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Car nerds please.... Advice needed.


Andy_Cundell e2
3 1.1k 5 England
6 Nov 2012 3:30PM
My mate has a Z3 and yes, they are lovely cars BUT parts are very expensive unless you shop else where to BMW and are lucky enough to find alternative parts.

Andy

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collywobles e2
10 3.4k 9 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2012 3:37PM
I would recommend that no one buys a S/H car without a full dealer service history, preferable by a main dealer. Its about reducing your risk.
sherlob e2
8 2.4k 126 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2012 3:47PM
Umm... I'm getting a general feeling of consensus here. Wink
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
6 Nov 2012 3:57PM
Grin Wink




javam e2
10 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2012 4:15PM

Quote:I would recommend that no one buys a S/H car without a full dealer service history, preferable by a main dealer. Its about reducing your risk.


Yes but as with all risks, you should try and assign a financial exposure to that Risk. in the case of the car if the price is lower as a result on not having a s/h you can decide if the difference in the price against the exposure is enough for you to accept it.

I bought an Alfa GTV with no service history and a BMW 540 with full history and I paid (though the nose) for a full BMW inspection 2 service after I bought it.

Covered between 40 and 50K miles in each. The BMW stranded me on the side of the road 4 times (the first the day after I bought it) and was like an expensive mistress always demanding I spend money on her to keep her sweet. The Alfa on the other hand never stranded me and never put a foot wrong.

I am not saying you are better off without a service, but I am saying that it does not guarantee trouble free motoring (neither does buying German).

If it looks ok and drives ok I think the odds of you hitting an expensive issue are not that different whether it has service history or not. Even more so as it gets older. Does a service history guarantee that the 80 a pop coil packs are not going to fail, or the 600 (for a recon) air con pump is not going to pack up or a plastic water pump impeller is not going to disintegrate. Just because it had a regular oil service at a main dealer does not mean the owner did not rag it from cold every day of its life, and so on.

I know this knocks the conventional wisdom espoused repeatedly in this thread, but I think trust your instincts, pay your money, take your chances.
strawman e2
11 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2012 5:58PM
As the others say it depends on price. I bought an old convertible on condition, it all comes down to price and condition and your own level of risk. Plus for old cars I also vet on the driver. Yes if it has had no servicing the engine could be badly worn, but if you know what they should drive like and its going ok then its a valid gamble. Just factor in the essentials such as new water pump/cam belt /full service and repairs in the cost.

With an old car, if the price is low then often the body condition sets the value. Normally you can pick up replacement mechanical parts from specialist scrap yards, the owners club tends to be a valuable resource . also I look at the owner, I bought from a bloke who clearly did his own servicing and after a chat I was fairly confident he knew his stuff. Three years later I had to replace the disks (70 for four pads and disks good brand what a bargain from specialist web company) and had the joy of actually pulling the old disks off the hubs because someone had for once used copper grease so it was not rusted on solid . I have to say it was a bromance moment with the previous owner.

No service history, but a list of items bought and old MOT's plus a believable bloke sold me.

Anyway, on a car like that, knock the price down for no service history, do a thorough check. And if the price is not low or the history wrong, just walk away.

Oh and at 10 years old, do get underneath and make certain you are happy with bodywork and look for bodged crash repairs.
Taxboy e2
12 199
6 Nov 2012 6:24PM
I seem to recall if you can get the VIN and reg number then any BMW dealer can check their system and will tell you if it has been serviced through the main dealer network at any time.

I had my 5 series serviced via a main dealer until it reached 5 yrs old then switched to an indy - although it does have a FSH. As has been said with a 10 year old car you will have to buy on condition and take punt as I don't think many of the 3rd party bolt on warranties cover cars that old (although I may be incorrect on that)
Graysta 9 1.1k England
6 Nov 2012 7:45PM

Quote:I would recommend that no one buys a S/H car without a full dealer service history, preferable by a main dealer. Its about reducing your risk.


I have worked in main dealerships and make NO mistake their servicing standards are sometimes not upto the independant's they only fulfill the basic servicing requirements for that car at that time. I have been repremanded for checking Lights on a service at a main dealer because it was not required at that service and consumed bonus time.
if the car has a service history by an independant garage ring them and ask about the car I am sure most will tell you all you need to know from their records and quite a few will know any quirks the car has had or the former owners reason for parting.Independent garages are usually people who care about their customers and their vehicle. not just telling them when it's time to buy a new one.I get plenty of calls from people who are about to or have bought cars which we have serviced,no skin off my nose to tell the truth.
sherlob e2
8 2.4k 126 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2012 9:05PM
Thanks for still contributing guys - you are telling me some useful stuff. Graysta - thanks for the tip re: ringing the independent garage where the car was last serviced.
collywobles e2
10 3.4k 9 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2012 8:13AM

Quote:Yes but as with all risks, you should try and assign a financial exposure to that Risk. in the case of the car if the price is lower as a result on not having a s/h you can decide if the difference in the price against the exposure is enough for you to accept it.


You are right in what you say but if a car is not serviced properly and without any proof in my mind it says something about the owner which would raise doubts. Perhaps how its been driven/owned, or looked after with all the potential problems and with that in mind its a risk I would not take even if it seemed a bargain price., an engine or gearbox would invalidate any low price you paid.

I do agree with Grayta that independant dealers can provide a great service but its the owner that I would doubt. owever, my experience of main dealers is that they have the equipment and training skills that I trust.
javam e2
10 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2012 9:50AM

Quote:You are right in what you say but if a car is not serviced properly and without any proof in my mind it says something about the owner which would raise doubts.


Depends on the owner. I serviced both the alfa and the BMW myself (after its inspection 2) using better quality oils and more frequently than the stated service intervals.

I have had major issues with main dealers and a few issues with independents, so the only person I truly trust is myself.

As for engine gearbox replacement invalidating the saving, depends on how much you paid and how long it ran for before the failure. You could accept the entire cost of the car as your maximum risk exposure and live with it. I treated cars as disposable objects for many years and sold them or or scraped them when they went beyond economical repair.
7 Nov 2012 10:41AM

Quote:The warranty that the dealer gives really is not worth the paper it is printed on.



Just to clarify this point.

I have worked in the motor industry for 15 years, my day job now is working for one of the worlds largest warranty providers. Where this comes from is that people confuse the terms Warranty, Guarantee and Mechanical Breakdown Insurance. A lot of used car sites will typically supply there cars with a 3-6 month guarantee. Which is underwritten by them under the provision that they have to approve any work carried out, typically these are the ones which will only cover major components, as it is unlikely to need a repair. You then have Obligor Warranties, which is where a 3rd party is involved to manage the fund and also administer/adjudicate claims. An amount of money from each sale is placed into a holding fund, from which claims are paid. If the warranty scheme is "burning" at more than what is in the pot, then the dealers rates are increased. The 3rd is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance, this is the only one that is regulated by the FSA). These work by a 3rd party charging the dealer a fee for every warranty sold and insuring the risk. The insurer stands any losses.

My point really is when buying a car or anything for that fact, thoroughly read the terms and conditions of the policy, to find out who the underwriters and administrators are, (can be different companies). If you are buying from a reputable garage ie. main dealer, then there shouldn't ever be any issues. I would also be very wary about online warranties, as there tend to be a lot of hidden T&C's.

Sorry, but being my chosen career path, I am very passionate on the subject and it pains me when I see statements like this, without any backup.
collywobles e2
10 3.4k 9 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2012 10:48AM

Quote:Depends on the owner. I serviced both the alfa and the BMW myself (after its inspection 2) using better quality oils and more frequently than the stated service intervals.

I have had major issues with main dealers and a few issues with independents, so the only person I truly trust is myself.



I'm sure that you do which is the point I am making about risk. You might do but as a prospective purchaser of your vehicle I do not!
javam e2
10 1.1k 19 United Kingdom
7 Nov 2012 11:14AM

Quote:I'm sure that you do which is the point I am making about risk. You might do but as a prospective purchaser of your vehicle I do not!


Fair enough. As I said before you pay your money and take your chances.

I prefer to trust in people rather than a little paper book with a stamp in it, but that is my choice. I must be doing something right though as the first person to look at any car I have put up for sale has bought it.
7 Nov 2012 12:15PM
With regards to service books. I would always ask for receipts and checklists to validate the history. Just because the book is stamped doesn't mean it was serviced. I remember a salesperson who had stamps in his drawer from every garage he had worked at! If you haven't got receipts, you could always ring the garage that did the work and clarify with them.

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