Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

Hi, I went and saw this Honda Civic today.
It had been advertised on autotrader, as a private sale.
The ad is no longer live on autotrader. Else I would have posted the link.

Reg Number:- AU63 KYZ
Miles run:- 32,000

Positives about the car:-
1) Low mileage
2) 2 owners
3) ES model with reversing camera and cruise control

Negatives:-
1) 4th service 2 months past due
2) First 3 services all done by independent garages. None of the services done by Honda.

a) 12 month:- 12/5/2014 - 12575 - newport, motorpoint
b) 24 month:- 24/6/ 2015 -18000 - hf veal & sons, radstock
c) 36 month:- 19/9/2016 - 26017 - surefit ltd - radstock

Owner did not have invoices of any of the services.
However I called the last 2 garages, and they confirmed that the car was serviced by them.

3) Rear 2 tyres are budget tyres (unheard of brands) of different makes.

4) bunch of small suffs scratches in the interior of the upper door frame of the drivers door.
Owner was not sure how they came. He thought that it might be due to him stepping out of the car holding the car key, which may have rubbed on the door frame.
Scuff marks on the bottom door sill on the drivers door. This is present only on the sill of the drivers door.

Niether of the above scratches / scuffs seem deep enough to have gone through the paint. But I am not sure,


The seller seems to be a decent person.
A young man, who has just had his second child. His partner is taking a maternity break, and they have decided to make do with 1 car, till she gets back to work.
He says there are no problems with the car. He seems to be a decent man, and I don't distrust what he says.

If I decide to buy this car, I will first ask a garage local to him, to do a check of the car, including an underbody check.

The car is advertised for £7500. The owner says that he just reduced the proce by £800.

Given the above points, I would like opinions on whther the above car is worth going for.
If it is worth a punt, what would be a resonable price to offer.
I would like to offer a fair price (i.e. if it is worth going for), as he seemes a decent person.

Any thoughts / advice appreciated.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201704134387471

In contrast the above car seems to be the nearest equivalent at a dealer.

Would the above car be a better buy anyway, because it is being sold by a franchised dealer? Despite the 14000 extra miles?

Else what price should I consider the above private purchase, for it to be a viable proposition, in contrast to the above dealer ad? I will contact the dealer as well anyway, to see if the price is negotiable for a no trade in sale.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - Falkirk Bairn

the car is an ex-day rent car in all probability (Motorpoint). Not necessarily bad - I have bought 2 in my lifetime - both were 6 mths old but were excellent cars sold @ 90K ish miles.

Looks like the present owner "is on a budget" - poor tyres, sloppy servicing schedule @ quick fit /tyre depots - it's overdue again. scruffy appearance in that he has not bothered to give the car a good "going over" when selling.

His price is HIGH as dealers seem to charge around the same figure but offer some degree of security e.g Honda dealer warranty - I'd walk but then again that is only my view.

By contrast my 2012 CRV EX auto is 30K, 5 Honda stamps, all the toys & has no repairs (warranty or paid for) - The T/I value offered by a Honda dealer 2 months back was only £11K - the dealer would want £14/£15K selling it on.............there must be some private sale gems of Civics (Has it got to be a Civic? Petrol Mazda/ Lexus?) out there BUT you have to be patient.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - nellyjak

Private sale...Caveat Emptor.!...and ignore the fact that you think he seems a "decent" chap.

I trust no-one unless I know them well.

There are a few "issues"...I prefer to see paid invoices rather than stamped books...it does seem as though it's possibly been looked after down to a price rather than up to a standard...and given all that, the price is a "full" one.!

I'd be wary...there will be many examples out there...take your time.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - SLO76
Private sale is hugely overpriced (worth £6,500 tops) and has been poorly maintained on a shoestring budget. I'd buy the dealer car.
Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - RobJP

I'd agree with the above. It does sound like care and maintenance has been done 'on the cheap', and the car seems rather heavily overpriced.

Not a car I'd go for, personally.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - madf

If anything goes wrong 12 hours after you have paid for it, you have ZERO redress.

The facts that you ask for advice is good - but it suggests your car knowledge is limited.

Are you confident of finding any faults?

As others say, it has been run on a shoestring so no doubt there is a big expense coming up.

I persoannly would run away. (and I have lots of experience buying cars)

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

Thanks all for your inputs.

I guess I did have a feeling that it was not a great buy.

I was concerned that a relatively new car was never serviced at Honda, even during the warranty period.
However the owner told me that the indepenent garage was just down the road from his home, while the nearest Honda garage was 7 miles away.

However I did call the 2 independant garages who did carry out the service as per the service book, and both did indeed confirm that they did actually service the car on the dates mentioned.

The second service had been a full service as well as changing front and back brake pads.

The third service was an interim service.
However Honda spec fully synthetic oil was used in both services.

The owner seemed to be a person who does not know much about cars.
He saw no point in keeping invoices of previous services. He had no idea that the car had a emergency tyre inflation kit, in the case of punctures.

He either did not notice or had not registered that the windscreen washer tank had it's cap missing. But he quickly ordered one from ebay, right in front of me, when I pointed it out.

However I was dismayed on seeing the unmatched budget tyres on the rear wheels, as tyres is something I never compromise on.

But given the confirmation from both garages that the services were actually done, I wanted to get a sense of what kind of a risk this purchase, entailed.
Also the car is relatively low mileage.

Anyway opinions on this forum seems to suggest it is too great a risk.

I will defer to the more expereinced voices here.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

SLO, are you sure that it is worth only around £6500 privately?

The autotrader part ex valuation was £6720, for the given mileage.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - gordonbennet

Most unusual for a new car to be serviced by an indy like this, risky business because goodwill and help won't be forthcoming as it would be from a good main dealer, though i'm not saying all Honda dealers are good, as my daughters car could prove they arn't, and some indies i know do a better and more through job of servicing a car than some main dealers, with large variances between the extremes.

Someone who knows about cars might get a good car here, at the right price, i have no idea about pricing its not the sort of car that would interest me personally, but as said if you haven't the experience of what you are looking for then it could just as easily go pear shaped, i'd take someone knowledgeable who you trust to look at it with you.

The mismatched budget rear tyres is typical of the modern car user, half of them haven't a clue about such things, they're round, but at least the car has been serviced and someone has fitted new brake pads all round, whether they did and how they serviced the brakes at the same time would tell me all i needed to know about the mechanic, but you would have to remove the pins and pads and see lubrication is evident, unless you can see (usually) red brake grease on the sliders/ brake pins through the wheels, if you can see proper brake grease there that says a lot about the garage.

The car itself wouldn't be written off in my eyes but if considered should be at least £1000and preferably £1500 cheaper than the same car same mileage at a dealer offering a warranty worthy of the name such as approved used.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

Thanks GB!

If I was going ahead with this car, I would definitely have got it checked by a garage, before going ahead with it.

I had actually spoken to the garage near the sellers home, where the last service and MOT was done, regarding them doing a pre sales check. They were happy to carry one out, and charge for an hour's labour.

However given that the seller uses the garage for his other car, and given that they have given this car a clean MOT couple of weeks back, I was not sure how unbiased they would be, in doing a pre sales check.

And given that I am living 125 miles away... :-)

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - SLO76
For a private sale to be worth the risk it need some to be at least £1k below the equivalent dealer car. Price guides are often wrong and currently dealers are paying below book on Civics of this vintage as the new model continues to weaken values. He'll have been offered between £6-£6.5k as a part ex unless he's looking at a new car. Type the details into webuyanycar for a realistic valuation based on roughly what the trade are actually paying (likely under £6k) and remember this will almost always be marked down on inspection. The seller will know this valuation.
Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

SLO76, given the above information about the verified service history (based on my interaction with the garage), do you think the car is worth considering?

And do you think £6500 is still the price point at which this purchase would make sense?

In which case, I don't think the seller will agree, and I will look at buying a car from a dealer...

Also, would you trust the assessment of a local garage, with a relationship with the seller?

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - SLO76
You'll never get it for the right money, it's been maintained on a shoestring and been bought from a car supermarket which means it was likely rejected by the dealer network on return from lease. The dealer car will have a full Honda history, a years approved used warranty and you'll have full legal protection. It's a no brainer to me. Factor in that'll you'll get at least £200 discount if you play your cards right and it's the dealer car all day long in this case. Can't mind how you're funding it but don't throw money away on uncompetitive dealer finance.
Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - Avant

Go for the car from the dealer, provided that it's got a full service history. I looked at it and it has no more than average mileage for a 4-year-old car: also you have much more protection in consumer law if you buy from a dealer. This dealer is family-owned and should serve you well as they will have a reputation to protect. There is a fair chance that the previous owner has liked it and PXed it for another Honda.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

Thanks, Avant! What you say makes perfect sense.

In general though I prefer to deal with private individuals rather than dealers.

I generally find dealer sales person pushy and patronising.

I've also had 2 bad experiences, both with Toyota delaers, back in 2010.

1) I had finalised the prurchase of a 5 year old Toyota Avensis diesel, from a main dealer, that had run 60,000 miles. Before the purchase, based on my friends advice I had asked regarding timing belt change. The sales person confirmed that it was due to be changed at 80,000 miles. Later I came to know from the internet, that it was due at 60,000 miles and was not done for the car. So I backed out from the sale.

2) Another Toyota Avensis, petrol this time. I put down the holding deposit for the car and went and saw it at the franchised dealer, a 100 miles away.

After a test drive is when I noticed deep scratches on the car on one side. The sales man pretended he was seeing them for thefirst time and promised to get it rectified immideatley. He then sent the car to some body shop. When it came back, I noticed that though the side had been repainted, the color was a slide shade different. Also I was not sure whether any rust treatment had been done or primer applied, in the 20 minutes that the body shop had the car. So I wanted to back out of the sale.

However I had to get trading standards involved, before I got the deposit back on the car.

So based on these experiences, I don't have great faith in even franchised dealers. All seem to be out to make a quick buck, by hook or crook.

Hence I prefer to deal with private sellers, where you also get a chance to see what sort of person owned the car previously.

However in this instance, there aren't many private sellers about in my budget.

Hence a dealer purchase seems to be the way to go.

Having said that, my current car which is a Ford Focus that I puchased privately. The seller was selling it on behalf of his deceased father. Lived in a nice house, in a nice part of town. However I later came to know that one of the service satmps (last one before sale), was probably faked. Hence not a great deal to be said about private sellers either.

Or it may just be me, attracting the bad luck / crooked types! :-(

However the focus has been faultless over the last 7 years, touch wood!

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - SLO76
I get the appeal of buying privately, I do it often. You get to meet the last owner face to face and a look at their home tells you much about how the car was maintained. But you really do need to know your stuff. Sales staff at most dealers don't know one end of a car from the other and will tell you anything to get a deal on general. There are exceptions (I hope I was one of them) but few people of any worth hang around in car sales for long with the highly unsociable hours and the pressure of targets

Don't tar them all with the same brush though there are good guys and gals out there but do your homework and take someone with a bit of know with you. Main dealers are the best bet as cars of this age will have came back in as part ex against another car rather than auction bought which tells you plenty about how happy the last owner was.
Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - catsdad
Eustace, I feel your pain.

We are car hunting at the moment for my son and Civic is one of our target cars. Whatever the trade are buying them at (£5k?) their asking prices for a good 12 reg 1.8 are generally around £8k and they dont hang around at that price. Much as I like them its a lot for a car that will soon be six years old and was less than £20k new.

The problem seems to be that there is a serious lack of midrange petrol cars from the makes we backroomers tend to look for. There are a lot of small unproven turbos, automated manuals and diesels but robust petrols are much rarer.

While I bow to SLO on his knowledge of the trade buying side, its tough as a private Civic buyer at moment.

Edited by catsdad on 06/11/2017 at 18:11

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - badbusdriver

Eustace, i know that it is very much down to personal opinion, but that civic off autotrader looks very much like it is dark non metallic blue and, frankly, imo, is hideous!. If you like the colour and plan to keep the car for a long time, fine. Otherwise, i'd hold out for something in a nicer colour. I don't know where you are relative to the dealer selling that civic, but using their poscode as a base, and putting a maximum distance of 100 miles i found a few others;

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170307302...1

also;

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170829877...1

and;

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170202190...1

finally(!);

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170926969...1

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - bazza

I bought mine, a 12 reg 1,8 with only a few thousand miles on it, but from a relative, so only paid £5K. According to all the info I could find, I was prepared to pay about £6 to 6.5K and yes, dealers would ask 7.5K, this was a few months ago. But mine would have needed a full valet and some paint, as it has a few scuffs and dings on it, that don't bother me personally, but if it had been a dealer purchase, it would have. Also it has a non Honda full service history, with oil changes annually from a decent independent, again, because I knew the history, I am ok with that. Basically, unless you know the history, a private sale has to be MUCH cheaper to make it worthwhile, and as SLO says, with this car, it's way over-priced and without knowing the car or owner at all, a bit of a gamble.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

Thank you one and all, for your kind advice. Really gratifying to see so many knowledgeable folks, chip in with well meaning advice.

However the prices of the Civic at main dealers seem to be falling a bit. The price falls are trickling down. It's generally one dealer at a time, reducing the price for one of their cars.

I read an article sometime ago that November was the best time to buy used cars from a dealer, as this is the time when car prices are seasonally at their lowest.

Also I understand that there is a massive inventory build up of new and used cars at dealers, and based on that, prices are expected to fall further. If you observe a lot of the Civics advertised, you will see that a lot of them have been on the market for several months.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

On a different note, friends of mine who are relocating out of the U.K. are selling their 2 cars.

One is a 2008 plate Honda Civic hybrid, with around 76,000 miles on it. (Reg Number RV58 VOU).

The other is a 2002 plate Honda Jazz with 93000 miles on it (PO52 PKZ).They said that they are not expecting much for the Jazz and will probably be giving it away almost for free. They have owned the Jazz from 2006, and apart from the battery going dead once, they never have had any problems with it.

I initially considered buying the Civic off them. But the trade price is around £3700 and hence I will need to offer over £4000.

The hybrid is no longer being manufactured by Honda. Also the Civic hybrid was imported to UK from Japan. So potential parts availability issues and all that.

At that price and for that age / mileage, I personally think the Gen 2 Avensis is a better buy. However again used prices for a 9 year old Avensis is also steep (£2500 - £3500) and at that price, makes the 2012 Civic prices seem reasonable.

That brings me on to the Jazz. I had initially ruled it out for the following reasons.

1) It is too old (almost 16 years old).

2) No modern safety features such as side airbags, curtain air bags, ESP, etc.

3) I really can't do classical bangernomics. I can't maintain a car to a price. Any car I own will be treated properly. It will be properly serviced, have the best tyres and any faults will be taken care of. So putting money on this scale onto a 16 year old car, may be a waste.

4) If we start using the car and it proves trouble free and sufficient to requirements, then we may never get around to changing it.

5) I am 40 years old now, and would like to treat myself to a nice car. :-)

However on the other hand;

1) All we need a second car for is the morning school run, if I need to use the Focus for commuting, rather than using my push bike (9.5 mile bike ride + train journey). Total one way journey time of 1 hour 20 min plus on bike / train, compared to 45 minutes by driving.

2) SWMBO would like a small car. I had initially shot the idea down, as I was not comfortable with the family travelling in a super mini size car. I wanted a bit more metal around them.

3) SWMBO is planning to start working again over the next 2 years. She has been on a 12 year career break (from a decently paid IT programming job), so as to bring up the kids. Now that both kids are in full time school, she is planning to retrain as a secondary school teacher and then start working part-time (hopefully).

4) If I spend £8000 on a car now, I will practically wipe out all my savings, including most of our ISA investments. I am also paying off a mortgage, and most of our surplous savings were being used to prepay the mortgage.

5) The cars I would prefer to own over the Civic hatchback ( Civic estate or post 2014 Avensis, maybe) are currently outside our budget. If I wait a year or two, I will have more savings, these cars would have depreciated further, and my wife would perhaps be earning some sort of an income as well.

Rethinking the above, the case for taking the Jazz as an interim car, seems to be getting more appealing.

Any thoughts / advice regarding this?

Edited by eustace on 07/11/2017 at 00:00

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - SLO76
I'd Hoover the Jazz off them. They're reliable, cheap to run little cars but watch for noisy thrust bearings, you'll notice it when using the clutch, it's a common failure around 100k but some can last beyond 150k. Not catastrophicly expensive to do and it's probably the only real worry on these.

Since they're realistic about its value and need to get shot of it rather than part exchanging then offer then a quick £500 and see what they say. It's a no lose situation for you as it'll be worth more as a part ex on a newer Civic or as a private sale if you're prepared to wait for the right buyer so you won't lose on it.

The Civic Hybrid wasn't a good car however. Dynamically it wasn't anywhere near the standard of the UK built Civic and the battery pack will have seriously degraded now. The book price is as usual miles off as dealers are wary of older hybrids due to the massive cost of replacement power packs and value them accordingly. Up here at auction it would make between £2-£2.5k, I'd be surprised if there was much difference down south.

The Jazz is a perfect bangernomics motor for people with little motoring know how. It's simple enough for any garage to maintain yet robust enough to rarely be a problem. Some parts can be expensive but general service items are no dearer than rivals so they're very cheap to run. 50mpg is no problem and insurance is buttons.

Edited by SLO76 on 07/11/2017 at 08:55

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace
I'd Hoover the Jazz off them. They're reliable, cheap to run little cars but watch for noisy thrust bearings, you'll notice it when using the clutch, it's a common failure around 100k but some can last beyond 150k. Not catastrophicly expensive to do and it's probably the only real worry on these. Since they're realistic about its value and need to get shot of it rather than part exchanging then offer then a quick £500 and see what they say. It's a no lose situation for you as it'll be worth more as a part ex on a newer Civic or as a private sale if you're prepared to wait for the right buyer so you won't lose on it. The Civic Hybrid wasn't a good car however. Dynamically it wasn't anywhere near the standard of the UK built Civic and the battery pack will have seriously degraded now. The book price is as usual miles off as dealers are wary of older hybrids due to the massive cost of replacement power packs and value them accordingly. Up here at auction it would make between £2-£2.5k, I'd be surprised if there was much difference down south. The Jazz is a perfect bangernomics motor for people with little motoring know how. It's simple enough for any garage to maintain yet robust enough to rarely be a problem. Some parts can be expensive but general service items are no dearer than rivals so they're very cheap to run. 50mpg is no problem and insurance is buttons.

Thanks, SLO76! I think I'll be taking your advice on this.

Interestingly though, the WBAC price for the Civic Hybrid is £3700, while for the Jazz, it's only £150, minus the £50 admin fee.

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - SLO76
"Interestingly though, the WBAC price for the Civic Hybrid is £3700"

I've just put the details for this car in on wbac's site and they've quoted £1,895 and that's before final appraisal. Auto Trader:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170817842...9

Either you've put the wrong details in or the seller has given you this figure...



"while for the Jazz, it's only £150, minus the £50 admin fee."

It's too old to retail and thus worthless to the likes of wbac.
Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

SLO76, I wouldlike to sincerely thank you for all the help and advice that you have given me and many others on this forum, in making buying decisions regarding cars.

Not only do you have extensive knowledge about cars, but you share your knowledge unstintingly.

I am sure I must have tried your patience with my many questions and far flung ideas.

But thank you for taking the time and effort in consistently addressing all my queries, and helping me with these difficult decisions.

It's people like you and several others on this forum, that restore one's faith in humanity!

On another note, have you ever considered starting a car buying service? I understand that they are popular in the U.S. and slowly gaining traction here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cars/advice/car-buying-agent-services/

If you ever decide to start one, I would be most happy to buy my future cars through you. :-)

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - SLO76
"On another note, have you ever considered starting a car buying service? I understand that they are popular in the U.S. and slowly gaining traction here."

Happy to help.

I've been doing this for years as a sideline to my main business/job on a word of mouth basis. I advise on then find then inspect potential purchases for people then negotiate a deal on their behalf. If they've a suitable trade in I then buy it for either what they were offered by the dealer or more which allows me to negotiate a discount for no part ex. I usually earn solely from the part ex car I buy in then flog but if they haven't one I take a small fee based on how far I have to travel. I'm insured, carry trade plates and have yet to be caught out buying a bad motor for someone.

It was a strange fit for my last business which was a high street newsagents/convenience store but I found loads of punters asking my advice when they found I'd been a salesman for years before this so I soon found I was buying cars on a weekly basis and had both my own and parents drives full of old metal constantly, much to their great joy. I also bought from two local dealers who were happy to save on auction fees and transport costs. It was a nice sideline I made a good additional living from and got a buzz from.

However I decided a few years back to slow life down a bit, flogged the shop and slashed the motor trading to a trickle, largely dealing with old punters along with friends and family. Both dealers I dealt with closed their doors and auction stock up here is just trash so it's a very occasional thing now, just enough to keep my hand in.

Today I make expensive O gauge model trains for a small UK firm and take life at a much more sedate pace. I'm always happy to help folks get into a good car though, I still get a buzz from seeing cars I flogged on the road years later.

Edited by SLO76 on 08/11/2017 at 07:35

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

q

Edited by eustace on 07/11/2017 at 00:24

Honda Civic - Honda Civic - Is this car a good buy? - eustace

Eustace, i know that it is very much down to personal opinion, but that civic off autotrader looks very much like it is dark non metallic blue and, frankly, imo, is hideous!. If you like the colour and plan to keep the car for a long time, fine. Otherwise, i'd hold out for something in a nicer colour. I don't know where you are relative to the dealer selling that civic, but using their poscode as a base, and putting a maximum distance of 100 miles i found a few others;

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170307302...1

also;

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170829877...1

and;

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170202190...1

finally(!);

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170926969...1

Thanks badbusdriver.

But I'm not particulalrly hot on aesthetics. The color of my car, is generally an after thought, if it has all the features I want.

My wife will probably have different views, but she leaves the car buying decisions to me.

But I am perhaps aesthetically challenged, in the conventional sense. :-)

 

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