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I know the general cut and thrust of the argument

but.......when it comes down to spending your own cash do you tend to go down the dealer route (easy part ex etc.) or do you go private (selling or buying)?

I'm interested to know how brave people are and whether or not they feel that the average tyre kicker is always best off going via a dealer or is it better to give a private sale a really good once over, maybe pay RAC to check and then buy a warranty anyway

over to you!?!?!?!
 

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Maybe cos we are tightarses, but we always buy and sell cars privately - best value for money.

Dunno about RAC, but I know AA inspeactions aren't that great, a few years ago my dad was buying a merc when I was at uni so he called the aa down. They hceked out a few things that I probably wouldn't have done, so + points there, but I remember thinking if they spent that mmuch time, there were a few things I would have checked if I was spending that long that they didn't bother with. If my memory serves me correctly, they don't really check conditition of engine or brakes!
 

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BigFoot said:
I always go down the dealer route, can't deal with the hassle of a private sale.

I know I am paying for my lazyness but I don't change cars much often.

Me too, plus the greater assurance/legal protection once you get above a certain level of expenditure which will differ for everyone, I guess.
 

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I buy and sell private - Recently bought my 166 via fleabay, and sold my 156 SW myself. I reckon that if I had gone via the dealer route it would have cost me around £5k more. Dealers don't give you a bargain, private punter quite often do as they often are desperate to get rid.

This was the easiest change for me in a while as 166 was paid via Paypal credit card transaction (Seller paid the fees) so I did not have to stump up the cash for a couple of months (and still paid no interest) which gave me plenty of time to sell the 156 which was really easy as a mate took it!

I enjoy a wee jaunt to buy a car and have done a 900 mile round trip in the past. Only 500 miles for the 166!
 

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I went private for my GTV and I don't think I would ever do it again after a repair bill of £3400 for a car that cost me £4900. I'm pretty sure any RAC or AA inspection wouldn't have spotted that the cylinder heads had been off 'recently' but at least with a garage they wouldn't have deliberately tried to hide major problems and if they did I'd have had some comeback.
 

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Dougie166 said:
I buy and sell private - Recently bought my 166 via fleabay, and sold my 156 SW myself. I reckon that if I had gone via the dealer route it would have cost me around £5k more. Dealers don't give you a bargain, private punter quite often do as they often are desperate to get rid.

This was the easiest change for me in a while as 166 was paid via Paypal credit card transaction (Seller paid the fees) so I did not have to stump up the cash for a couple of months (and still paid no interest) which gave me plenty of time to sell the 156 which was really easy as a mate took it!

I enjoy a wee jaunt to buy a car and have done a 900 mile round trip in the past. Only 500 miles for the 166!
hi dougie! fancy meeting you here:cool:

service history, service history, service history!

oh and private purchase best as I feel it is all in the spirit of getting a lot of car for less money than the uninitiated competition.

private sale too, as a proper alfa bod will appreciate the effort you've put into the vehicle. (or not :cry: )

try and talk to last but one owner if current owner has had vehicle less than 6 - 9 months say, more likely to be open about car and you should get a feel for an important period in the cars life.

always check things like doors/windows opening closing, all the little things used on a daily basis that cause major irritation (and expense) if not right. whatever you can think of, check it. when you do your 'visual' check whatever comes into view that you've not written down or thought about. open and close everything there is to open and close (manually and remotely)

well worth doing the homework, if the seller is genuine and has looked after the car they won't mind.

test drive on town, counry 'A' roads and motorways.

if you are not confident re the above, find a good independent specialist and organise for them to see the car whilst you are on your test drive.

Steve
 
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roundfood said:
but at least with a garage they wouldn't have deliberately tried to hide major problems and if they did I'd have had some comeback.
Oh yes they would got my first GTV from Car Crapt the rear sub frame was about to collapse £1500 that little mistake cost me :mad:

Fought in vain but the warranty wasn't worth the paper it was written on.

For Alfa's Main dealer every time
 

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Depends on the value and complexity of the car, I normally go private and 1) check known faults, 2) get a feel for the punter, 3) check history (service and owner) 4) take a good long time looking over it, 5) make sure I've got enough money put aside in case it goes wrong 6) Make them get a new MoT if less than 6 months remaining. Last 6 cars I've bought like this have been fine.
 

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I've bought one car privately, two from main dealers and I got my Alfa from an independent specialist.
 

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Depends on the value and complexity of the car, I normally go private and 1) check known faults, 2) get a feel for the punter, 3) check history (service and owner) 4) take a good long time looking over it, 5) make sure I've got enough money put aside in case it goes wrong 6) Make them get a new MoT if less than 6 months remaining. Last 6 cars I've bought like this have been fine.
 

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alfaromeo156jtd said:
hi dougie! fancy meeting you here:cool:
Hi Steve, good to hear from you. You are the second person to find me on here this week! Another Steve popped into a thread earlier in the week and asked if it was me who sold him the 164 Super back in 2002/3!
 

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always private
a/ if there is a problem the dealer is just as likely to rip you off - thats what they do for a living
b/ you can get cars alot cheaper

dont just go on the history of the car etc , i think its more about the owner - if you think he/she is legit then the car will be and in all cases whether you buy off a dealer or private, luck is involved
 

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If you are confident enough to give the dealers a torrid time, you can squeeze quite a bit out of them but you need patience and persistence and get copies of everything you agree with them. I managed to get quite a lot of after-sale work sorted out on my 2nd hand 166 at no extra cost but they were of course, reluctant. If you want a better deal and less hassle and you can live with the fact that used Alfas generally need a bit of TLC, then go private.
 

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One advantage I found with using a dealer, is that when buying a new car, on certain models, at certain times, dealers are not allowed to offer discounts. What they can do is artifically inflate the trade-in value on your old car. I saved more than £1000 this way recently.
 

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For me buying is all part of my experience with a car, the way I remember it. But, be clinical, research all know vices and weaknesses, research all expensive remedial works likely, then do the sums and work out the risk. Your insincts about a seller are important, private or dealer is really all the same. It is cost of purchase plus likely cost of remedial work equals decision.

I bought my twin spark 166 unloved off an auction house parking lot. It had a dry dipstick, it had a flat tyre, it stank of cigarettes, it had no petrol in the tank!! But having failed to sell for weeks at auction it was going cheap and I got it cheaper. The guy told me it had been driven into the auction room recently, I believed him, and at least it turned over on the starter motor - so, doing the sums showed that even if it had been run low on oil (it had a leak so I guessed the dipstick might not always have been dry) and needed a rebuild etc., it still was going to be cheaper than any other offer out there. But it was a risk, it worked, but it might not have, the important thing is to know the likely worst case and know if the money adds up. BTW my ts has screamed to 6000 rpm a hundred times a day for two years since, and when changing the timing belt the cams looked mint. :D :D
 
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