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Used Car Buying From UK Dealer Top Tips, CarMotion.co.uk Real Customer Experience

ConsumerWatch / How to Guides Oct 03, 2017 - 01:05 PM GMT

By: N_Walayat

ConsumerWatch Here are my top tips for buying a used car from a UK dealer based on experience and lessons learned from my last purchase from CarMotion.co.uk that proved valuable in terms of lessons learned for next time, mistakes I don't intend on repeating for my next purchase of a USED car in the region of between £20k to £30k.



Tip 1 - DO NOT BUY A High Mileage Car

The first lesson learned from my last purchase is NOT to buy a high mileage car!

When I bought my then 3 year old Zafira from Car Motion it had a mileage of near 96,000 miles!

As 12 months on it was time for its first MOT under my ownership, and having driven just 1411 miles to total 97,339. What MOT costs would one be expecting after less 1500 miles of motoring?

As an example my previous much older car would typically cost between £200 and £350 to get through an MOT.



So how much do you think the much newer Zafira cost to get through its first MOT? £100, £200? £300?

£ 1288.62 , or 17% of the price I paid for the car! OUCH!

The key lesson learned here is to NOT BUY A HIGH MILAGE CAR BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SAVE ANY MONEY! As you are likely going to end up paying through the nose to get it through its first MOT even if you hardly ever drive the car.

So this is one mistake I won't be making again!

AGAIN DO NOT BUY A HIGH MILEAGE CAR EVEN IF IT IS A DIESEL!

In hindsight I should have heeded the warning signs of a 3 year old car having done near 96,000 miles! Even if it was a Diesel!

So the number one golden rule of thumb is to aim for a limit of 12,000 miles per year, so for a 3 year old car, a buyer I should be aiming for max mileage of around 36,000, the higher the mileage the less appealing the car, and definitely nowhere near 96k!

Tip 2 - Check ALL of the paperwork is in order, and that the dealer actually has ALL of the keys!

Don't take anything the dealer says for granted, instead Check all of the docs BEFORE you hand over a single penny, that's the log book, MOT, maintenance records and make sure that they have the keys the they say they do!

Which was my second big mistake, believing what the dealer told me! For when I asked for the maintenance records book, it was locked away and someone else had the key to the drawer, so I only got only sight of it AFTER I bought the car and could see that the service history was far from full, having missed several services for its high mileage which has a material impact on the value of the car i.e. 1st service on 20/11/16 at 20,724 miles, 2nd service on 30/04/08 at 61,490 miles, that's not every 12 months or 20,000 miles!

Also I was supposed to get 2 keys, instead at the end of the purchase I was handed just 1 key and given a promise that a second key would be made and forwarded on to me in a few days time. Which NEVER HAPPENED. So I spent the next 3 months chasing Car Motion for the second key, eventually giving up.

At the time a Zafira replacement key cost £140, today the cost would be about £180! So it's not a small sum of money!

Having two keys is very important as in the first consequence is the anxiety and worry that someone with the second key is going to drive off with your car during the night!

The second consequence is that you cannot afford to lose or misplace your keys! So every time I misplaced my keys panic would set in because there was no spare car key!

So once more ALWAYS check that the paperwork is in order i.e. that the services were done in the maintenance record on time and within the mileage limits especially if the car is within warranty! And that they actually do have two keys! Which you really do need! After all how are you going to sell your car on with just 1 key? Else you pay the price! A red warning flag is if the dealer gives you bullshit that the maintenance record is locked away somewhere for after you pay its TOO LATE!

Tip 3 - Don't pay a deposit until you have checked everything

The third mistake I made was I was talked into paying a deposit on the car after my initial quick viewing and very brief test drive of just 2 miles. Because it wasn't a refundable deposit but a SALES agreement! So I had not done all of the necessary checks BEFORE agreeing to buy the car. Which means if I changed my mind my deposit would be lost.

So remember on initial viewing's it is unlikely that you will remember many of the checks you need to do i.e. VIN number etc, which will only come to you some hours later so don't be talked into paying a 'deposit' UNTIL you are READY TO BUY! Or unless you are prepared to lose the deposit.

So Yes, the main checks are obvious such as HPI and write off, and that it comes with a MOT etc, but stuff like keys and condition of the car such as that the warning lights are not taped over or checking that the radio works can be missed. Because once you pay, even a deposit its generally too late!.

Again number 3 rule is NOT TO PAY ANYTHING until you have checked everything for which you need to take a CHECK LIST with you. And Perhaps come back another day with any more queries.

Tip 4 - Buy a car with manufacturers warranty.

Given that most new cars start with a 3 year warranty, you want to aim to buy a car with at least 6 months left and optimally a 1 year on its warranty during which time you will become aware of any major issues whilst driving that can be repaired at manufacturers expense, of course only if you have a proper maintenance record!

So this is another lesson learned. For the worst cars to buy are those that are just out of warranty i.e. 3 years old. In which case an older cheaper model would be better for at least any maintenance costs will be offset against a much lower price.

As for the dealer warranties, these are basically bullshit, with so many get out clauses that make them worthless. So don't make the mistake I made by paying extra for a dealer offered warranty.

Tip 5 - Part Exchange

Try to avoid part exchanging because you will be lucky to get half you cars true value as a p/x. Especially if your car is over 5 years old. For instance today my Zafira is worth approx £1400, but P/x offers come in at a miserable £650!

Tip 6 - Best Time To Buy a Used Car

I bought my last car in early August, apparently one of the worst times of the year and month to buy a used car! Instead the best time of month to buy a used car is towards the end of a month which makes sales staff more eager to do a deal than earlier in the month so as to meet their monthly targets. SImilarly buyers have more negotiating power towards the end of each quarter, March, June, Sept and December.

Whilst the best months tend to be the winter months i.e. October to January when buyer demand is low. Also expect Used car prices to fall following the release of new number plates on 1st September and 1st March, also at that time dealers will have a lot of new p/x stock to get rid of.

So probably the best overall time of year to buy a used car is between Mid September and Mid February.

So buyers beware, heed my top 6 tips for buying a used car and especially -

1. Do not buy a high mileage car, aim for about 12k per year, even if it is a diesel car because you don't save any money by getting a cheaper high mileage car because it will sting you in maintenance costs.

2. Make sure you double check everything before PAYING anything!

Check the log book, maintenance record, MOT, and make sure there actually are two keys!

Tip 7 - Record the Purchase on Your Mobile Phone

So that there is no confusion about what was said or promised by the dealer.

CarMotion.co.uk

As for the long outstanding issue of the second key, well before posting this guide I did contact Car Motion to see if they would finally settle this, and that I was now willing to accept £100 as settlement for never having been provided the promised (recorded) second Zafira key costing £140 at the time and around £180 today.

The response from Carmotion.co.uk wasn't what I was expecting i.e. that I am contacting them far too late, instead the contact stated that they weren't even trading at the time I bought my car from them! Therefore implying I never bought a car from them!

So I emailed copies of my receipts that clearly indicate YES I did buy my car from Car Motion / CarMotion.co.uk

But the Car Motion contact person ignored all that I sent instead continuing to insist that they only began trading about a year AFTER I bought my car from them.

This despite still using the same website as when I bought my car from them http://www.carmotion.oc.uk

This despite what companies house states for both company numbers linked to CarMotion.co.uk and as on my receipt :

This despite being located at the same Mexborough address.

And even their present phone number ending in 5444 is the the SAME as as before (see original Zafira advert above).

So no joy on the second key front. Instead the car motion contact kept insisting that their company was not even trading at the time I bought the Zafira from them! Despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Even threatening to call the police! That’s what it is like dealing with Car Motion!

And this practice does not appear to have been a one off -

1983adam : I bought a Mondeo Titanium X from these when they were Economy cars. They sold it as having FSH and 2 keys, which I stupidly allowed them to send on to me as they were still awaiting them...they never turned up and then denied ever saying it had FSH....Cost me £££££ on the resale! Never Again

https://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1040915

This really does illustrate that buyers do need to beware and check everything before PAYING ANYTHING!, even a deposit! That is the only leverage a buyer has, after you have paid it is too late! CHECK EVERYTHING BEFORE PAYING A SINGLE PENNY to ANY DEALER! Don't get sweet talked into putting down any deposit!

So in conclusion I will definitely make a more comprehensive check list of everything before paying a single penny for my next car at ANY dealership.

Take your time, Don't rush into a purchase and BUYER ALWAYS BEWARE!

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2017 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 30 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

Nadeem Walayat Archive

© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

R.E.B
06 Oct 17, 17:33
Cars missing stuff

Good advice, especially the bit about missing spare keys, a very common trick these car supermarkets pull on unsuspecting buyers.Also commonly missing are tools and spare wheel changing equipment, fuse box covers and bits of trim etc. If you do not spot these at the time of purchase, these car supermarket people will hardly ever obtain them for you. Also watch for hastily repaired paintwork as they cheaply try to mask parking dings and damage from previous careless owners. Be aware of how these firms get some of their stock. I know a few people in the motor trade, and these big firms employ buyers who pick up ex lease, finance repos etc, which is why so many of them do not have the extra key, and why so many of them have been badly treated. I even know for a fact of one local car supermarket in my town with over 500 cars in stock that has a buyer scouring E Bay for late model cars. A friend of mine helps him drive them back. Try to get a low mileage car that has been carefully owned by someone with no dogs or children!


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