Is it safe to buy an ex-taxi Ford Galaxy?

I am looking at buying a new shape Ford Galaxy on your recommendation. My budget is £8-£10,000. We will do 10,000 miles a year and two separate 5-mile journeys a day. Some of those available at low prices have privacy windows that possibly means they are ex-taxis.

I will ask the dealer if they are ex-taxis (if he knows), but if they are does that mean I should not buy them? If it is an ex-taxi or even it is not, for piece of mind do you recommend a car inspection service that will organise an inspection with the dealer? If I use a car inspection service can I offer the dealer a returnable deposit of say £200 to reserve the car while the inspection is being carried out? One of the vehicles is being sold by a dealer who makes no mention of warranty on his website – does he have to offer one? Is there anything else I should do to minimise my risk from buying from this type of dealer?

Asked on 5 February 2011 by JI, via email

Answered by Honest John
The best place to find one is Addison Lee, corner of Hampstead Road and Granby Terrace, just south of Greater London House, tel: 0207 3889799. They have a fleet of more than 3,000, all diesel automatics and the next batch will be coming off the fleet this June and July. All black. If you have the car inspected and it fails you will lose any deposit you have made for the vendor to hold the car for you. Yes, a dealer selling a car has to warrant it against pre-existing faults for six months.
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