Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Phoenicks
I went to Blackbushe car auctions on Friday. Its totally changed my perspective on car buying. I have now experienced first hand that cars are worth diddly squat and shed value like Gary Glitters autograph.

I will never again use a dealer because looking at the prices paid for cars you might as well just go to the auction. All a dealer will do is stick a 3 or 6 month (probably mostly useless) warranty on the car. In reality he will buy the car straight from an auction, clean it and stick it on the forecourt. So simple. Take a friend who knows a bit about cars and bobs your japanese gardener - save hundreds, if not thousands.

Example prices:

Saab 900 2.0 96/N 100k miles - nice and clean - £900

Audi 1.8 2000/W - 114k miles - FSH, all stamped, very, very clean - £4900

Rover 25 GTI - 2001/Y 26k miles - Immaculate - £4950

BMW 318se 02 plateb - Silver, mint, 22k miles - full spec - £13,200

VW Golf 2.0GTI - 2001/Y Reg - 35k miles - £8,500 mint.

Unbelievable.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Dan J
Why buy from a dealer?!

Because when it reduced itself to a kit of parts, experienced engine failure, gear linkage problems, bearing noise, ignition burnout, introduced me to the joys of aircon explosions, drove me mad with squeaking seats and to top it all off petrol vapour leaks...

I had someone to not only shout at but also to resolve the problems for me including getting the car replaced.

You pays your money and you takes your choices! I rely (or did until job change) too heavily on my car so prefer the dealer route. Network Q doesn\'t win awards each year for nowt...
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Phoenicks
I used to work for a Vauxhall main dealer. Network Q is good, but all they do is buy a lot (not all) of their cars from Auctions. The average amount of recon work done on a Network Q car bought from an Auction to make it sales standard was £200. Do it yourself and save £1300 off of dealer margins.....

Also the minute you buy from a dealer you feel tied to the servicing being done by them to keep your warranty intact so it costs you 3 times as much in servicing over 3 years.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Dan J
Arguing devil's advocate more than anything else! I agree with you auctions are unbeatable pricewise.

Me personally though, I'd hate to end up with a lemon too much... Obviously just too conservative!

Work done on my current [replacement] car is definitely into 4 figures already. I'd hate to have paid for that myself.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Thommo
Umm... whilst were on the subject of auctions... any chance that HJ could stick up a few more auction reports like he used to... really enjoyed those...
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Armitage Shanks{P}
At an auction you have one hour to detect and complain about major faults. If it doesn't have a V5 and isn't taxed then you can't tax it until the V5 appears from Swansea, which will be weeks if not months. If you buy from a dealer, even without a warranty, it is now up to him to prove that anything that goes wrong in the first 6 months of your ownership was not a problem on the day you picked it up.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Phoenicks
Regards the V5 its probably worth going for a car without if you can get one - a Vectra 2.5 V6 SRI - T plate 99 with verified 33k miles went for £3,200.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Ian D
Your best bet is to buy a car at auction that has a FSH and is within the manufacturers warranty and then you can (almost!) not got wrong. When the warranty runs out you can always buy one from (for example) Warranty Direct.

If you buy a car at auction within manufacturers warranty and run it without fault to the end of the warranty period I never bother renewing the warranty/buying another as:

1) You have by then established it is a good car
2) You can then get it serviced by a good independent and save a fortune (as previously stated by not being tied into a dealer to maontain waraanty)
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Gregory P
I went to an auction in eastbourne and found they had rubbish cars that I would rate as scrap. Not even one good one (i.e. without a scratch); I will try blackbushe but they are miles away from me! Hope they have some mint cars.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - DavidHM
How mint do you expect it to be? If you're looking at 10 year old cars, of course they're going to have some small scratches on.

I know what you mean though, I've been to auctions that were full of overpriced tat going to private buyers who impressed me by knowing that you had to sit in the front of the car, not the back, to drive it.

But don't get too hung up on cosmetics. You can get a bargain, but I'd much rather have a straight but unprepared car than something that has been polished smooth by fifteen different traders and given a haircut, that just happens to look good.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - king arthur
I went to an auction in eastbourne and found they had
rubbish cars that I would rate as scrap. Not even one
good one (i.e. without a scratch); I will try blackbushe but
they are miles away from me! Hope they have some mint
cars.


There are good and bad auctions, just like everything else in life. Stick to the well known ones, BCA, Manheim, etc. And also, get to know what days the sort of cars you want go on sale, some days are better than others.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Hugo {P}
With cars being more reliable these days, you are far less likely to end up with a lemon.

However, I would look at the difference between dealer and auction price and decide whether the margin is worth the risk or not. IE if you're saving £2k on the car of your dreams, how likely is it that you'll have to spend that or more to get the car sorted out?

I posted on a similar thread a couple of days ago about singling out cars for bidding on by condition, mileage SH etc. I found that the best way forward was to be flexible about what car you would have, then that opens up the choice. Eliminate lots that don't come up to your own preferences - ie mileage, SH etc, then see what you have left.

I guess anyone can be unlucky, but if you learn before buying from auction, then buy your next say 5 cars from auction, I guess the chances are you'd come out pretty much on top.

The other route I have taken before now was to buy a car from a dealer that they would either not put on their forecout or that had been there for too long.

If a car is a year or so too old for them to retail they will auction this. My L reg Xantia just slotted into this category. Apart from it being a year too old, it was a car worthy of any Main Dealer forecourt. Hence I got a main dealer guaranteed (yes guaranteed at auction) 54,500k miles on a 6 year old car with full main dealer service history. It didn't reach its reserve, so I took the decision to stump up the extra £200 to secure the car - and never regretted it since

If a dealer has had a car for 3 months or more, the pressure on the Sales manager to move it on can be significant. That's how I got a 30 month old car 25K miles from a dealer with tax full MOT and 3 Months warranty for £150 above Glasses Guide for auction once! - Best of both worlds I'd say.

H
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Phoenicks
some good points Hugo.

especially >>if you're saving £2k on the car of your dreams, how likely is it that you'll have to spend that or more to get the car sorted out?

Most of the cars there that weren't immaculate would have been maybe £200 to recondition the bodywork to perfect.

having seen the cars there i would say that they fit into 3 categories of Sheds, Not Bad - few scratches - save loads of money over buying at a dealer, and Mint - but you'll have to haggle with the dealers for it. This of course if very general, but what i'm trying to say is that most good cars were easy to spot and mint ones stood out like beacons. It really need not be that scary.

I'm now selling my Golf and will be off to the Auction beginning of September to buy a bargain. I'll let you know how i get on.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Liverpaul
As I've said before on a number of postings, I will always buy my cars from Auction, you just have to be flexible and not scared by high miles, or pay more than your budget.

Where else would I have picked up a 1999T plate one owner FFSH 1.8lx Mondeo (CD/Air con/ Heated Front Screen etc) with new tyres and sold with no major mechanical faults (Not sold as seen as per a high percentage of auction cars) for £2k. Yes it had 119k miles, but at 30,000 a year I know it's not been subjected to damaging short journeys, and definitely not had a haircut, and passed it's MOT 1st time.

And yes it did have a fault - water ingress into the boot, but thanks to the backroom it was fixed within half an hour at the cost of a tube of silicone.

The comments here about good and bad Auctions though is very true, I always use Measham off the A42 between Derby and Tamworth and it's excellent.

As with Thommo I also enjoyed HJ's auction reports, if you get time to can we have more of them - thanks.

Paul
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - greenway2003
i picked up a silver mondeo glx 2.0 a/c ect for £820.00
cost 100.00 cash for scratch repairs 90,000 miles fsh from auction last month.

www.smag.co.uk/index.htm

go to price guide and fall over!!!
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - daveyjp
There's also the issue of having the pound notes in your pocket. I generally don't have access to £10k+ to hand over for a car!
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - greenway2003
sorry mondeo was a p-plate 97 mkII
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - carayzee
Liverpaul - "Where else would I have picked up a 1999T plate one owner FFSH 1.8lx Mondeo 119K miles etc."
You could have bought my old mans 19k .. yes nineteen K 1998 S 1.8LX (same spec) for £2,500. It's still for sale until it gets traded in at the end of the month.
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - looking4car
Davevip has hit the nail on the head.

Dealers seem more interested in selling finance deals than cars these days.

Earlier this year I couldn't get a local main Ford dealer to quote me a cash price for a Focus.

I've always paid cash for my cars and have bought most of them at auction. I'm no expert but have never been landed with a lemon, some good and some very good. I'm 40 and financially secure now but when I was younger I preferred to buy what I could afford rather than get into debt for a depreciating asset.

This included a twenty five quid Austin 1800 at one time ;-)
Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Liverpaul
Cara

Unfortunately that would have been £500 over my budget. It is true that you can also get good buys off a private seller, but less comeback there than with a no major fault car from auction. Just be aware of the home trader making a quick buck.

Your dad's car is at a good price, and is an exception as you know honestly the mileage is correct and it's not had a price premium put on it for the low miles. I always prefer a high miler to a low miler as i know the car gets proper runs at operating temperature, and the price is normally lower accordingly, and i can usually be sure it's not been clocked.

Paul

Auctions - Why buy from a dealer?! - Gregory P
Although low mileage cars aren?t recommended by HJ, a friend of mine found a really good buy. Although it only had only 10,000 miles over 5 years, it was only used for a 200 mile trip every so often and had an oil change and service every 6 months at the main dealer. That is a service every 1000 miles and the tyres were the original manufacturer ones that had hardly been worn. He paid only £3k because the owner wanted a quick sale and now the car has 370,000 miles with only some parts changed and the same engine. And it burns no oil and is as economical as ever. I think it was a Saab but unsure about the model.

Just shows how important it is to have a car serviced properly from the beginning, and the merits over servicing can do to an engine. Good driving technique is also very important. He has had the car 15 years and the engine is as quiet as a brand new car.
 

Value my car