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Old 18.07.2011, 18:35
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Second hand cars with no MFK

I have been thinking to get a second hand car to teach my wife driving and started the research about 2 weeks ago.

It must be big and safe (she has failed driving exam few times ), automatic, sedan or estate, 96-00, diesel, up to 250,000km mileage, Mercedes (E or S class) or BMW (5 or 7). Budget could be up to 10k CHF but I would like to stay below.

I'm not worried about mileage as I don't think I will do a lot and let's face it these cars were built to last, many of them will go up to 500,000km with no major overhaul.

I have been reading a lot about MFK and how important it is, but still can't really understand the full extent of it as this will be the first time I buy and register a car in Switzerland.

Quick search I found this 97 E class with 200k and price tag of 2000 CHF

http://www.autoscout24.ch/AS24Web/De...&page=1&row=15

It's gasoline but I don't mind at all. Letzte Prüfung I guess it means last MFK check was in 2009, so I'm guessing it was valid until 2011 but it is not current. As it is sold by a garage, I can ask them if they will include the MFK and at what cost. But, let's say it's a private owner and I will have to through the MFK hassle.

The similar car with fresh MFK is from 6000 to 8000. I find it hard to beleive that cleaning the engine bay and other regular work can cost this much for MFK. Even if you need quite some things to repair, isn't it way cheaper to do it in Germany or France and than go through the MFK in Switzerland? I see only one problem, if the car has expired MFK than you can not legally drive it so you have to put it on a trailer...

And another question, how come a car like that is so cheap? The 3200cc engine will be expensive to insure? Or the running cost for this 13l/100km beast?

Any suggestions and tips for a newbie like me?
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Old 18.07.2011, 19:04
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

General Comments
Once a car slips beyond 10 years old it is in to bi-annual MFKs (or a new one when it changes owner). Theoretically a well maintained car will pass without problems HOWEVER at 10-12 years old stuff begins to fail on cars - specifically brakes and suspension parts (bushes, dampers, springs, drop-links, control arms, wishbones). And that is before you have to worry about mirrors going off, blocked washer jets, main seal leaks, diff carrier bushes etc etc etc

The bigger and the more complex the car the likely increase in cost of putting it through an MFK. If you have a duff damper you will get back from the STVA the graphs showing the frequency differences (back to front and side to side).

At the bottom end of the market you'll struggle to find anything decent for <2000chf with a Fresh MFK. 2,500-3,000chf you'll have slim pickings. Above 3,000chf is where you are likely to find more stuff. At those prices though you are buying a car that will cost you 100chf in depreciation - and you have to be prepared to walk away from the car if something big fails.

If you imagine that a car needs new brakes all round (discs + pads) - 200chf per disc, 200chf per set of pads = 1200chf (parts) + 400chf (3 hours labour) = 1600chf + tax.

Dampers? 200-500chf per corner - labour at 0.5 - 1 hour per corner?

Anything gearbox related budget at least 4 hours labour

Specifics
I'd take a late model W124 over an early W210 (the one in the ad). Early W210's do have rust issues (as did the early W124) around the wheel arches. It is generally a more complicated car to work on. I'd prefer the early inline 6 (smoother) to the later V6 (better economy). KMs shouldn't be an issue. I'd search out a similar car being sold from a mechanic garage rather than a car dealer - the former tend to have more professional pride (in my experience and humble opinion)

Final Thought
If you know cars - IE better than I do - and have the tools/facilities/location to work on them - you can buy a non-MFK and get a bargain - but you'll be one of very few people capable of doing that in Switzerland. Mechanic garages will give you a price for a car with an MFK (if advertised without it) - use your judgement to decide whether it is fair. SUVs generally cost more to put through as typically they have a harder life even if cosmetically they look in good condition.
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Old 18.07.2011, 19:09
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

I would factor in the costs of Insurance too before buying a first car, as I would imagine it would cost a fortune with such a big engine and no previous driving experience. Check www.comparis.ch for Insurance costs

If she has failed the driving test a few times, you may want a smaller car that is easier to parallel park.

Doc.
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Old 18.07.2011, 19:32
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

"Once a car slips beyond 10 years old it is in to bi-annual MFKs"

So you have to do it twice a year? Or every two years?

And "beyond 10" means 11? (might sound stupid, but I'm looking to buy a car from 2001, which is 10 years old )
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Old 18.07.2011, 20:58
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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I would factor in the costs of Insurance too before buying a first car, as I would imagine it would cost a fortune with such a big engine and no previous driving experience. Check www.comparis.ch for Insurance costs

If she has failed the driving test a few times, you may want a smaller car that is easier to parallel park.

Doc.
3rd party insurance costs very little, it's not as if you need more on an on old banger.

If you buy the parts on ebay 4 disks & pads will be under 300

MFK will be every 2-3 years with an older car,mine are 1995 & 1983, not a big issue with solid German cars.
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Old 18.07.2011, 21:02
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

Thanks for the comments, as I am gathering knowledge they are highly appreciated.

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Final Thought
If you know cars - IE better than I do - and have the tools/facilities/location to work on them - you can buy a non-MFK and get a bargain - but you'll be one of very few people capable of doing that in Switzerland. Mechanic garages will give you a price for a car with an MFK (if advertised without it) - use your judgement to decide whether it is fair. SUVs generally cost more to put through as typically they have a harder life even if cosmetically they look in good condition.
Very informative post, thank you. In my mind too the W124 will over last the newer W210, but they too seem to be pricier than 2k. I understand that swiss mechanic will charge an arm and a leg that's why I am determined to outsource this to French or German mechanics. That's why I see it as an option but as I have never done it, it is only good in theory.

I just went to a garage in Lausanne today and found the same (or very similar) W210, year younger than the one in the add, 100k mileage and fresh MFK ( I guess) and a tag of 14.900. It's just doesn't make sense to me.

If I buy a second hand car that needs MFK with owner change (and it has say 1 month of MFK left) how long can I drive it before I do the MFK? I ask if I can legally drive it to Germany get it fixed and checked and bring it here...

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I would factor in the costs of Insurance too before buying a first car, as I would imagine it would cost a fortune with such a big engine and no previous driving experience. Check www.comparis.ch for Insurance costs

If she has failed the driving test a few times, you may want a smaller car that is easier to parallel park.

Doc.
The wife has a problem when examiners are in the car and she gets too nervous. Otherwise driving is OK, but she needs to be confident and get more experience, thus big car and long drives for some months or a year will make her feel better and if she learns to drive and manage a big car she won't have trouble for a small one, that's why getting an automatic will be better since she won't have to think about the gears, clutch etc when passing the exam. Or so I hope so

Is expertisee in french the same as MFK?
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Old 18.07.2011, 22:39
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As long as is has an MFK you can drive it until they invite you for a new one.

Expertise is an Mfk

Many garages will do a fresh mfk for 500 to 1000 extra on older cars they are selling!
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Old 18.07.2011, 22:48
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

Even if it's older than 10 years (i.e. at least 11 years) and you just bought it?
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Old 18.07.2011, 22:52
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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if the car has expired MFK than you can not legally drive it
Unlike the emissions test (which does expire), MFK does not expire, they will just call you in (sometime) after the minimum required time. Some places follow the schedule rigorously, others (such as Ticino) do not.

Tom
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Old 18.07.2011, 22:54
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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As long as is has an MFK you can drive it until they invite you for a new one.

Expertise is an Mfk

Many garages will do a fresh mfk for 500 to 1000 extra on older cars they are selling!
Thanks. I will go around in garages to see what they have but at least to me it seems that cars around Lausanne and VD in general are much more expensive that the German part of CH.

For example, either this is a mistake, great bargain or car with bad interior/exterior as there are no photos.

http://www.autoscout24.ch/AS24Web/De...&page=1&row=10

A bit of kms, 300k, petrol, automatic but 1990 CHF for a 1997 E230 with fresh MFK from today is really cheap.

In my mind I had set three brands/models, Mercedes E class, BMW 7 and Audi A6. I am more and more going to the E class. Next to figure out is petrol or diesel, not sure how many km will be done in a year but thinking of going around and visiting so diesel might be better...and I think diesels are more reliable and durable but sometimes just more expensive to repair...

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Unlike the emissions test (which does expire), MFK does not.

Tom
So, when you buy 10+ year old car and it still has valid MFK you still need to do the emission test when you take ownership of the car and wait for the 2 years to expire on the MFK?
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Old 18.07.2011, 22:56
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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Even if it's older than 10 years (i.e. at least 11 years) and you just bought it?
Worst case, they will make an appointment for you to bring it in.

Be aware, bring a car up to MFK standards can cost thousands, which was the case a couple years ago with my Focus. It cost 4k, which was what I expected, as it needed a new exhaust, new brakes all round, new timing belt, etc.

Buying a used car without MFK is a big gamble, I wouldn't buy one without.

Tom
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Old 18.07.2011, 23:06
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

Thanks. The one I'm looking to buy has the mfk from january 2011. Still, I want to take it to a garage for another test (they told me they pretty much look at everything for 120chf) plus make some vag-com logs on the road myself.

I was just not clear if I need to do a new MFK right away and if I can drive it otherwise. Seems the answers are no and yes, thnx
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Old 18.07.2011, 23:09
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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Thanks. The one I'm looking to buy has the mfk from january 2011. Still, I want to take it to a garage for another test (they told me they pretty much look at everything for 120chf) plus make some vag-com logs on the road myself.

I was just not clear if I need to do a new MFK right away and if I can drive it otherwise. Seems the answers are no and yes, thnx
If it's from less than a year ago, then no, you don't need one, more than that, and you will get an appointment when you go to register it.

Jan '11 is 6 months ago, no problem, even changing cantons.

Tom
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Old 19.07.2011, 14:51
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

I got an answer from a garage near Bern on the 2000 CHF E230

frisch ab MFK, CH Fahrzeug, Service und Reparaturen sind im
Moment keine bekannt.

Meaning (google translate) it has fresh MFK, swiss car and the service maintenance is not known. They will send me photos soon... Really curious what is this one like.

If it has no service records, means it has been serviced abroad. I guess that's why it is so cheap. Or it has been serviced by the owner.

Any German speaking mechanic or likewise near Bern to come along if I decide to see this one? Glad to pay transport and fee.
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Old 19.07.2011, 17:16
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

Also the annual "registration" is dependent on Engine size. I imagine it will be at least 500 chf.

I dont know if insurance is based on engine size though
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Old 19.07.2011, 17:29
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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I got an answer from a garage near Bern on the 2000 CHF E230

frisch ab MFK, CH Fahrzeug, Service und Reparaturen sind im
Moment keine bekannt.

Meaning (google translate) it has fresh MFK, swiss car and the service maintenance is not known. They will send me photos soon... Really curious what is this one like.

If it has no service records, means it has been serviced abroad. I guess that's why it is so cheap. Or it has been serviced by the owner.

Any German speaking mechanic or likewise near Bern to come along if I decide to see this one? Glad to pay transport and fee.

I never buy one that has no service history. even if it was serviced in another country you still get the stamp or paperwork. specially with older cars I would never buy....
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:48
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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I never buy one that has no service history. even if it was serviced in another country you still get the stamp or paperwork. specially with older cars I would never buy....
That is a valid point of course, probably that is the reason for such a low price. Well, similar spec and kms car (almost exact model) at garages I've seen it for 14900 and 7-8 with private sales. At that much difference, nobody can guarantee me that the I won't have the same problems with either of the cars, plus with that much money saved I could afford any kind of service on the car anyway.

Well, it's just a thought for now, waiting for the photos...
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:54
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

A car with a good FSH will also have notes when cambelts/brakes etc were replaced. On cheap cars it is well worth having - and I have yet look at a car here in Switzerland without one!!!
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Old 19.07.2011, 19:51
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

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I dont know if insurance is based on engine size though
Yes amongst a whole lot of other factors.

To the OP:

if it is over 10yrs tho as you by it it will need an MFK as DK rightly states "Once a car slips beyond 10 years old it is in to bi-annual MFKs (or a new one when it changes owner)"
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Old 19.07.2011, 19:54
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Re: Second hand cars with no MFK

im actually looking at the 124 series also but there arent many available and they want to much for them. Im trying to import my sis old beemer into the country right now (quit hard)
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