dealer part-exchange - silverfox
I'm looking to part ex my current car at a small/specialist dealership but am not sure about the level of honesty to apply to the car's history. Whilst in perfect mechanical order and MOT'd the car had been HPI'd as a cat 4 (insurer declined to repair). It had been fully repaired by the vendor (a reliable friend of a friend who does a lot of this work) and has given me no problems.
The couple of dealer valuations I've had done so far have indicated a trade-in value quite close to the standard list price. I suspect that the dealers have not done a thorough check to pick up the sings of repair. My question is whether any initial trade in value forms part of a contract or whether they would want to perform a more in-depth check before coming to a final value. Am I being at all realistic to think that I could get £500 to £1000 more on a trade-in if the dealer is not told or does not spot the car's history or is honesty on my part the best policy?

Another quick question, if a car has been HPI'd through accident (not "total write-off"), can it be removed from the register or re-classified?


dealer part-exchange - Stuartli
The dealership will almost certainly find out about the car's history but, as it has an MOT certificate presumbly acquired since the repairs, I can't see any problem.

I assume that the insurer declined to undertake repairs as the cost would have been similar to or exceeded the car's market value. That's a business decision rather than a reflection on the car's suitability to remain on the road after repairs.

One would also think that the Buyer Beware approach would apply equally to dealerships; they would all have plenty of experience of sussing out good or bad cars, be well aware of their worth and set the PX value accordingly.
dealer part-exchange - Mark (RLBS)
Buyer-beware goes two ways - what will be your reaction if you find the exactly the same is true of the car you are buying from the dealer ? And their expertise to one side, you are talking of intentionally deceiving them.

Now, was it me, I\'d tell them because I\'d rather stick to my principle of always doing unto others etc. etc. It loses me money, undoubtedly, but its an approach that works for me.

I suspect that you are really interested in the chances of getting caught out, rather than the morality of doing it. My guess would be that they will find out and that they will drop their offer, irrespective of whether or not its history will affect the money that they can sell it for.
dealer part-exchange - Stuartli
I would agree with you normally, but took into account the points I made in my first posting.

I've part-exed many cars over the years and, nine times out of 10, the salesman has merely looked my vehicle out of the showroom window.

On one occasion I negotiated a part exchange price over the phone in connection with a car I had spotted on display whilst using public transport and the quote was honoured to the penny.

A few months ago my son spotted the hard to find car moadel specification he wanted (on the Internet) some 170 miles from home. He too agreed a PX price when he rang to find out if it was still available.

It was and the salesman involved agreed to forego other potential buyers for three days to enable my son to go and see it.

At the dealership the salesman did examine his PX car closely and unexpectedly added £200 to the agreed allowance, stating that my son's description of it was absolutely spot on.

That was an overall example of excellent customer relations, especially as the dealership wouldn't get any further financial return such as servicing etc because of the distance involved.
dealer part-exchange - patently
The px is sold as seen. You make it available to the dealer for inspection; he can look at it as closely as he wants to and ask whatever questions he wants. You are not concealing anything. He is the expert, not you. His company decides what their policy is.

I've had a wide variety of experiences, from a dealer that wanted to look at every inch of my car and ask qustions for about half an hour (not kidding) before telling me that they had no demonstrators and wouldn't for a few months, all the way to a px price agreed on the phone and honoured in full.
dealer part-exchange - silverfox
Thanks for the feedback!
I have been considering the moral issue but in the end it a case of "buyer beware". Admittedly I should have taken my own advice and done a more thorough check on the issues surrounding accident repaired vehicles before parting with my cash (possibly naively), but it was through a trusted friend. The car itself has been fine over the past two years and has sailed through its MOT every time.
I have only just discovered that I can have the car inspected and get the HPI condition alert removed (Autolign), but the £250 fee seems a bit high to lose should it not pass. Not knowing the criteria above the standard MOT test I don't know how much of a risk this would be unless the increase in the sale/trade-in value is sufficient to off-set it.
The preference to trade-in is that I would have thought it to be harder to sell privately because of the history.
dealer part-exchange - 9000
The dealer is likely to HPI check the px to ensure it has no finance owing on it- they'll discover the accident history then. AFAIK an Autolign inspection will only reclassify the vehicle to Condition Inspected ie the accident history will still be there but just not look so bad. Not sure what cat 4 is though it's normally Cat A, B C etc.

dealer part-exchange - silverfox
I should have said that its a Cat C. So an inspection would reclassify it to a D (assuming it passes). But would this really be worth spending over 10% of the potential value? If the HPI classification remains I would have thought that it would take much longer for a priviate buyer to eventually come up with a sensible offer than for me to take the hassle-free option on a trade-in.
Am I right to say that HPI condition alert (VCAR?) vehicles are difficult to sell or does this become less important with age and declining values (the car is MOT'd)?

dealer part-exchange - Mapmaker
>>Am I right to say that HPI condition alert (VCAR?) vehicles are difficult to sell or does this become less important with age and declining values (the car is MOT'd)?

For your first question, yes. Read any 'how to buy a car' guide, and it'll tell you to look out for panels out of alignment, bad welding etc. This is because poor repairs, cheap non-galvanised panels & welds that have taken a large impact are likely to give rise to places where rust will start. And anyway, nobody else will buy it, even if you do! Hence the depression of prices.

On the other hand, what is more important to a buyer of an old car is whether there are 4 good tyres; whether the brake pads have 20k miles left in them; when the cambelt was last changed etc. So at that age, sensible people would prefer a well maintained V-car car over a poorly maintained nonVcar car.


Value my car