Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Buying a used car - my experience 1

Buying a used car is a tiring and frustrating task. I have learnt that over the course of thiese few day. Ever since my car broke down along the A14 and I found out that repairing the engine would cost me more than the value of the car, I have been looking for a good used car.

Besides looking at the newspapers (where I didn't find anything I liked) I also went to the Auto Trader site. Initially I looked for private sellers listing their Toyota Avensis but all the good ones (read best prices) had already been sold. It's amazing how popular this model is here in the UK. My next choice was the Nissan Primera because of the good review. I usually refer to Honest John which lists1200 comprehensive car reviews. Coming back to the Nissan Primera, it was my choice because it receives quite favourable reviews. However, every single one I liked on the Auto Trader site was beyond my budget (which is not really much to start with).

A relative living in Birmingham gave me some leads around Birmingham. My friend Ishan kindly consented to drive me around. My first car was a Nissan Primera at a car dealer in Solihul. I didn't like the car the first time I laid my eyes on it. It was in a really bad shape and when I gave it a test drive, it had a really unbearable odour inside. I don't need to tell you my decision.

Next was a 1.8 Turbo Diesel in Birmingham. I really liked it but the guy who was selling it really talked a lot and it was really suspicious because the price was too cheap. He seemed over eager to get rid of the car as well. Never-the-less I decided to buy the car and gave him £70 as deposit after agreeing on a price. However, I just couldn't get rid of this nagging feeling. 

I had passed over the details of the car to my wife and I didn't know it but she had done a check on the car's history on the RAC site. You have to pay £5 but you get to learn some important details about the car. In this case, she discovered that the car had previously been involved in an accident and had been recordered as a total loss by the insurance company. It was listed as a category D "Vehicle damaged but repairable - the insurer decided not to repair". Not all category D cars are bad but I was not willing to take the chance and turned back at once. The guy agreed to give me back my deposit and he looked really miserable and I pitied him, but I had no choice.

Now it was back to the Auto Trader site and I widened up my option. I started looking for Ford Mondeos, VW Passats, etc.

To be continued in next post...

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