Car Giant - Haggling? - tack
My son-in-law is begging me to go to Car Giant to look for a car with him. They seem to have a wide choice of cars, especially the sort he wants (3 series, A3 etc)

Anybody much experience of them and are they amenable to a bit of haggling?
Car Giant - Haggling? - oldtoffee
Bought two cars from them, no discounts available despite valiant attempts! They will show you scanned copies of ownership and service docs so if you are observant enough you can call the previous owner and check provenance etc. You can also start them up and test drive them. Both my experiences were positive and we still have a Passat 4 years after buying it from them and no issues. They do have lots of scruffy and unloved cars with a few nice tidy ones amongst them and you'll find that reflected in the unnegotiable sticker prices and managers specials.
Car Giant - Haggling? - Dave_TD
Bought a '99T Mondeo 2.0 Ghia from them in Feb 2003 for the (now)ex-Mrs DTD. Site layout back then seemed fine if a little draughty, salesman was firm but fair, screen price was £3995 which is what we paid (plus £91 admin fee). Gave us a fair £800 part-ex price for our '96P 405 Style D estate (107k miles, faded red/pink).

There seemed to be no "haggle" option, their opinion was that the price was low enough already. The Mondeo was a one-owner ex-company car in pretty much as-new condition, with 85k miles and full history.

Ex still has the Mondeo, now done 187k miles and it still drives bang on. Looks shocking though.

Edited by Dave_TD {P} on 19/11/2009 at 22:01

Car Giant - Haggling? - Devolution
Not dealt with them myself but know people who have. As a rule, like most car supermarkets, the price you see is the price you pay (plus fees), no haggling.

The only complaint from friends who've bought, is that it seemed to be extremely rare to experience the "drive away same day" approach as they won't waste money putting every car through a valet and point check service for it to sit unsold for a few months, so they wait until you buy, and cough up the fee. During busy periods though this often means you'll be coming back the next day (or few days) when it's ready.

If you are travelling to see a particular car, ring before you travel as the website can be out of date. If you end up buying you can be there a while sorting the paperwork, but apparently theres a canteen/cafe facilities onsite!
Car Giant - Haggling? - boxsterboy
I pop in occasionally but don't think they are as cheap as they used to be. But I would also say that the standard of car seems to be better than it used to be in the days it was Great Trade Centre.

Bought 1 car there - no haggling entertained. Would buy again if they had the right car.
Car Giant - Haggling? - Dave_TD
the website can be out of date


Or too up-to-date. We went down there with the reference numbers for 4 cars and could only locate 3 of them.

The other half asked about the one we couldn't find, only to be told that it was still in the pre-sales bay, but that we could see it if we didn't mind it not being valeted yet. That was the one we went on to buy.

The paperwork took around 2 hours but we drove home in the "new" car on the same day.

I would definitely use them again when I'm next in the market for a £3k-plus car.

Edited by Dave_TD {P} on 19/11/2009 at 22:51

Car Giant - Haggling? - Ben 10
Why don't you just go to an auction. These car centre places source their vehicles from the same places that supply auctions. And you'll save into the bargain.
Car Giant - Haggling? - Altea Ego
Admin fee?

I would tell them to poke the admin fee.,
Car Giant - Haggling? - Pondlife
Why don't you just go to an auction. These car centre places source their vehicles
from the same places that supply auctions.


In my very limited experience I've found that auction cars tend to have something wrong with them, which you don't notice until you get it home. Car giant will put those things right and will give you a short warranty as well.

If you are buying in volume, I'm sure auction would be cheaper even when factoring in the cost of repairs and warranty value. But when buying just one car it's more of a gamble I think.
Car Giant - Haggling? - bell boy
quite right pondlife
someone i know brought a car to me this week that he had just purchased in auction
the faults were
drvers window failed on its first attempt to shut (on the way home)
there was a power steering leak under the car
nobody can balance the front wheels because they dont have a centre hole and it makes the car undriveable over 50mph
all jobs that the retail seller has to sort before the great unwashed have the opportunity to buy this little gem............
Car Giant - Haggling? - Bill Payer
nobody can balance the front wheels because they dont have a centre hole and it
makes the car undriveable over 50mph


I had a Peugeot company car like that. After being turned away from one dealer another one told me that all the dealers have the kit (mandated by Peugeot) but it's fiddly to use so they just say they can't do it.
Car Giant - Haggling? - ifithelps
...front wheels because they dont have a centre hole...

Can't have been a Polo, then.
Car Giant - Haggling? - DP
My dad bought a 3yr old Mondeo mk1 2.0 petrol from them in 1997 when they were "The Great Trade Centre". No haggling, £4k sticker price, take it or leave it. He had that car until a couple of years ago - nigh on 200k on the clock and no problems at all. My father in law also had a mkIII Golf TDI from there around 2000, which again proved to be a good car.

i remember the draughty site, and the "pile em high" atmosphere is as far removed from a pot plant and plate glass dealership as you can get, but then so are the prices. Simple buying experience - take the car as it is, for the price on the screen, pay the money, fill in the paperwork, and drive it away. I would use them and recommend them based on these experiences.

With this Mondeo, there were eight of them in a line, all the same price, year, spec, similar mileage etc. Just different colours and vastly different condition, ranging from clean, to rough, and everything in between. Dad wasn't fussed on colour, so we looked at all eight and picked the best one. Reminded me of buying fruit in a supermarket :-)

Car Giant - Haggling? - Ben 10
"In my very limited experience I've found that auction cars tend to have something wrong with them, which you don't notice until you get it home."

As you say, limited experience.

I have bought everyone of my cars from auction since 1988, and never had a problem. They have been within manufacturers warranty and low mileage. The days of engines and gear boxes falling out as you drive out the auction centre are long gone. (HJ you must bear this out surely)

As I've said, these car places source the same cars that I buy at auction and I save a few hundred quid.
Car Giant - Haggling? - Niallster
Friend of mine bought from them. No haggle you just pay the screen post or you don't.

One tip get EVERYTHING sorted before you part with the cash. Friend bought a Golf. Only one key and a small cigarette burn on seat. He paid and it was agreed that a second key would be provided and the burn mended by the time he picked up the car (2 days). No key was ever provided and the burn was not fixed and it was just 'we've got your money get lost'.

Cheap, bargains to be had but be aware.
Car Giant - Haggling? - pd
I have bought everyone of my cars from auction since 1988 and never had
a problem. They have been within manufacturers warranty and low mileage. The days of engines


Buying a car with manufacturers warranty at auction probably covers 2-3% of cars sold at auction per week so is hardly suitable to deduce an overall picture from.

These sort of cars are usually good buys but obviously attract stong dealer bidding as well so aren't ever spectacularly cheap.
Car Giant - Haggling? - tack
So..............we drove from Essex. 1 hour to get there but 3 hours to get back in the peeing rain. What an interesting place. A seemingly chaotic but actually well oiled machine. Huge doesn't do it justice. Easy to get carried away in all the excitement of it. Had to rein the boy in on a number of occasions, lurching from Beemer, to Audi to VW to Honda. Even I had to stop myself getting excited at the prospect of a CLS Merc 320 diesel being within financial reach!! I wonder how many people go over budget?

Some of the cars had very tired interiors and various dings and dongs on the bodywork, but some of the low milers looked quite nice. However you could find something as nice locally for slightly more, better looked after and with a longer warranty.

He saw a nice looking manual 06 reg 318 M Sport saloon with 52k on the clock for £11455, however, a B/Stortford main dealer had a manual 318SE a year older with 63k on the clock for £8995. Which would you go for?

I have to say that out of all the Audi's and VW's and Beemers he looked at, I think the Beemer stood out as a car of enormous quality (and that is speaking as a VW 1.4Tsi owner) It felt chunky, sturdy, unbreakable.

We came away without dipping hands in pocket, but also came away with a pocketful of ideas on price.v.age.v.model benchmarks.
Car Giant - Haggling? - moonshine

Watch out for the aftersales sales - that is once you have done the deal be prepared for some hard sell on various insurance policies (GAP, Tyres etc), treatments, warrenties etc.
Car Giant - Haggling? - smokie
You get the hard sell at main dealers too

 

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