Do not buy an ex police vehicle - Ebob

If anybody is thinking of buying an ex police vehicle then watch this link

youtu.be/v6Nuq1Vx9S4

My gf has an ex police 1.4 tdci fiesta and whilst it hasn't been awful, it hasn't been great either.

It was CID and had no signs of lights fitted or an extra ariel so I'm guessing it was more of a general purpose vehicle than anything used to get anywhere particularly quickly as it's not a fast car!

It had an snapped coil spring causing the suspension to collapse, needed a new shock absorber, replacement oxygen sensor, replacement glow plug relay, failed clutch slave cylinder, we had a clutch kit done at the same time. Now if has a rough idle when the engine is cold. Bought @ 70k now on 96k.

Admittedly the electrical faults and even the slave cylinder aren't necessarily to do with how it's been driven and even the slightly clunky idle is fairly common modern diesels as they get older.

Still with bearing this info in mind.

They are marketed as being very well maintained however if you do get one pay much less than the going rate for that vehicle as they likely have more wear for a given age and mileage.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - Ethan Edwards

My colleague has a Fiesta 07 plate with over 100k on it. Pretty much had that lot go wrong as well. So sounds par for the course to me.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - argybargy

Much play used to be made years ago about the benefits of buying ex company cars which had spent most of their lives on the motorway and had been regularly serviced. The downside of that equation being that those who drove them had little or no incentive to treat their car with any respect, or "car sympathy", as it was described to me during my driving lessons.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - gordonbennet

I'd have said don't buy a car that's been on a typical 3 year lease or PCP, where from day one it's been treated as a vehicle not owned and counting down to its replacement, so minimal servicing and rarely much mechanical sympathy bothered with.

I have owned two ex plod cars, a Sierra 2.0GL general purpose white hatch, and a Rover 827Si manual ex Thames Valley driving school, both came with print outs from the police workshops who looked after the cars, the service histories were to die for, especially the driving school car.

Neither gave a moments trouble, the Rover was stupidly quick easily getting to 145 and still pulling.

Daresay if they are subjected to a manufacturers bare minimum service regime then they won't be quite the same standard as those looked after at in house workshops.

A modern Diesel giving issues is hardly unusual, don't they all do that, it might well have been misfuelled and chances of it being warmed up and cooled down are thin, in some ways the larger traffic cars might be a better bet, spend most of their time with warm engines, driven hard by trained drivers and seldom switched off till end of shift.

Edited by gordonbennet on 24/09/2017 at 11:22

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - badbusdriver

Back in about 1996 i came very close to buying an ex German military police mk2 grananda 2.8i. My then boss (who was going to loan me the money) talked me out of it.

Kinda wish i'd gone ahead with it, but hey ho!

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - Wackyracer

Maybe the title of this thread should have just been "Don't buy a Ford".

My sisters Fusion had a front spring snap while it was parked on her drive and had only 13,000 miles on the clock at the time.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - joegrundy

"I have owned two ex plod cars, a Sierra 2.0GL general purpose white hatch, and a Rover 827Si manual ex Thames Valley driving school, both came with print outs from the police workshops who looked after the cars, the service histories were to die for, especially the driving school car."

Things were a bit different back in the day. Generally, cars (including pandas but more especially traffic cars) were checked for fluids, etc., at the beginning of every shift (and signed for). Driving school cars, in particular, were checked rigorously, meticulously washed at the end of every day, and the slightest issue saw it back in the workshop. 'Mechanical sympathy' was high on the list of subjects taught, and rightly so. You never knew what/where you might be required to go or do during your 8 hour occupation of that vehicle and it mattered. Tyres were changed as needed (when appropriate, rather than when legally necessary, etc.). It seemed to me to be reasonable when a T5 might need to make progress at 130+.

Not so now, I fear. Budget cuts have meant some police workshops have closed, vehicles are serviced by local dealers, etc. It's not the same as when a traffic driver spoke to a police mechanic and reported a 'bit of an issue' at speed on a bend, e.g.

Things always change, of course. I notice now that there are many police vehicles older than they used to be. Budget cuts again.

Unmarked/CID cars: the force I worked for was one of the first to buy used cars, and it was a revelation. For the first time, we had a variety of cars, usually >6 months old, far better than some of the 'fleet' stuff. Over-maintained, over-serviced, it worked well.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - iFocus

Years ago I had an ex-RAF Military Police Astra 1.7 DTi, I bought it with around 115k on it.

It turned out to be one of the best cars I'd ever had and I took it from 115k to 150 in the space of 2 years.

However that car was a 2001 Y reg and was before all of this austerity; my wife used to work as a special and she's told me that although the cars are serviced properly that they get hammered, they have a shortage of cars so a car can be used 24/7 and be ragged by many different drivers during that time.

Personally I wouldn't touch an ex police car nowadays.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - Terry W

High mileage plod cars may be a good deal with a large capacity engine subject to minimal stresses even if abused.

I would personally stay clear of lower capacity high mileage plod which could be abused - engine, gesrbsx and suspension just chasing urban offenders.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - TedCrilly

For a 96k tdci fiesta I think you have done quite well.

Fact is......at 96k things will go wrong, regardless of who owned it in the past.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - SkodaIan

Since the police stopped doing routine motorway patrolling, the cars now get a much harder life. A few years back you could pick up a 100k mile ex traffic police Senator etc. and chances were nearly all that 100k miles was done at 55mph on the motorway with brief runs at 120 ish to catch up a speeding sales rep.

Now most of that patrolling is done by the highways staff, police cars spend a much higher of their miles on blue light running and hence more wear per mile on the car.

p.s. to the OP, I had a coil spring break on my owned from new car last week at about 80000 miles. They are pretty much consumable these days....

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - galileo

Since the police stopped doing routine motorway patrolling, the cars now get a much harder life. A few years back you could pick up a 100k mile ex traffic police Senator etc. and chances were nearly all that 100k miles was done at 55mph on the motorway with brief runs at 120 ish to catch up a speeding sales rep.

Now most of that patrolling is done by the highways staff, police cars spend a much higher of their miles on blue light running and hence more wear per mile on the car.

p.s. to the OP, I had a coil spring break on my owned from new car last week at about 80000 miles. They are pretty much consumable these days....

From conversations with an ex traffic-cop, they don't slow for speed humps when in pursuits as the ride is smoother the faster you cross them. The body doesn't move so much but obviously suspension takes a hammering. Red-lining engines is also usual when in a hurry, so apart from being highly trained and skilled, they will at times drive them as if they stole them. Can't criticise them, needs of the job (and they don't personally pay for tyres/repairs)

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - gordonbennet
From conversations with an ex traffic-cop, they don't slow for speed humps when in pursuits as the ride is smoother the faster you cross them. The body doesn't move so much but obviously suspension takes a hammering. Red-lining engines is also usual when in a hurry, so apart from being highly trained and skilled, they will at times drive them as if they stole them. Can't criticise them, needs of the job (and they don't personally pay for tyres/repairs)

Sounds like the staff who cleaned and checked the renters over at a certain airport i used to deliver and collect said cars from a few years ago, there were about 4 elongated speed humps in the rental car park (no public access), the best of them could make a car land nearly halfway between each hump if the right speed was used.

Pity to hear plods own workshops are vanishing, i bet there were some clever hands on mechanics to be found, hope they haven't ended up working in a dealership having to put up with the general public and the usual service receptionists.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - RobJP

Police workshops certainly still exist - North Wales have their main workshop in Deeside, and I believe they share the facility with Cheshire.

They were recruiting for a technician apprentice recently, which my nephew applied for. Service, repair, fleet commisioning and decommisioning work, etc.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - gordonbennet

Yes there is one we drive past to a regular delivery at Wakefiled, busy workshops too.

Interestingly our local Scania dealer full preps probably a good proportion of the country's fire service vehicles, lots of work goes into those.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - concrete

Our police service have their own workshops in several locations and they share these with a neighbouring force. One of the managers uses our local pub and he has opinions about certain vehicles and how they stand up to the use. It is now difficult to know the full history of these vehicles as they are often allocated to a station or squad and are used by each shift in turn. Different drivers nearly all the time. They are maintained but wear and tear is not entirely mitigated by regular servicing. He has quite a low opinion of Vauxhall, Ford and Land Rover. Others like BMW, Volvo, Mercedes and Skoda come out much better. I suppose you pays your money etc etc.

Having speny many years as the driver of a company car, usually doing high mileages, maybe I was the exception in looking after my vehicles, or 'car sympathy' as it was so nicely put. I bought several as transport for SWMBO and also several friends have waited for my lease to end so they can put a bid in. Apart from one car, I would not have hesitated to recommend my ex cars to anyone for the right price.

Cheers Concrete

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - Engineer Andy

Our police service have their own workshops in several locations and they share these with a neighbouring force. One of the managers uses our local pub and he has opinions about certain vehicles and how they stand up to the use. It is now difficult to know the full history of these vehicles as they are often allocated to a station or squad and are used by each shift in turn. Different drivers nearly all the time. They are maintained but wear and tear is not entirely mitigated by regular servicing. He has quite a low opinion of Vauxhall, Ford and Land Rover. Others like BMW, Volvo, Mercedes and Skoda come out much better. I suppose you pays your money etc etc.

Having speny many years as the driver of a company car, usually doing high mileages, maybe I was the exception in looking after my vehicles, or 'car sympathy' as it was so nicely put. I bought several as transport for SWMBO and also several friends have waited for my lease to end so they can put a bid in. Apart from one car, I would not have hesitated to recommend my ex cars to anyone for the right price.

Cheers Concrete

You'd think, given how hardy the best cars from Japan (especially) and South Korea are, that Police forces up and down the country would be buying them in their droves, such as:

  • Mazda2s and Suzuki Swifts (petrol engined) for local 'panda' cars - both more than quick/agile enough for the majority of local use (as good as the Fiesta in that regard) and more reliable over the longer term;
  • Honda Civics (2001 - 05 & 2006-11 models, better handling than the next one), Mazda3s (petrols only) and Hyundai i30s/Kia Ceeds (I've seen a few Ceeds as bigger panda cars) - again, as good as the Focus to drive for the Mazda and earlier Civics (typre Rs relatively cheap at that time too), less so for the others but they're not that bad;
  • Renowned Japanese off-roaders (far less breakdowns than LRs - that's why more and more farmers use them).

I can understand about the motorway patrol cars (using mainly high-spec German marques), as the likes of the Impreza and EVO are, despite being amazing to drive, are probably more expensive/difficult to look after as a Police car than a BMW or Audi (more of them around and so more expertise on hand).

Odd how, to me at least, Police forces (presumably) buy/lease/whatever (IMO) low-rent/poor driving/unreliable Vauxhalls for peanuts (BIG discounts) and great-to-drive but (at least at the moment with the turbocharged engines) averagely reliable Fords (also big discounts), but spend fortunes on buying Beemers, Audis, Mercs and Volvos for motorway chasing (and for top cops' limos) that to me rarely gets value for money - I think they'd do better to buy cheaper, slightly slower cars (e.g. an Octavia VRS) and more of the them/manpower to block the road/deploy stingers and to be far more 'visual' to ordinary drivers, who often need a 'quiet word' for careless driving that could do far more to prevent costly accidents than chasing a hardened drug dealer for 150 miles down the M1. Just a thought.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - Avant

All that makes sense - but the simple answer is that purchasing decisions are made by men in suits who don't understand the issues faced by the officer st the sharp end. Although in fairness some forces do use Octavias (probably debadged vRSs) which I agree should be a good choice.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - veloceman
Local plod round here (Beverley, East Yorks) had a fleet of Proton Impians for a while.
Moved on to Astras now.
Personally I would like to see more unmarked police cars, especially on the motorways.
Far too much aggressive and dangerous driving.
Do not buy an ex police vehicle - gordonbennet
Personally I would like to see more unmarked police cars, especially on the motorways. Far too much aggressive and dangerous driving.

Disagree, very good bet for keeping up the nick rate, one at a time, but thats one driver nicked not the hundreds driving carefully cos there's a jam sandwich cruising about and those hundreds keeping an eye on their mirrors looking for police cars which we all did at one time, there's quite a few motorists now need to be literally forced out the way because they can't even notice a fully marked police car on bluyes and twos 20 yards from their back bumper.

Having said that the new gen of drivers, and young women feature quite highly in this seem oblivious to everything, i followed a marked police car on the way home last week, a Clio driven by a young woman didn't slow approaching the T junction and pulled sraight out in front of the officer, then at the traffic lights she shot off like hell and was obviously well in excess of the posted 30 limit going down the hill to the next lights, at which lights the officer pulled alongside to fork right, and completely ignored her...it would have took him 30 seconds to have an advisory word in her shell like whilst the lights were on red.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - veloceman
Not really fussed about 10mph over the speed limit, but the other day on the M62 an old golf gtd came flying up behind me flashing lights etc even tho I had nowhere to go.
She then decided to pass on the inside using the hard shoulder at almost twice everyone else's speed. Proceeded to weave in and out of the traffic to make progress.
Then basically cut across 3 lanes of traffic and exited the motorway across the hatchings.
I'm not sure why you are happy to put up with this type of behaviour.
Complete fool.
Do not buy an ex police vehicle - gordonbennet
Complete fool.

The one you describe will in due course no doubt receive a posthumous Darwin award, and a small spinney of plastic flowers teddy bears candles and flowers will form a temporary roadside shrine where the award was won, i'm no happier about imbeciles than you are.

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - mss1tw
Complete fool.

The one you describe will in due course no doubt receive a posthumous Darwin award, and a small spinney of plastic flowers teddy bears candles and flowers will form a temporary roadside shrine where the award was won, i'm no happier about imbeciles than you are.

No, scum all seem to have a Guardian Angel (Devil?) looking over their shoulder. I'd be quite happy for them to do their best to kill themselves on the road if they didn't take 'innocent' lives with them.
Do not buy an ex police vehicle - concrete

All that makes sense - but the simple answer is that purchasing decisions are made by men in suits who don't understand the issues faced by the officer st the sharp end. Although in fairness some forces do use Octavias (probably debadged vRSs) which I agree should be a good choice.

Agreed. My local plod use a lot of Skodas, especially the VRs estate version. They are highly thought of too. My daughter drives one regularly. My friend, who is in the transport section says they do have some input, but the bottom line usually counts. As for the top brass, well they choose their own cars, within reason, but it is always something pretty swish. Top spec Range Rovers etc etc. Power comes with some perks eh? To be honest I think most vehicle will struggle to maintain their regular reputation when faced with the general usage the police subject their vaehicles to. Cheers Concrete

Do not buy an ex police vehicle - 520i

"I think they'd do better to buy cheaper, slightly slower cars (e.g. an Octavia VRS) and more of the them/manpower to block the road/deploy stingers and to be far more 'visual' to ordinary drivers, who often need a 'quiet word' for careless driving that could do far more to prevent costly accidents than chasing a hardened drug dealer for 150 miles down the M1. Just a thought."

The Octavia VRS has been a popular tool for some years. The traffic boys in Hampshire had some original shape ones as unmarked cars, on 05 plates. The later versions (facelifted MK 2s, never saw any of the better looking original shape MK2) then featured as marked patrol vehicles, working alongside second generation V70s I think. BMW are also popular, the 5 Series as marked wagons and 3 Series saloons as unmarked. An interesting addition is an unmarked Subaru Legacy saloon, too!

 

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