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(Post Link) post #1 of 31 Old 27-08-13 Thread Starter
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Main dealer, Trader or Private when buying an Alfa?

Guys,
I'm in the market for a replacement Alfa for my 156 BUT can't decide where to buy from.
A main dealer will obviously be thousands more but will have full dealer warranty.
A trader will have bought the car at auction and put a hefty mark up onto it with a bit of warranty and then the other option is buying privately where you could be buying a whole bag of trouble.
Any thoughts?
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Private sellers always seem to want way more than cars are worth (possibly because half the time they owe way more on it than it's worth), and your comebacks are limited. However, main dealers are flogging on stuff they've taken in part-ex at rock bottom with a warranty they'll try to wriggle out of. Non-franchised dealers are all crooks selling clones and ringers. (Allegedly) The world is full of people who have been stiched up by main dealers, non-franchised dealers and private sellers.

I approach car buying from the point of view of deciding what I want, then looking who has one for sale and what they want for it. Find the right car at the right money, do your hpi check etc, get someone mechanically minded to look over it for you if you aren't. If it stacks up, don't worry too much about who is doing the selling. Though it doesn't do any harm to ask around about a dealer's reputation.
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Oh no! You are not abandoning your galactic mileage 156 are you? We are all looking on expectantly to see if if makes 300 000 miles and becomes a legend. Hopefully you are not getting rid and just retiring her to a less frenetic pace?
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Oh no! You are not abandoning your galactic mileage 156 are you? We are all looking on expectantly to see if if makes 300 000 miles and becomes a legend. Hopefully you are not getting rid and just retiring her to a less frenetic pace?
Hi Junior,

Don't worry, it WILL make 300,000 miles.

It's just last year I spent £7000 on fuel and think it's about time I came into the real world and moved over to the dark side and bought a.................















.................diesel!
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Don't worry about where you buy it from just concentrate on the car and the individual selling it. When enquiring on the phone I often don't get past the "would I buy a used car from this man".. Also, I'm never impressed by a huge stack of receipts called "service history". Service history is just that, a reliable car with a properly stamped up book. The reciepts to me are repair bills for something that keeps giving problems.
Remember that cars are always sold for a reason. Trade ins are often lemons that owners dare not or can't sell themselves. The dealers or traders just put them on the lot under the protective(for them) umbrella of a warranty that you pay for. Be wary of anyone that drops the asking price too readily to get rid.
There is no hard and fast rule to go by is the answer to your question. If you want a warranty you can buy your own. Often not worth the paper they are written but it gives peace of mind to some.
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Also, I'm never impressed by a huge stack of receipts called "service history". Service history is just that, a reliable car with a properly stamped up book. The reciepts to me are repair bills for something that keeps giving problems.
Personally I'd value reciepts over a service book as harder to fake receipts then fake stamps in a book, receipts can show non-servicable items that have been replaced so know when/if they need doing again (suspension, maf, water-pump).

Service history just shows when the oil, filters were changed and cambelt too but not quality of oil or what was done alone with the belt.

With the new longer service interval Alfas I would be impressed to see a receipt for an interim oil change.
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Personally I'd value reciepts over a service book as harder to fake receipts then fake stamps in a book, receipts can show non-servicable items that have been replaced so know when/if they need doing again (suspension, maf, water-pump).

Service history just shows when the oil, filters were changed and cambelt too but not quality of oil or what was done alone with the belt.

With the new longer service interval Alfas I would be impressed to see a receipt for an interim oil change.
I know I go against the general flow of opinion on this but to me every receipt I see represents money and a day off the road. I don't want a car that's been a garage queen all it's life. I agree on the interim oil change but not the obsessive every 6k like some get up to. As it happens none our three cars ever get to the interval so get done yearly. The oil comes out of the GTV as clean as it goes in now.
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Originally Posted by knievel77 View Post
hi junior,

don't worry, it will make 300,000 miles.

It's just last year i spent £7000 on fuel and think it's about time i came into the real world and moved over to the dark side and bought a.................















.................diesel!
lpg???
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Originally Posted by KNIEVEL77 View Post
Hi Junior,

Don't worry, it WILL make 300,000 miles.

It's just last year I spent £7000 on fuel and think it's about time I came into the real world and moved over to the dark side and bought a.................


.................diesel!
Do your sums carefully is all I will say. If you are doing high miles there are lots of expensive things that can go wrong to wipe out your savings on fuel. Not that many diesel drivers ever admit to it mind.
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I have to say, I stamped service book to me carries some weight, but not as much as real receipts that tell you what has been done.(regular oil changes etc).
You can look at them and then say "well that won't need doing for a while" etc.
Before I even look at the car itself, I always ask to see every relevant piece of paper pertaining to the car and go through them thoroughly.
You need to do your own evaluation of everything and then weigh it up against the price asked and ask yourself..."am I happy with the paperwork and the price" and if so start the negotiations. If you have any doubt, walk away. Dealers, Indies, Private, it matters not as long as it suits what you have evaluated.
P.S any car "dealer" be they up or down mkt. can get a stamp in a book. They all mix together at auctions, intertrade and help each other out.
 
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I have to say, I stamped service book to me carries some weight, but not as much as real receipts that tell you what has been done.(regular oil changes etc).
You can look at them and then say "well that won't need doing for a while" etc.
Before I even look at the car itself, I always ask to see every relevant piece of paper pertaining to the car and go through them thoroughly.
You need to do your own evaluation of everything and then weigh it up against the price asked and ask yourself..."am I happy with the paperwork and the price" and if so start the negotiations. If you have any doubt, walk away. Dealers, Indies, Private, it matters not as long as it suits what you have evaluated.
P.S any car "dealer" be they up or down mkt. can get a stamp in a book. They all mix together at auctions, intertrade and help each other out.
I can totally see where you are coming from on this. But it's not the way I think. What would you do if you went to look at a car that's done 75k , with a fully stamped book, been totally reliable all it's life and still shows no faults. Walk away? Would a car that's had a brake re con, suspension re built, head gasket changed and new clutch at 75k seem a better buy? I would be asking why is it being sold after having all that money spent on it and suspect it might carry on being a money pit.
I buy the car I see on the day I'm not bothered if it had new discs and pads five years ago and has a receipt for a headlight bulb in 2004. Most of the stuff is just what it's called service history.
As I said I know I don't go with the flow.
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I can totally see where you are coming from on this. But it's not the way I think. What would you do if you went to look at a car that's done 75k , with a fully stamped book, been totally reliable all it's life and still shows no faults. Walk away? Would a car that's had a brake re con, suspension re built, head gasket changed and new clutch at 75k seem a better buy? I would be asking why is it being sold after having all that money spent on it and suspect it might carry on being a money pit.
I buy the car I see on the day I'm not bothered if it had new discs and pads five years ago and has a receipt for a headlight bulb in 2004. Most of the stuff is just what it's called service history.
As I said I know I don't go with the flow.
Both my spider and my V6 have had 000's thrown at em by others, and now I'm reaping the benefits of those who have given up and gone into bankruptcy. Once the wife has said "Thats it you're not spending anymore on that thing" is the time I make my move!
 
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Well rightly or wrongly I'm looking for a 159 at the minute but will only entertain ones with FARSH no matter who is selling them.
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A stamp in the service book is meaningless - my 156 was stamped by the dealer before I bought it as part of the deal. "Fully serviced" they promised - all they did was change the oil, they didn't even change the filter. Receipts will hopefully itemise all the spares/parts/whatever that they have actually used. Far more meaningful in my opinion.
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If I am looking at the right kind of cars then I look at them from forums as most people on there are enthusiasts they tend to care more about there pride and joy.

You can tell alot about the car by a blog or even what they post as there is a good chance there will be some kind of online history with it along with normally a few members know of the car.
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I always end up buying Alfa's from people on the forum.

My first 156 GTA, my 147 2 litre, my Cosmos blue 156 V6, my black 156 V6, my second 156 GTA, my 3rd 156 GTA, my green 2.4 JTD saloon, my black 1.9 jtd 16v facelift, my blue 1.9 jtd 8v facelift Sportwagon, my GT 3.2, both my GTV V6s, I'm sure there's more but I can't remember! All have been great cars and none of them have really caused me anything more than a little unexpected work.
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Well...
A stamped Alfa book with 32300 on the clock,gets you a 2009 s brera in red, with a totally genuine reason for sale..

John.
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(Post Link) post #18 of 31 Old 28-08-13 Thread Starter
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Nice one John, now if it had been a 159 TI Sportwagon.........
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Well I spoke to 4 'traders' today about their 159s and they just gave me flannel...........

'immaculate but has got a couple of shopping trolley dents' so it's not immaculate then!

'immaculate but the wheels need refurbishing' so it's not immaculate then!

'immaculate but the bonnet has stone chips' so it's not immaculate then!

'Full service history but the cambelt needs doing' so it doesn't have full service history then!

I could go on!!!!!!
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'Full service history but the cambelt needs doing' so it doesn't have full service history then!
This is a good thing, you could buy it and get it done. In my opinion its better than buying one with history of having a belt done and maybe the garage didn't change the waterpump or the idler, or did it with tippex instead of the timing tools, or used no-name parts from ebay, and in say 15k miles time it falls off and leaves you with a 1K bill. Being due a timing belt means you can easy knock £250 off the ticket price.
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This is a good thing, you could buy it and get it done. In my opinion its better than buying one with history of having a belt done and maybe the garage didn't change the waterpump or the idler, or did it with tippex instead of the timing tools, or used no-name parts from ebay, and in say 15k miles time it falls off and leaves you with a 1K bill. Being due a timing belt means you can easy knock £250 off the ticket price.
You are missing my point...............it did NOT have full service history!!!!!
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The official log book for a 1.9jtdm states that a cambelt is due when its 4-5 yrs old or 90000 miles which ever comes sooner. But most get it changed at 72000 miles or 4 yrs. I agree with pud237 knock the cambelt off the price and get changed by a good local indie then you can be sure its been done properly.
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My GTV had +cam belt and water pump written in the book against a service at 66k. It hadn't been done. The car dealer that I bought it off had obviously written it himself and was too quick to tell me when it had been done without me asking.

Is there such a thing as an immaculate used car, one with no scratches or stone chips and blemish free? No, it's never going to happen but it's a word that has come to be used to describe better than average cars. If a dealer said it's not immaculate to potential buyers he would never sell it. Cars need to be looked at, of course the seller is going to be full of BS, it's the way it is.
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Isn't "full service history" just a list of replacement parts/fluids its (supposedly) had, not a list of things it hasn't had? If it hasn't had a belt change but all the replacement parts the vehicle has had in its life have been noted in the history, then it has a full history of its previous servicing. If you have no service records, then you have no service history. If you have some recorded but not others, you have a partial service history.

If its due a cambelt then its due a cambelt but you still have a full record of the work the car has previously had, to me that is full service history. Purely as a phrase in an advert "full service history", I see it as meaningless without looking through the invoices and seeing what is actually itemised. And even then, its only words on a piece of paper and doesn't mean the parts actually made it onto the car, or have since been removed/replaced or whatever.
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An excellent post Pud. The phrase "it has a full history of its previous servicing." sums it up perfectly.
I still say the most important thing is to check the car itself for it's current condition. See if you can find out why the owner is selling it or traded in. You see so many threads on here where owners have poured hundreds of pounds into curing a fault without success and the thread ends with them saying they are going to trade in. Those cars will have lots of receipts for parts and work done. On the other hand a car that has never given any problems in it's life and not failed an MOT will have no repair history other than wear and tear items. Which do you choose?
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