Pandemic bargains - SLO76
Car prices have been somewhat unpredictable over the last year with my expectation that prices would weaken being largely blown out of the water. I expected with reduced demand and job uncertainty mixed with desperate dealers in need of cash flow that cars would become cheaper in the short term but it seems I was absolutely wrong, a thing which according to swmbo is a common occurrence.

Instead cars have soared in price over the last year, from premium priced new stock to bargain bucket distress purchases. Everything seems to cost more than it did. I’m stunned by sticker prices as I spend all too much time eyeballing Gumtree and Auto trader with rum in hand looking for those sweet wee bargains. I thought we’d see loads of cars offloaded through lack of use and lack of funds but instead dealers have been sitting on stock to hold prices up.

I have been of late rather busy with requests to both find and sell cars for people and despite dealers being a bit unrealistic regarding prices there are still bargains to be had, here’s a few I’ve bought.

A 2013 63 plate Honda CRV 2.0 S in dark blue with 66,000 miles, full history and near spotless condition. One minor scratch on the NS rear quarter that’s not really noticeable unless you’re really looking for it and 4 good tyres. £6,000 in a private sale. Local dealers are asking £7,995 plus for the same car and most aren’t as good. This will see the new owner through his retirement and will spend more time in the golf course car park than anywhere else.


2011 11 plate Suzuki Swift 1.3 GL 3dr in red with 60,000 miles and full history, one I supplied years ago. A minor parking scuff on the rear bumper with a bit of lacquer peel and needed three tyres which have been on it so long they’re all cracking badly. This in itself isn’t a bad thing as it shows how gently the car has been driven if the rubber degrades before they wear out. Drives spot on and is very clean. The last owner inherited money and wanted an upgrade so I found a nice three year old Swift 1.0 Boosterjet for and sold this for him. It’s a good example of a long term owned car that was for sale not because it was worn out but because the seller had came into money and just wanted something newer. Even the air con is ice cold. £925 given. Had I been trading still I’d put tyres on it and stick it on at £1695 but it’s going to a friend for the fee of a bottle of Morgan’s and I’ve every faith it’ll run for years.

2008 58 plate Mitsubishi Colt 1.3 5dr in blue metallic with 34,000 miles and one elderly owner from new who has sadly recently passed away. Wee car is very clean, tidy and in need of nothing. £1300 paid and passed on to a previous customer who’s bought loads of cars off me over the years, this time again the fee will be another addition to the Rum collection.

2011 61 Mazda 3 1.6 Tamura in white with 66,000 miles and a near full history. Paid £2250. This would cost nearer £4K from a dealer and you’d have no clue about the previous owners. Instead I got to meet them face to face and had peace to assess the car properly without an irritating salesman pestering me. Wee car was bought on behalf of a colleague and has been utterly faultless, it has working A/C and heated seats. I’m particularly impressed by this one, it’s a great wee car for peanuts.

2008 58 Nissan Micra 1.2 Tekna 5dr in silver with 82,000 miles. Very tidy all round and again for sale due to bereavement. Wee car drives without fault and cost £900. New keeper is delighted.

I’ve also heard through the neighbourhood grapevine of a very low mileage (sub 40k) 2005 Toyota Avensis 1.8 that’s in near mint condition that’s gathering dust in a nearby garage after the owner passed away. I’m putting feelers out to try and bag that one for another colleague who’s in need of car after offloading a costly PCP deal and has been convinced of the error of his ways by my recent purchases. Another convert to bangernomics.

Times are tough but as long as you’re flexible regarding what type of car you want then there’s bargains still to be had if you’re willing and able to risk the private ads. The above buyers gave me relatively free reign to hunt for cars with only budget being the real constraint. Look for cars that’ve been owned long term and you want something that’s being sold because the owner is genuinely upgrading or has given up driving. Reject anything that is up for “swaps” and walk away if they’ve only owned it for a matter of weeks or months, both would signify a problem vehicle in 99% of cases.


Buying privately removes any real legal protections but it grants you access to meet the owner face to face at their own home rather than listening to some fly guy dealers lies and at sub £3k prices most warranties and promises offered are worthless anyway so you might as well bypass them and save a few quid. Just take someone knowledgeable with you when you shop for a used car, even if that means bribing someone like me with a bottle of something nice.

Happy bargain hunting!


Pandemic bargains - nellyjak

Some good buys there SLO...and wise words too.

I've never minded private (home) buys as it can often tell you far more than a forecourt can.

Pandemic bargains - SLO76

Some good buys there SLO...and wise words too.

I've never minded private (home) buys as it can often tell you far more than a forecourt can.

I love buying privately. Nothing better than turning up at some lovely old souls nicely kept home and watching them reverse an immaculate old car out the garage with a glovebox full of paperwork that’s needing nothing done. That you get to drive off without paying a dealers profit margin is second to the fact that you’ve bought a better car.
Pandemic bargains - nellyjak

Absolutely right SLO.....so long as you have a bit of experience, knowledge and nouse of course.

I've been fortunate enough to never regret a private purchase...though mine have been for myself rather than for selling on.

Pandemic bargains - Andrew-T

<< I love buying privately. Nothing better than turning up at some lovely old souls nicely kept home and watching them reverse an immaculate old car out the garage with a glovebox full of paperwork that’s needing nothing done. >>

Nice to see you back, SLO. But if you were to turn up here in response to my ad, I would push the car out of the garage forwards, rather than driving it out, so that if you took a look and said no thanks, I wouldn't need to start the engine .... :-)

Not sure about selling to a part-time trader though ....

Edited by Andrew-T on 03/05/2021 at 17:15

Pandemic bargains - Xileno

I've bought a few cars privately long ago, a Golf MK1, late 80s Renault 5 and about ten years ago an Astra G. I'm not sure I would have the confidence to spend more than £1000, all of these cars were less than that.

I expect the car prices are being strengthened by people buying reliable older cars to commute to work rather than using the bus or train. When furlough ends it could be different, I imagine that a lot of businesses that were struggling before the pandemic will disappear.

Welcome back BTW!

Pandemic bargains - Heidfirst

I expect the car prices are being strengthened by people buying reliable older cars to commute to work rather than using the bus or train.

You could well be right www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/new-data-r...p

(& welcome back SLO. Your absence was noted - take a hundred lines "I must post on the Back Room" :P )

Pandemic bargains - SLO76

I expect the car prices are being strengthened by people buying reliable older cars to commute to work rather than using the bus or train.

You could well be right www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/new-data-r...p

(& welcome back SLO. Your absence was noted - take a hundred lines "I must post on the Back Room" :P )

Not looking forward to battling this lot when I get back behind the wheel of the X77. That said, I be missed the regular punters.
Pandemic bargains - Engineer Andy

Good to see you're back and digging out some great bargains! Nice also to see a Mazda3 amongst them (but I'm biased, of course). If the previous owner(s) have maintained it just as I have mine (nothing out of the ordinary as recommeneded by the manufacturer), then all the new owners need do is continue that and keep an eye out for rust on the wheel arches/underbody. That engine will keep going and going if you look after it, as mine has.

Pandemic bargains - FP

Many thanks to SLO for giving up his time to post so comprehensively.

Pandemic bargains - pd

Why on earth wouldn't you well to a part time trader?

They're usually a dream to deal with. They have the money, are used to making a quick decision on large ticket purchases and will drive off and you'll never hear from them again.

Pandemic bargains - pd

CAP and Glasses have upper values again this month btw. Must be the 10th month in a row .

Pandemic bargains - SLO76

Why on earth wouldn't you well to a part time trader?

They're usually a dream to deal with. They have the money, are used to making a quick decision on large ticket purchases and will drive off and you'll never hear from them again.

Exactly. Sell to a dealer and you’ll never have some angry Joe standing at your day after something has gone wrong. We turn up at your door, quickly assess your car then negotiate a price and transfer or hand over the money. The car then leaves, never to darken your driveway again.
Pandemic bargains - Andrew-T

Why on earth wouldn't you well to a part time trader? They're usually a dream to deal with.

Sorry you missed my gentle irony, I had already placed one smiley and didn't see the need for another. I assumed SLO, at any rate, would have got the message :-)

But thinking about it, a part-time dealer might be better equipped to haggle with a private seller ?

Pandemic bargains - SLO76

Why on earth wouldn't you well to a part time trader? They're usually a dream to deal with.

Sorry you missed my gentle irony, I had already placed one smiley and didn't see the need for another. I assumed SLO, at any rate, would have got the message :-)

But thinking about it, a part-time dealer might be better equipped to haggle with a private seller ?

I know I’m a dream to deal with.
Pandemic bargains - pd

A proper dealer will know the true value of a car which is more than a lot of private buyers will!

:)

So many buyers think a car privately advertised at £5000 a £3500 offer is quite acceptable (although equally some private sellers think their scruffy car with no history and one mobile phone pic taken in the dark is worth the same as the nice one at Lookers down the road and wonder why they get no calls).

Pandemic bargains - Andrew-T

A proper dealer will know the true value of a car which is more than a lot of private buyers will!

Very true. But don't let's forget that we are told to shun any sellers who don't disclose that they are Traders. There is also the feeling that rather than looking to buy a car, they are just hoping to pick up something cheap to sell on at a profit, rather like regulars at car-boot sales.

Speaking of which, have there been any in the last 12 months ?

Pandemic bargains - SLO76
“ Very true. But don't let's forget that we are told to shun any sellers who don't disclose that they are Traders.”

For good reason too. The vast bulk of them are utterly dishonest. I was often stunned by the rubbish other small traders would buy at auction. Latterly I was there for the canteen grub and the chat as more and more dealers were hanging onto anything half decent no matter how old it was. Skyrocketing Auction fees were reason enough for them to shun the place with anything other than the worst junk.
Pandemic bargains - Warning

> Gumtree and Auto trader with rum in hand

Thanks a lot! You have tempted me to buy a bottle ;-)

Pandemic bargains - SLO76

> Gumtree and Auto trader with rum in hand

Thanks a lot! You have tempted me to buy a bottle ;-)

‘Tis a pleasant combination, with a little hubnuts, car throttle and furious driving on YouTube thrown in too. If I wasn’t utterly hopeless with technology and a bit forgetful I’d make a few videos on yon YouTube thing about buying cheapo cars and reviews on the best ones to seek out. But for now I’ll stick to shouting at them all for getting their facts wrong on almost every car any of them review.

Edited by SLO76 on 04/05/2021 at 20:20

Pandemic bargains - SLO76
Just added another tonight again for a work colleague. Weirdly it’s another 58 plate 1.2 Micra but this one has seen plenty of spray gun action thanks to the standard of its previous owners driving. It’s a bit rough to look at up close but drives great, is very tidy inside and has 11mths Mot. £775 paid. Cheap wee runner and hopefully the paint stays on the car for a while.
Pandemic bargains - ifekas

My experience couldn't be more different, but perhaps it depends on a lot of factors including where you live. About three months ago I had offered to help a friend find a relatively cheap smallish car since the ventilation fan had gone on hers and it wasn't cost effective to fix. I had no idea it would be that challenging! Spent hours and hours looking through all sorts of places including auto trader, Facebook and gumtree, but finding anything reasonable was a real struggle. The budget had to be doubled from 1k to 2k and then upped to 2.5k. Many looked ok, but probing through the MoT history would normally raise a red flag re neglect. Something like the Suzuki Swift you listed would have been perfect for say 2k. In the end she found a high mileage Mazda 2 which is a bit dull and noisy at speed but does the job and hopefully should last a couple of years.

Pandemic bargains - SLO76

My experience couldn't be more different, but perhaps it depends on a lot of factors including where you live. About three months ago I had offered to help a friend find a relatively cheap smallish car since the ventilation fan had gone on hers and it wasn't cost effective to fix. I had no idea it would be that challenging! Spent hours and hours looking through all sorts of places including auto trader, Facebook and gumtree, but finding anything reasonable was a real struggle. The budget had to be doubled from 1k to 2k and then upped to 2.5k. Many looked ok, but probing through the MoT history would normally raise a red flag re neglect. Something like the Suzuki Swift you listed would have been perfect for say 2k. In the end she found a high mileage Mazda 2 which is a bit dull and noisy at speed but does the job and hopefully should last a couple of years.

Cars are definitely cheaper north of the border... for now.
Pandemic bargains - expat
Cars are definitely cheaper north of the border... for now.

If you go very much further south to Australia where I am things could not be more different. New cars all have a 6 month waiting list. This makes two year old cars very desirable and the prices are way up. In addition people cannot go on overseas holidays as international travel is only allowed with a government permit which is hard to get. This means lots of people want caravans and big vehicles to pull them. The newspaper had a story a couple of weeks ago about people paying A$2000 over the price of a new Landcruiser to get a 2 year old one! Total lunacy!

 

Value my car