Buying a used car

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piwacket
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Buying a used car

Post by piwacket »

We’ve decided to change car and want a Saloon! Used car two or three years old. Not a hatchback, and not a featureless homogeneous piece with 4 wheels - the list of manufacturers seems extremely limited. Two or three names eg.Volvo, Mercedes and possibly Ford.

So for some days we’ve been surfing t’internet for such from a local dealer - that’s the first problem. Plenty of sites to look at, with cars in Dundee to Exeter and many places in between, but not in Reading or even close? We don’t want black but we do want Manual with Petrol fuel... that is the biggest problem of all!

We were both under the impression that Diesel was now distinctly frowned upon - is that wrong?
Neither of us like Automatic transmission - is there something wrong with that preference?

... and where have all the independent car sales businesses gone from Reading? :?
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by MickEdge »

Secondhand advice, but a couple we know just bought through CarGiant and said they were happy, even though they had to drive some way to the showroom. Apparently you can pick three cars from the website then go and test drive.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Mayfield »

Can't help with specific suggestions however we like Citroens so went to the local main dealer to see what they had second hand, after all they often do PX so may well 'know' a cars history....as it happened we got a very good deal on a new car...last time, but before that had a decent second hand buy at a main dealer near Ringwood.

I'm not suggesting you have a Citroen, I suspect they may not be your cuppa, but I do think it's worth a trip to a main dealer and registering interest in a particular model or even just talking about potential models you may like...
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by cnb »

piwacket wrote: 02 Sep 2018 21:48 We’ve decided to change car and want a Saloon! Used car two or three years old. Not a hatchback, and not a featureless homogeneous piece with 4 wheels - the list of manufacturers seems extremely limited. Two or three names eg.Volvo, Mercedes and possibly Ford.

So for some days we’ve been surfing t’internet for such from a local dealer - that’s the first problem. Plenty of sites to look at, with cars in Dundee to Exeter and many places in between, but not in Reading or even close? We don’t want black but we do want Manual with Petrol fuel... that is the biggest problem of all!

We were both under the impression that Diesel was now distinctly frowned upon - is that wrong?
Neither of us like Automatic transmission - is there something wrong with that preference?

... and where have all the independent car sales businesses gone from Reading? :?

You're trying to find something that's in very short supply. I'm not surprised that you're struggling.

Problem 1) You want a saloon. Saloon cars, other than very big luxurious ones, have been very unpopular for many years, to the point that many manufacturers don't sell them in the UK at all any more. If your preference is just about appearance, there are some hatchbacks that are styled to look like a saloon (Skoda's Octavia and Superb are examples I can immediately think of). If you actually want a separate boot, then your choices are pretty limited. There are other models out there, but very few will have been sold in manual petrol guise.

Problem 2) You want a petrol engine. Today, everyone else wants one too, which is pushing up the prices of the small number of used examples. At the time any 2-3 year-old car was made, the 'Dieselgate' scandal hadn't happened and the vast majority of cars - especially saloons, which tend to be driven by high-mileage drivers - were diesels. Insisting on a petrol will vastly reduce the choice and probably cost you more.

Problem 3) You want a manual. As noted above, saloon buyers tend to drive high mileages, and high mileage drivers tend to prefer automatic gearboxes. Part of this is for comfort, and part is because high mileage drivers are mostly company car drivers. In the last few years automatic gearboxes have become so good that they have lower fuel consumption and therefore lower CO2 emissions than a manual, and therefore have less company car tax applied. If your preference is based on experience of automatic gearboxes of the past, it might be worth giving a modern one a try - they've got vastly better over the last decade or so. The newest ones are 9-speed and extremely smooth - you can pretty much forget about gears altogether.

Problem 4) You want a car of the 'wrong' age. Most cars are bought on three-year leases from new, so unless you want a 'nearly new' car, you'll get the best selection if you look for cars just over three years old. There are very few 2-year-old cars on the market.
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Re: Buying a used car

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Thanks Mayfield and MickE. We’re not interested in a new car - nearly new maybe, ex-demo even better, but the depreciation factor and VAT in the first year is a no-no. We’d rather buy locally than have to travel to an unknown dealer :)

cnb - thankyou for a very succinct response :)
You’ve more-or-less confirmed what we ‘suspected’ that so many cars are now on Lease schemes, that most of what we have seen are at the end of that period. The preponderance of Diesel indicates what we thought, that we’re not alone in wanting Petrol.

Re. Automatic transmission - well you may we’ll be right and we would see a difference in a more Modern car ... and we’ll look at those Skoda models too :)
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by lizwing »

A bit out of your way Pi but we bought two or three cars from here and found them very good to deal with.
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Re: Buying a used car

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lizwing wrote: 02 Sep 2018 23:16 A bit out of your way Pi but we bought two or three cars from here and found them very good to deal with.
https://www.google.co.uk/search?source= ... e00Nr9IKbM
Thanks Liz, not out of our way really, by comparison with some we’ve looked at! And yes I know them, but their cars (I’ve just looked) tend to be much older than we’d want - newest I think was 2011. But thanks for the thought :)
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Re: Buying a used car

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I suppose it just depends what they get in.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Pooneil »

piwacket wrote: 02 Sep 2018 22:57 Thanks Mayfield and MickE. We’re not interested in a new car - nearly new maybe, ex-demo even better, but the depreciation factor and VAT in the first year is a no-no. We’d rather buy locally than have to travel to an unknown dealer :)

cnb - thankyou for a very succinct response :)
You’ve more-or-less confirmed what we ‘suspected’ that so many cars are now on Lease schemes, that most of what we have seen are at the end of that period. The preponderance of Diesel indicates what we thought, that we’re not alone in wanting Petrol.

Re. Automatic transmission - well you may we’ll be right and we would see a difference in a more Modern car ... and we’ll look at those Skoda models too :)
cnb's response is excellent (IMHO) and I couldn't agree with him more. The market is indeed full of 3 year old ex-lease diesel automatics.
I can thoroughly recommend the Skoda Octavia - I'm on my 4th one in 18 years, and very possibly about to buy a 5th. The first 3 were all ex-demonstrators (the first about a year old with about 9,000 miles on it, from Basingstoke, the second and third each about six months old with 5 months on, from Yeovil and Newport respectively), the most recent one new. I don't like hatchbacks either, and whilst I mainly use it for commuting to work, once or twice a year I'll go off touring for 10 days to 2 weeks with 3 friends, so I needed something that could move 4 people in comfort with enough luggage for a fortnight for all of us in the boot. Not aproblem - the boot's huge. And I'm, 6'3" and far from from spindly, but the driving position is fine for me.

I've got decent fuel economy out of all my Octavias, and had minimal mechanical problems (and one of those was arguably my fault). Funny thing is, I was never inclined to buy a Skoda and looked at several other makes and models before I first bought (in 2000). And while I've always been impressed by them, I've always looked at other options each time I've changed (2002, 2007 and 2014) - but nothing's ever tempted me away.

The Superb is the larger model. Wasn't sporty enough for me, and probably not so widespread, but somebody I worked with had one for the last 4 years he was at work - drove up from the Welsh Borders a couple of times a week and worked in Cheltenham a couple of days a week, so he did some fair miles in it and was very happy with it.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Mayfield »

If you are interested in Fords then Platts of Marlow have a good reputation as far as I know.....

When we change this car we may look at a Skoda....my daughter was mentioning it the other day....
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Re: Buying a used car

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My parents highly rate Skodas, they both have one now they live in the countryside. They drive a Skoda Fabi and Octavia respectively. They got theirs new I think, and both are manual.

I can understand preferring a Manual, my parents do, though most of my friends in late 30s / 40s drive automatics through choice.

What I noticed when shopping last year is many people on Auto Trader etc are operating off their driveways / Or a patch of land, and not a traditional dealership. Due to costs / overheads I expect. This felt a bit odd, but I checked out reviews / companies house records etc to feel confident before purchasing
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

This is where I got my car from and if I change it, I’d probably go back. https://www.sascron.co.uk/showroom?BodyType=Saloon. Might be worth a run out for,you one day, as their stock changes quite often.

As previously posted, saloons tend to be long distance cars therefore many, particularly Mercedes, are automatic transmission, as is mine. I chose to have petrol, mostly because I don’t do the miles to make diesel efficient, and also because as we now know diesel is becoming Verboten.

Other than that, if I was to change marques, I could be tempted by a Kia. In my case, a sportage, which I know you’re not looking for, but Kia’s have long warranties/100,000 miles and lots of ‘toys’ that often come as extras.

My cousins son-in-law runs a garage just outside Marlow. I take my car there to be looked after. If you’re interested in a particular make/model, he might be able to find one coming up at auction for you. I don’t have his details to hand, but happy to find out and pm you with them.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by MickEdge »

I noticed no one has mentioned electric cars, yet. A friend advocates having one for local trips and then hiring for long ones. It all depends on what and how you use your car for, Pi.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by dave m »

A lot of people have been very happy with Donnington Cars
They are quite close to you?

Not sure if the age requirement fits with their stock
They don't seem to have a website
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Re: Buying a used car

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THC wrote: 03 Sep 2018 06:02I can understand preferring a Manual, my parents do, though most of my friends in late 30s / 40s drive automatics through choice.
My father moved to automatics in his mid/late forties, when his daily commute became north Kent to Victoria, which at whatever time of the normal working day you did it was going to invlove a fair amount of heavy urban traffic and constant changing gear. My brother has driven automatics for atleast 15 years not more, mainly because he originally did lots of miles and now I guess because he's used to them. I drive them occasionally - hire cars in the US mainly - and I don't find them too difficult to get used to, but I still prefer manuals. Just don't ask to me to say why as I'm not sure I could mount a conclusive argument other than "I prefer them" :-)
THC wrote: 03 Sep 2018 06:02What I noticed when shopping last year is many people on Auto Trader etc are operating off their driveways / Or a patch of land, and not a traditional dealership. Due to costs / overheads I expect. This felt a bit odd, but I checked out reviews / companies house records etc to feel confident before purchasing
As long as it's quite clear in all the paperwork that they're being sold by a dealer then that's OK. I know there was a thing a few years ago where some dealers were selling on some dodgier cars whilst presenting themselves as private traders, so that they could sidestep their obligations under the Consumer Rights Act (whereby the buyer has the right to reject a car if it's faulty). But if the paperwork makes clear it's being sold by a company, then they're probably just dodging business rates...
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Re: Buying a used car

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Pooneil wrote: 03 Sep 2018 08:59My father moved to automatics in his mid/late forties, when his daily commute became north Kent to Victoria, which at whatever time of the normal working day you did it was going to invlove a fair amount of heavy urban traffic and constant changing gear. My brother has driven automatics for atleast 15 years not more, mainly because he originally did lots of miles and now I guess because he's used to them. I drive them occasionally - hire cars in the US mainly - and I don't find them too difficult to get used to, but I still prefer manuals. Just don't ask to me to say why as I'm not sure I could mount a conclusive argument other than "I prefer them" :-)
The first time I drove an automatic was 3 years ago in the US. Got in the car at Denver airport and handed it back 4000 miles and 3 weeks later in Seattle. Took about 15 seconds to master and was such a smooth ride.

In 2016 I was switching between my then fiancées car in Cyprus, an automatic, and my own manual every week : weekend. The only confusion was the wipers / indicators being on different sides.

When it was time to replace my car last year I chose an automatic, chiefly so my wife could drive it as well. However by that point I wanted one myself as I was sold on my experience, and anecdotally I have less knee ache from constantly changing gear in urban traffic!
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Re: Buying a used car

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Thank you all for your comments and opinions.... interested to learn we’re not quite as ‘peculiar’ in our likes and dislikes as we had begun to feel we were :)

So, we’re off down to Skoda Cars this morning.... certainly the Octavia images look interesting. Yes Dave, Donnington Cars is on the list too, I’ve known them for years

I really appreciate all the posts :)
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Re: Buying a used car

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I was really impressed when I saw Donnington motors, they just didn’t have what I wanted in stock at the time
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Re: Buying a used car

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My son, who carefully researches things and is looking to replace his elderly Mazda, is very keen on Skodas. A VW at a cheaper price.
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Re: Buying a used car

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MickEdge wrote: 03 Sep 2018 10:19 My son, who carefully researches things and is looking to replace his elderly Mazda, is very keen on Skodas. A VW at a cheaper price.
:)) Mick, that seems a conflict of statements - VW : volkswagen/people’s car - should surely mean affordable?
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Re: Buying a used car

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When we’ve sorted Pi out, I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on electric vehicles, as I am wondering about buying a secondhand one, but the more I read the more I get confused. Secondhand ones are cheap, but you either risk a duff battery or expensive leasing costs. How far do they really go, especially in winter and how easy is it to get the charging sockets fitted. I read an article that said a Zoe bought a year ago has increased in value!
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Re: Buying a used car

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piwacket wrote: 03 Sep 2018 10:25 :)) Mick, that seems a conflict of statements - VW : volkswagen/people’s car - should surely mean affordable?
A nice point. Maybe for a German they are more affordable.
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Re: Buying a used car

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>>Other than that, if I was to change marques, I could be tempted by a Kia. In my case, a sportage, which I know you’re not looking for, but Kia’s have long warranties/100,000 miles and lots of ‘toys’ that often come as extras.<<

Glanced over at one of those parked, this morning and wondered about them....they look tempting ...
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by eddieed »

To add to the topic there is almost no chance of being able to buy a Manual Mercedes. Their manual gearboxes are poor so people tend to avoid them. Volvo sell very few Saloon cars - they are known for their estates.

You may want to add Audi to the mix, will be more saloons. BMW too will also have more Salons available. The problem with these is they are likely to be diesel.
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Re: Buying a used car

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The Alledged etc etc drives an Audi. Granted it’s a diesel but it’s a VERY harsh ride. He’s thinking of a Sportage next as well, or maybe a merc. That said, he’s toying with the idea of leasing rather than buying.
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Re: Buying a used car

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Thanks again everyone.
Eddie -interesting about the Merc gearbox. We have sort of looked at Audi - BMW not on the list :)

.... just briefly looked at images of the Kia Sportage - hmmm - not really a saloon :?

We’re just off on our wander round Reading ....
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Mayfield »

No, the Sportage isn't but maybe there are others, dealership in Emmer Green I believe...

One thing we like about our C4 is that it's a tad higher than some other cars and when you get out you are on the level, not getting up out of it....something to look out for maybe...
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Pooneil »

piwacket wrote: 03 Sep 2018 10:25
MickEdge wrote: 03 Sep 2018 10:19 My son, who carefully researches things and is looking to replace his elderly Mazda, is very keen on Skodas. A VW at a cheaper price.
:)) Mick, that seems a conflict of statements - VW : volkswagen/people’s car - should surely mean affordable?
Well, it's an old name and times change... ;-)
Simplistically the Volkswagen Audi Group do 3 "levels" of car - Audi is their premium brand, VW their main brand, and Skoda and Seat are their budget ranges. But the chassis are pretty much the same, and many of the parts are the same inside - as I have seen from numerous VWs owned by my brother's family and on the Audi he had for a while a couple of year back.

The one slight drawback with the Octavia is the roadnoise - clearly one place where Skoda have saved a few bob is skimping on the amount of sound insulation. You tend to get used to it, and I found "lining" the spare wheel well under the boot floor with an old bit of carpet was quite useful.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Road roar in the Audi S is horrible.
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Re: Buying a used car

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... currently sitting in the lounge at Merc and being well looked after whilst OH does a test drive :beg1:
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by OLDMAN »

Last few cars I’ve bought where started off through Auto-Trader

Use the selective search engine for what you are after, and select trade seller rather than private (unless you want to buy that way - I use trade to get a warranty)

You can list via cost / distance to travel or whatever
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Re: Buying a used car

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MickEdge wrote: 03 Sep 2018 10:30 When we’ve sorted Pi out, I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on electric vehicles, as I am wondering about buying a secondhand one, but the more I read the more I get confused. Secondhand ones are cheap, but you either risk a duff battery or expensive leasing costs. How far do they really go, especially in winter and how easy is it to get the charging sockets fitted. I read an article that said a Zoe bought a year ago has increased in value!
I've been driving a Nissan Leaf for 2 and a half years. I love it. However, you need to think carefully before you go for one. Some of this may be obvious, but it's worth stating.

- for my circumstances, I'd be wary of having it as my only car, but so long as you have a second car for longer journeys, it should be fine.
- make sure you are able to charge it at home. It cost me about £250 to get a Pod Point installed. It paid for itself within 3 to 4 months. I wouldn't want to rely on public charging points.
- if you have cheap off-peak electricity, you can set a timer on the car so that it charges up during the cheap hours and that makes a huge difference on the running cost. Not all areas operate their cheap power at the same time and you will probably have to call your power company to find out the exact times, it's not something they publicise that well - and not everyone will be on such a deal.
- some public charging points are free to use, some require you to pay a monthly subscription and some charge you per k/w. My employer has installed (free to use) charging points in some offices (well, in the car parks!).
- You'll get the best performance in Spring and Autumn. Fuel efficiency drops noticeably in Winter because you need heating (there's no engine to provide warmth) and lights. In Summer you have the air con on at least some of the time.
- I have noticed a slight drop in battery performance this year, but that could be due to the long hot summer.
- check out the cost of having new batteries installed - I think you get a 3 year warranty on batteries.
- I'd be wary of actually buying a second-hand one. Look into the cost of a PCP (personal contract purchase) which is cheaper than a lease and you can opt out if your circumstances change (with a lease you're tied to the full term). You can get second hand cars on PCP (my son has just done so).
- I've learnt the art of driving my Leaf efficiently and the cost of the electricity works out at around 1.6p per mile. My wife's diesel costs 11p per mile. So, although the cost of acquiring an electric car can be high, you make considerable savings, especially if you do high mileage.
- my Leaf does around 120 miles to a full charge. The latest model does around 160. There are rumours of a further model next year which may do as much as 300. I imagine that might be a bit pricey.
- it has an "eco mode" which reduces the amount of power used - fine for certain types of driving, but you do notice the lack of "poke." The amount of poke when accelerating (not in eco mode) is actually quite impressive but it does burn up the power. It's like driving an automatic except there are no gears.
- the space saved by not having a fuel tank is used for maximising battery space. So is the space saved by not having a spare tyre! Make sure you have a breakdown service in case of a flat.

In summary, an electric car won't suit everyone, but they are the future and they will get better. I've been really happy with mine and will get another one next year when my 3 year PCP is up.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Yola »

Was very much a Merc person for many years but the quality of service at the main dealer was so poor it was a contributory factor to me moving away from the brand, that and the fact they seemed to upgrade their vehicle designs every couple of years.

Good luck, I find cars are a very personal chose based on practicalities and also brand loyalty/desire - hope you find what you're looking for.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Melchett »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 03 Sep 2018 11:03 The Alledged etc etc drives an Audi. Granted it’s a diesel but it’s a VERY harsh ride. He’s thinking of a Sportage next as well, or maybe a merc. That said, he’s toying with the idea of leasing rather than buying.
I have a 2016 Sportage GT-Line, 1.6 Petrol. Goes surprising well for a biggish car. The one thing I would say about the GT-Line is it comes with bigger 19" alloys and with the roads around Reading being poor - the ride is quite harsh. If you opt for the base or medium spec models, these come with smaller alloys, so may be a better ride on the roads around here.

Other than that, it's great. Lots of toys, practical and drives well.
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Re: Buying a used car

Post by Melchett »

Yola wrote: 03 Sep 2018 13:10 Was very much a Merc person for many years but the quality of service at the main dealer was so poor it was a contributory factor to me moving away from the brand, that and the fact they seemed to upgrade their vehicle designs every couple of years.

Good luck, I find cars are a very personal chose based on practicalities and also brand loyalty/desire - hope you find what you're looking for.
I've noticed there is a Merc specialist on Portman Road now. Roughly opposite where Tesco's is. Might be worth checking them out if you're going back to the brand or anyone else on here is getting one.
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