Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - Russell Allen

Hi all,

In another thread I mentioned buying a Polo, but consensus was Fabia was a much better option - long story short, I've found what (for me) seems the perfect car, except it's up in Scotland, and I'm yet to pass my test (3 weeks, fingers crossed!) down here in sunny Preston. :(

https://www.arnoldclark.com/used-cars/skoda/fabia/1-2-tsi-se-5dr/2011/ref/arncg-u-14206

Would it be dumbest thing ever if I bought this without a test drive?

Thanks,

Russ

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - RobJP

Yes, it would.

Here's a really important thing. If you have problems with a car, the selling garage is obliged to fix them. But YOU are responsible, AT YOUR COST, for getting the car to them, and they are NOT obliged to offer you a loan car.

In other words, buy locally.

We hear loads of horror stories about people who've bought a car from a garage 200 miles away, and now they've got problems with the car, and ... etc, etc. Please don't be the next one.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - SLO76
Arnold Clark will sell you any car from stock at any branch and since there's one within 15 miles of you it's no great worry regarding warranty claims. However they don't tend to prep stock well and often it's very tatty so you really do need to clap eyes on it first.

Ask your nearest branch if they'll trsnsfer the car for you. They may do so on the basis that you'll buy it if all is well but make sure anything you sign allows you to get out of it if the car is tatty or has missing dealer service history. These are complex and as yet unproven engines so you must have a full main dealer history with proof of annual servicing.

Quick look nearby and there's plenty of alternatives such as Fiesta 1.25 Zetec and Mazda 2 both of which have a great track record for reliability and driver enjoyment even if they're not as powerful as the Fabia.

Edited by SLO76 on 27/08/2017 at 00:19

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - FP

Russ, it's a really, really bad idea. There are too many imponderables.

You can't be sure you'll pass your test; the current pass rate is somewhat less than 50%.

You must inspect the car and test-drive it, if you want to avoid hasslesfurther down the line.

There are mixed reviews about Arnold Clark, but in fact you'd be stupid to trust any car dealer to automatically do the right thing by you. You are much better off dealing in person.

As has been said, the further away you go to buy a car, the more problems you have if it's a lemon.

Be patient and things will work out for you.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - Happy Blue!

I have done this three times. The time I got a minger I forgot to get written agreement that the car had no defects and I could get an immediate refund if I found something I didn't like when it was delivered to me.

On the two occasions I got this, the car was better than expected. With AC, they will get the car down from Scotland for payment of a refundable deposit usually, so less of a problem.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - RT

There's a big multi-franchise group in Scotland that I wouldn't touch with a barge-pole, test drive or not - I've heard so many tales of woe on various car forums about cars bought from them.

Find another Fabia.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - SLO76

There's a big multi-franchise group in Scotland that I wouldn't touch with a barge-pole, test drive or not - I've heard so many tales of woe on various car forums about cars bought from them.

Find another Fabia.

With any big dealer group like this you'll find loads of unhappy customers but equally you'll find plenty of happy punters. It's down to the sheer volume they sell and variations in standards at each branch. I've bought numerous cars myself at AC without a problem and been involved in dozens of deals with them over the years. They have a massive amount of stock and I've noticed a big difference between branches with the Japanese franchises (Toyota in particular) far better for service and quality of stock preparation. The sticker prices are usually better than rivals but add on a warranty (not included) and the miserable trade in offers (suits me, this is where I make money) and you often find other smaller dealers can match and often beat them. They are however hard to beat on nearly new stock still under manufacturers warranty.

Edited by SLO76 on 27/08/2017 at 09:45

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - Manatee

This is not a rare car. Find a nearer one.

If it looks cheap there is probably a reason.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - KB.

"Would it be dumbest thing ever if I bought this without a test drive?"

It's unlikely to be the dumbest thing you ever did ... but if I were you I would follow the general advice given here. There's no need to buy from so far away coz there WILL be similar, if not better, much closer to you. Plus, additionally, the seller is widely known for offering "variable" service.

You might even see something else that takes your fancy. The location of a main dealer relative to your address could be an asset... you don't really want to travel more than you have to to get a little niggle sorted or to have your servicing carried out.

It could be you see something like a Hyundai i20, which is similar to the Fabia, but has a longer warranty. Ditto the equivalent Kia Rio, which has an even longer warranty.

It's early days, don't rush into it. We've all been there, had the same urges to get something we think we want - and want it NOW! ... and have all regretted it.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - daveyjp
Also do some research into Arnold Clark and see if you are happy with how they can sometimes operate.

There must be plenty of these in the market and I would rather go to a Skoda dealer, especially one like our local set up which has been in the same family since they were selling Estelles!
Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - scot22

Russ, without ever wanting to sound patronising can I say how sensible you are seeeking advice from the number of knowledgeable posters on here. I wish the forum had been around when I started buying (the internet wasn't) and I had found it sooner. As with everything ask questions and use your own judgement.

Best wishes for the driving test.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - brum

2011 1.2 tsi's were still being fitted with chocolate camchains, more correctly a poor design. Check if its been changed under warranty or otherwise. Really important for these engines to have regular oil changes less than 10,000 miles and less than a year apart. Also steering rods were an issue, but maybe on later cars.

You reallly need to test drive. You must witness a start from cold, stood for several hours state. If it rattles or make a horrible racket for a few seconds before quietening down, it needs the latest 2013 chain kit fitted 03F198158B (includes chain 03F109158G) Those B and G letters are really important. .Approx £800 fitted, maybe more. Quote TPI document no 2037419/11 from 2016.03.30 if theres any arguement.

Sometimes people put thicker oil in to disguise/hide the problem, but if its ignored, eventually the chain jumps off and trashes the engine, so this is really important. It may not make the noise on the day of test, especialy if someone started it briefly before you came, to prime the hydraulic tensioner.

At standstill, with engine on, move the steering slowly lock to lock several times and check for stickiness and judderring noises. If so it needs the steering rods replaced (these were a common warranty issue, but my dealer took 4 sets before they got it right) supposedly £400

Oh and the rear brake drums have by that age an annoying habit of sticking on when parked up for more than a day or two and its been raining, due mostly to the fact that many dealers never strip the drum off and clean them during servicing. They can be very difficult to unstick, involves lots of throttle and a big bang when they release, often shooting forward or backwards in the process, which is a problem if you are parked in a tight place without room forward and backward. If it has rear discs you will be ok.

Unless already changed, expect no 3 plug lead to fail, often taking the ignition coil with it £360 (ouch!}. This ignition lead sits on the exhaust shield and fails due to being baked. Later leads are fitted in plasic ribbed trunking (called Marten protection in a bid by vag to pretend their design is not an issue).

You need to check the servicing record carefully and whether its genuine. If its been on extended/variable servicing (upto 18,000 miles/2years) I would not entertain it as the mileage its covered is too low so its likely been a town shopper with lots of cold starts and short runs. That needs the traditional fixed service regime.

You need a written assurance on the above issues and 6 months warranty that specifically covers these issues.

All second hand cars should be inspected and checked by someone who is knowledgeable before purchase unless you have a no quibble money back guarantee thats genuine.

Btw fabia SE does not have an autodimmng rear view mirror nor is it an option.

Otherwise potentially a nice car.

Edited by brum on 27/08/2017 at 13:45

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - brum

Most of what Ive posted above also applies to other VAG cars fitted with the same 1.2 tsi cam chain engine, e.g. Polo, Ibiza even Golfs, Audi A3 etc etc

Edited by brum on 27/08/2017 at 14:22

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - KB.

Any further thoughts from Russell, the OP, at all?

Edited by KB. on 28/08/2017 at 21:42

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - KB.

Any further thoughts from Russell, the OP, at all?

Not yet... hopefuly in due course.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - KB.

Don't you just love it when someone goes to the trouble of registering on a site, asks a question...even sticks a link on there... gets a dozen replies in good faith.... then can't be bothered to have the manners to come back with any sort of response.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - corax

He hasn't even passed his test yet, so he's probably all over the place in terms of decision making.

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - KB.

Quite possibly, but if he can be bothered to submit the post in the first place then how long does it take to pop in and acknowledge the trouble a dozen others have taken to try to assist.?

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - Avant

This often happens when, as here, we give an OP an answer that (s)he doesn't want to hear.

In this case he probably knew that the answer to the question in the heading was an unequivocal NO. He does indirectly acknowledge in his OP our assistance given in a previous thread.

As always with a public forum, one hopes that other people see a discussion like this and find it helpful.

Edited by Avant on 04/09/2017 at 00:41

Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - Russell Allen
Apologies for resurrecting such an old thread, but since I was the OP thought I should come back now that I've finally passed my test! Someone earlier put their finger on it, I've been all over the place in the run up to the test, and now it's sorted I'm back in the land of the living it seems!

Of course advice was heeded and I did not go for this particular car. At the moment due to budget and other considerations I'm looking Suzuki Swift 2013ish, Skoda Fabia 2013ish, VW Polo 2011ish, etc. Advice given above has been much appreciated and will be well considered, so thanks to all who took time to reply, will try to get back after I've made up my mind and bought summat.

Russ
Fabia 1.2 TSI SE - Would you entertain buying this without test drive - FP

Congrats on passing the test! And for calming down and taking a cool look around.

No doubt others will comment on your shopping list.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car