Missing our Spider
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
We bought our similar age 159 from them. On arrival it seems a bit 'billy back lot' - we expected a bit of a showroom or something, but the cars are outside, and there are a small couple of offices and a workshop. Once inside the office it is quite calm, and you know you are in the presence of people who know Alfa's (and what they can sell them for).
Overall it was an easy experience, they are matter of fact, not smarmy and were open to a tiny bit of negotiation on things like xenon HIDs/ipod conections.
We would go there again - but hoping we don't have to for a few years as the tbi SW is peachy at the moment.
They put on new Accelera tyres on the front between us looking at it one week and going to collect the following week. They never mentioned it, I just know it had Conti 3's all round when we first looked. Having new tyres seemed a better option at the time than asking what happened to the Contis which probably had 6 months left in them.
You'll doubtless be looking out for worn tyres (inner edge of fronts in particular), if they are good tyres and you are buying the car it's be worth telling them not to change them! Alternatively you can push them to change them if the tyres are er, tired.
I wouldn't bother with the Autoglym lifeshine they'll offer, the cost is better spent on a proper car detailer giving your car a proper going over.
(We did have Lifeshine, nothing wrong with it (although the dirt doesn't 'just drop off'!) and it has prompted me to keep ours clean with good hand wash most weeks, but in hindsight I'd have saved the cost (which we used as part of the negotiation).
The test drive they offered was a 5-10 min spin around the nearby main and side roads, no chance to open it up or cruise. If you want to do that I'd make sure they know in advance and you can go on a weekday rather then weekend when they seem pretty busy.
A lot of people say they are 'expensive' but if they have the car you want and you intend to keep it for a few years, denying yourself a purchase for the sake of £500-£750 may be not be the best idea. That's what we thought anyway!! I've not seen many (any?) people posting that they got a bad car from them, although as with any dealer issues about price and attitude have come up.
We had an issue with the radio on the day we picked it up and the boss man (Paul) sorted it all for us there and then on a Saturday afternoon. Further contact regarding minor issues (mainly DVLA related) were handled eficiently and honestly.
Having bought 2 new Alfas from main dealers in the past, (and one privately), I'd easily put Veloces above the main dealers in terms of honesty and after sales attitude.
As for the car...I'd advise cambelt/water pump at 4 years, service at 42k.
Others here will go through DPF and EGR issues.
The rusty sub frame is likely to bite a few of us in the bum in time, I'd be surprised of the one you are looking at will show much rust, but if you are worried get them to put it up on the ramps (although undertray hides most of the subframe and they'll probably balk at taking that off!).
Hope that's of some help.