Haggling? - badbusdriver

Due to unforeseen circumstances i have found myself in the unfortunate position of having to get myself a replacement van asap.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, there are very few examples of anything in the North East of Scotland. But i have noticed that a commercial vehicle dealer not too far away in Aberdeen has a few possibilities and i plan to go for a look tomorrow.

Due to current finances the budget is going to have to be limited to around £6k + vat. Now haggling a deal is something i have virtually no experience with, and am fairly sure, due to my nature, i'd be rubbish at anyway!. But my question, and i suppose this could best be answered by SLO is, how much could i reasonably expect to haggle off a van of that price?. And also, how to go about it, i.e, should i go in with a stupidly low offer to start with, to end up somewhere near what i could expect off, or should i just say, this is what i can afford to pay?

Of course i'm happy enough to hear anyone's relevant advice or suggestions!.

Thanks in advance

Haggling? - gordonbennet

You have to be prepared to walk away, and even then if the vehicle is a good one and fairly priced he'll quite happily say cheerio because the vehicle will sell anyway.

My Mrs is good at this stuff, look for things that need money spending on so you have a bit of ammo, decide on how much you want to pay, go in a bit under asking him what he can do on the price, hopefully you'll meet somewhere in the middle and shake hands.

If he's unmoving on price, try and get some goodies added or items fixed so the vehicle is as perfect for you as you can make it.

If the vehicles are way overpriced in the first place it might be worth travelling further afield, eg to that weird place south of the border..:-) seriously though, if you find the right vehicle at the right price you can always fly down and drive back.

Edited by gordonbennet on 17/12/2017 at 19:22

Haggling? - FiestaOwner

I would suggest not appearing too keen. Certainly don't say that you are "desperate to buy" or that you need a vehicle now as your existing one has packed up. If you don't seem desperate to buy, then the salesman MIGHT feel that he needs to offer some sort of insentive to you.

If the opportunity comes up you could mention that you are going to have a look at a couple of other dealers too (try to have a couple of names in your head, of local dealers).

Remember to have a good look at the tyres (especially the inside edges). That gives you the chance to say that it needs tyres. Whether they replace them at their cost or you get something off the price is up for negotiation.

If you can find adverts on Autotrader of similar vehicles nearby at a lower cost you could try and use that as a haggling point (have the adverts printed off).

Ask for a full years MOT included in the price.

When you feel you can't do a better deal say "through in a full tank of fuel and you've got yourself a deal".

Disclaimer: I don't claim to be an expert haggler.

Be interested to hear how you get on.

Haggling? - FiestaOwner

Remember you'll need to tax it before you can drive it away. You could try to get that included in the price.

Of couse there is only so far a dealer will move on price or incentives. If you can get some movement on price on some issues, then that is a help.

Haggling? - badbusdriver

GB, yes i had been thinking that i could travel down to England to collect a van, but the problem is, if i get there and find the van is not as described, or there is some issue i'm not prepared to put up with, what would i have to do then?. Either fly home again, or try and find something else in the area!. But I had actually seen a van just on the North edge of London, and, after looking (out of curiousity as opposed to any real intention of going through with it), discovered that i can fly from Aberdeen to Luton from as little as £43!.Anyway, in addition to the problem of finding the van is not that great, there is alao the fact that i really dont fancy driving more than half the length of the country while parts of it are still being affected by the recent wintery weather!.

The other thing i had been thinking about, perhaps unwisely, is buying a van unseen and having it delivered. This came about because i was looking at a VW caddy sdi, remembering that they came up in another thread recently. SLO mentioned that while slow, they are very reliable and siple mechanically, with no dpf or turbo to worry about. Anyway, the van in question was a blue ex British Gas one, so presumably very well looked after, and have twin side loading doors which would be handy for me. But it was in a place called Appleby-in-westmorland, and getting there from whare i live would involve 1 bus and 3 train journeys, and probably wouldn't cost much less than the £160 it would cost to have the van delivered to Aberdeen.

Haggling? - expat

>>Remember to have a good look at the tyres (especially the inside edges). That gives >>you the chance to say that it needs tyres. Whether they replace them at their cost or >>you get something off the price is up for negotiation.

Don't let them replace the tyres. Get the money off and buy the tyres yourself. I let a dealer replace tyres for me once and ended up with rubbish retreads which lasted 6 months. This was going back many years and they probably don't even do retreads now but you can be sure the dealer supplied tyres will be cheap rubbish which will give you trouble.

Haggling? - Andrew-T

... should i go in with a stupidly low offer to start with, to end up somewhere near what i could expect off, or should i just say, this is what i can afford to pay?

I'm no guru in this area, though I have been surprised, when accompanying my S-i-L to a car sales outlet, at the naivety of a trained accountant ...

I think any statement of 'what I can afford to pay' sounds like a position of weakness. If I was trying to sell to you it wouldn't cut much ice at all.

Haggling? - gordonbennet

Vans arn't my thing, not as i have anything against them just have no need, my choice is 4x4's, and one thing i'm finding is vehicles that have spent time in Scotland or the north of England suffer considerable rust issues due to the excess salt used.

Is rust an issue with the vans you are considering? just wonder if one from the south of the island might be a better bet for that problem, which doesn't just affect subframes and bodies, but has cosiderable effects on the brakes and life of springs etc, i don't suppose the average van will have seen any more underbody washing than most 4x4's.

Unfortunately the (hopefully temporary) loss of address of testing station on the MOT history site means its not so easy to tell at the moment, however on Landcruiser MOT histories i can usually spot those that have been in Scotland from the failure and advisory list alone...on that subject another one suspiciously cheap up for sale currently, the MOT history makes grim reading re corrosion for a vehicle up for around £8000.

I take your point about travelling then finding fings aint wot you expected, i suppose having one delivered if you investigated the seller enough, feedback/reviews etc, might be worth thinking about.

Haggling? - RT

Do your research before you go, offer below what you think something is worth - ignore any laughing at you or attempts at humiliation - be prepared to walk out of the showroom or sales office - then be prepared to move a bit upwards but not above your pre-determined limit - be prepared to sit there in silence waiting for them to respond, however long it takes.

There is no fixed % to offer as it all depends how competitively the dealer has pitched the asking price.

As it's a van, sort out whether VAT is added or not up front.

Haggling? - oldroverboy.

If it is what you want and the lowest equivalent price,just try for a freebie, full tank of fuel, or 2 new tyres etc...

Haggling? - madf

My experience:

Be pleasant and friendly.. makes the salesman feel more inclined towards helping you.

Research thoroughly the make/model/problem areas before you go anywhere. You need to know more than the salesman.

Check competeitive pricing near the vendor.. and keep copies of ads to prove your point if needed.

My negotiation start is something like this:

"I like your car/van and would be interested in buying it but:

xyz is wrong and needs to be sorted and will costs me...

and I can only afford £zzzz and I would really like new car mats/whatever.. NOT New tyres- as above you will get cheap ditschfinders if they give you new tyres..

And if you can't agree a deal leave your address and mobile number so they can get in touch and walk away..

That way it can be civilised and it tends to work...

Edited by madf on 18/12/2017 at 09:24

Haggling? - Andrew-T

Essentially any car sale is a desperation contest, the winner being the less desperate contestant. If you are more desperate to buy than he is to sell, few concessions will be available. From what I have heard on here, (decent) vans are in demand, so you may not be able to haggle very far.

Haggling? - gordonbennet

From what I have heard on here, (decent) vans are in demand, so you may not be able to haggle very far.

Thats a good point, i wonder if thethe better vans prior to DPFs are sought after and likely to be kept as long as possible, just like decent cars and 4x4's are from the golden years before it all got a bit silly.

I suspect London area to be a good hunting ground because legislation and massive taxation/fines are forcing van owners into new vehicles.

Haggling? - argybargy

As someone who has always been absolutely rubbish at haggling, and whose tunnel-visioned, specific-model-obsessed approach to car buying is a dream come true for ripoff car salespersons, I feel less than qualified to give any advice.

However, I have learned a few things. One, (as madf says), remain civilised and adopt a pleasant air. There's little to be gained by making an enemy of the salesman from the word Go. If you stick to a budget rigidly and if you ARE prepared to walk away rather than pay over the odds, you may wait a bit longer for what you want but you're far less likely to get ripped off. Make a list of the potential faults you need to check on the model you're seeking out, and be sure to ask the salesman whether the vehicle has been subject to any of those issues.

Another excellent bit of advice that I've never taken myself is to bring along a friend or acquaintance who is in the trade, if you have one, or at least someone experienced in haggling.

I'm sure an experienced salesman can tell when someone is so desperate for a particular vehicle that they'll happily pay the full asking price. They always managed to suss me out, that's for sure.

Haggling? - badbusdriver

Thanks for all those helpful suggestions!.

After applying for a loan at 3.4%, i did get accepted, but not at 3.4%, at 11.6%!. So the notion of going for one of the local vans at £5995 + vat has fallen by the wayside. I am now focussing on the VW caddy sdi i mentioned (ex British gas at £4995 and no vat), at a place called Eden commercials in Appleby-in-westmorland. The dealer reviews on autotrader are very positive indeed (All 16 give them 5 out of 5) and give me some comfort at the thought of buying unseen. Just been on the phone to the salesman, explained that viewing the van is not practical for me, so he is away to take a heap of close up photo's of any scratches or any other issues he thinks i should see. He said that they themselves would much rather i saw the van in the flesh, but understood my predicament. So i should get these photos emailed to me before lunchtime, then i will get back on the phone to see what sort of a deal i can get. Even if they throw in the delivery cost (about £160 to Aberdeen), that is something. But the van will be sold with 12 months mot, a fresh service and will be subject to an 82 point RAC inspection. So although i'd obviously much rather see it in person, i'm reasonably confident the van will be fine, and as described.

Haggling? - Andrew-T

Thanks for all those helpful suggestions!.

Sounds as though you have located a non-rogue trader, so stick with them. My unfounded gut feeling is that they may be a good bet in a back-of-the-woods place like Appleby.

You don't say whether you are part-ex'ing - if you are, then you are selling each other a vehicle, with all that implies. If you are 'cash in hand' the screen price may be a moveable target.

Haggling? - gordonbennet

Sounds as though you have located a non-rogue trader, so stick with them. My unfounded gut feeling is that they may be a good bet in a back-of-the-woods place like Appleby.

I agree with that, a specialist van seller in such a remote part who took his customers for a ride wouldn't normally last long, however i'd still be on the train or asking around for a lift down with a commuter or lorry driver passing by and give them a drink for the trouble, so you get to see the van is all good before paying, and nothing like a good long run home to show any possible problems up.

Haggling? - bathtub tom

A major problem with buying at a distance is that if you do find anything wrong, then the seller can insist you return it for them to sort out. Unless they agree to problems being sorted locally to you.

Haggling? - argybargy

A major problem with buying at a distance is that if you do find anything wrong, then the seller can insist you return it for them to sort out. Unless they agree to problems being sorted locally to you.

Yes, that was something that discouraged me earlier this year when I found a really nice 11 plate Focus at a main dealer in the Manchester area and made an enquiry by email. The salesman offered me (conditional to viewing my car, of course) an excellent part ex on my 07 plate Focus and when I said it was too far away, he offered to move it closer to my location, even agreeing to adjust the price downwards to sweeten the pill.

Concerned that I'd end up driving to Manchester if any problems arose I pulled out of the deal after a fairly lengthy exchange of emails. However, I felt guilty afterwards because it struck me that the salesman had done everything he could to make a deal possible and that my cold feet reaction was a bit unfair on him.

Then again, maybe he was a bit TOO keen to make the deal, who knows.

Edited by argybargy on 18/12/2017 at 13:27

Haggling? - joegrundy

"A major problem with buying at a distance is that if you do find anything wrong, then the seller can insist you return it for them to sort out. Unless they agree to problems being sorted locally to you."

That's good advice but sometimes you just have to take a punt.

I bought my current car (04 x type 2.0d, 132k miles, £2700) coming up for 5 years ago from an independendent dealer in W Mids. (Still going, I see from current adverts). I travelled by train to get it (from extreme west Wales) and the signs, tbh, were not good. A car lot on an industrial estate, etc. It was during a snow blizzard, and my pre-purchase checks (despite my pre-planned intentions) were limited to checking that all four doors were present.

I bought it, drove it away to fill up with fuel for the 200 mile drive home, and my heart sank when an orange light appeared on the display. (Turned out to be a 'low outside temperature' warning).

Coming up to 5 years and 45k miles later, I have no complaints. It's needed stuff done (like any car) and my trusted indy has sorted it as necessary. I haven't calculated total costs, but they certainly have been acceptable - and when I look at the HJ entries for the XF (e.g.) which is a car I once fancied, I think I got a bargain.

I took a punt on this, and it worked out OK. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Sods law will dictate that it goes wrong when you can least afford to lose the money (been there as well!).

Good luck.

Haggling? - gordonbennet

As JG, i spotted SWMBO H6 Outback on ebay around March some 4 years ago, few seemed interested, it was in Bury Lancs much too far to go and look at prior, so i bought it unseen via auction for the princely sum of £1070 with a long MOT, fitted with a brand new set of aftermarket alloy wheels and new winter tyres and the original set of quite scabby alloys and worn out tyres sitting in the boot.

Travelled up by train, chap met me at the station in his summer car, brand new E63 Merc so not short of a few bob, and i saw the car with stone cold engine, had a quick look round engine fired up first beat, all seemed genuine as did the seller, didn't bother with a test drive and set off home the 150 odd miles, and the car purred along.

I serviced it properly and thoroughly when i got home, new brakes all round (since partly replaced again due i am sure to the VDC input on the rear brakes keeping the car stable in all conditions), and it needed new inner drive shafst boots cos they sit over the Cat's and perish, doddle of a DIY job.

4 years later it hasn't missed a beat, it goes like the clappers, we put LPG on it within 3 months of purchase which it runs well and cheaply on, and i had a stainless exhaust custom made and fitted last year because the OE system for the model in question isn't available aftermarket and OE costs near enough as much as we paid for the car.

It's looking a bit battered but SWM refuses to let me get it panted because its her dog carrier and will get more scrapes, i did put a bid on a very low mileage 2005 Outback last week located down in Surrey, but failed to buy it, though SWM is quite happy to carry on with this one till it falls apart because it does everything she wants and she doesn't have to worry about it getting damaged or filthy from 3 muddy/wet dogs...and she's chuffed she didn't swap because this very morn she scraped the same front bumper corner on the same wall she did 2 years ago at the dog groomers.

The replacement Landcruiser i bought last year was relatively local at 75 miles away, that was considerably more expensive but again hasn't given a moments cause for concern, that had been traded in for a new motorhome and was being sold by the motorhome dealer, i bought that within about 2 hours of the ad going live, you have to be quick with these because cared for ones with good history are rare indeed.

I'd like to be able to buy locally, but where JG and BBD have supply problems because they live at the far ends of the country, my problem is i want specific and relatively unusual vehicles.

Edited by gordonbennet on 18/12/2017 at 16:04

Haggling? - CK91437

, didn't bother with a test drive and set off home the 150 odd miles,

Not recommended.

Always test drive it. For example, It may have weird vibrations when doing more than 40 mph

Haggling? - gordonbennet

Here goes.

My last two Toyota 4x4's were sold without test drives, and the one that sold for £15k was in my bank before the chap ever laid eyes on it, both cars simple easy negotiaions, i asked a price, the buyer counter offered and we met in the middle.

Sometimes a ten minute chat with another person, preferably face to face but even on the phone will do, is enough for each of the parties to be comfortable taking the word of the other party as good.

No politicians of any hue were involved in either of these deals..:-)

Haggling? - SLO76
Don’t get too fixated by discounts bbd. It’s easy to take money off if the thing is overpriced to start with but much harder if it’s on the money. Compare it to others which are similar. Is it expensive compared to them, or cheap?

We used always have a plan to deal with certain customers who were focussed solely on trade in values and discounts. Cars new into stock without tags up would be swiftly marked up by £500-£1,000 and then discounted or a part ex over-allowed by the same in order to reach a deal. The punter was no better off but he went away smiling thinking he had the negotiation skills of Sir Allen Sugar.

Focus on what you’re getting and not on what you can get off is what I’m saying. If they have a competitively priced vehicle that’s in good order and very sellable there’s no need to throw it away so I’d expect £200-£300 maximum discount, more if it’s been marked up to allow for dealing.

Set your sights to a realistic level but focus on getting a good vehicle first and above all else. A few hundred quid discount will be buttons compared to the ongoing repair costs of a pig in the poke.

Ex British Gas Caddy SDi is a good bet. This is one firm which retires vans at a set age rather than when they’re done plus they tend to be well maintained and rarely abused unlike delivery vans and Post Office fleet. Watch for clutch judder when cold, clutches are a weak point as is oil ingress to the clutch plate. You need to hear it start from cold and try it. Timing belts and water pump are every 4yrs in these and often overlooked by owners trying to scrimp so check for proof it’s been done. I wouldn’t allow the seller to say they'll do it for you as it will be done on the cheap using a cheapo belt and no tensioner or water pump no doubt. I’d want money towards it instead.

Edited by SLO76 on 18/12/2017 at 22:52

Haggling? - badbusdriver

Thanks for that SLO, the caddy i was originally looking at is not going to be an option as they will not be able to get it serviced, belt done mot'd and get it to me till after New Year. That is just too long for me to wait. Fortunately there is another identical van a little further down the road in Blackburn at a place called Globe motors. The dealer reviews on autotrader rate them at a scarcely believable 5 out of 5 for 171 reviews!. Anyway i spoke to the guy on the phone yesterday and am on my way down there by megabus tomorrow to see and hopefully buy this one, which i will then drive home myself. I did ask about delivery charges and the guy reckoned about £400!. Here is a link to the van and as you can see, it has had the belt and pump done though i have no idea of the quality of the items pictured. They don't appear to be genuine VW parts, but there is a 4 year warranty on them, so surely can't be too bad quality wise?. Have looked at the MOT history and nothing really jumped out at me, not that there was much details on offer. It failed on the exhaust in 2013, then for the washers (?) in 2014. The only advisories seem to be concerning a child seat fitted the last 2 years, but i have no idea why or what that means. Not that it would affect me as my youngest is 16!.


Any comments, opinions or observations welcome. Though i have to admit, i am pretty much committed to buying it, so unless there is something major and glaringly obvious wrong with it, i will be taking it home!. As an added note, the guy i spoke to from Globe motors seemed very genuine and helpful and assured me i would not be dissapointed with the vans condition.

Haggling? - gordonbennet

Looks a decent motor to me, serviced regularly, clean and damage free and a proper either side ladder rack as a bonus.

Something in the write up about them being Gates Tech Partners, if its had a Gates belt kit on thats as good as OE if not better.

enjoy the trip

Haggling? - SLO76
Looks like a cracking little van and Gates belt kits are up to manufacturer standards. Hopefully it looks as good in the metal.

On the subject of wonky washers it was an issue on my Caddy in winter, the damn things always froze up, there just wasn’t enough heat from the engine on really cold days as the motor was so low in the engine bay. No amount of screen wash seemed to stop it freezing up. Other than that it was a brilliant little van and there’s a bit of a cult following with many bought to be customised later in life so resale is always easy if it’s tidy.
Haggling? - John Boy

The first of those BG vans was photographed with the reg plates obscured, yet the second had them showing. Therefore you could check the MOT history of the second, but not the first. You could conclude that the seller of the first van had something to hide, so what is their motivation for photographing the van like that?

Haggling? - Andrew-T
No amount of screen wash seemed to stop it freezing up.

Screenwash will stop freezing in the reservoir and while the vehicle is stationary, but once you get under way, with wind blowing over the nozzles, the IPA evaporates quickly, causing the remaining water to cool and freeze. You need a source of warmth nearby to prevent that - or keep squirting till the supply runs out. Ducting from the exhaust?

Haggling? - JEREMYH

Do you know what ?

I have mercs on rental even the t6

The most reliable van I have ever had is a Citroen C15 they have never ever ever let me down

Very busy here this week I took my 53 plate c15 on a 1000 mile run in the last 24 hours


I know nobody here wants one but I dont know anything else that provides such reliability


Edited by JEREMYH on 20/12/2017 at 04:31

Haggling? - Andrew-T


What speed were you doing? I presume you had time to eat, sleep, etc,, never mind delivering or collecting things? Even averaging 60 (not simple) that is nearly 17 hours driving. You shouldn't be on the road, as you are meant to spell off every 2 hours? :-(

Haggling? - gordonbennet

That Badbusdriver character, is he a tease or what?

We've been waiting in vain for his report on the van, c'mon BBD we all want to know if the day was a success, did you buy it...sheesh :-)

Haggling? - Happy Blue!

I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all

He's fallen down one of them......


Value my car