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Car checks when buying privately.

(15 Posts)
Oodsigma Sun 20-Jan-13 14:43:56

Any recommendations or who to avoid?

And any idea of cost? We are looking at large MPVs

zumo Wed 23-Jan-13 06:56:24

Dont the AA & RAC do them and you have asome sort of claim if they help you buy a dud?
Your local garage would also do it but not really any come back if you buy a dud.
Its worth taking it straight for an MOT and tell the tester to have a good look as you have just bought it.

Oodsigma Wed 23-Jan-13 07:50:49

The last car was from a local garage & a dud so want something more concrete this time.

Can't get the AA thing to quote me. It doesn't recognise any of the regs

WMittens Wed 23-Jan-13 10:04:57

Its worth taking it straight for an MOT

An MOT will not tell you anything about its condition, only if it's roadworthy at that point in time. Testers are not allowed to remove any part of the car during the test (not even grease covering rusty brake pipes.

zumo Wed 23-Jan-13 22:18:44

I agree but it will show you if it has any obvious dangerous faults and at £25 in our local garage its a good cheap way of seeing its safe.
You have no substitute really for a full inspection.
Give AA a call and RAC, Google vehicle inspections and see what you find.
I tend to avoid any cars beginning with F or R but thats just me, I like French or Japaneese and have had good service from Both, Our VW Bora is excellent but my Peugeot 406 is a seven seater has done almost 200,000 miles with very little trouble, still returns 35MPG so for £700 four years ago I have had good value.
We have a Mazda Bongo 8 seater Camper but only use it for best as its not good on fuel 22 around town 30MPG on a run with 6 people and luggage. Its Auto, air con heating in the back and front, massive sunroof, loads of room, but can still park in a normal parking space. We paid £1200 knowing it needed some work, total spend inc purchase was about £1800 including fitting a kitchen, its worth about £3-4000 now
Its all down to what you have to spend and running costs, all cars are expensive to fix but some are just horrendous or need more frequesnt servicing, we once had a Fiat and carried a spare clutch cable and the tools to fit it as they break about every 8 months, its just how they are.
It might be worth having a look at some of the specific forums for any you fancy, IE if its a Bongo
VW T4 T5
So what do you fancy and why?

Oodsigma Wed 23-Jan-13 22:25:42

Bongo is on our list but can only find automatics, galaxy , sharan , Alhambra.

Had lots of bad experiences with French cars and nothing else seems big enough.

Can't find any of the above cars locally (within 40 miles) that are the right age/price. All either 2-3 year old (too expensive) or 10+

zumo Thu 24-Jan-13 05:32:31

Manual Bongos are made but very rare and I dont think any better on fuel.
Why dont you want an auto, have you driven a Bongo?
Google Wheel quick in Wigan, nice bloke small garage excellent service, people travel miles to use him.
If you ask on Bongofury some one local will show you around a Bongo, if its a Bongo it must have a low coolant alarm fitted they are about £70, but most have them allready,this should stop the only potential problem.
What part of the country are you in?
I also looked at the Galaxy but missed a friend selling his cheap so bought the Bongo

Oodsigma Thu 24-Jan-13 06:17:59

We've looked online at Wheelquick but need a full day to get there to look and not had one so far. I've never driven an automatic snd dh has but didn't like them.

I'm in Cumbria so miles from anywhere with a selection of cars. Can only find odd ones that are 2 hours away which isn't easy to manage to view at the moment.

zumo Thu 24-Jan-13 12:18:31

If you join the forum at bongofury its free, ask and people will look out for ones that are local to you so you can see.
If you do buy have a good look at the insurance section, the company I use class my MPV as a camper as it has a hob and sink in the boot, but I can still sleep two but still have 8 seats,this took it from £1000 to £320, so the £150 spent on the kitchen was well worth it, some cos insist the log book says Camper or motorhome soe dont. This year I have clessic insurance witha 3000 mile limit for £185 as its a second car and I am a paying member of Bongofury so by spending the £12 I get a membership card and on paper are a member of an owners club for my car so get cheaper insurance.
I have had a two jobs done by wheelquick and bought second hand parts from them too, give them a call as I am sure he would meet you after hours or a weekend as they are very helpful, dont expect a big posh show room though, but the service and quality is excellent, I drive 30 mins to wheelquick as he is so good and prices are good too.
Have you thought of hiring one to try it out?
Few camper versions on ebay etc

Oodsigma Thu 24-Jan-13 13:15:04

We will go to Wigan at some point. Just have to wait for dh to have a day off and coincide with me having a day I can travel

Do you have car seats in yours? Will have a toddler & baby in it plus two teens.

zumo Thu 24-Jan-13 19:11:27

No kids are teens and both 6ft!, but we take elderly inlaws out with us and on holiday, we used the Peugeot 406 eatste as its a seven seater for three years but kids just too tall so bought the Bongo last jan and 100% happy with it my other half was sceptical about such an old care as its an N reg but it has more comfort than many newer ones.
The cooling system is teh only complex thing on it and its best to have alow coolant level alarm fitted for piece of mind they are about £70 many Bongos allready have them, if it goes off stop and check the water level as its early warning of a leak
I would put small kids in back seat and teens in the middle

Oodsigma Thu 24-Jan-13 19:19:02

Am I right in thinking there's only a door on one side? Wondering if the two car seats would need to be on different rows for access.

Dh has just texted me his rota for feb and we can go at the end of next week if I'm fit enough. Was hoping to use the trip out to see alternatives too but can't find a galaxy or sharan anywhere in the NW so might just be bongo viewing

zumo Thu 24-Jan-13 21:21:43

Yes doors only on one side, the middle row slides forward to allow access.
VWT4s and T5s have twin doors but very rare with twin doors, I have only every seen a couple.
Nissan do a very nice van thingy with twin sliders and 8 seats if I remember rightly, not sure what its called?
Have you looked in the Auto trader? shoudl be loads of Galaxys etc
The problem we all have is its abour compromise as we can never get exactly what we need often due to cost

Oodsigma Fri 25-Jan-13 08:00:45

Autotrader search between Chester & Glasgow pretty much! Went up to nearly 4 hours each way from us.
Searched various car websites, car supermarkets & eBay!

zumo Fri 25-Jan-13 19:05:29

Strage just not much about, its a tight time of year so I suppose trade is slow so less for sale?
I have heard this bloke is good
Not the cheapest though. Ask on Bongofury and try a wanted ad on Piston heads, ukfreeads etc

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