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Reasons that you didn't buy a car.


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This has been an enjoyable thread to read. :-D

It seemed like I got the eBay bidder etiquette completely wrong on the one I walked away from: a 1997/98 R reg Almera 1.6 with funky velour seats and air con. Cool. This was in early 2010 after writing off my SEAT Ibiza and being inbetween jobs also. 

Got my dad to take me to view it. Chap was selling the car for his parents. I didn't test drive it because I had no insurance but I was happy enough with it to lob a bid on it once I returned home. Chap was a bit miffed that I didn't make an offer there and then. I always thought that it was bad form to offer on a car that was up for auction on eBay. 

On the drive home my dad said that he wasn't impressed with the load of dog hair in the seats and carpets. It didn't worry me much as I planned to give  whatever car I bought a jolly good valet anyway. So I got home, lobbed a bid on the Almera, set a maximum limit but a day or two later it had disappeared. Seem that someone probably did offer to buy it there and then. 

I later bought my dad's drinking buddy's ex Plod Escort diesel saloon which was a bloody good car for £250.

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High mileage, father - son hand me down Xm in Leeds that the vendor was quite proud of. The father had been in the trade, working for a Cit dealership, so I imagined this might be a well loved, well maintained example. On viewing it, it turned out to be a bit frilly round the edges, paintwork in very poor shape overall. Most of the fluids in short supply. Many bits of trim missing. It did start, drive and stop, but everything under the bonnet sounded like a bag of spanners. Doors that didn't want to stay closed, as in, close one, another one opened...

So what was the vendor proud of? He'd recovered the parcel shelf with leftover domestic carpet and fashioned a front centre armrest out of plywood and sticky back plastic. A mate with a BX addiction had accompanied me, to ensure I didn't buy a lemon, and he didn't even have to talk me out of making an offer. I politely thanked the vendor for the viewing, made my excuses and we left. After we'd gone, mate's verdict on the trim repairs was "they're a bit shit" and on the car as a whole "a £300 motor, at best". Vendor was asking £1300.

About 2015, a Chrysler Grand Voyager on an 02 plate, a mum's taxi for which she'd found a newer replacement, when it got lent to a friend to use and prepare for sale. Friend's method of preparation had involved some low speed crashes into brick walls and gateposts, so both bumpers were in a bad way by the time he gave it back to the seller, 'ready for sale'. The friend also seemed to be a bit shy of any cleaning that might have been expected... Moving on to the inside, the kids were of that age where they would be deposited in their child seats with various sugary drinks and messy snacks, all of which had mysteriously disappeared by the end of every journey. We found them. All of them. In the intervening months since the replacement had been procured, sugary and messy had given way to sticky and furry. We didn't go for a test drive. We didn't even get in.

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Went to look at a well described and honest looking S3 Daimler Sovereign 4.2 up for £3k.

The seller picked me up from the train station in Ipswich, and before we'd even got to his place and the car he knocked £250 off the asking price - he explained that his driveway didn't have a dropped kerb, and driving off said kerb one day the bump caused the windscreen to crack in the bottom corner on the passenger side. His justification was that replacement windscreens were about £250 on eBay and I could 'just' make a windscreen claim on my insurance to get it fitted.

Errrrrr.....?!?!?!! 

It then wouldn't start. 
The seller was completely clueless as to why, despite having had the car for three years or so he didn't know about the fuel pump cutoff switch on the passenger side which had presumably triggered, so instead, he dumped Easy Start down the intake and revved the bollocks off from cold it so the high pressure fuel pump would kick in. 

Despite this fuckwittery the seller wouldn't make a deal, insisting that I see the car move itself first. 
After discussing my experience with a few folks who all replied RUN LIKE FUCK, I messaged the seller my concerns, he said alright and that was that. Few weeks later I bought my S3 Jaguar. 

Looking back I've no idea what I wanted with an XJ, I was having a bit of a premature midlife crisis as my ex had just left me. 

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Though not in keeping with the thread title, this is in keeping (of sorts) to the recent posts.

I went to look at a Mondeo in Chester. Just for context, Wifey was between cars and needed to get to work in the short term.

This Mondeo was 96k miles, hard-worn. The family seemed nice, they had three kids, one severely autistic. Things were broken inside, or just worn out thanks to kids etc.

No service history, guy said he did the servicing himself. Ok, that's fine. Oil? Was at the very bottom of the dipstick. Thick black. Engine sounds a bit rattly.

Rear wheel sounds rough.

In balance, we needed a cheap set of wheels yesterday and could find f**kall else for miles and miles.

Said yes we'll have it and the seller sounded astonished; "really?".

Turns out it's actually a decent car! Now it's my daily. It owes us nothing really, so my time from here on is bonus.

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I remember when my first blue Mondeo ST had been written off I was after another Mondeo to replace it. Wasn’t bothered about trim level but I wanted the 2.2 TDCi engine. I was running around in the Mercury at the time so it was costing me a fortune in petrol. I went down to Birmingham to look at a black ghia 2.2 Mondeo estate at a dealer for about 1500 quid. I didn’t even get the keys for it. 2 flat tyres, not a straight panel on it, exhaust hanging down, bits of interior missing/broken/raped. One of the “salesmen” an Asian lad came over with the keys I said “no thanks I’ve seen enough” and he replied with “I can change them tyres bro innit”. “Nahh that’s the least of its worries” and left empty handed. What a nail. We then floated up to Stockport to look at a silver titanium 2.2 estate with nearer 200k up it. Looked like it had done 25k it was that clean and tidy. It was in limp mode though and it smoked abit. I payed a deposit, they fixed it (probably didn’t) and I went back for it the following weekend. It shit an injector out but got that fixed relatively easily. 

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Went to see an MK1 Audi A6, photos looked really good, price was right for a decent example but when I got there it was boxed in the back corner of the yard, all four tyres were flat, battery wasn’t in the car, the seatbelts had all gone mouldy and it was filthy. I’d travelled a fair way, so I was a total nob and got him to inflate the tyres, find a battery, get it started (eventually) and clear a path out of the yard before telling him I didn’t want it. Figured he’d wasted my time, only seemed fair to return the favour. 

Went and saw a T25 van where the rear suspension mount was cracked right through, he got proper shitty when I told him I didn’t even want to test drive it. Claimed it won’t make any difference to the van....

That said I’ve probably not walked away often enough, most of the time by the time I’m there with the cash it’s coming home with me, however crap it is in the flesh!! 

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When I was looking for a base van to convert into a small camper I found a decent looking old pug expert around 40 minutes from me. I phoned the seller but could hardly make out a word he was saying as it sounded mostly Klingon. I couldn't even understand the postcode he was giving me and had to do a bit of sleuthing to actually find the thing. That should have been a red flag.

When I turned up the first thing I noticed was a massive dent in the rear side panel.. the only panel that hadn't been photographed. This makes me batshit when I've travelled a distance, but nonetheless I made the mistake of trying to open the side door. Nope. Checked it was unlocked.. yep. Cue the seller mumbling the usual pish of "that's never happened before".

Tried the back door and the handle just ripped off in my hand. Then went round to the driver's door and that handle just ripped off as well. Juggling two door handles I tried the other side door, which opened.. hurrah! But then fell off its rails and plonked at an angle into the grass.

Calmly I handed him back both door handles and walked away vowing never to deal with crap star trek characters again.

I hate buying vans.

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I've just remembered looking at a jaguar X type 2.5 petrol in Birmingham.

Car was clean and tidy, no rust, folding seats, looked like a goer.

Until all the electrics went dead in the test drive. We had to abandon to car and walk back.

It was a trade seller, he was apologetic, and looked surprised.

Needless to say the proverbial bargepole was employed.

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I was looking for a diesel estate a few years back. I found an older Octavia estate advertised and rang the chap. He told me the village where it was located but he did not give me the exact address. This was setting off some alarm bells but I supposed it was because the property was difficult to find.

He pulled up and asked me to follow him. We drove up the road and turned off up a side road. Now, I would not say it was a gypsy encampment but it did feel a bit gypsy. There was a prefab building and lots of land with various items scattered about. The car looked presentable and it drove well, up and down the lane. The only minor issue was that none of the guages on the dashboard worked. The seller had neglected to mention this and he stated that it would not take too much to fix. I knew then that I did not want it. Took me another half an hour to get away as I felt awkward saying no as he was convinved I would be buying it.

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1 hour ago, colc said:

Boot on other foot time......sold this to an old bloke about 20 miles from me.............drove it there without any problems, and he seemed delighted with it. 7 MONTHS later, rings me demanding his money back because a core plug had failed.........

Yeah I had someone try that, mate's brother turned up with his dad to look at a cheap MK1 Fiesta I wanted to get rid of, did the deal and off they went. Several weeks later they want a refund when the engine granaded, felt bad until I found out the young lad had been doing reverse doughnuts in a field at the time.

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2 hours ago, stripped fred said:

I was looking for a diesel estate a few years back. I found an older Octavia estate advertised and rang the chap. He told me the village where it was located but he did not give me the exact address. This was setting off some alarm bells but I supposed it was because the property was difficult to find.

He pulled up and asked me to follow him. We drove up the road and turned off up a side road. Now, I would not say it was a gypsy encampment but it did feel a bit gypsy. There was a prefab building and lots of land with various items scattered about. The car looked presentable and it drove well, up and down the lane. The only minor issue was that none of the guages on the dashboard worked. The seller had neglected to mention this and he stated that it would not take too much to fix. I knew then that I did not want it. Took me another half an hour to get away as I felt awkward saying no as he was convinved I would be buying it.

If only saying “give me a ring when you’ve sorted it then” was as easy in real life as it should be. 
Can’t recall any instances of me walking away, mainly due to most purchases being ebay wins that weren’t hiding too much, cars I’d already fallen for before seeing and a bit of good luck. I don’t tend to bother with traders though, browsing for cars is best done from the comfort of one’s armchair or toilet

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2 hours ago, colc said:

Boot on other foot time......sold this to an old bloke about 20 miles from me.............drove it there without any problems, and he seemed delighted with it. 7 MONTHS later, rings me demanding his money back because a core plug had failed.........

F05D3029-0E13-4187-9B20-51C59A0A0BD1.thumb.jpeg.16bfc31b6e69011c7d2eb55be9999be5.jpeg

This is the problem, especially on an old car, someone spends a £1000 and expects complimentary piss flaps, 3 years free servicing, a Christmas Card every year, 60,000 mile no quibble warranty and a bunch of flowers on the back seat. 

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I once went to look at a Hillman Imp.

The blokes mum let me look at it as he was out. Told me how he'd restored it all.

Car was an utter rot box  so i didn't bother with it, but the thing that always sticks in my mind was the pale blue cotton blanket  that was the replacement headlining... I noticed it as it was badly secured & sagging down onto my head when I got in.

I don't think it was to original spec'  somehow..😂

 

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I went to look at a Spitfire, described as running and MoT’d (pre online checker). It was cheap, so I wasn’t expecting much.

Just before I left the owner rang me to say it had burst a flexi so if I did like it, I wouldn’t be able to drive it home.

Fair enough, but I went to see it anyway. 

When I go there, imagine my surprise when he pulled the cover off it to reveal that it had NO DOORS.

I was so dumbstruck I didn’t ask him why this wasn’t as much of a dealbreaker to driving home as the failed flexi.

I found the same car at the scrappy 6 months later.

 

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5 hours ago, colc said:

Boot on other foot time......sold this to an old bloke about 20 miles from me.............drove it there without any problems, and he seemed delighted with it. 7 MONTHS later, rings me demanding his money back because a core plug had failed.........

F05D3029-0E13-4187-9B20-51C59A0A0BD1.thumb.jpeg.16bfc31b6e69011c7d2eb55be9999be5.jpeg

Don't leave us hanging..... 

So you said? 

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6 hours ago, colc said:

Boot on other foot time......sold this to an old bloke about 20 miles from me.............drove it there without any problems, and he seemed delighted with it. 7 MONTHS later, rings me demanding his money back because a core plug had failed.........

F05D3029-0E13-4187-9B20-51C59A0A0BD1.thumb.jpeg.16bfc31b6e69011c7d2eb55be9999be5.jpeg

That old bloke was taking an absolute liberty, especially after the time that had passed.  There’s so much to like here with the two tone paint job, custom rear lights and power glide badging, I bet the old girl was a right hoot to smoke about!

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Went to look at a Mk1 Sierra 1.6 3 door in about 2004/5. Arrived early and the guy was warming it up, the shell was rot free but I had my suspicions the engine was hiding something so sacked it off. The galling thing was that it was something like £4-500. The shell would be worth some crazy money now. 

Again years ago had a look at a Polo GT in a pub car park, was a tidy thing but the colossal fucking blow by coming from the filler suggested it was on its last legs. When you think back all this stuff was minor really, on those old Sierras any fool could chuck a scrapyard engine in one over a weekend, not the ordeal it would be on a newer car. 

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I went to see a Mk1 MX5 in Hinckley, I knew it was cat D but that didn’t worry me, what I didn’t know was that it had been caught in a massive hail storm and looked like father Ted’s Rover. It was £350 when £400 got you a scruffy but ok one with MoT.Guy wouldn’t budge on price and was amazed I didn’t but it. I would have smoked round in it for £250.

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Out of 50+ car purchases, I’ve only ever walked away from possibly 3 that I can remember. 
 

First one was very straight forward, after driving £150 cars for the first 4-5 years of driving, I landed a job with an alright salary for my age so took out a 3k loan and set about finding myself a Mk5 Astra. Found a nice blue 1.7 CDTI 3dr at a dealer in Bury st. Ed’s. Drove the 1hr there after being assured it was spot on.. started it up and the turbo literally sounded like a Police siren.. Got the usual “well we can knock a couple of hundred off for that, pretty simple job if you’re into cars” - I naturally walked away. Picked up a 1.9 CDTI 150 Vectra C the same day and had no regrets. 
 

Apart from that I think I’ve bought every car since up until this summer when I was hunting for another Discovery 2...

Had been hunting on FB marketplace and saw a W reg with a very basic “p/ex sold as seen” advert being sold by someone from the local travelling community (no issue with that side of things but the lack of description put me off) 

Fast forward a few days, a nice looking blue W reg appears being sold by a chap I’d say 60 odd, “same owner since 2012, recent clutch/flywheel, 5 months MOT” etc which sounded ideal. Arranged to view it after work, couldn’t wait. 
 

Drove to the house, Disco looks tidy, no massive rust issues, it’s completely original even tape player etc. Chap comes out, says I can look over it and go for a drive but he’ll take my keys and go in for a shower (thought that was very odd in itself but my car hasn’t since been stolen so I’m guessing he wasn’t cloning the key!) 

I start the truck up, sounds sweet. Go for a drive and it crunches into third gear, apart from that it wasn’t terrible. Pull back up on the drive and turn the engine off.. really loud DMF rattle.. clearly not had a clutch/DMF as the ad said. 

Matey comes out, I ask him a few questions about him owning it etc.. said yeah the last person had owned it since 2012 then part ex’d it a week back to his friend who he bought it off as he does a bit of part time trading with cars his friend can’t sell due to age etc... penny then drops that it’s the same sodding truck I’d seen online. Anyway, I was pissed off about the advert implying he’d owned it, there was no proof of clutch and when asked he just said he’d been told it’d been done - rubbish. I was about to low ball him an insulting offer that I knew I could make money on even if i broke it for spares but I glanced at the coolant bottle.. nothing left in it and what had been in there had pissed out of the overflow. 
 

I made my excuses, told him I was keen but clearly a coolant issue. He says he’ll get some coolant, run it up for an hour then text me to let me know. I never hear again but it was back on Facebook 2 days later with suspected HGF. 
 

Next one really pissed me off. After the above, I thought sod it I’ll try and find an enthusiast owned one - I run an Instagram page called “TD5Life” which has over 2500 followers so I put a post up with my requirements and get a reply offering me a 2004 top spec with electric everything, fresh service etc and multiple reassurances of no rust. Nice chap. Agree £2300, I insure it. Morning of collection he sends me freshly washed photos of it - looks fantastic but the driveway is COVERED in patches.. I confront him and he assures me it’s his 2013 company Hilux.. I know it’s bullshit but I convince myself it’ll be fine.

mrs drives me 1.5hrs to Lincoln, I look under it, the auto box is absolutely drenched in oil, the steering box is soaked, sump is leaking, nothing is dry. 
 

chassis is crusty, open the bonnet to check the inner wings and I pushed my whole hand straight through. He instantly shuts the bonnet and says OK give me £1600... a £700 discount without me asking anything. I wasn’t buying that truck. Took me ages to make my excuses and him coming down to £1400 and reassuring me he’s a fabricator and would patch the inner wing no probs.

we leave and within 10 mins I get an Instagram message offering £50 fuel if I come back the next weekend to buy it once he’s welded it. I’ve never known anyone so desperate to sell a car. Dodgy fuck.

 

I’m very much of the opinion that the seller is just as important as the vehicle itself. I like FB for buying as you can do your due dil checks by stalking their profile - I like to think I’m a decent judge of character and touch wood I think I’ve dodged quite a few bullets through having a nosey but also gotten hold of a few absolute gems too. 

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In 1990, I was looking for a hot hatch. Budget was £2k. I'd seen a few mk1 fiesta XR2s but not impressed. And a couple of metro turdos, but didn't like the sellers.

Finally I saw an overpriced mg metro turdo in Tipton. For £2500. In a 4 week old auto trader.  I phoned up on the off chance.  Went to look. Had a drive in the rain.  Offered £1500. Walked away. 

He phones me up a week later and asks me if I'd buy it for £2k ? 

Eventually bought it for £1800.

Sold it a year later for £1750. 

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10 hours ago, Tamworthbay said:

I went to see a Mk1 MX5 in Hinckley, I knew it was cat D but that didn’t worry me, what I didn’t know was that it had been caught in a massive hail storm and looked like father Ted’s Rover. It was £350 when £400 got you a scruffy but ok one with MoT.Guy wouldn’t budge on price and was amazed I didn’t but it. I would have smoked round in it for £250.

I was working in Hinckley on that day. I remember standing at the office window with my colleagues and watching as golf ball sized hailstones rained down. Everyone's car in Hinckley and surrounding areas had the marks to show for it. I had a 2001 Audi A4 and it had marks on it if you looked closely. Some cars were more affected than others, i.e. French.

The insurance industry took a huge hit that day. Not just cars, many buildings, conservatories and greenhouses were trashed.

If you walk around Hinckley now you can still spot those cars that were there on the day.

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Went to buy a herald with my brother a few years ago, the guy never told us it didn't actually run. not just needing a bump or new battery, it literally just didn't run. Went home with a pocket full of cash. 

When I was looking for a cheap smoker a couple of years ago i walked from about 4 or 5, I don't expect much for 4-500 quid but these were only fit for scrap. One back street garage had a fucked 206 diesel that had just come from the auction house. I was desperate to buy as i had no wheels thankfully they couldn't take a bank transfer, dodged a right scrapper. 

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I went view a Bini convertible at a bomb site dealer. 

Described as ‘very good condition and with FSH’

- there was a scrape through to the primer along the length of the drivers door

- the door bins were full of the PO’s contents

- when I fired it up the screen told me a service was overdue...by 22k

- the FSH was an invoice for a couple of tyres, from years ago and an RAC breakdown report for something like radiator failure

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Walked from an Iveco beavertail, bed was held on with four coachbolts, with box section pieces beside each one acting as spacers.  Had gone a fair distance to look at it, so wasn't in the best humour about this bodgery... Told him I'd need to see how it looked with a load on, and drove the Outback up on to it... The back lights were millimetres from the road, and God knows what would have happened at the first corner, absolute garbage. 

Citroen Relay beavertail, brand new bed on the back, full mot, and holes you could put your hand through in both inner wings... just why?

Lastly, quite fancied a spares donor for the Surf, that came up locally... was it the almost complete lack of any useful parts being left that put me off?  No.  The fact that I (wouldn't take five minutes....) would have to move two non-running recovery trucks out of the way to get to it?  No.  The fact that it was ankle deep in mud and surrounded by a million dog shits?  Yep, that'll do it.  

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