have a RED front page not a blue one. Also hold it up to the light to check for DVLA watermarking. Check the VIN on the logbook with the VIN on the car, easiest place to see as people get funny if they think you're checking if it's a rung car, is the windscreen, usually bottom right but have seen it bottom left and the centre, just match the numbers There will also be vairious places around the car that it is stamped and on a plate in the engine bay.

Haggle. Don't try to take the micky as you'll put the sellers guards up, be respectful but explain why you're offering less than they're asking. Apart from expecting it, if you explain you want this fixing, this sorting, cars for sale at lower prices than this one etc, they'll be reasonable with you and you'll more than likely come to a good price.

Do the deal if everything feels right, stop worrying, ring your insurance and drive home or pay your deposit and have the dealer do as they promised, MOT, valet etc and arrange a day to pick it up.
excellent guide
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