I'm having trouble finding the car I want in NI. How do you suggest I buy it?

I'm having trouble finding the car I want (Ford Mustang Convertible) in Northern Ireland. If I have to get one from Britain, there's no way I can take it back easily if anything went wrong. How do you suggest I buy it? I was thinking of distance selling then spend a week testing mercilessly, which would be fun, or could I ask for a trade sale at a cheaper price as I won't have or need any comeback. The local Ford specialist dealer wants £500 to bring one over, whether I buy it or not.

Asked on 3 February 2021 by Peter L

Answered by Andrew Brady
It's a difficult one – even if you buy a car via a distance sale (bringing with it your right to return within 14 days), you'll be responsible for the costs of returning the car, and the terms and conditions are likely to impose a maximum mileage you can cover before returning it (this is likely to be around 150 miles but could be as little as 50). Anything over this and you'll have to stump up an excess mileage fee. Basically, don't expect to rag around a Mustang for a few weeks without the dealer trying everything in their power to penalise you for it!

I'd be surprised if a dealer's willing to provide one as a trade sale, either. Good used stock is hard to come by at the moment, so dealers are holding out for top money. A dealer can't strictly sell a car to a member of the public as a trade sale, either – even if you promise not to darken their door ever again, you can't waive your rights.

It might not be what you want to hear, but I reckon the best way forward is to wait a few months (when Covid will hopefully be relished to history), jump on a flight to England and find the Mustang of your dreams. You could make it an incredible summer road trip...
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