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Buying cheap car from garage

(25 Posts)
ineedamum Tue 06-Jul-21 18:30:53

I am clueless. The mileage and price are low and its from aA garage, why so cheap?

MerylStreep Tue 06-Jul-21 18:40:15

What is it.
How old is it.
What’s the mileage.
Ask someone who knows about cars to go with you to have a look and a test drive.

ineedamum Tue 06-Jul-21 18:43:28

Thanks. I don't have anybody to ask
40, 000 miles
16 years old
From AA garage

Blossoming Tue 06-Jul-21 18:44:30

You could book an AA vehicle prepurchase inspection, I think it costs around £100 though.

muse Tue 06-Jul-21 19:05:52

You’ve not said what make and model.
Also depends on how much MOT it has!

How do you know it’s cheap? Have you compared it with other similar cars? Look at AutoTrader on line for as near as possible comparison.

ineedamum Tue 06-Jul-21 19:33:37

I'm so clueless about cars but uts a Suzuki alto

Kim19 Tue 06-Jul-21 19:40:49

First MoT. That makes you legal and gives you time to assess the situation. The mileage sounds good and thoroughly reasonable for perhaps a mature person over these years. If it's from an AA garage perhaps it is covered by its test as standard? You can but ask. A test drive would be decidedly worthwhile methinks. Good luck!

vampirequeen Tue 06-Jul-21 19:45:49

Look on Autotrader and Honest John's. You'll be able to get an idea of the prices and reliability of those cars. When you go to the garage take someone with you, insist that the car comes with a brand new MOT with no advisories and at least a 3 month warranty. If they won't give you a warranty don't buy the car. Don't be persuaded to buy an extra warranty from an outside company. It's simply a commission making purchase for the garages. Take the car for a test drive. Try to avoid taking the salesman with you. Check that the windows open and close and that the heating/cooling fans work. Check all the lights and the horn. Try the horn with the engine off and on. Sometimes horns work when the engine is off but don't when it's on (I don't know why). Make sure the central locking works on all doors.

You can pay a mechanic from a local garage or the AA/RAC to do a check. Look on the AA/RAC websites for more information. If the garage isn't happy about it being looked at then tell them where you place their car and walk away.

muse Tue 06-Jul-21 19:47:49

Check out this link. Sorted price lowest first. First one has no MOT that's why it's that cheap.

I've had three suzuki's (not Alto) and rate them highly but I would never buy any car with no MOT.

Looking at the prices, £950 would buy you a decent one with full MOT.

Good luck.

Sarnia Tue 06-Jul-21 19:52:05

You get what you pay for. I would hope that an AA garage would be reputable. Can you Google the garage to see if there are any reviews from previous customers?

bikergran Tue 06-Jul-21 20:29:36

If you go on gov Web site you can check a cars mot history.

I bought a 15 Yr old Honda Jazz private sale 53,000 miles.

Paid £1,500 full mot. So far so good had it almost 4 yrs.

Blossoming Tue 06-Jul-21 20:42:16

I’ve had Suzukis in the past, both good reliable cars. Some good advice here.

geekesse Tue 06-Jul-21 21:14:34

If you don’t know anything about cars, ask a friend or family member who does to help you check out any car you are considering buying. If you come across as clueless to a salesman as you do on here, you may be sold a duff car or persuaded to add expensive ‘extras’.

If it’s 16 years old, even with a low-ish mileage, you are probably buying a car that is close to the end of its life. Expect ongoing problems with brakes, suspension, engine bits and pieces and body rust (possibly hidden under paint and filler), and a substantial outlay and some time without a car when it has its MOT each year.

If you are good with cars and can do your own maintenance, an older model isn’t a bad idea, but as you are not, you might be better to consider spending a bit more now to ensure fewer problems in the future.

mumofmadboys Tue 06-Jul-21 22:52:57

16 years old is a lot for a car. That would put me off.

Teacheranne Tue 06-Jul-21 23:19:07

I currently drive a Suzuki Splash which is 8 years old and worth less than £2,000 according to Parker’s guide. The Alto, smaller than the Splash, was one of the cheapest cars on sale when I bought my Suzuki so I would pay a lot for one that is 16 years old, although the low mileage is a bonus.

It depends what you want from a car. If you are planning to keep it for a few years then I would not buy one that is 16 years old whatever the price. If you only need it for a few months then it might be fine but be prepared to spend money on new parts such as battery, brake pads, exhaust, tyres etc. Check any promises made by the garage, so they do a pre sale list of any checks they have done or any warranties they offer.

Above all, go online to check the price, if you know the registration number or year and model it will be easy to get a guide price.

Teacheranne Tue 06-Jul-21 23:19:46

Sorry, should say I would not pay a lot

Katie59 Wed 07-Jul-21 07:40:41

The easy answer is get a friend with knowledge to check it out for you and test drive it. At 16 yrs it’s not quite a “banger” but don’t expect it to be fault free.
Make sure it has a long MOT and is in good general condition. In general Japanese brands are more reliable.

Nannee49 Wed 07-Jul-21 08:12:53

Ineedamum good advice from OP's regarding a long mot as an absolute minimum. Also, you can check the car's mot history by going on the DVLA website and entering the car reg, that will give you some idea of any past failures and problems. As a buyer of many bangers over the years, I've gained a bit of knowledge and would say 40,000 miles for a 16 yr old car is very low so an mot check would tell you if it's genuine mileage or not.
What's the asking price? Is there a service history? How many previous owners? Do you need a car for long journeys or low usage, just pootling about? Does it look fairly sound with minimum dinks and scrapes? Is the interior clean and well kept? Can I come with you to have a look at it haha! If it's an AA approved garage that should give you some reassurance also🤞

Lucca Wed 07-Jul-21 08:13:10

OP has said she has nobody to ask to go with her.

In which case spend the necessary money on an AA check, I’d say.

H1954 Wed 07-Jul-21 08:24:58

I would ask to see the service history; ask how long they've had it 'on the forecourt'; ask to take it for a test drive and then go to another service centre and ask them to look at it - as someone has already suggested, the AA will do an inspection on it at a charge.
Does it have an MOT? And more importantly, where was it done, not all MOT stations are vigilant.
I hope you don't get ripped off though.

M0nica Wed 07-Jul-21 09:17:50

I have a 17 year old Toyota Yaris. I have owned it for 13 years. It has never broken down and only once not got through the MOT and needed expensive repaira.

Modern cars, even old ones, are far more reliable than in the past. When you start being a car owner, a good old banger is often all you can afford.

Unfortunately the OP hasn't come back to tell us make or model or price, but one thing that makes me smell a rat is a 16 year old car with only 44,000 miles on the clock. That is less than 3000 miles a year. My 17 year old car has done 164000. 10,000 miles a year, which is around the average.

I think this car may have been 'clocked', that is, the odometer, which measures the miles has been tampered with and the mileage it shows has been drastically reduced.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 07-Jul-21 09:48:05

My 17 year old car, bought new, has much lower mileage than this as it’s our second car and has only ever done short trips so the mileage might be genuine but I’d definitely check the MOT history as others have suggested. I also know nothing about cars so a proper AA inspection would certainly be money well spent for me. In any case I wouldn’t touch a car without a current MOT - if it will soon expire get the garage to have it renewed with no ‘advisables’.

mumofmadboys Wed 07-Jul-21 10:20:37

I have sometimes phoned the previous owner and asked them about the car

Katie59 Wed 07-Jul-21 11:08:51

I’ve just checked Autotrader there is only one Suzuki Alto that sort of age, not a popular brand, it looks nice enough asking around £800 with long MOT.
Lots of things could be wrong, any car at that price is a risk.

vampirequeen Wed 07-Jul-21 12:31:25

Do you already have a car? If so, have you used the same garage for any length of time? If you have it wouldn't be cheeky to ask your mechanic if it's easy/cheap to get parts for the car. We have 2008 Berlingo and the parts are cheap to buy and pretty easy to fit but we almost made the mistake of getting a Nissan which you could no longer get parts for.