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Old 27.01.2012, 08:41
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second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

I am planning to buy a car and i found a good deal in Lausanne. The milege is only 11 000 km for 10.2007 model of VW Golf (kombi), price CHF 15 900. It is 4000 cheaper than the same car but 6 months newer in Zurich (sold now). It is in a small garage but they said they have bought the car from AMAG. It says in the website that the milege is original, only 1 user and that they can offer guarantee up to 2 years. Do you think it is safe to buy it tomorrow after test driving or if a specialist (TCS?) should still check it? It seems so complicated to get it checked because i live in Zurich and the car is in Lausanne (i dont really speak French).

Thank you for your help!
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Old 27.01.2012, 08:57
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

11,000 km in 5 years, sounds a little too good to be true.

Do you know a local mechanic, or anyone who knows a bit about cars?

There are some easy giveaways to a car true mileage, eg worn seats, smooth steering wheel, worn pedal rubbers etc etc (of course a dodgy garage can change all of these)

Often an underused car will give you more issues then a high mileage car, cars really don't like being left standing for weeks on end, then just a quick run to the local shops

When a mate was looking for a 2nd hand motor from a dealer I went with him, and I was amazed just how many cars we saw that, lets say, where not honest, quite obviously had the mileage turned back, or had been crashed and really badly repaired etc etc, he ended up buying privately in the end and got a really good car for not a great deal of money (with fresh mfk and main dealer service)

Last edited by bigblue2; 27.01.2012 at 09:47.
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:09
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

The guarantee is almost certanly an insurance document, read what's covered, major engine failure & gearox for sure. A Golf is good for over 200,000 KM & cars need to be driven, generally avoid any car which has done under 10K a year unless it's a 'Sunday' car.

I never buy into it's worth more because of the low milage or the car has a new engine. It's Age & condition, thats all you know for sure.
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:12
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

Thanks for the hints!
I dont know anyone who is a mechanic.

This is the car:
http://www.autoscout24.ch/Search/Det...0&vehid=375113

and this is the garage:
http://www.occasautos.ch/occasions.htm

I called there yesterday and tried to ask why it is driven so little, but i didnt get a clear answer (there was also a language barrier).
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:18
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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Thanks for the hints!
I dont know anyone who is a mechanic.

This is the car:
http://www.autoscout24.ch/Search/Det...0&vehid=375113

and this is the garage:
http://www.occasautos.ch/occasions.htm

I called there yesterday and tried to ask why it is driven so little, but i didnt get a clear answer (there was also a language barrier).

its damaged at the front, both lower grills (by the fog lights) are missing aren't they?

should look like this




I'd be really careful with this one, doesn't look like its an 11k car to me
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:35
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

I wouldn't worry about the plastic grills missing so much.
They fall out, get stolen, the towing eyes are behind them, so they get taken out of the car is winched onto a trailer etc.
However I would expect the garage to have replaced them on what is still a relatively new car.

As FMF says, the warranty is usually from a 3rd party insurer and only covers big items like head gasket, gearbox etc.
And I believe VW come with a VW Lifetime warranty on all these parts if the car has been VW main dealer serviced anyway, so another warranty is not required.

I think the big problem, apart from the low milage which has already been explained by BB, is if you do have a problem then you have a long way to go to return it to the garage to have it checked.
There's a lot to be said for buying locally.

No-one can give you the answer to should you buy it.

However, if it was me, I wouldn't buy it, simply due to the distance and language issues. (and the colour!)

Last edited by 17clarence; 27.01.2012 at 09:36. Reason: colour comment
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:45
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

agreed, the grills shouldn't be an issue, but as a dealer why would you take pictures of the car without them?

It would make me check the front of the car very carefully indeed, lift the bonnet, check for overspray - rough, dull paint 'dust' stuck on the car, usually in places you can't see, a dead giveaway the car has been crashed, and had a cheap repair job. Make sure the plastic covers in the wheel arches are all fitted properly, the screws are all there, and none have been undone (they will be damaged if they have) again, another sign its had front end damage.

The best rule when buying a 2nd hand car is, any doubts at all - walk away.
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:46
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

This is spot on advice, also the car does not look in good condition. I suspect the car has done really short drives to work in traffic, it's not a real bargain.

In the UK my Ex's mother had a 7 year old metro with 1200 miles on it. It was genunine & looked like it never left the showroom. It had also been serviced every year at the main dealer!

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I wouldn't worry about the plastic grills missing so much.
They fall out, get stolen, the towing eyes are behind them, so they get taken out of the car is winched onto a trailer etc.
However I would expect the garage to have replaced them on what is still a relatively new car.

As FMF says, the warranty is usually from a 3rd party insurer and only covers big items like head gasket, gearbox etc.
And I believe VW come with a VW Lifetime warranty on all these parts if the car has been VW main dealer serviced anyway, so another warranty is not required.

I think the big problem, apart from the low milage which has already been explained by BB, is if you do have a problem then you have a long way to go to return it to the garage to have it checked.
There's a lot to be said for buying locally.

No-one can give you the answer to should you buy it.

However, if it was me, I wouldn't buy it, simply due to the distance and language issues. (and the colour!)
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:48
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

as with the salvage car question I am going to be perhaps over simplistic.

ok, the missing grills in and of themselves shouldnt be an issue and yes maybe a tow-truck driver had to remove them to access tow points.

which leads to the question.. what is the situation that would cause a car with only 11K km to be towed ?


( maybe nothing, maybe something little, maybe ___ ? )
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Old 27.01.2012, 09:57
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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its damaged at the front, both lower grills (by the fog lights) are missing aren't they?
It's not the same model, AFAICT, or at least it has the 'R'-type front grill, but yes, it's clear that there are missing grills next to the fog lights, which I would insist on being replaced before purchase.

Other than that, I'd say it looks fine from those pictures. Nothing on them, inside or out, indicates that it's been clocked, and TBH I don't think the dealer would be selling it (or even have bought it) if there had been any clues in that direction.

Go for it, I say. Bargain.

Then again, I don't generally buy cars of that age - new or nearly new for the last 15 years or so - so what do I know?
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Old 27.01.2012, 10:01
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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It's not the same model, AFAICT, or at least it has the 'R'-type front grill, but yes, it's clear that there are missing grills next to the fog lights, which I would insist on being replaced before purchase.

Other than that, I'd say it looks fine from those pictures. Nothing on them, inside or out, indicates that it's been clocked, and TBH I don't think the dealer would be selling it (or even have bought it) if there had been any clues in that direction.

Go for it, I say. Bargain.

it was the only pic I could find of a modern golf combi

something doesn't 'feel' right to me with this car, as I said, I'd be checking it very carefully indeed, the interior pics really don't look like a low mileage car (maybe the old owners just never cleaned it) and for a dealer to take those kind of pictures really suggest they don't give a f**k.

I would bet money that its had a front end crash.
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Old 27.01.2012, 10:08
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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which leads to the question.. what is the situation that would cause a car with only 11K km to be towed ?


( maybe nothing, maybe something little, maybe ___ ? )
Flat battery. Low milage means it may well have been stood for a year underground.
There's a passat on a forecourt near me, he's had it in the same spot for over a year (he won't reduce the price though )

It could well be, and probably is, a genuine car, but still the distance from the OP would put me off recommending it.
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Old 27.01.2012, 10:29
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

Oh, i see, so the guarantee does not guarantee that the car is what it says in the website (original km and no accidents)...Then i don't want to buy it without being checked by someone. Probably better to keep on looking for cars in Zurich. Thanks a lot!
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Old 27.01.2012, 10:45
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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Oh, i see, so the guarantee does not guarantee that the car is what it says in the website (original km and no accidents)...Then i don't want to buy it without being checked by someone. Probably better to keep on looking for cars in Zurich. Thanks a lot!
Auto Discount Uster, www.adu.ch they have good cars with more than 35% discount on each and every car. I have visited them myself.
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Old 27.01.2012, 11:03
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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Auto Discount Uster, www.adu.ch they have good cars with more than 35% discount on each and every car. I have visited them myself.
They also have terrible customer service.
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Old 27.01.2012, 11:47
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

If the garage has been too lazy or too mean to replace the grills, what else might they have not fixed/checked...?
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Old 27.01.2012, 12:03
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

True, but on the other hand if they would like to hide something, they would not put a photo with missing grills
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Old 27.01.2012, 12:35
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

Looks like the picture was taken in the underground garage where they bought the car.
If you went to see it, the grills may well have been replaced by now.

It's probably a perfectly good car. If you look long enough at any car you can raise your own suspicions.

As I said earlier, the only reason I probably wouldn't look at it is because of the distance/language.
If you're hell bent on buying it, get a TCS inspection, hold onto your balls, and buy it.
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Old 27.01.2012, 12:56
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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Looks like the picture was taken in the underground garage where they bought the car.
If you went to see it, the grills may well have been replaced by now.

It's probably a perfectly good car. If you look long enough at any car you can raise your own suspicions.

As I said earlier, the only reason I probably wouldn't look at it is because of the distance/language.
If you're hell bent on buying it, get a TCS inspection, hold onto your balls, and buy it.

Again, this could be the case, but if you're a dealer and want to sell a car you don't take pictures of it with parts missing!! in this case no pictures would have been better then the ones they have used.

it could well be the deal of the century, but ask yourself, why would a dealer, a DEALER, be selling a car for 4k less then others with much higher mileage are going for?

if something seems to good to be true then it usually is.

* I've not checked the 4k thing, just going by what the op has said
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Old 27.01.2012, 13:30
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Re: second hand car with guarantee safe to buy?

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it could well be the deal of the century, but ask yourself, why would a dealer, a DEALER, be selling a car for 4k less then others with much higher mileage are going for?

if something seems to good to be true then it usually is.

* I've not checked the 4k thing, just going by what the op has said
I just checked the 4k thing.
There are cars on at this price with 100k on the clock.
So it is suspiciously cheap, as from what I've seen dealers love to mark up low mileage examples.
And as if placed on autoscout exactly to prove this point, I give you this !
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