Buying a Bora - JohnX
I have just seen a VW Bora being sold by a dealer who operates out of his house."Home Dealer"
The car looks good is a 1999 reg , and has ONLY 4500 miles on the clock!
Plus there are 2 previous registered owners!
As you can imagine I was very sceptical about the mileage and the fact that it has a previous owner.
Asked about the Service history and was told that he does not have the whole history with him at the present time but may be able to get it before I pay up.His reasoning is that it is too early for a first service , the total mileage being only 4500 miles!
Asked about the reason for the low mileage , apparently both the previous owners are ladies and havent used the car.
Price is reasonable for the model.
Is there something fishy and should I just walk away.
Or am I just being too suspicious?
Thanks in advance.
Buying a Bora - bazza
Yes you should walk away if you have the slightest doubt and I certainly have several just from what you tell me!
Buying a Bora - LongDriver {P}

That's what I would return home in, becuase that's what that car probably was...!

I'd NEVER buy from a dealer who operates without premises, neither would I buy without history.

Ask the seller to show you the V5 - it will have the last owner's name and address on it.

If he won't show you it, or it "isn't available", leave immediately and phone trading standards - the "dealer" is obviously a crook...

Simply give the last owner a call - "oh yes, that Bora...not bad nick for 204,500 miles on it really"...
Buying a Bora - DavidHM
JohnX I've done a demolition job on this on another forum and, if you want some different advice, good luck but you're highly unlikely to be told that this is a bargain.

There are two possiblities. One is that he is lying, and you should run, not walk away.

The second is that he is telling the truth, and you should run, not walk away.

If it has only done 4.5k, this will have been exclusively short journeys in which the car has never been warmed up. Therefore, those 4,500 miles will be equivalent to at least 20,000 (and probably more like 45,000) miles on the motorway. Have you seen the Castrol advert which says that 90% of engine wear happens in the first 2 miles or whatever?

Secondly, services are due over a certain time, as well as distance. Having done all those short journeys, plus had four years in the sump to deteriorate, the oil is probably completely ineffective now, and the engine is potentially knackered. Ideally oil should be changed every 6 months, a year at most.

Other components, like the cat, won't necessarily hold up well, and things like electrics usually fail because of age rather than mileage, and while the car has the mileage of a 4-month old, it is four years old and has potentially never been serviced to pick up on any developing problems.

Plus, he is a home trader and the car has no history - it is possible to fake one and if he can mysteriously 'get' it I would suggest this is what is likely to happen. Value the car as if it had 120k and no history, and if it's cheaper, you might get a bargain. On the other hand, he knows he can sell it to some kind of mileage fetishist for more than that, regardless of its true condition.

LD - There are sometimes genuine cases of cars with real history going through auction without it and it then being obtained from the lease company. The key here is lease company though - private sellers don't have a myriad of departments to lose the paper work in. This deal still smells really bad.
Buying a Bora - Pat L
I agree with everything said so far, except the comments re home dealers.

I bought my wife a BMW 318i Touring from such a dealer last year. He sells from his drive but sources his cars from a handful of local companies. So they come with high mileage, full s/h and low prices (low overheads). I phoned the company who had the owned the beemer just to check, and had the owner's secretary read out the car's computerised service history, checked that it had no accident damage, etc. I was happy with all that, bought, and have had the car for exactly one year now. Had one fault - blown n/s headlight bulb. Now showing 147,000 miles. I took a risk but I got the car at a very good price due to the mileage.

So not all home dealers are to be avoided. Just be wary. This particular chap sounds more than a tad dodgy. And the car is best avoided in any case.

Keep looking.

Buying a Bora - T Lucas
If the car really has only done 4500 miles any professional would be able to spot that and verify it in about 2 mins,if the price is ok,no probs,check with previous owners and if you do buy change oil and filter asap.
If you are not sure what you are looking at pay the AA.
Buying a Bora - DavidHM
Inspections are availble here:

Cheaper than the AA and without the usual exclusion of liability clauses.

Of course, this deal still smells really, really bad.
Buying a Bora - Halmer
I'd say that anyone with an ounce of common sense would be able to tell if the 4,500 is genuine never mind a professional.

Are the tyres all the same make?
Do the seats look like they've done 4,500 miles?
Do the pedals look like they've done 4,500 miles?
Does the steering wheel etc.etc......
Buying a Bora - DavidHM
Fair enough, but a 45k car (i.e., average miles or slightly below) that's been polished beyond all reason where all the tyres have been replaced by OE and the bonnet has been resprayed, if necessary, might not obviously look any different to a 4.5k miler.

Of course, once you're told that you're getting an apparently as new Bora for less than half the new price (hopefully!) it's quite easy to lose all common sense if you're not experienced at buying and valuing cars.

In any case, it's not the cosmetics that are the issue but all the components that wear with age and that might not have been serviced with all those short journeys.
Buying a Bora - T Lucas
How do we know that the 4500 was lots of small journeys?Could have been a few reasonable long journeys.
I would only only ever use the AA for an inspection.
Buying a Bora - Altea Ego
And the little old ladies only ever used it to go to church I suppose?

1/ A bora is not the kind of car a lady would choose, especially a lady who only does small annual miles.
2/ Given 1 above, what are the chances of TWO ladies choosing it, and BOTH only doing miniscule miles.
3/"does not have the service history with him at the present time" hmmmmmmmmmm why am I not suprised.

the thing that puzzles me is if the car is clocked, why clock it down to such a ludicrous small mileage?

Very smelly this one.
Buying a Bora - DavidHM
It could have been a few reasonably long journeys and been left standing for long periods. But that's even less likely than the seller's story, especially as little old ladies don't tend to drive like that.

(Although a septuagenarian friend of my father's sold his Discovery at three years and 2k miles, used exclusively for trips to the golf club, church and supermarket, each within about a mile of his house). The only long trip it got was to the franchise once a year for the service - 20 miles.

As for why clock it down to a ludicrous mileage? Maybe the trader is a naïve chancer; or it could be a high or even normal miler that's had a recent speedo change and he's trying to wing it as a genuine mileage. I once had a dealer tell me that a Pug 405 that was obviously an ex-taxi, 9 years old, was showing a genuine 34k instead of the 300k I'd have expected.
Buying a Bora - smokie
Sorry to barge in on this thread, but a mate has just looked at a 607 registered by Peugeot 6 months ago, 14 miles on the clock now, and about £16k, which he says is £5 below list. It's in a main dealer.

He's asking me if it's a bargain? I gave him the benefit of the knowledge I've had from you guys, but it all seems a bit odd...
Buying a Bora - bazza
It's not a bargain at all. The 607 is a very poor seller in the UK and subject to very high depreciation - typical big French barge syndrome! Don't have access to the figures but the dealer is trying to shift on a car which might be 2 plates "old" now. His choice of course but far far better places to put your 16 grand!
Buying a Bora - DavidHM
Nothing odd about that one. It's a 607 - why would anyone voluntarily drive it off the forecourt? :-)

Seriously, it's a lot of money off list, but the 607 isn't particularly spacious, stylish, good to drive or prestigious and I can't see him getting much of that money back.

This is just a dealer pre-reg that they couldn't shift in March and still can't, which is why there is so much money off.

If he wants a nearly new, no name barge, send him in the direction of Trade Sales' 52 plate Omega 2.2s for £9699. They might have a thousand times' more mileage but they'll make a lot more sense financially.
Buying a Bora - bernie
With regard to note number one,I remember a motoring program a while ago and on it was your typical granny.A frail little old lady who would look at home in a mark one Micra.What did she drive ????????????????????????

An original AC Cobra !

An exception I know but they do exist.
Buying a Bora - bernie

My post was anecdotal to Mr Renault's post
Buying a Bora - Gregory P
Why don't you just ask the old owners about the car? The previous owners details would be on the log book or service history. If they are local, go to their house and see what car they have now. Ask both and the likelyhood is that one will tell the truth, or you will sense any lies. Ask the obvious questions like why did you sell it, how much did you pay for it etc etc.

Perhaps it is a problematic car, or perhaps been in an accident, or a cut and shut. But then it may not be!
Buying a Bora - joe
I really want to know how this one finishes!
Buying a Bora - JohnX
Thanks for all the informative replies.
Just a quick update on whats happening.
Called Mr home dealer up as a new customer , asked if he had any Boras to sell,waited for him to describe the car.Its 5000 miles approximately and has had 2 owners.
When asked about the reason for the low mileage apparently the owner lived abroad and used car only infrequently when visiting.
Didnt ask for address of owner-stupid of me , should have.
Asked whether I could do a car inspection, said I was welcome to!
Seemed quite confident on that one i must say.
Told me its an absolute bargain!!
Regarding service history , told me very confidently that the car hasnt reached the mileage stage for a 1st service.
When i reminded him that all Boras have to be serviced yearly regardless of (low)mileage,he said he wasnt sure why this one wasnt serviced!!
Must say most of you who responded were right in being suspicious.
Too early to paint him black but lots of unlikely coincidences in his story!
And yes the car is "Sold as seen"!
No warranty or comebacks if anything goes wrong.

Buying a Bora - No Do$h
This Home Dealer isn't based in the Hampshire/Dorset border area is he?

I appreciate the coincidence would be huge, but this sounds awfully like a chap I once had a run-in with. Specialises in smart to prestige german saloons, every one of the with a history that would make a good plotline on Eastenders but presented as the personal transport of the Virgin Mary.

Remember, no names, no pack-drill on this forum, but if this dealer does come from that area, email me for some specifics.
If I don't reply it's nowt personal, I'm just working!
Buying a Bora - Mark (RLBS)
Anything which may reveal the specific car and/or dealer has been removed from this thread.

This includes links to the advert for the car and comments about which county it may be in.

Thank you.

Value my car