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Old 10.03.2018, 14:28
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Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

We think we've found the right car (age, mileage, colour, trim level, equipment) from the "wrong" place i.e. a car supermarket rather than a main dealer.

Has anyone ever bought a car from one of the large mass second-hand car supermarket places? What - if any - are the risks? The car is still within the factory warranty period so the lack of after-sales support from the vendor shouldn't be an issue.

Would be grateful if anyone felt able share their experiences.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 10.03.2018, 15:03
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

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We think we've found the right car (age, mileage, colour, trim level, equipment) from the "wrong" place i.e. a car supermarket rather than a main dealer.

Has anyone ever bought a car from one of the large mass second-hand car supermarket places? What - if any - are the risks? The car is still within the factory warranty period so the lack of after-sales support from the vendor shouldn't be an issue.

Would be grateful if anyone felt able share their experiences.

Thanks everyone!
If the car is still within manufactures guarantee I would not be worried, your obviously saving 2,000 - 10,000 CHF, so any lack of after sales service agro factor is well priced into the deal. Just think of it as a private sale of a relatively new car. My rule of thumb for cars up to 6 years old in CH. If it's got full main dealer service history to date I would be happy if it does not have full main dealer service history walk away,
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Old 10.03.2018, 16:13
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

We bought (new) from a huge parallel import place that sells both new and used. It was still under factory warranty so we felt fine with it. We saved about 15K off the list price compared to the local dealer, who has still provided the service at a reasonable cost. Agree with fmf on all counts.
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Old 12.03.2018, 10:59
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

Thanks both. The car was serviced by the main dealer within 3 days of the anniversaries of its first registration, and there is a Quality1 warranty that will run for 12 months/20,000 km after the factory warranty runs out. Only Quality1 Base, but I dare say Quality1 wouldn't object to someone wanting to upgrade that warranty/insurance policy. I guess the car supermarket is simply acting as a clearing house for the car - in one door, out the other. Seems like I don't need to worry too much
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Old 16.03.2018, 18:04
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

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We bought (new) from a huge parallel import place that sells both new and used. It was still under factory warranty so we felt fine with it. We saved about 15K off the list price compared to the local dealer, who has still provided the service at a reasonable cost.
Just coming back to this.... Could you share more of your experience of the parallel import route and servicing at main dealers, insurance? There's a private sale of the car we're after, right spec and accessories, wrong interior colour (!) but 8 months/20 months newer than the other examples we've been looking at and correspondingly lower mileage, for Fr 600 more than we've been looking at on the older models from the car supermarket and main dealer. Car is only 8 months old and ad says factory warranty to the usual 36 months/100k - bargain or barge pole?
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Old 16.03.2018, 18:17
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

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Just coming back to this.... Could you share more of your experience of the parallel import route and servicing at main dealers, insurance? There's a private sale of the car we're after, right spec and accessories, wrong interior colour (!) but 8 months/20 months newer than the other examples we've been looking at and correspondingly lower mileage, for Fr 600 more than we've been looking at on the older models from the car supermarket and main dealer. Car is only 8 months old and ad says factory warranty to the usual 36 months/100k - bargain or barge pole?
I would go for the private sale car. If the dealers give you any shit, just go to Germany & save a fortune at the same time. When I bought my Porsche the Swiss dealer said it needed an immediate service costing a minimum of 2500 CHF, 3 years later I took it to Germany for the 40,000 km service & it was 1/3 of the price quoted 3 years earlier. The Germans said the car was in fantastic condition being 16 years old at the time & needed only a standard service.
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Old 16.03.2018, 18:23
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

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just go to Germany
Austria's closer
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Old 16.03.2018, 19:03
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

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Just coming back to this.... Could you share more of your experience of the parallel import route and servicing at main dealers, insurance? There's a private sale of the car we're after, right spec and accessories, wrong interior colour (!) but 8 months/20 months newer than the other examples we've been looking at and correspondingly lower mileage, for Fr 600 more than we've been looking at on the older models from the car supermarket and main dealer. Car is only 8 months old and ad says factory warranty to the usual 36 months/100k - bargain or barge pole?
We bought new, so I am not sure it's apples-to-apples with what you're considering. I'll share anyway in case it helps.

We shopped around online to find models we thought we might like. We then visited the dealers closest to us for test drives and information. We did consider their offers, so it's not like we were just window shopping. We also went to look at and test drive cars from private sellers. We then spotted a few cars on the website of the parallel importer and decided to take the trip up to Zurich to check them out, because the prices were impressively lower.

We didn't get to test drive any cars at the big dealer. All the cars were packed in like sardines, and the new cars have like 5 km on them so they won't let you drive them anyway. The employees weren't exactly friendly and helpful like the local dealers, but they did give us the keys so we could check out bells and whistles and they answered questions. We looked at a few used cars - one of them had a dead battery and wouldn't start!

We settled on a new car with 5 kms. We signed the paperwork. The import dealer handled all the paperwork for the license plates even though we live in a different canton. We received a letter telling us the car would be ready on X date, and to pay via bank transfer on Y date.

In terms of insurance, I don't remember exactly. I think Mr Wishes gave our insurance info to the dealer because they needed it to get the license plates from Bern. We drove back to Zurich a few weeks later to pick up the car. It was ready to go with Bernese plates, etc.

Our local dealer sells and services several brands. They happened to cover both brands - our existing car and the new one. That made it seamless for us. They've performed the scheduled services as required by the manufacturer and anything else we've asked without a fuss. The "free" service on most Swiss cars is only for labor anyway. You still have to pay parts, etc. We've felt the cost for the services has been totally reasonable and well worth the savings of purchasing a parallel import.

The factory warranty was almost the full term. It was a few months shy, I think because the importer has to register it in CH before they can sell it?The importer also threw in 1 year of TCS membership for free.

As for bargain or barge pole on the current deal you're considering, I don't know. Maybe post up some specs and let the experts weigh in? I'm certainly no car expert.
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Old 17.03.2018, 21:04
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

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Just coming back to this.... Could you share more of your experience of the parallel import route and servicing at main dealers, insurance? There's a private sale of the car we're after, right spec and accessories, wrong interior colour (!) but 8 months/20 months newer than the other examples we've been looking at and correspondingly lower mileage, for Fr 600 more than we've been looking at on the older models from the car supermarket and main dealer. Car is only 8 months old and ad says factory warranty to the usual 36 months/100k - bargain or barge pole?
As much as I like exotic exterior and interior colors, I would avoid beige interiors, mainly those that even the dash is beige. There is a reason why these combinations are cheaper in the second hand market: nobody wants to buy them! So, think very carefully if you will be the patience when it comes to sell it, can take even a year to move it on, unless you are ok with a 45% lower offer from a dealer.
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Old 19.03.2018, 10:53
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Re: Buying a car from a car supermarket (Autopark, AutoCenter etc) - experiences?

Hello all,

I am new to this forum. I moved to Switzerland about 4 months back.

I am mostly a two wheeler guy so I didn't buy a car or drove one in my home country (India) but in Switzerland, car makes more sense than a motobike. So I have now applied for DL in my kanton.

I was checking few website for used cars, I have heard of parallel import. Can some one provide more details on parallel import of car buying in Swiss? also a web link where I can check the cars by parallel importers?

Is leasing a good option or going for finance is better?

Thank you
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