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Okey-dokey...I'm sure we all have a story or two to tell here, but what's the worst used car you have been to see? By that I mean it failed to match its description, or was just a laughable crock of shi5?

Mine is a Saab 900 Turbo (the 'proper' Saab one; not the GM/Vectra-based one) that my mate A wanted me to view with him. Like many of us, he'd had a hankering for the 900 hatch for sometime, and when he spotted a 900 for sale in AutoTrader, he asked me to come to look at it with him.

Things got off to a bad start the split second we arrived at the vendor's house. Expecting a 900 hatch, A was a bit aghast to see we had driven all this way to view what turned out to a frumpy 900 saloon.

From there on, it just got worse. The seller looked like - hmm, how can I put this? - a murderer. I was scared to have my back to him, for fear of a knife.

The car was no better. The front bumper was obviously new, the driver's wing was shiny replacement/resprayed/brand new, and the driver's side headlight was new. Opening the bonnet, showed a foot of crumple zone on the driver's side had been cut out (!), before the seller confirmed that the Saab was being sold 'on behalf of a friend' who had 'left the country' because of 'unpaid speeding fines' clocked up in the Saab. :eek:

You have never seen a Golf GTi move so fast out of Richmond.

What are your used car viewing horror stories?
 

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Not that the car was bad, but a horror story.

My parents went to view an MGB when I was a kid, and took me along. After the test drive, as I climbed out of the back, I knocked a latch on the striker plate on the door, which did something to the lock mechanism, and the seller then had to spend 30 minutes trying to free it - all the while acting like it didn't matter and all was fine so he didn't put off the prospective buyers.
 

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I went to view a 3 series Beemer at a "dealer" in East London a few years back. It was a fair bit cheaper then comparable ones, but I went in case it was a bargain.

Ad said it had done 30,000 miles and it was 5 years old. When I arrived it looked like it had been to the moon and back. Dull paint, saggy interior, full set of warning lights on the service display... :rolleyes: and the mileage was EXACTLY 30,000 miles... Clearly clocked.

Shameless dealer didn't even leave his office while I viewed it and didn't look up when I popped my head in to say "nope".

"dealers" like that are why Main Dealers exist and can charge those margins.
 

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I've only ever viewed 5 cars and ive bought 4 of them :lol: the worst 1 has to be the 1st 147 i went to look at. In the photos it looked nice in silver but when i got there it was on a farm so everywhere was filthy. There were a few cars parked/dumped between 2 buildings and all tight together so there was just enough room to get in/out of each 1.

1st thing i noticed was the chrome halfords type sticker on 1 of the front wings which simply said 'V6' :lol: maybe not but still, easily removed if i liked the car. The bloke selling it didn't even turn up, instead someone working on the farm just handed us some keys and said 'i think its that 1. Go and have a look if you want'.

Inside, the car was a state. Looked like it had been dumped there as there was still the sweet wrappers in there and rubbish from the previous owner. It sounded a bit rough aswell when we started it up so we just took the keys back to someone walking round the farm & said 'No thanks' no questions asked and we walked off :).
 
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I went to look at an MX-5 only last week. It looked alright in the pictures. Not a minter but ok.

When I got there the roof was covered in scab repairs. the paint looked like it had been washed with wire wool. the lacquer was cracking and peeling. There were wires and cables hanging down by the pedals. One tyre was flat the exhaust was blowing. The wheels were shocking. Someone had hand painted matt black paint onto the dash! It had a hideous momo 'race' steering wheel. The brakes were non existent and the heater didn't work.

The ad claimed 'first to see will buy' :cheese: and also stated 'No offers at this bargain price' £995

As the fecker had lied to me on the phone and told me it was in great condition and I subsequently wasted £10 of juice going to see it I thought it only fair to waste his juice taking it for a wee test drive. I didn't slide the arse around any corners :tut: or thrash it to within an inch of it's life. I treated it with the delicate kid gloves and respect I'd have shown for anyones motor. :)
 

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Worse car I ever viewed was an alfa 164 3.0 12v lusso. No water in it, head gasket gone ( and by gone I mean only the metal rings round the piston and the edge of the shape sealing it to the block. Yes it still ran sweet as a nut with no noises :lol:)., filthy, never had a belt in 130k, many switches broken. But as it was free I took it anyway. Sorted all the issues and sold it for £900 making a tidy profit :cool: ah those were the days
 

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I drove 3hrs to Birmingham to visit a 300zx a few years back. Told it had new MOT etc. Took it for a test drive, no major issues. Checked it over again and just as I was about to hand over the cash noticed one of the rear tyres was down to the canvas.

Despite the garage offering to fit a new tyre (bruv) I walked away. It clearly had a dodgy ticket, and I wondered what else had been missed...
 
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I am a magnet for idiots so there have been plenty of experiences. I’ve lost count of the number of times where I’ve arranged to look at a car and got there to find the car has a flat battery or a flat tyre. It appears that other people have a different view of what constitutes good condition to me as well.

When my wife passed her test she decided we should get some sort of small limp hatchback. This proved to be a complete nightmare. Small hatchback one was a black Nova (all the rage at the time). Described in the add as gleaming black, I rang the seller who told me that it was indeed really tidy and she was selling it due to her going to university. I turned up to look at it to be greeted by her not very happy boyfriend who said “She’s ****ed off to college and left me with it. I reckon it’s a shed to be honest.” And it was too. Dirty, rusty, rattling cam, the lot.

The same car buying exercise uncovered a MKIV Escort with a sensible price and mileage. I rang up to be told “Yeah it’s really clean mate. Only problem is I work 7 days and don’t get in until 7 most nights” This meant viewing in the dark which is never ideal but I went for a look and could see the filler in the rear wheel arches from across the road in the dark.

Then there was my attempt to buy a MKII Golf GTi. I’ve embarked on this project more than once with the usual predictable results. For example, there was one in the pages of loot with just a mobile number (before just having a mobile number was commonplace). I rang the number and got no reply. 2 minutes later my phone rang and a voice asked, fairly aggressively “Did you just ring this number?” I explained that I was ringing about the car and he said “Oh. Erm. Right. Erm ‘ang on.” Then another voice came on and told me all about it. I still had reservations but decided to ask if I could go for a look. “No problem” came the reply “I’ll meet you on the gym car park” before I could say “No you ****ing won’t pal” he shouted to his mate to ask what the gym was called. I decided to pass.

Golf GTi attempt number 2 involved a really young lad selling one with green tail lights, a broken tailgate glass (I’ve got anuvver tailgate mate), some very dodgy panel gaps and the service history from a completely different car with the number plate changed.

Having given up on buying a Golf I decided to look for a Jetta. I found a likely one and went for a look. Alarm bells immediately started to ring because the house had a semi-stripped and partially burned out Sierra sat in the front garden on milk crates and several apparently rabid dogs which attempted to escape to eat me. However, the car looked alright and the owner gave me the keys and sent me off in it. There was plenty of petrol in the tank she told me so take it for a good run. All was going well until I got to the end of the street and the engine cut out. No coughs or splutters, no misfires, it just cut out stone dead. It was so sudden that I reckoned an LT lead must have come off somewhere so I pulled the bonnet release to have a look. When I opened the bonnet, the grille fell off in the road and didn’t want to go back on again. I couldn’t see anything wrong under the bonnet so I walked back, handed her the keys and explained, got in my car and buggered off.
 

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Red Golf GTi Mk II, something wierd had happened to the paint on the bonnet so it was all dappled and faded red and white (didn't match the rest of the car), the battery was flat so the guy couldn't start the car for us, he said it belonged to his wife but it was located at a workshop... stank of something deeply wrong.
 

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There have been several for me, but one that sticks in my mind was a Fiat Punto HGT I looked at around 2 years ago.

It was for sale on ebay, but as it was only 30 miles away I decided to have a look before bidding.

The description of the car was quite good, and it looked promising.

I got to the car and it was filty dirty,even though I had told the seller 2 days beforehand that I was coming to view.

There was scratches all over the paint, like it had been cleaned with a Brillopad
A huge rust patch in the roof
4 bald tyres
Rust holes in the floor
Huge rip in the drivers seat
The Power steering didn't feel right
The gearchange was really stiff
The clutch slipped
The handbrake didn't work
The cam variator was rattling

All in all a complete shed

It was one of those cars that you immediately decide you don't want, even before having a proper look, let alone a test drive.
 

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Black Mk1 Escort, back in the 70s, described as "Good condition, tax & MoT". I suspected that it had had a colour change, as I didn't remember black as a MK1 Escort colour. Sure enough, it had been repainted -using a mop & bucket by the look of it; the door shuts revealed the original white. Under the bonnet everything was a uniform oily mess . . . apart from the green stains from the leaking radiator. Yes, it had tax & MoT - a month's tax & two weeks' MoT. Fortunately we'd only driven two miles to see it.

Not especially a bad car, but one to walk away from, was a 16V Jetta. Advertised,locally, as a private sale, but the phone was answered by "XXXXX garage". The owner was at a wedding half a mile or so from us,so he brought it round. The car was pretty good bodily & good to drive, but let down by cigarette burns on the driver's seat & a crudely-fitted Ford-branded radio. The address in the log book was about 50 miles away - "I never got round to changing it". I politely declined to buy it!
 

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145 Cloverleaf at a (now closed) main dealer in Glasgow. Car was 18 months old but the rear wiper was missing as were all the cloverleaf badges. Both front fog lights were smashed and the front tyres were worn. The cd multi-change was also missing. Asked to see the service history but they did not have the book! They then said that Alfa had given it to them in a batch of used cars and had no choice but to take it! I didn't.
 
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Peugeot 309 GTi. Looked fine from the outside. No numbers matched the V5 and a. Yuck look underneath showed some"recent welding" that welding involved the front of one car and the back of another!
 

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R5 - when I looked under the footwell carpet I saw 12" x 12" of tarmac.

Fiesta - smoke started to plume alarmingly from behind dashboard after about 10 yards......"oh, dear me - it's never done that before" said the sweet-faced septuagenarian who was selling.
 

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Ford Granada being sold by a garage - I took it for a test drive and during the drive I opened the driver's window, which promptly popped out of the frame. Managed to get it back in and returned the car to the garage. Stood in front of the car looking at it carefully and realised that the car was bulging outwards around the doors, which is why the glass had popped out. At this point it became obvious that the car had been in a major accident, so I politely returned the keys and walked away!

My other favourite was a MK1 Ford Cortina which was being sold privately. I went to see it on a fairly windy day and as we drove up to it I noticed that the front wings were literally flapping in the wind! The owner told me he had deliberately priced the car 'optimistically to get interest' and begged me to make an offer. I didn't.
 

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A GT that wouldn't drive properly (oh, they're all like that, Madam).

A 147 that looked like people had been living in it.

My first ever experience of buying a used car and only wanted an Alfa (looked at GTs at first then wanted a 147 JTD). If an Alfa wasn't perfect enough I was pretty honest that I wasn't interested..no point beating about the bush. Realised pretty quickly what is said condition wise can be exaggerated massively (garages seem to be the worst). They then proceeded to tell me what sort of car would be 'much better'. I know a fair bit about cars but the salesmen tended to treat me like a 'little woman' at first in some garages. One place the guys even nudged each other and said 'Helllllo!' Wtf!

Will just add, none of the cars I viewed were from Alfa only garages.
 

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Looked at a few ropey SAABs in my time.

First 'interesting' one was in Newport, about 80 miles from where I lived at the time. It all started when I got a call on my mobile from a US number. Turns out its a British guy that lives over there but always kept this 9000 (2.3 Non Turbo Auto) in the UK while he was here for about 6 weeks a year. Anyway, the car had been standing on his parents drive for a couple of years apparently as he no longer wanted to maintain it, cheaper to jsut hire a car for a few weeks. He described the car as 'tidy' with 4 decent tyres, leather interior, rare alloys, etc.

I took a drive up with a friend and some spare parts, DI Pack, tyre pump, battery, fuel, water, etc. There was nobody at home that day so it was basically down to me to get the car running and drive it home via an MOT station. I was sure he said the car was silver but it looked more like it was Eucalyptus Green when I got there. The 4 new tyres were all flat and had been for some time so well perished sidewalls. Fuel was off, coolant was rusty, battery was corroded and the interior was mouldy, smelly and full of spiders webs. Amazingly though, sorted out the fuel, coolant, battery, etc and the thing fired up straight away. Drove it straight into my yard and stripped it over the following weeks. To be fair, the car was given to me so cant complain too much.

The other horror story I looked at was a 9000 Saloon here in Marmaris. Somebody told me there was one in a local garage for sale so I went on the hunt and duly found it. I disnt speak any Turkish at the time so took a friend with me. The garage guy said it needed a battery but he would get one ans start the car up 'yarin' (tomorrow). Went back the following day for a good look. The interior was beige leather but some of the panels on the seats had been replaced with off-cuts of somebodies curtains for starters. Headlining was sagging (quite common but a nightmare on the saloon, the biscuit cant be removed from the car) and there was some interesting wiring hanging out the centre console. Popped the bonnet and cranked the engine over, span far too easily so clearly headgasket had failed on it. I pulled the induction pipe off the turbo and it was seized solid as well. At this point I had decided it wasnt worth it but asked the price anyway. He wanted 10000TL (about £4000)! Bit of a shame really as it was actually an 'Italian Aero' spec car.
 

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Thinking about it, my GTA wasn't in great condition when i went to see it :lol: drove 150 miles To go and have a look at it and it wouldn't start, 2 tyres needed replacing, i was told even if it did start i wouldn't have been able to drive it anyway as all the brake pads and discs needed replacing as they were badly pitted etc. radiator was in bits and leaking aswell and it was 2 years overdue a cambelt service :eek: anyway, put the deposit down and picked it up 2 weeks later :D travelled 600 miles all in to get this car, then got it home and 1 of the brake pipes had a hole in it :lol:
 

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Went to look at a GT V6 last year, advertised as having swirl marks on the paintwork and general low usage.

Turned up to find pretty much every panel had damage, swirls in paint were barely noticeable! but the passenger side looked as if it had been driven into! and the wings had gold ball sized dents in it. Bonnet didn't look like it had been opened in 5 years.

The stupidity of some sellers expecting people to buy cars because they have travelled, bunch of time wasters. Pictures provided must have been pre-damage.
 
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