Used Approved - joegrundy

This is a subject I've had in mind recently and was reinforced by a recent post by SLO76 (who knows what he's talking about). I was looking for that post to quote it but can't find it.

I bought a 'Used Approved' - suckered by the advertising - and it didn't go well. Perhaps my experience, and what I discovered about the process may inform others.

Used Approved - alan1302

Perhaps my experience, and what I discovered about the process may inform others.

It may, but you would need to tell us about it.

Used Approved - joegrundy

OK, here's my story. Until the end of 2019 I ran a valiant old diesel x-type. I took it in for work to be done and found that corrosion had taken a terminal hold. Casting around, I decided on a Suzuki Baleno 1.0 turbo as a replacement.

Some I looked at had no or a dubious service history. i decided to go for a 'used approved' - lured in by the advertising which promised selected cars 'checked, checked and checked again' and a seamless buying experience (including finance). What I got turned out to be something different.

First, as far as the selection of 'used approved' cars is concerned, it appears that the manufacturer has no say in this matter. Dealers can market any car as 'used approved' provided (presumably) they are within certain age and mileage limits. Nobody representing the manufacturer carries out quality checks. Suzuki UK will push you back to the dealer (even wrongly) if there are problems.

Second, presumably the dealer pays to advertise the car on the national manufacturer's website as a 'used approved'.

Third, the Suzuki 'used approved' warranty is in fact provided by Allianz Insurance (not Suzuki uk) and presumably the dealer buys this

Fourth, the finance is provided by 'Suzuki Financial Services Ltd' which is nothing to do with Suzuki but is in fact a trading entity of Lloyds Banking Group/Black horse Finance, etc. (LBG was fined £64m in June 2020 for failing to deal with customers fairly).

So, far from a 'seamless' experience you are, in fact, dealing as usual with a dealer, a finance company and a warranty company. my experience suggests that buying a 'used approved' provides no advantage whatsoever.

Used Approved - SLO76
In my day (90’s) an approved used Mitsubishi had to meet strict criteria. It had to be in excellent condition and required a full main dealer service record. Anything that didn’t meet the right mileage, and condition requirements was offloaded at our non-franchise sites. The firm carried out regular site visits and an eye was cast over our approved used stock. It seems from my own experience too that this is not the case today with most manufacturers.

I remember most firms made a big thing back then about their approved used schemes, Vauxhall had Network Q and Ford had Ford Direct both of which prepared the cars themselves centrally and then supplied them to dealers. Quality control was high and prices a little above the norm but you got a good car with a years manufacturer backed warranty. Today’s offerings at the Ford, Vauxhall, Toyota and particularly Honda dealers I’ve visited recently don’t come close to the standards i’d expect of an approved used car.


The local Honda dealer in particular has some terribly prepared stock with little to no service history sitting on their lot and most of it has been valeted to a poor standard. I can’t fault the two Volvo dealers I visited however with all their approved used stock being impossible to fault bar the steep prices. I was tempted by an 18 plate S60 at £14k, almost had the gaffer convinced that she didn’t need a stonking big SUV but sadly failed so the search goes on. I’d rather stay under £15k but shed happily add £10k to that.

As for financial services being provided by another firm well that’s perfectly normal as few car manufacturers own their own bank. Mitsubishi did however (which merged with Tokyo bank in 1996) in fact it was the only profitable thing the firm had by the mid 90’s and pretty much kept the car firm afloat until Renault finally bought it and ended any chance of any decent cars in the future.

Edited by SLO76 on 21/09/2020 at 15:15

Used Approved - catsdad

My approved Golf bought last year had definitely not been properly checked. One minor item was the missing breakdown triangle that had been ticked on the sheet. Much worse was the spare wheel (again ticked as present and pressure checked) was sitting in four inches of water. Now I know why it’s called a well.

I still would buy approved used but I am not fooled into believing the cars are perfect.

Used Approved - concrete

As with any major purchase it is: Caveat Emptor. Use all your instincts and common sense, you will be surprised how acute they can be. If something is only vaguely 'odd' I would back off. My antenna has not let me down yet. Of course I may have missed a bargain or two but at least I had peace of mind that I was satisfied with my eventual purchase. As my dear departed old mother used to say, "You get nowt for nowt"

Cheers Concrete

Used Approved - Falkirk Bairn

If you fancy spending the extra £10K on a S60, T5 Inscription, Pre Reg, 10/15 miles £24,997 Agnew Volvo, Belfast - 1 Black & 1 Grey. All the toys, 250BHP and approx £15K off list - new models are hybrid.

New-car-discount.com have some good discounts on new models but very few are under £30K

Used Approved - craig-pd130

My daughter bought a Toyota approved used Aygo a few months back. I checked all the paperwork etc and it looked legit, and the car was decently prepared (although it was raining when we checked / test drove it, which made a detailed inspection more difficult).

When we collected the car, it was a dry day, and I immediately spotted an orange-peely texture on part of the rear bumper which was different to the texture on the other side. The car had obviously had a bump or scrape. I called the salesman over, who in fairness had the good grace to be mortified, and it was booked it into their bodyshop for proper refinishing at our convenience.

Moral of the story: you can't trust most dealers.

Used Approved - Engineer Andy

I too can vouch for the better quality in the mid/late 90s to mid 2000s. I read all the blurb in both Mitsubshi, Honda and Nissan dealerships when looking for my first car and was thoroughly reassured that all the necessary checks and pre would be carried out so that any second hand car I bought was vetted (HPI, crashes, mileage, etc), checked/serviced, in very good condition and clean.

It was one of the reasons why I bought a second hand Micra (saved myself 30%+ on the new price), and with the then added bonus of free MOTs for as long as I owned the car (at any Nissan dealership, not just the one I bought it at).

I too have noticed standard sliding here and there, with some cars shown on various dealers sites, and, occasionally, one or two car supermarkets, whereby they looked very tired examples and in need of a good wash and vacuum. That doesn't inspire me with confidence, nor does shoddy camerwork with many blurry photos and specs not shown or incorrect for sometimes weeks on end.

This all happened well before COVID. I certainly wouldn't buy any secondhand car via a main dealer that wasn't backed up by a proper manufacturer's warranty, checks and detailing as previously shown - I mean, what's the point if they are no different to some back alley Arthur Daley but charging 10-15% more?

Used Approved - nick62

After 10+ years of company cars in 1995 I need to buy one privately again.

If standards are nowhere near what they were like then, I shudder to think how bad some of the stock must be nowadays.

Most of the stuff I looked at in 1995 with a mileage of ~50,000 and three years old looked like they had been to the moon and back.

Used Approved - mcb100

The change in photography standards is simply due to the fact that dealerships used to get a photographer come round once a week to photograph new stock. Now, it's the sales execs themselves, or maybe the valeters, taking photos and web videos in order to get cars online the same day.

Edited by mcb100 on 21/09/2020 at 17:36

Used Approved - SLO76
While skulking around the Jag dealer next door to Volvo we happened across a very nice 16 plate Jag XE 2.0d manual in burgundy with cream leather, 36,000 miles and full Jag history. It’s immaculate and I do love a Jag, even the baby one and at £12,500 I am tempted, even swmbo could see herself in it but I’ve heard too many horror stories about this engine to have confidence in it. If it were petrol I probably would have bought it.
Used Approved - Sunny M

My opinion is that the general decline in approved used vehicles standards is down to dealers prioritising profit and not spending the money in prepping cars properly.

They receive poor state cars back from leases/PCPs, charging the previous owner handsomely for the damage, putting that money to one side, not bringing the car back up to standard and sticking it for sale on their forecourt.

When Joe Punter comes and views the car, he notices that the alloys are scuffed and there's a dent here and there. Salesman says "if you put down a deposit today, then I'll get all of this rectified". Joe Punter thinks he's getting a great deal and so goes ahead. Dealership is happy because they can repair the damage using that money from the previous owner (pocketing the rest if the cost to repair is lower). There will also be punters who don't notice some of the damage and buy the car, so the dealer can pocket most if not all of what they charged the previous owner.

Edited by Sunny M on 22/09/2020 at 11:40

Used Approved - Avant

And don't forget that 20 or 30 years ago there were fewer electronic gizmos to go wrong. They either work or they don't, and it must be difficult, when something stops working for no apparent reason soon after purchase, to work out whether the fault was or wasn't there at the time of delivery.

Used Approved - Senexdriver

One thing I don’t understand about approved used is why you don’t get the balance of the manufacturer’s warranty if that would be longer than the usual 12 months offering. If I buy a car that’s 6 months old, I want more than 12 months’ peace of mind.

Used Approved - Avant

You do, surely. The only exception I can remember was Vauxhall's 100,000-mile warranty which wasn't transferable. It wasn't a success either so didn't last long.

Used Approved - Falkirk Bairn

Buying 2nd hand you get the balance of the Manufacturer's warranty - assuming it has been serviced in-line with the schedule.

On some Used Approved Warranties you get additional benefits - no quibble 15/30 days/ 1500 mile exchange if you are unhappy (excludes crashed car return) - Lexus/Volvo are 2 schemes. Return even with pre-reg, 0 mile cars, so even better than new car

A few years back a son bought a 16 month old car and after the 3 year warranty expired he got some extra cover as part of the used car scheme - breakdown cover for 12 months + a few odds & ends.

Used Approved - Senexdriver

If you get the balance of the original 3 years warranty why does Volvo Selekt only offer a 12 months warranty on its nearly new models? If you got the balance of the original warranty, wouldn’t they want to shout about it in their advertising?

I’m trying to steer SWMBO as our only driver now towards an XC40 to replace our respective Audis. It’s such a popular model that there isn’t a great choice of choice of stock vehicles and I wouldn’t want to wait for a factory order so I’ve been looking at nearly new where the choice is better (if rather costly). I’ve seen no mention of anything other than a 12 months warranty though.

Used Approved - mcb100
I’m guessing it’s standard wording on the advert that’s applicable to anything that falls within the Selekt criteria. So no benefit in terms of warranty for a 3 month old car, but useful for a 33 month old car.
Used Approved - SLO76

If you get the balance of the original 3 years warranty why does Volvo Selekt only offer a 12 months warranty on its nearly new models? If you got the balance of the original warranty, wouldn’t they want to shout about it in their advertising?

I’m trying to steer SWMBO as our only driver now towards an XC40 to replace our respective Audis. It’s such a popular model that there isn’t a great choice of choice of stock vehicles and I wouldn’t want to wait for a factory order so I’ve been looking at nearly new where the choice is better (if rather costly). I’ve seen no mention of anything other than a 12 months warranty though.

You get a minimum of 12mths warranty. If the remaining manufacturer new car warranty is longer then it passes on. I’ve been looking at used XC60’s and any we’ve looked at had the remainder or the manufacturer warranty or a new 12mth policy if the car was over 2yrs old.
Used Approved - joegrundy

I see that Kia are giving a 7 year warranty on their 'used approved' cars under 20 months/20k miles.

Used Approved - Engineer Andy

I see that Kia are giving a 7 year warranty on their 'used approved' cars under 20 months/20k miles.

What, as in 7 more years? I wonder if that's the same terms as their new cars, or is more limited, e.g. as reagrds cartain wear and tear parts such as the clutch and brakes?

If it is the same as the new one, then kudos to them and most of the rest of the idsutry should hang their heads in shame for barely pushing the warranties of their cars up in the last 20 years, considering the advancements in technology.

Still, they aren't as bad as electronic manufacturers, most of whom still only offer 1-2 years warranty.

They'll all soon learn when their businnese nose-dive whilst those building higher quality products that actually last and have long warranties take a load of their sales.

Used Approved - RT

One thing I don’t understand about approved used is why you don’t get the balance of the manufacturer’s warranty if that would be longer than the usual 12 months offering. If I buy a car that’s 6 months old, I want more than 12 months’ peace of mind.

You do get the balance of the original manufacturer's warranty provided it's been serviced in accordance with the warranty terms - if you're offered a car without that warranty balance then there's something wrong with its service history.

Used Approved - Avant

"I’m trying to steer SWMBO as our only driver now towards an XC40 to replace our respective Audis."

Make sure she gets a good long test drive (Volvo dealers are mostly accommodating about this) and can put up with the infuriating touchscreen that controls everything and the equally annoying thirst for fuel. Despite that, XC40s are popular so nearly-new ones are still expensive.

The XC40 came out just in time in 2018 when I was looking for a new car. I found that the Q2 beat it in all the areas I thought were important, including being enjoyable to drive.

Used Approved - Senexdriver

I’m having to play the long game here as she doesn’t want to give up her beloved A3 cabrio. We have an A4 Avant and the cabrio and when I can no longer drive it seems pointless to run 2 cars. We need a load lugger, which the A4 fulfils par excellence and her cabrio is for fun days out. Her view is that she can drive either according to the purpose of the excursion, whereas my view is that the A4 is worth £15/16K (and falling) which could be usefully deployed elsewhere. Moreover, expensive things are starting to go wrong, for example the brake servo is due to be replaced shorty, fortunately covered under my extended warranty.

My view is that a mid-size SUV would be a reasonable compromise to replace both cars and whilst I’m not a fan of SUVs, I quite like the looks of the XC40 and I have yet to read an adverse review of it - everybody is raving about it! I looked over one last year while I was negotiating a V60 and I was amazed by the load carrying capacity, so it would replace the A4 in that respect. As much as SWMBO likes her Audi, she doesn’t like Audi suspension and the Volvo has a softer set-up, so I think she could be tempted by that, as well as the general comfort that Volvo interiors deliver - yes, we’re at that stage of life!

So it’s very early days in the long game and details like the touch screen are way down the line. I’ve noted the fuel consumption (one of the reasons I’m not so keen on SUVs) and with just one car I’d be buying all the fuel, so I’ve taken a view on that. At the moment I’ve pointed out XC40s when we’re out and about and asked in a false casual way “What do you think of that car then?” to which the response is a casual shrug of the shoulders. I think the most positive response so far is “Not sure I could get into that”, SWMBO being short of stature.

If anybody is interested I could, ORB style, give progress reports on the campaign to replace the Audis with a single car. I suspect, however, it might be a lengthy read.

Used Approved - _ORB_

If anybody is interested I could, ORB style, give progress reports on the campaign to replace the Audis with a single car. I suspect, however, it might be a lengthy read.

I am "lucky". youngrovergirl likes my choices and lets me decide.

we were in agreement about the only positive with the MGZS suv. The front seats were great!

Have you looked at a Q2?

ORB.

Used Approved - Senexdriver

I have looked at the Q2. I know Avant has one and speaks very highly of it. However, I just don’t like the look of it. I saw an SQ2 the other day, a brave attempt to make the Q2 better looking, but it’s still not the car I want to spend serious money on.

The Sportage, on the other hand, I would consider as a cheaper alternative to the XC40. But as I won’t be driving whatever we end up with, the decision won’t be mine alone.

Used Approved - Avant

It just shows we are all different! I quite like the look of the Q2 but for me the look of the XC40 is ruined by that kick-up at the back, not to mention the blind spot it creates.

As you know, Senex, we also have an A3 convertible: even if we were reduced to one driver we'd be reluctant to lose it, but also like you we need something that converts into a van.

You might more easily persuade SWMBO if you let her keep the A3 and look for a secondhand small to medium petrol estate / SUV for local trips - maybe a Ford Focus or C-Max or something Japanese or Korean - instead of the A4 and perhaps cheaper to run.

Yes, do keep us posted as the saga unfolds.

Edited by Avant on 24/09/2020 at 11:30

Used Approved - Bromptonaut

To me approved used implies a vehicle that's not much over 3 years old and with average miles or fewer. Would expect a dealer provided warranty not something where you need to claim on insurance and goodwill with any initial problems/faults.

Current Fabia fitted that model. The Roomster was a bit older and 70k+ miles but full dealer history and two years warranty which paid for a faulty window winder and a replacement EGR valve. Latter was nearly a grand retail.

Used Approved - Westbury33

Only twice, and never again. It's just branding.

1 - Skoda Citigo. Dealer managed to put 600ml too much oil in the engine! Clonking suspension noise, they never were able to fix. Skoda dealer were a joke. Never again.

FYI: The Skoda Approved used warranty has nothing to do with Skoda, its a white label insurance product. Alarmingly for diesel owners, the DPF is excluded.

2 - Peugeot 308. So many faults on delivery, the car was rejected and refund issued.

The big shiny sign above the door and branded paperwork do not alter the fact you are buying a used car. The preperation standards are not as advertised. Pointless marketing.

Used Approved - Trilogy.

Out of 30 car purchases only one was from a main dealer. My brother used to work in the motor trade and told me not to trust dealers, consequently all bar three cars, the rest have been bought privately.

Used Approved - RT

I've never had an issue with manufacturers' approved schemes - a couple of Vauxhalls from Network Q, a Subaru Outback, Hyundai i30 and Skoda Octavia - all prepared properly and dealt with fairly under warranty including an out-of-warranty goodwill engine rebuild from Vauxhall.

A modern issue is that big dealer groups use a multi-franchise central depot for PDI of both new and used cars and the selling dealer has little to do with it except take your money.

Used Approved - joegrundy

Interestingly, the car I 'bought' and rejected in January (£7000) was collected on behalf of the finance company (following Financial Ombudsman's ruling) on Wednesday afternoon. It was taken back to supplying dealer. It needed at least some corrosion treatment on roof and a partial roof respray. It also needed a new a/c condenser (failed due to corrosion, not covered by warranty, main dealer quote £550).

It was up for sale again on that dealer's website on Friday for £6700. I can't see from photos what work may have been done.

I only hope that any potential buyer follows up why it only did 900 miles between January and September (the dealer is over 120 miles away) although perhaps Covid will provide a cover story.

Used Approved - up north

Thanks Joe, your story is much appreciated. What did you buy as a replacement?

In the last 18 months have bought a used Fiesta from a Ford dealer with low miles, to find it needed a new condenser and had suspension issues. They replaced the condenser, but still issues with the air con. The car was at the garage more than in my possession, so fed up traded it in losing £1100 in 3 months at another Ford dealer for a Mazda 2. That also had issues, new 12 month mot yet leaking shock absorbers and other issues. Again at the dealership more than in my possession and even their mechanic reversed it into a post. Let them fix it, but far too many lies. Sold it to we buy any car after 5 months losing another £1000. Know of three separate mechanics who have bought from dealerships recently and each used car has issues despite the supposed checks, one being my son. So if mechanics miss things, we need to depend on a solid warranty!

Was interested in the Baleno boosterjet and sent details of excellent condition Suzuki approved used, but on the video you could see it needed a paint repair, so hard to trust.

Still looking, but many used cars are up £1000 since Covid! Much harder these days to find private sales of decent honest cars, too.

Used Approved - Andrew-T

Out of 30 car purchases only one was from a main dealer. My brother used to work in the motor trade and told me not to trust dealers, consequently all bar three cars, the rest have been bought privately.

My statistics since 1964 are : 39 purchases, all used, only one or two nearly-new. 15 private; of the remaining 24 bought from traders, 17 were 'foreigners' at other marques, on the assumption that foreign sales were often significantly cheaper than the same car on a home patch. Since the days of Arthur Daley we have known about dodgy dealers, but I have never knowingly bought from one.

I suspect there may be as many dodgy private sellers as traders, but it may be easier to detect an amateur than a professional ?

 

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