As far as I know most things have a list price and a final price.
Some build in, say, 5% or 10% on the price as negotiating room.
Any rule of thumb for used vehicles in the £10-15k range?
I realised that it is a long time since I bought a car.
AMD FX-6300 in GA-990X-Gaming SLI-CF running Windows 7 Pro x64
Yes. Take what you have to spend and subtract £2,500 from it, and buy
the best that you can find at that price.
The spend the £2500 on sorting out the reasons why it was being sold in
the first place.
Older expensive cars depreciate fast, but may not have that much mileage
. E.g. uyopu can pick up a 60,000 mile XJ8 for peanuts, thats been well
looked after by an old gent who kept it in his garage mostly.
If the car is new enough get an extended warranty on it.
General dealer margin will be around 30%, and its worth looking at cars
they cant shift easily that they would like to get shot of. And just ask
them what the price is, and subtract 30%, and go from there.,
"What do you think about Gay Marriage?"
The thing is there's lots of 'private sellers' that are in fact dealers.
They buy random junk from the auctions, mark it up a bit and flog it on
Gumtree, failing to mention the faults that were in the auction catalogue.
You don't get any comeback and they don't have any reputation to protect.
The only advantage over the auction is you get to test drive it first. But
you do have to ask why somebody sold it at auction in the first place.
Thus far the best trick I've found is to google the phone number, and a red
flag is if their number turns up on other car sale listings (there's some
websites that handily archive gumtree so you can see previously deleted
Hmm, I wonder if it's possible to scrape the auction listings to check if
the vehicle went through recently...?
Quite. Although buying an ex lease or whatever car at auction - where it
has simply reached the age and mileage where a main dealer won't want it
as used stock - can be a good deal. But you need to get it at auction
price rather than from a bomb site dealer who has given it a valet and
doubled the price.
* What do they call a coffee break at the Lipton Tea Company? *
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
I bought my car at auction. 3 years old and 30k miles. It had just come
off lease. I bought it for almost exactly 30% of list price. The only
flaw with the car was that some bastard had taken one of the keys, and
flogged it on ebay for £20. Getting a new one cost £200.
My big tip is to buy in the last one or two auctions before Christmas.
The dealers aren't bidding much, because they know the stock will just
sit around for two or three weeks before they can even start selling it.
Yep, though it depends where on the price spectrum you're on. The fees for
a private buyer at BCA (for instance) are pretty steep and you don't get to
examine the car much before purchase. So the dealer allowing you to walk
away is a useful feature. I found one that looked pristine, FSH, MOT record
was perfect. Price a bit low, but maybe there was no demand locally. Ran
well, everything looked fine. Plugged into the OBD port and read the codes
- the dealer hadn't mentioned the >>GBP1000 repair that was imminent which
was almost certainly why the owner had traded it in. I might have knackered
it even more just driving it home.
It's worth fishing around forums, because sometimes you can find the dealer
software to do this is available - and then all you need to do is buy that
used key from ebay for £20.
It was electric, and the traction battery had had it. Which is not
something you can tell outwardly, only by reading the codes or looking at
the battery voltages with an OBD tool over a charge/discharge cycle.
(I must price up the replacement, because it might be useful negotiating
ammunition. It might have been worth it if I'd got a price that compensated
for the repair cost)
It is important to understand that there is no cheap alternative. Changing
battery packs is a very dangerous & complicated procedure which should not
under any circumstances be carried out by those who are not electrically
qualified to High Voltage standards & have experience of vehicle diagnostics
– the Lexus packs can supply a lethal shock of 28.8 Kilowatts! – Equivalent
to 10 x 3 bar electric fires, – the current these packs supply is Direct
Current or DC which will tend to hold you there!"
- shocks measured in kilowatts?
The process is basically 'unscrew all the trim and unplug it':
Anyway, I called up Toyota to find out the cost of a new battery - with
bringing in the old one the price is GBP931+VAT. Which isn't bad
considering it's good for 150K-250K miles. (I should have said, this is a
Prius hybrid - not fully electric)
There are some lower cost bodges that involve replacing individual cells and
rebalancing (which is what the above mechanic is doing - eminently
DIY-able), so I don't think it's fully necessary to have a new battery
- but basically a 1200 quid replacement is the worst case.
(The vehicle in question was a bit far away, so there would have been a risk
driving it home on a dead battery)
The Prius is generally poor value used as it is so popular with Uber
drivers. Until the point when it is no longer suitable then drops like a
It's not a car that makes sense for private use used.
*If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific mean to make terrible?
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
It's not hard to avoid them:
Don't buy near London
Don't buy anything >200K miles
Look at the MOT history: lots of miles in a year or six-monthly tests is a
The London PCO cutoff is cars 5 years old, but older already-registered cars
are grandfathered: avoid anything with a PCO ticket
Other cities' Uber cutoff is ~2007 (I haven't checked what their local PCO
requirements are) - buy something that isn't eligible
When viewing, holes for taxi plates or lots of boot scrapes are giveaways
Don't buy from a dodgy backstreet 'garage'
You can plug in the OBD tool and run the dealer 'health check' to see if the
car thinks it's unhappy about anything.
Basically go for low mileage one-owner examples, just like any other
vehicle. Plus you save 200-300 quid a year road tax. There is of course a
running costs/mileage v tax v upfront cost tradeoff to be made, as with any
car. They're a bit pricier than a Focus, but then so are a lot of cars.
From what I read, it's actually pretty bomb-proof: there's much less stress
mechanically than a regular car, which is why they can go for >400K miles as
taxis (highest one on ebay recently was 368K). A traction battery
replacement is about the cost of a couple of cambelt changes, which you'd
have to do on a >120K car anyway. Generally the things that go wrong are
the usual service items - suspension, brakes (since there's regenerative
braking the discs don't get used much - they need a regular bit of heavy
braking to keep them polished). And there's *lots* of info on the
electrical systems out there - very DIYable.
(though obviously won't keep the Clarksonistas happy)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.