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Any Experience Buying A Car From A Car Supermarket?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by maxflinn, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    I ask as I'm considering going over to the UK to get one myself, probably a 2011/2012 Audi A6 diesel, or maybe a BMW 525/530D.

    I've looked at a good few of them online and most state that their cars have all been checked out mechanically prior to being put on sale. I see that many of them have, or are advertised with a full service history too, some full main dealer.

    From what I've seen most look in very good condition, and are advertised as such. They claim they're HPI clear etc. Obviously these are things I will have to verify for myself when there, but as I'll only be in the UK a day or two I'd like to try to narrow down a few. I don't want to be going to look at lemons.

    I'll have to pay vehicle registration tax on whatever I buy when I take it back to Ireland, but I reckon even with that I'd save a bit, and hopefully get a better car.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    I looked, about 13 years ago, and tried to like the cars and the place but couldn’t. Most had signs of ‘life’ being inflicted on them, the staff didn’t give a hoot, the showroom was packed with Sunday shoppers trying to climb in and out of the cars, and the final killer was the cars I might have been interested in came with just one key. They’re not cheap to replace properly.
    And, of course, once back in Ireland you’d find warranty claims and dealer help difficult to come by.
     
    maxflinn likes this.
  3. colasblue

    colasblue pfm Member

    I've bought cars from Cargiant without any issues.

    Their business is basically ex lease cars, and where your bargain is to be found is in the little used ex boss's car (or even better boss's wife's SUV) rather than the ex repmobile.

    You need to look for 1 owner and FSH, and obviously have a good look round for any signs of repaired accident damage.

    The thing to definitely avoid is cars which have had two or more owners, the first of which owned it for a year or less. They are usually ex hire cars and the first owner will be a subsidiary of one of the main providers. They change the subsidiaries regularly so the link to the hire co is less obvious.

    Corporate leases are normally 4 years so you need to be looking at 2015 cars not 2012.

    Oh yes and like Tony says, don't expect any customer service, price negotiation and certainly don't buy any of the extras they try to sell you. They also won't have fixed any minor dings and scrapes so expect those.

    … and look in the ash tray for a second key if they say there's only one!

    .. And if there's a cd autochanger make sure you get the cartridge!
     
    Mr Cat and maxflinn like this.
  4. andyoz

    andyoz pfm Member

    There's some good dealers in Nth Ireland I go to first TBH.

    Some will be English cars that are brought over in 'Bulk'.
     
    maxflinn likes this.
  5. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    Interesting, Tony.

    To be honest I wouldn't care about the attitude of the staff etc, and not having a warranty wouldn't be a problem as if buying privately here I'd not get one either. Garages here are out as they're mental money.

    All I care about is whether the car is good, and good value, and I thought car supermarkets might be a safer bet than buying privately in Blighty.
     
  6. Steve Taylor

    Steve Taylor pfm Member

    Max, sorry if this is OT but if you have a mechanic/garage that you trust perhaps seek their advice on both the car and sourcing. The owner of the garage I use has saved me a fortune over the last few years and looks after my daughter's car too so I wouldn't dream of going another. So I want to have a car that he's more interested in working on.
     
    maxflinn likes this.
  7. Matty297

    Matty297 pfm Member

    Was a mechanic in a former life and did some work for one of the car supermarkets.
    They wouldn’t pay for quality work just wanted bodged jobs for cheep.
    Better off buying private then you can size up the owner.
     
  8. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    Be aware of compulsory transaction fees for the privilege of buying from them. Confirm any charges before you sit down to haggle!
     
    maxflinn likes this.
  9. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    That's very helpful info, Colasblue.

    Sadly I'll have to look at cars from around 2012 as what I want would be too pricey if four years old. My budget is around £9K - £10K. And I'll put aside about €3k for VRT.

    Having said that I love the look of the Mondeo from 2015 onwards, and believe they're very comfortable. I'd say I'd get a nice one of those for my budget. Perhaps a 2016 one owner Mondeo in Titanium spec with full main dealer history. I'll give it some thought.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  10. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    Yes I'm considering that too, Andy. It'd definitely be easier, though obviously there's less choice.

    Can you recommend any dealers up there?

    Thanks.
     
  11. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart pfm Member

    I’ve just done some quick price comparisons with Autotrader dealers, and cars with half the mileage are around the same price as Car Giant.

    Maybe source a good dealer near a UK port that’s served by Dublin port?
     
    Linds, blossomchris and maxflinn like this.
  12. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    Steve I do talk to my mechanic, actually to a few that I know, who each specialise in different cars. The BMW guy said always go for the 3 litre Diesel if getting a Beemer, not the 2 litre which give problems.

    None have much bad to say about the Audi A6 TDi's. I'll need to ask about the latest Mondeo.

    I've been looking on the various car forums too, and sites like Honest John etc.

    Thanks.
     
  13. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    From what I've gathered the main ones charge an administration fee of around £200. They don't seem to take cash either so I'll need to sort out a bank draft or whatever if buying when there, which is time consuming.

    Thanks.
     
  14. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    That's interesting, Tony. I'd be using Fishguard as I'm down the south of the country. The ferry goes from there to Rosslare in Wexford which is only an hour away from me.

    I've looked on Autotrader within a 100 mile radius of Fishguard a few times but couldn't find a suitable A6. I'll defo keep looking.

    Thanks.
     
    Tony Lockhart likes this.
  15. Colin L

    Colin L pfm Member

    I have a 12 plate 330d touring, manual box, which I am planning to sell. Full BMWsh and bought with 6k, one year old. It’s now got 53k. Accident free and no mechanical issues whatsoever. Uses no oil or water between services. PM if it’s of interest.
     
    maxflinn likes this.
  16. maxflinn

    maxflinn Tulsi Gabbard 2020.

    If I had more time perhaps a private sale would be better, but I'd not be able to view too many, and wouldn't want to leave without a car.

    I thought car supermarkets might be more suitable for a quick trip over, assuming they generally stock decent cars, hence the thread asking.

    Thanks.
     
  17. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    I think they generally buy in cheap ones that are a bit dinged up, have their own guys tart them up and sell them for top book.
     
  18. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Just turn up and pay with your debit card, no-one uses bank drafts anymore. I buy with a debit card, it is dead easy.

    BUT. Careful. Not all of the supermarkets have the cars ready to drive away. I bought a nearly new Suzuki from a car supermarket and drove it away. But another place we bought a 3 year old ex-company car was on display, available to test drive but not ready to sell that day.
     
    maxflinn likes this.
  19. mikemusic

    mikemusic pfm Member

    Much less dough at
    British Car Auctions
    I bought my last Saab but one at Blackbushe
    From vague memory I saved £3-4000
    Think you have an hour to take it back if knackered :)

    Not sure if they handle dates as far back as you are looking at, but you could go newer for the same dough.....
     
    maxflinn likes this.
  20. Ginger

    Ginger pfm Member

    Some of those cars might be ex-hire/fleet cars, but then so are loads at the main dealers. The big makers supply the fleets on an agreed return basis and then sell them again. Whether it's ex-hire or fleet at a supermarket or main dealer , what's the difference? I've had 2 ex-hire cars, both at about 15 months and 12k miles, not a problem for years, either of them. But I agree some of the sentiments about the supermarkets - some rubbish in there as well.
     
    maxflinn likes this.

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