This topic contains 26 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  Mick 6 months ago.

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  • #3783


    Its a, not so daft question as it first sounds.

    I bought my car eight years ago from a local car dealership and I’ve been very happy with the car. But time marches on and the car is showing its age. However times change and the t’internet is encroaching into all areas of buying stuff.

    What options are there when buying another car and what pitfalls or problems would I have to avoid if I looked online for a car?

  • #3784


    Go to Autotrader. Select options. Find suitable cars. Go and test drive one. Repeat until you find one you want to purchase.

  • #3785


    If you go in a showroom, if you want to test drive a car, expect to spend 1- 2 hours. So just to try eg a Corsa, Fabia, Fiesta will take a day. Then sussing if new or secondhand is better is hardwork.
    eg We saw a brand new Corsa. Any discount says I.

    Certainly not says Arthur Daley

    1 hour later we are down to £10K which was cheaper than the same car secondhand.

    We bought a Kia because of the warranty we had a Skoda before.

    My van took ages to buy and I got that down about more than 5K.

    Good luck.

  • #3786


    I tend to have a pretty solid idea of what i want, so all this test driving and shopping around i don’t understand.

    Eg: I wanted a food focus, so I went and bought one.

    In all seriousness, there are some amazing lease deals around at the moment, im tempted myself.

  • #3787


    Don’t know if it’s an option for you but there are some great lease deals on Volvo V60’s at the moment, have a search if you’re interested but one I saw was £1500 deposit and £99 per month over 3 years at 8k pa. You never own it but it’s cheap for what you get and it’s their problem if something goes wrong.

  • #3788


    Certainly not says Arthur Daley

    1 hour later we are down to £10K which was cheaper than the same car secondhand.

    @saffy May I ask what techniques or such like did you do to get a discount?

    When I go to a showroom and ask for best deal they say, sorry can’t do that. So I walk away. Not a fan of haggling.

    Also not a fan of leasing a car. Something just does not feel right about the idea.

  • #3789


    @peter heres what you do
    a, though I hide it well on these forums, I do have a certain imbecilic charm. So do not be aggressive.

    b, Often with a new car the manufacturer will offer a deal on finance or lease, think £1K. You can usually after a month pay off the deal which netts a the £1K

    c, Dealers do special deals for NHS, BAE and big employers, ask, even if you do not work for these people , they will swing it, and an NUT card is free for first year and apply online.

    d, Colour, do you really want a mettalic, it £600,

    e, With a main dealer, there is always a discount, you can go to any dealer, and there is a unlmited supply of cars, but not customers, never ever forget this.

    g, the car dealer is not your friend, he will take £3K extra of you, they will not be insulted when you ask for a discount, though they will pretend to be.

    h, back to a, try not to be aggressive, it will cost you.

    i, be prepared to walk away, there is Always another car.

    Leasing is a mugs game IMO, if you need to borrow, do it of a bank, not Arthur Daly. Would you buy a car from the Halifax, no, so why buy a loan off Evans Halshaw?

  • #3790


    1) If you are buying new, decide on what you want and then contact every dealer in the UK asking for a quote for the specific model, engine size, extras etc. that you want.

    2) Take the cheapest quote and contact everyone who replied again asking them to beat it.

    3) Repeat 2 (optionally you can knock another £X off the price and lie about the quote you have if you think its still too high and nobody is quoting very well) until you have only 1 or 2 people left with enough motivation to try and really cut you a genuinely good deal.

    4) Buy vehicle.

    That’s what I did for my last van and it worked pretty well.

    My experience of a dealer is that you pay a premium for the vehicle and it isn’t worth it.

    My experience of buying from a random person second hand has generally been good. Most important thing is to judge the person you are buying the car from. If they really try to sell it or they have a number of cars or they are overly chatty, try to pressure sell, anything like that, don’t do it…. Ah, the internet is full off advice about buying from someone second hand, take a google, there are all sorts of articles with solid advice.

    Single most important thing is to know what you want before you start talking to anyone otherwise you are open to being persuaded that you want all sorts of other things you really don’t.

  • #3791


    I bought a car in September.

    I did a bit of research on-line/ What-car magazine, arranged for a test-drive, asked them if they could match the What-car ‘target price’. They asked me if I was going to buy any add-ons (gap insurance, tyre insurance, resin bodywork protection etc etc), I told them ‘no’. They asked for £300 over the target price, I threatened to walk, they matched the target price.

    I really wanted to buy from a dealer, not from the internet, so this suited me.

  • #3792


    I’ll work on the being nice while haggling.

    Thanks everybody for the useful advice.

    I know which car I want, and it will be the same that I have now because I love it.

    Nissan Cashcow.

  • #3793


    There’s a hell of a lot going for leasing (with ours anyway), known monthly payment covers everything; insurance, tax, MoT, tyres etc. etc.
    No worries about breakdowns, it gets fixed and we’re given a courtesy car for free.

    I love it, takes the stress out of car ownership.

  • #3794


    There’s a hell of a lot going for leasing (with ours anyway), known monthly payment covers everything; insurance, tax, MoT, tyres etc. etc.
    No worries about breakdowns, it gets fixed and we’re given a courtesy car for free.

    I love it, takes the stress out of car ownership.

    @dizzy There’s something itching the back of my mind, but all this leasing does not seem right.

    There has to be a catch?

    They pay the insurance for the lifetime of the lease?

  • #3795

    just another Dave

    There’s something itching the back of my mind, but all this leasing does not seem right.

    There has to be a catch?

    I rent now too. I’m still wondering what the catch is……..but still went with a PCP finance deal (after always buying cars outright in the past). The deal works for us, get a new car at an affordable price per month with options at the end to either walk away, buy car outright or get a new deal. I’m sure ultimately we must be the losers in this but 80% of cars are bought on PCP now. It works well for us, but we’ll see what happens….

  • #3796


    Bought my most recent car new from a main dealer a couple of months back, first new car I’ve ever bought, however a quick look on autotrader shows only 3 of them in the UK so realistically having set my heart on it, it had to be new. However 2 things I learned in this experience of buying new:

    cash isn’t necessarily king – paying outright isn’t what dealerships want, ideally they want to get you on a finance plan with 5% APR etc

    A bit of umming and ahing goes a long way – had that ‘do I really want to do this?’ Doubt appeared before I fully agreed to the purchase and in 30 minutes of discussing alternatives (even though I was fairly smitten with the car on offer) the price dropped just shy of £7000 and £3000 of optional extras appeared, may have just been that the salesman was keen to make a sale but i wasn’t complaining.

  • #3797


    If buying new… work out exactly which model you want. Go in to dealer morning of the last Saturday of the quarter ask for the best price for model X. Depending on the value, popularity (inc. options you want), if you are after an ex-demo, point in life cycle of the vehicle make an offer lower than their best price, you will be rebuffed, give them your mobile number.

    Wait for a call that afternoon once quarterly sales numbers are close to finalisation, there will be a discussion on the additional discount vs the personal bonus of the sales employee, floor manager and regional sales bod. Once weighed up – if you are easy to get over the line (e.g. no complicated finance/trade in) and are helping them clear aged stock you may get your deal.


  • #3798


    Do not believe a single world a dealer tells you about PCP. Whilst sat waiting for a test drive I had to force myself not to interrupt a sales person talking to some potential victims about it… Sure, you can have something great for little up front cash, but the same is true about buying all your gadgets on a credit card and only making minimum repayments…

  • #3799


    @mike I’m guessing pcp, is something other than drugs?

  • #3808


    @peter PCP stands for Personal Contract Plan.

    It essentially works by you paying a deposit then monthly payments, but instead of owning the car you are effectively leasing it, and the payments are based on the depreciation rather than the full value. At the end of the period (normally 3 years) you either buy the car outright and keep it (essentially for its value at that point) or you give it back and have nothing to show for it at all.

    Where you get an issue is if it’s not worth what they think it would be at the end but less. In that case you owe them money simply to return it (insurance policies exist to cover this difference if it’s written off and you’d be mad not to take one, but not to cover you simply mistreating it or doing more mileage than planned). If it’s worth more, naturally you get nowt.

    It’s not a model I’m in any way happy with, I prefer an unsecured personal loan, but plenty of people are.

  • #3809


    @mike Not quite true, if it’s worth less you can walk away without paying anything. If it’s worth more you can pay the value stated and take the car.

    They set the values deliberately low so you are encouraged to use the excess value as the deposit on your new car with them.

    But by saving up the balloon payment you can buy the car and use it as part exchange somewhere else if you want. Or keep it

    Also, I found the repayments on pcp were much less than an equivalent personal loan on the full value of the car.

  • #3810


    What’s wrong with PCP?

    The total cost.

    When I had less money I bought cheaper cars. PCP is in my view a very bad deal in general compared to other fiancing options. The trick to having more money and being able to pay cash is to make minimal and intelligent use of finance. Buying new cars on PCP is the antithesis of this.

  • #3811


    Bought my current Octavia Estate brand new over five years ago from a main dealer.

    I was in the happy position of being able to buy it outright for cash, but when the salesman said they had a deal running where for exactly the same price I could pay 50% up front and the balance at 0% interest over 2 years. As a semi retired pensioner, it suited me fine. Money stays in my account earning a meagre amount of interest, and I paid the balance off without really noticing it.

    Sadly there are not many of those deals around at the moment as all dealers want to get you on to PCP, and I don’t know how much longer I’ll be wanting to continue working.

    I dont do a big mileage and reckon the car will last me another 10 years until I’m 80 – by which time I might not be driving much anyway!

  • #3812


    I don’t buy new cars, but I don’t buy old bangers either.

    My current car was 18 months old when bought and about 55% the price of buying same car new. I went to one of the many dealers that specialise in cars of this age.

    Ive had one minor problem, fixed under warranty. The car is now four years old, nothing currently suggests that I can’t keep it for another 5 years problem free.

    I could probably have got a similar car privately for a bit less, but the small premium was worth if for the extra peace of mind and a reasonable part-ex offer.

    I will happily do the same again.

  • #3813


    Anybody care to recommend reputable main dealers that sell almost new cars?

    I don’t want brand new to then watch the ticket price drop like a stone, as I roll off the dealer’s forecourt. I’d rather somebody else take that initial hit.

  • #3814


    @peter just about all the car supermarkets deal with that kind of thing, and the best thing about it is that they tend to price keenly so if you hate haggling you can avoid it (or just do a bit as a nod to it) without being thoroughly ripped off.

    I did really well with my previous car, a 2008 petrol Vectra estate I bought from a car supermarket near Castle Donington. Just over 3 years old but only 15000 on the clock, basically a 3 year old brand new car for about half the price of new. It was ex Motability contract and the service logbook clearly told a very sad story of declining health, it was about 10,000 in the first year, 5,000 in the second and almost none in the third.

    Did me well for about 4 years until I got bored, and I sold it to a friend for whom it is still performing reliably.

  • #3851


    My Dad has had his last 3 cars (Mercs) through leasing. He is waiting for his forth to be delivered (a Volvo S90)which will cost him £260 per month. All he has to pay for is tyres and, as he replaces the car every 2 years, the only time he’s needed to fork out was once for an irreparably damaged tyre. He doesn’t find any negatives. However, my wife and I never pay for anything on the drip and always by cars for cash. Typically we pay around £5k and run our cars into the ground.

  • #3852


    I would not go with PCP for new cars. PCP deals on new cars tend to be a total higher cost than a personal loan or a hire purchase agreement. Certainly in the way they are regularly used in practice with people walking away from 2-3 year old cars and starting over again.

    There are plenty of other people – far more credible than when it comes to finance – suggesting PCP is a dangerous bubble.

    It’s no skin of my nose if people want to buy new cars and spend more to have more certainty – I accept that although if differs from my view. Few people claiming this reason for buying new consider aftermarket warranties for used cars. Great – more highly depreciated nearly new used cars for me.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  ben.
  • #3854


    Just about all the car supermarkets deal with that kind of thing, and the best thing about it is that they tend to price keenly so if you hate haggling you can avoid it (or just do a bit as a nod to it) without being thoroughly ripped off.

    @nobroo I have not used a car supermarket but I would probably get my next car from one.

    The cynical view is that ANY used car is a “gamble” and that most warranties are worthless but I guess with a car supermarket you still get a month or three of some sort of cover to avoid having to buy a new engine after a week, and pay less than at a Main or franchised dealer.

    Like buying a beer at Wetherspoons instead of at the posher local pub. Or dinner at Frankie at Benny’s instead of a decent restaurant. It’ll be perfectly acceptable and functional, cheaper, but with a feeling of being a “cheaper experience” which for the sake of maybe £1000 saving, I am sure you can live with.

    Also being car supermarkets , any single one is likely to have a number of different car all under one roof for you to choose between, thus saving some legwork.

    Personally my last three cars were bought privately with cash and the first time I did it, it was quite daunting handing over £2k to a stranger with absolutely no comeback (just a written signed receipt to prove I hadn’t stolen it).

    I had no problems with those cars that I wouldn’t have had if I’d bought from main dealers, and after the first one, I got more comfortable with the prospect of handing over the readies, but it is understandable that anyone would still be uncomfortable with that.

    Good luck!

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Mick.

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