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Buying a second-hand car...

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Big Aura's picture
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aside from the obvious (to me!) places like Autotrader and car-giant, are there any good places to look for a quality second-hand car?
Baby no2 is on the way, and while public transport was an option with one child, no car with babba 2 will mean we never leave the house! I'm looking for an A4/A6 Avant (both 2.0 diesel 2009) or a 520d estate. I expect to do very few miles (about 6000 annually) so I can go for something with slightly high mileage on the assumption that, come sell-on time, I'll have dragged down the average mileage!

Any views as to where's good to look?

Thanks

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

I have found Car Giant very disappointing.  Cars you think you can afford are invariably trashed.

Autotrader is very good.

Also try Pistonheads' Classifieds, if only because it cost an awful lot of money Smile

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Andrew Everard's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

A4 Avant clickety

A6 Avant clickety

520d clickety

(PH is one of 'our' sites)

PS jinx!

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Big Aura's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

thanks Andrew and JD.  Very interesting.  Will sit down with the missus at the weekend; there seems to be a few potentials in there. 

Disappointing to hear that re Car Giant - a chap I work with swears by them as brilliantly clean ex-fleet cars all with full main-dealer histories and (provided you avoid the sales rep bracket - i.e. stick to executive cars) there's really nicely maintained cars to be had.

thanks again.

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

Maybe my problem was that what I was looking for is exactly the kind of car that gets trashed - seven seat MPVs.  Bloody kids...

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RE: Buying a second-hand car...
Big Aura's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

you and your big fancy family....  All I want is something: (i) sporty for me and with full leather (the boy has puked on 40% of car journeys  - even from Balham to Dulwich);  (ii) cheap to run as it will get to Ireland once a year, and probably France a few times too; (iii) big for all the kit that 2 tiny humans require; (iv) with parking sensors for a missus who last drove when she failed her driving test at the second attempt in 2001.

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John Duncan's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

Just FYI, I think an A4 is too small of boot for said four-person family so would get a Passat personally.

Well actually I'd get a Mondeo or a Superb estate but am not allowed either...

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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

Mazda 6?

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6th.replicant's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

Good choice. An ex-repmobile with a dealer FSH and above-average mileage will actually have less wear 'n' tear. And if it's a diesel, then the particulate filter will have had appropriate workouts.

But if it's a turbodiesel, do budget for a new turbo sooner rather than later - chances are it won't have been warmed-up / cooled-down properly, ever. (If turbos are treated properly, they'll last the life of the engine.)

Also worth checking your chosen car-type's realworld cam-belt change intervals - ie, most manufacturers recommend changing at c.90k, but owners discover that every 4-5 years / 60k, whichever occurs first, is the reality and the necessity.

Also consider auctions for ex-cop cars? The 520d estate is popular with the fuzz - all are now specc'd in 'resale silver', insignias are merely peel-off stickers, and the cars are maintained with no expense spared. But do budget to replace all suspension components - ie, springs / dampers / bushes / top mounts, and maybe the anti-roll bars' bushes - because of a life-spent pummelling speed humps.

Skoda Superb is indeed superb. And the Seat Exeo is also a bargain - it's literally a rebadged 2004-2008-era Audi A4, but with the latest 2.0TDI, and an improved suspension setup - ie, more grip, less roll and a smoother ride - and more kit / toys but much less £s.

Worth having a peep at British Car Auctions.  

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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

Not sure why you want a diesel if you are going to only do 6k a year, it makes more sense to get a petrol.

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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

Jaguar x-type or s-type. Biggest s/h bargains out there at the moment. 5 star tucker at pizza prices.

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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

eBay motors is a good place to look as well. Many dealers advertise there. I bought my Ford Fiesta from The Car Shop, which was advertised on eBay.

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Big Aura's picture
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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

thanks all.  Re the suggested alternative cars above - not convinced by a Jag, everyone I've ever know to have one has had problems once they go over 60,000miles.  My dad once owned one that spontaneously combusted when he left it with the engine running for 10 mins (okay, so it was a 35-year old mark2, but still!) - in any case, not sure they're sufficiently "young" for me - it's a big enough step going for an estate! 

 

Potentially good call on the Mazda 6 - built very well, and will last.  Not entirely enamoured by how it looks tho, and a photo I've seen of the dashboard lighting makes it look a bit like an 80s niteklub...

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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

Big Aura wrote:

Potentially good call on the Mazda 6 - built very well, and will last.  Not entirely enamoured by how it looks tho, and a photo I've seen of the dashboard lighting makes it look a bit like an 80s niteklub...

We have had ours 15 months now and it has been fine so far.Happily cruised to the alps and back with the family and a roofbox full of skis. If you get a TS2, reversing and forward parking radar and overtaking/undertaking detectors are standard (amongst many other things) - it is very similar to the Mondeo under the covers, but has more standard kit and Mazda has a better reputation for reliability and dealers than Ford.

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RE: Buying a second-hand car...

6th.replicant wrote:

Also consider auctions for ex-cop cars?

WHAT ????  banging head against wall banging head against wall

One careful owner, hundreds of careless drivers.   Have you ever seen / been in one of those things when driven in a pursuit or responding to a high priority incident ??

The amount that you're budgeting to replace all the suspension componets, I.d take that budget and add it to your original budget and buy a car that hasnt been abused at least once a day during its short life from somewhere else

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