Jump to content

Buying a used car.


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 205 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then


Please click the "Report " link


at the bottom of one of the posts.


If you want to post a new story then


Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 



Recommended Posts



My daughter is 17 and learning to drive.  We are looking for a car but not many used ones about at the moment that are being sold privately.  We are thinking of using a garage but is there a best way to pay for the car?  Just in case there is anything goes wrong.  I won’t be doing finance and probably looking to spend £2000 (we have £1000 saved)


Many Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites



This is what BankFodder says about paying for used cars. He also strongly suggests buying locally. The worst problems we see on the Vehicle Retailers and Manufacturers forum here is guys buying a car from miles away and then being asked to take it back to the dealership or have it shipped, if there are issues.



Edited by honeybee13
Faulty link removed
  • Like 1

Illegitimi non carborundum




Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you must be the first person ever in 16 years of this forum who have come to us and asked us for advice about buying a used car – before you take the leap and before you become a victim.

Big Bravo!

The circumstances you describe – 17 year old daughter, very little money – these are all the profile of someone who is in the frame for taking a bloody nose if they're not very careful – and even if they are.

The very best thing you can do would be to try and buy a car privately – from a friend or relative – and I don't mean some young teenage friend. I'm talking about some friend who has had the car for a reasonable period of time and used gently and you know some thing about it service history.

As soon as you go to a dealer, if you buy a car for £2000 you can be pretty certain that the dealer has probably bought it for less than £1000.

The big no-no's as my site team colleague above has said is not to buy a car at any particular distance from you. You must factor in the costs and difficulties involved in getting the car back to the dealer in the event that something goes wrong. This can easily add hundreds of pounds which the dealer will be very reluctant to refund to you and in fact you may not even have the right to a refund.
These extra hundreds of pounds might usefully have been spent on getting a better car – although the difference between a £2000 car and a £3000 car in terms of quality are probably not great.

Don't pay by cash. Don't pay by bank transfer. Either get a finance deal or if you must, pay by credit card to get protections under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
I'm afraid that the kind of price you are thinking of paying, it's entirely likely that the dealer will only want cash. Especially at the price you are intending to pay – Walk Away!

I'm afraid that the kind of dealer that is selling cars for £2000 is probably not the kind of dealer you want to be buying a car from – especially at £2000! (You can figure that one out)

A dealer may offer you a warranty – don't be seduced by it. It's pretty well worthless and it simply a way of the dealer trying to shift responsibility for defects onto someone else and it's simply a way of offering bonbons to an innocent purchaser who thinks that they are getting something a bit extra.

Make sure you understand your statutory rights.

If you do buy a car – probably at any price whether it is £1000 or £15,000 or more, get it checked out and MOT by an independent garage that has nothing to do with the dealer. Make sure they don't even know the dealer.
Do this even if the dealer is selling you the car with a brand-new MOT. In fact do this especially if the dealer is selling you a car with a brand-new MOT.
Most little dealers have got close relations with local MOT stations. You need to get an MOT from somebody who is completely at arms length from the dealer who sold you the car.
Obviously try and check the car over before you buy it – and that means take it for a drive – a decent drive – at decent speeds, but also try and drive it snarled up in traffic as well so there's a lot of stop start and the possibility of overheating.
Don't accept verbal assurances from the dealer. You need everything in writing.
Check out the dealer thoroughly. Check all the reviews – don't pay much attention to the four-star reviews and five-star reviews. Check the dates of the very positive reviews and see if they tend to be bunched together.

Just because they happen to have good reviews in Auto Trader – means absolutely nothing. Don't imagine that Auto Trader cares anything about reputability. Auto Trader is simply a trade rag which is used by car dealers to sell their old cars and for some reason or other, the public seems to think that a car which they find in Auto Trader is automatically of good quality. 
Probably, if you find a car then come to the forum and tell us about it and tell us the name of the dealer – and maybe we can find out a bit of extra information.

If you do buy a car and it shows the slightest hint of problems then get yourself to this forum as quickly as possible.

At the end of the day – don't buy a car for £2000 from a dealer. You will probably be extremely lucky to get something that won't be costing you money and grief within a year.
Your daughter is only 17 and although she may be impatient to get her own car, try to get her to calm down and wait for a year or so – keep on saving – but take a deep breath.
As she gets older the insurance bill will become cheaper as well.

The best advice? – Don't buy a car for £2000 from a dealer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • BankFodder pinned and featured this topic

Thank you very much for the advice.


We’ve selected a few cars to view the most being £1000 and within 15 miles of where we live all being sold privately.  My brother in law is coming with us as he’s a service manager for BMW previously also working with Volvo, Renault, Nissan and VW.  My daughter has her test booked in the next few weeks so hopefully she’ll pass and enjoy many happy driving years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to warn you about when buying privately – is that you are not covered by the consumer rights act. The consumer rights act confers certain protections on consumers when they deal with traders.

So although I would generally feel more comfortable buying privately, it's not all roses.

Of course the consumer protections should work very well with traders but the problem is that the kind of traders we find out about on this forum tend to be dishonest or at least they cut corners and it is difficult to get them to carry out their obligations.

At least if you buy privately, then you aren't at risk of losing so much money. Of course you do have certain rights against a private seller and if they make any representations about the vehicle such as its condition, it service history – anything about the vehicle – then that becomes part of the contract and you could claim against them if it was untrue.

However you would need evidence denying that they said something or at least deny that that is what they meant.

With a private seller, there may be more leeway and I would want to say to the private seller that I would like to take the car – or have it taken to a particular garage for an assessment and also an MOT.
A dealer is unlikely to agree to this but a private seller may be happy to let you do this and then you can find out exactly what you are buying and if there is anything about the car that you should know about.

You could say to the private seller that you would like the car checked out by a local MOT station so they would give it an MOT thorough diagnostic check.
Of course you would have to tell the seller that you would pay for the diagnostic check and for the MOT. If the inspection revealed something that you didn't like and you decided not to buy it then of course you would lose your money on the cost of the inspection that that would be infinitely more desirable than buying a car for a private seller and then within a short time discover that there is something seriously wrong which is going to cost you a lot of money to fix.

It's a shame that so many used-car dealers are untrustworthy because with your consumer rights in place, that would be the best way to buy a car. Although the dealer is making a profit out of you, the liability that they shoulder is what you are paying for. When they decide to make their profit and then shirk their liabilities, then they are ripping you off – and it happens all too often

Link to post
Share on other sites



Some quick advice needed if possible. 

My eldest daughter is buying her first car and doesn’t want finance due to the interest so is opting for a bank loan (£10,000) to purchase the car.


Ive read about not paying by bank transfer or cash.  How should she pay?  She doesn’t have a credit card and this is her first ever credit.  She was just going to pay by debit card but don’t know if this offers her the same protection as a credit card.


Thank you

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chargeback is typically limited to 120 days if you use a debit card, though with special exceptions it can be 540 days..


dont forget your consumer rights extend to poss 6yrs, .....

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

Link to post
Share on other sites


  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?

  • Create New...