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To expect that little more for cash?

(16 Posts)
Kiora Sun 24-Nov-13 11:48:09

Hi I got carried away on the 'good morning Sunday thread' and it made me realise I should ask for the advice from a wider audience. My husband normally buys his car from auctions and has never paid more than £4000 he brings them up to standard and maintains them himself. After a lot of thought we decided that because he was starting to feel the strain of spending time on the damp ground underneath a car we should spend all our merger savings on a good second hand car. It needed to take the strain of around 250 miles a week to and from his job for at least 5-6 years. He did a lot of research and found the car from a main dealer paid the deposit 3 weeks ago. Did a test drive a few days later and gave them a list of a few repairs that needed doing (tracking polishing out scratches, cleaning) he made arrangements to pick it up tomorrow morning and part with £11000 but they've rang to say it may not be ready until late afternoon. He's now started to worry that this level of service doesn't bode well if something goes wrong with said car. Since this is our first experience of buying from a dealer we are not sure if this is usual. We've never paid this amount of cash up front for anything and have found the whole thing stressful rather than enjoyable .any advice?

merlotgran Sun 24-Nov-13 12:00:39

Hi Kiora, Your DH sounds just like mine. We've never spent more than £4,000 on a car and he does all the maintenance. £11,000 is a substantial sum and I would expect the same level of service as you would get with an, albeit modest, new one. Should a car costing that much still have scratches when customers view it? I think any repairs should have already been done.

We've had good cars and not so good ones and one disaster, which I begged DH not to buy but he wouldn't listen. That experience has taught me to go with my instincts. If you are not happy, don't buy it. There are plenty more cars out there.

glammanana Sun 24-Nov-13 12:07:33

I agree 100% merlot £11.000 is a large sum to be spending on a second hand car that has not been put in showroom condition before it is shown to the public for that price even though it is to be used for 5/6 yrs ahead I would have to look at something that had a full new car warranty and no other costs such as road tax for the 1st 3/5 yrs.I would personally look elsewhere before you part with such a lot of money.

whenim64 Sun 24-Nov-13 12:28:29

Sounds ominous. You could get plenty of other cars in perfect condition for that price. If it doesn't feel right, go with your concerns.

petra Sun 24-Nov-13 13:19:39

As we say in our house, the red flag is waving. Walk away.

As an aside. Only in the past couple of weeks we have come across two secondhand cars that we sold, still going strong.
One, a Volvo estate bought in 2004 for £800. The other, a Mercedes estate we bought in 2006 for the same price. And we made a profit on both.

Charleygirl Sun 24-Nov-13 15:11:21

I agree, there is something not quite right here. I have only bought modest 2nd hand cars with low mileage and around 6 months old from dealerships. I normally pick up the car 1-2 days later after it has had another valet inside and out. These cars are usually in pristine condition when I see them and any minute scratches etc. removed.

£11,000 is an awful lot of your hard earned cash to keep for 3 weeks. I would ask for the money and run. As somebody else said, if this is how you are treated at the start, what if a major fault develops within weeks? They will be dragging their heels big style then.

FlicketyB Sun 24-Nov-13 15:25:18

My quibble with Kiora's plan is buying any car from a main dealer and letting them maintain it. My experience of repairs done by main dealers is of twice having a car returned to me in a very dangerous condition, once being charged (expensively) for work that hadn't been done and more recently DH's car being returned without the key for the locking bolt on the wheel. Fortunately we realised the same day as they left the box loose on the back seat instead of putting it back in the glove compartment. They then couldn't find the missing key, so the car had to go back to have the locking nut cut off, a new wheel and a new locking nut and keys supplied.

We get much better quality work and, more reliable and friendly service from those small backstreet or village garages that the AA and RAC are so dismissive of. Whereever we have lived we have quickly found a good local garage and stuck to them no matter what car we had. Ds and DD have done the same with the same satisfaction.

Charleygirl Sun 24-Nov-13 15:33:05

I would not know which of the backstreet garages to trust so I stay with the local dealership to repair and maintain my car. It would not be difficult to palm me off with a load of bull** and to date, that has not happened (to my knowledge).

FlicketyB Sun 24-Nov-13 16:13:01

When we move houses we ask around, there is usually one that will be recommended, or take our car to one with a minor problem and see how they do and if they do the work properly we go again.

Nobody ever palmed us off with a load of bulls**t. None of the problems with returning my car in a dangerous condition were visible or obvious when the car was collected. A universal joint on the steering column left loose, wheelnuts on a wheel only lightly hand tightened. We realised within 24 hours that there was a problem with the car and took it back and got it fixed properly, but it should never have been left like that in the first place, ditto the lost locking key for the wheel nuts, We realised when we collected the car that they were missing but couldn't stop them loosing the key - again it was fixed but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. Again the same with the overcharging we realised the work hadn't been done very quickly and went back, but it shouldn't never have happened.

We have never had problems like that with our local garage and we have worked on this basis for the last 30+ years. in three different locations.

merlotgran Sun 24-Nov-13 16:24:29

Local garages, especially in villages, have a lot to lose if they don't look after their customers. They rely on positive word of mouth and are often booked up well in advance for MOTs. We've been using the same garage for many years and they were marvellous when DH was ill, collecting my car for repair, leaving me a loan can and returning mine when everything was done.

When we change our cars we use a garage which caters for American servicemen. I prefer to drive an automatic as my left knee is not keen on frequent use of the clutch in heavy traffic. They have a good selection of cars in all price ranges and even the cheap ones are sold in showroom condition.

I have always trusted DH's judgement where cars are concerned but since his stroke I feel more secure dealing with people who are not going to take advantage of the fact that he's not as sharp as he was. I think I would be distraught if either of these garages were to close down.

Aka Sun 24-Nov-13 17:03:36

There are dealers and dealers.
Some are trustworthy some are not. Ask around. Google the garage.
I'd have done this anyway before getting this far down the line hmm

Deedaa Sun 24-Nov-13 20:41:11

In the good old days when I lived in Cornwall I rarely paid more than £50 at auctions and some of them even went on to pass another MOT!
£11,000 seems a hell of a lot to spend on a second hand car. I should want it absolutely pristine, with proof of any mechanical work done to it.
The most we have paid is £6,000 and so far we've had the car for 8 years. It's had one or two minor problems but fortunately we've got a brilliant garage which is cheap and reliable and always ready to fix things.

Kiora Mon 25-Nov-13 08:46:02

Today the day. I'll let you know how it goes. I know 11 grand is lots of money but we chewed it over for ages. He needs a car that's going to do around 250-400 miles a week in comfort. It has to be really reliable, it has to be fuel efficient all for the next 5-8 years. So he was taking into account the savings on petrol, the cost of two second hand cars over that time plus the minimum of maintenance. It's always hard making a decision and weighing over the pros & cons. Honestly it's made him really stressed. He a very stoic man who is greatful for what he's got. He's never bought himself anything lavish parting with this money feels almost sinful to him. Silly really we've bought a house , brought up 3 children, seen them through some hard times, paid our fair share of three weddings, have 8 grandchildren. Never been a burden on the state. He deserves a bit of comfort to and from work over these last few years rather than every winter starting the car up on a wish and a prayer. So I'm hoping its o.k today. Although I think it'll niggle at him for a while did I do the right thing etc etc .. It will only be at the 5 year point if its been trouble free that he feel he was justified.

LizG Mon 25-Nov-13 09:30:08

We have done something similar recently Kiora my husband has now got the sort of car he has wanted for a long time. We bought it from a dealer and, like you, were told when to collect. They usually like to make sure it is clean and up to standard before you arrive. Also they have others coming in for the same thing as well.

Is your dealer reasonably well known? If the car comes with a guarantee check to see if that can be actioned by other similar dealers ( ours can which is good because we live a long way from the original dealer) but most of all relax and enjoy your new car smile

Kiora Mon 25-Nov-13 15:27:33

Phew its here all nice and shiny sitting on the drive. Bought and paid for cash. Thanks for everyone's input but especially LizG who has made me realise that yes we should relax and enjoy it now. We deserve it !

rosesarered Fri 29-Nov-13 20:56:17

Kiora, we have always bought cars from main dealers and NEVER had any problems. I'm sure all will be fine. Enjoy your car!