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Brand New, Pre-Registered or simply second hand? - Dave Etchells
A word of warning.

Earlier this week I read a message about buying a "brand new" car from so called supersites and the need to be aware of who exactly is the first owner. Surprise, surprise I became victim myself today when the log book for my Mondeo arrived and showed it has already having been registered to a holding company.

Now I have to say right now that I am not grumbling about the deal I struck as I saved almost 25% on the RRP.

However, what does bother me is the fact that the car was advertised as brand new. Unless anybody begs to differ, that means to me I am the first owner. In fact the trader - newly based in the North-West - even took £25 off me and probably every body else who buys at the site for the first registration. I have to ask why if the vehicle has already been registered.

I phoned the site and managed to speak to the sales manager who went on to draw my attention to the disclaimer on the order form, which quite clearly states that cars are sourced from the continent and you - the buyer - may not be the first owner. Fine in itself but as the site also sells X reg. vehicles and Y reg with a sizeable mileage, I interpret the disclaimer as being aimed at buyers of those vehicles, not brand new.

This brings me to the issue of pre-registered cars, sold by main dealers for less than brand new price, mainly because the log book will show the car having been owned by another, which is basically what this supersite appear to be doing. Yet they are advertising weekly in the national press as trading "brand new" cars at massive savings and charging the government tax on what are to all intents and purposes, second hand, pre-owned or whatever.
If the salesman had been up front from the outset this would never have been as issue but as ever the punter is a mug and there to be taken any which way.

It is really a trivial matter but it leaves a bitter taste. It also begs the question of whether the Trading Standards would be interested?
Re: Brand New, Pre-Registered or simply second han - Tony
What difference does it make? Its still a 2001 car,you are the first user and you saved a big chunk of cash.
Re: Brand New, Pre-Registered or simply second han - Andy Bairsto
By pre registering the car brings in some sort of vat loophole I have forgotten what it was, my accountant did explain it once.But it is the dealers advantage and not the customers .Perhaps some accountant out there could furnish the answer.
Re: Brand New, Pre-Registered or simply second han - Keith Bassett
Were you asked for an insurance cover note showing the VIN of the car ? If not, this was the clue that the car would not be registered in your name. I visited Trade Sales in Slough this week with my son who was buying a Punto for 1st Sept registration. When I asked about the cover note, they said they register in bulk under their name. I believe the DVLA have special arrangements for traders re the insurance requirement.

Trade Sales operate on a 5 day basis (including weekends) from order to collection and it would clearly be impossible in most cases to obtain a cover note and then go through the registration process in 5 days.

I accept that, especially as we are also saving 25% but they should have volunteered the info. They said we need to fill in a V62 form (available at Post Offices) to get a new log book which will show the change of ownership from 1/9/01.

Re the £25 registration fee, the dealer has to pay this so it's reasonable that the customer is charged.

None of this alters the fact that the car is brand new with, in our case, less than 10 miles on the clock and a first registration date of the day the car is collected.

Regarding pre-registered cars, these differ only in that the ownership change occurs later than the first registration date.

The problem is poor communication. We found that no information was volunteered - we had to ask all the questions, some of which were not answered fully.

I don't think you need to feel bitter or that you are a victim. Buying at a supersite is certainly very different to buying at a main dealer and we didn't find it a pleasurable experience, although it was interesting. But the saving is fantastic.

A word of warning to others buying imports at supersites - check every detail of the spec. A lot of cars at Trade Sales were below UK spec.

Hope this has shed some light - enjoy your car!
Re: Brand New, Pre-Registered or simply second han - JB
I agree with the savings and the experience (TS @ Slough) but would add the rider that you may not receive a handbook or service book either, although they were promised within 5 weeks.

Does anybody out there have a handbook for a Golf TDi?
Pre-registering cars - David Lacey
A few dealers (who are behind target) pre-register cars to hit targets, which then releases bonus payments from the manufacturer.
You can always tell these dealers from the advertising they do.

I'm not aware of any special terms between the DVLA and supsersites WRT registering these cars and insurance details.


Re: Pre-registering cars - honest john
A trade insurance is for any car owned by the insured. So a supersite could use its trade insurance to pre-register any number of cars it owned. Buyers are told to use a V62 because otherwise they could be waiting up to a month for the DVLA to return the first V5 to the supersite and both the customer and the supersite would then have to go through the laborious rigmarole of filling in the various bits and waiting another month for the V5 in the customer's name. The VAT dodge Andy Bairstow referred to invloved Channel Island cars. These were shipped out VAT free to the tax-free Channel Islands, registered in the names of local garages and hire fleets, then, as long as they had been on the island for, I think, six months, and had done a few thousand miles, they could be re-imported to the UK VAT free. The trouble was, the scheme was often used to offload old spec cars. I remember 'J' reg Austin Metro 1.3 A Series cars with the gearbox in the sump which were up to 18 months older than the original registration implied.

Re: Pre-registering cars - pipmeldrew
If there is a price to be paid it will be when you come to change the car. One owner cars invariably commanding a premium over Two owner examples.

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