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Old 05.05.2012, 20:56
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Buying an used car - seeking advice

we are looking at buying a used car and have seen a few cars. one of the cars we saw today looked really good. Need some advice on whether or not to finalize the deal. This is a six year old car run for 40000 km.

1. When is the first battery change due for a car? During test drive, one of the times, it took three attempts to start the car. We were told it is because of car not being in use and it will be ok once the battery is charged.

2. Ungültig is marked on the car paper since it is now with a middle man. Is this any cause of concern?

3. At what stage the payment is usually made? Does it have to be even before we apply for the insurance?

Rest everything looked good.

Thank you.
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Old 05.05.2012, 21:51
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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This is a six year old car run for 40000 km.

it took three attempts to start the car.
I wouldn't buy this car, to be honest.
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Old 05.05.2012, 21:59
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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I wouldn't buy this car, to be honest.
Why not? There is no real reason one way or the other... if the Km on the speedo is genuine then I can imagine that the car has stood around a lot. It's perfectly normal then that the battery will be discharged. Nowadays the majority of batteries are "maintenance-free"ie. they have no cells that can be recharged and once the distilled water evaporates (therefore showing the cells) there's nothing that can be done, apart from binning it.

TBH, I would at the very least probably replace the battery. If the car has stood around a lot try and get - as part of the deal - a complete service done prior to purchase. The lubricants will need replacing too and the seals etc. will need checking. Don't forget either a service of the A/C (if present) - they dry out quickly if not used regularly and it wouldn't harm to have ith checked either.

Try to verify whether the Km really is genuine. Look for signs of wear and tear; at this low mileage there should be really no such signs. Look at the gear lever (leather boot surround) - is it worn down? How about the foot pedals - worn down? Things like this could indicate much more wear than suggested by a mere 40000Km
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Old 05.05.2012, 22:05
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

I think for people to offer advice, you should provide more details of the seller, other than "middle man", and what extras are being included in price - MFK, guarantee, spare set wheels/tyres.

For me, this is where clarification is needed.
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Old 05.05.2012, 22:06
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

Avoid cars with low mileages, they are always overpriced and with worn engines as they drive short distances & the engine never gets a chance to warm up.
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Old 05.05.2012, 22:10
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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Avoid cars with low mileages, they are always overpriced and with worn engines as they drive short distances & the engine never gets a chance to warm up.
Sorry but that statement is just pure rubbish! How can anybody make such an unqualified statement? Without possessing a crystal ball, there is no way on Earth that you can know the car's previous history. Admittedly, one needs to be weary of cars which have only driven short distances but it won't necessarily mean that this is the case - or that it's a bad deal. I have had several such cars and if one is careful, a smasher can be bought for a reasonable price - but just be careful
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Old 05.05.2012, 22:11
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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Sorry but that statement is just pure rubbish! How can anybody make such an unqualified statement? Without possessing a crystal ball, there is no way on Earth that you can know the car's previous history. Admittedly, one needs to be weary of cars which have only driven short distances but it won't necessarily mean that this is the case - or that it's a bad deal. I have had several such cars and if one is careful, a smasher can be bought for a reasonable price - but just be careful
I generally buy cars with 140k plus & drive them to 350k, clearly YMV.
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Old 05.05.2012, 22:15
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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I generally buy cars with 140k plus & drive them to 350k, clearly YMV.
First off, you can of course do this without any probs - so long as you are talking about certain models of cars. Here in this post, no mention has been made of the model. Secondly, even if a car has 140.000Km, who is to say that is has been fairly treated for the first 40-60000Km of that? The chances are that at least one of the previous 2-4 owners has mistreated it on some way.
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Old 05.05.2012, 22:19
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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First off, you can of course do this without any probs - so long as you are talking about certain models of cars. Here in this post, no mention has been made of the model. Secondly, even if a car has 140.000Km, who is to say that is has been fairly treated for the first 40-60000Km of that? The chances are that at least one of the previous 2-4 owners has mistreated it on some way.
If the car has full main dealer service history, which is normal here, it will be fine. I don't expect more than 2 owners, 1 car I bought was originally owned by HERTZ, never had any issues.
Unless the car has a turbo, it's really quite difficult to mistreat, if they slipped the clutch it will have been replaced several times by now!
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Old 06.05.2012, 08:53
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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Why not? There is no real reason one way or the other... if the Km on the speedo is genuine then I can imagine that the car has stood around a lot. It's perfectly normal then that the battery will be discharged. Nowadays the majority of batteries are "maintenance-free"ie. they have no cells that can be recharged and once the distilled water evaporates (therefore showing the cells) there's nothing that can be done, apart from binning it.

TBH, I would at the very least probably replace the battery. If the car has stood around a lot try and get - as part of the deal - a complete service done prior to purchase. The lubricants will need replacing too and the seals etc. will need checking. Don't forget either a service of the A/C (if present) - they dry out quickly if not used regularly and it wouldn't harm to have ith checked either.

Try to verify whether the Km really is genuine. Look for signs of wear and tear; at this low mileage there should be really no such signs. Look at the gear lever (leather boot surround) - is it worn down? How about the foot pedals - worn down? Things like this could indicate much more wear than suggested by a mere 40000Km
Thank you for your response. Checked for signs of wear and tear. There weren't any. Car looked good and well maintained. It is an automatic car. A/C worked well.
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Old 06.05.2012, 08:54
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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I think for people to offer advice, you should provide more details of the seller, other than "middle man", and what extras are being included in price - MFK, guarantee, spare set wheels/tyres.

For me, this is where clarification is needed.
MFK is included. No guarantee. Includes summer / winter tyres. Thanks.
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Old 06.05.2012, 08:56
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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Avoid cars with low mileages, they are always overpriced and with worn engines as they drive short distances & the engine never gets a chance to warm up.
Price is lesser than that compared to vehicles of the same make and higher km driven. Not sure how to make out if engine is worn. Will a TCS used car test help in this case? Thanks.
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Old 06.05.2012, 09:48
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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Price is lesser than that compared to vehicles of the same make and higher km driven. Not sure how to make out if engine is worn. Will a TCS used car test help in this case? Thanks.
TCS test will not really help, they just tick boxes, I would look at the oil, if there is any mayonaise / milky looking slime around the inside of the oil filler cap, then the car has been used for short trips. I would run a mile!
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Old 06.05.2012, 09:50
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

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Price is lesser than that compared to vehicles of the same make and higher km driven. Not sure how to make out if engine is worn. Will a TCS used car test help in this case? Thanks.
So what is the car, what is the price & do you have a link to any pictures?
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Old 06.05.2012, 11:49
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

1. Car batteries last about 5 years.

2. No. But this means there are no number plates for it at the present. You will need to get yours.

3. Mute point to be agreed between buyer and seller. Were I selling I wouldn't let the vehicle out of my sight without full payment in my pocket/bank account. Be sure you can get insurance at a rate you are happy to pay before parting with any money. You will of course need insurance to get the plates and to drive it...
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Old 06.05.2012, 12:03
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

I would check to see the maintenance records... i.e. how often
did they change the oil, have a tune up, etc.

What brand is the car?

You can always replace the battery. It is not a huge cost.
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Old 06.05.2012, 16:24
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Re: Buying an used car - seeking advice

I thought it's customary in CH to take the car to a garage for a check before buying. I did so (after testing what I could myself) and they gave me quite the list of things to be fixed. Some of them were smallish (e.g. wipers worn down or small dents on the windshield), but showed me they were thorough. This list also helps bring the price down, as you can negotiate with the seller on the mentioned points.

The test cost me 50chf.
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