The disappointing quality of used cars even at main dealers

Caporegime
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As per my other recent threads I've been looking for a car. I have viewed several at various main dealers across several marques and have been quite disappointed with the quality of the cars. Many of them have had many marks and scratches even after the dealer has prepared them. I do appreciate they are not new cars and some marks are to be expected. But in years gone past I've managed to easily find some immaculate cars and I have kept them that way. I am very fussy about the condition of my cars and try to keep them so.

But it's been about 6 years since I last went shopping at an authorised dealer and in that time it seems the quality of the stock has deteriorated considerably. Last week a dealer called me to cancel a viewing because the clutch on the car (2 years old, 18k miles) was found to be faulty and they had to temporarily withdraw it from sale. I've walked away from several due to excessive marks. Today I viewed a car which had not yet been prepared. Due to a miscommunication by the dealer they allowed me to view a car which had just been part exchanged the day before and they had not yet prepared it for sale. The condition was shocking. Again the car was two years old but had several kerbed alloys, various marks on the bodywork, terrible scratches on the rear bumper (it needed respraying - that won't polish out) and the boot was not only covered in dog hair (which explains the bumper scratches) but old bits of stick the dog had chewed on.

I don't blame the dealers for this. They can only sell the stock which they receive. But it seems people nowadays just don't care about treating their new cars carefully. My 24 year old Corrado is in better shape than some of these two year old cars and my nine year old Golf was almost like new. The last time I traded a car in I washed it, polished it, waxed it and valeted the inside. The dealer was shocked by the condition (in a good way). I am always annoyed at small marks, keep my cars clean and drive sympathetically while they warm up.

Having though about this a while, and wondering why things seem to have deteriorated over the last six yeas since I was last looking, the glaring factor seems to be people leasing and buying on PCP. I guess that if they know they won't be keeping the car then they won't treat it with any care. They will just thrash it from cold, park carelessly, let their dog jump all over it with sharp claws and generally abuse it. After-all it's cheap finance and they can just move into another car in a few years.

Sorry, rant over :)
 
Caporegime
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I'm not quite sure where you're getting that from. I'll buy a car if and when the condition is acceptable for the price. In fact today I agreed to buy the 'dog' car that I mentioned if the dealer can resolve the issues to a satisfactory level. If they can refurbish the alloys and address the bumper and other scratches I said I'd have the car subject to a second viewing. I would be a little surprised if they can. But if they do then I'd have the car.
 
Sgarrista
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Unless you need dealer cars, id suggest Pistonheads. Most cars there are either a) advertised very honestly or b) owned by people who take pride in their cars.
 
Soldato
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I really don't think they will be able to fix up a car to your standards tbh they will just use the cheapest and fastest method to 'fix' it.

I think your probably better off buying a second hand car private for much cheaper and restoring and maintaining it yourself at least you know the workmanship will be done properly
 
Soldato
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Why would a dealer spend money getting the car up to your standard when someone else will buy it without them doing more than a valet?
I work for a major dealership, originally in sales but now elsewhere in the business and we will send the money getting the car ready for delivery once it’s been sold. It doesn’t make business sense to fix every scratch/ding/paintwork when It can be sold with these issues or a lengthy valet can fix it if the customer so desires.
When you’ve got 150 cars on your lot, they can’t all be perfect. Plus, they are used cars.
 
Caporegime
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All very valid points. I've bought privately before and don't have an issue with it. I also appreciate the dealer won't spend much time on a proper fix. So I'm fully expecting the car to be poor upon second inspection. But my comment was about how people treat their cars nowadays. I've noticed a marked deterioration in how people care for them.
 
Soldato
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I don't think it's about how people treat them I think it's the number of cars on the road compared to even 5 years ago

The more cars means the more drivers more chance of scuffs and well we all know a friend who doesn't give a damn about their car and just abuses it
 
Soldato
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All very valid points. I've bought privately before and don't have an issue with it. I also appreciate the dealer won't spend much time on a proper fix. So I'm fully expecting the car to be poor upon second inspection. But my comment was about how people treat their cars nowadays. I've noticed a marked deterioration in how people care for them.

Probably due to the increase in PCPs, people consider their cars a temporary expense. No one (ok, few people) are buying a £15,000 car anymore. People are spending £230 a month on a car and therefore they don’t have as much pride as you would if you saved up the money I suppose.
PCP is the most common method of dealer finance on used cars (up to 4 years old) as well now.
 
Man of Honour
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I don't think it's about how people treat them I think it's the number of cars on the road compared to even 5 years ago

The more cars means the more drivers more chance of scuffs and well we all know a friend who doesn't give a damn about their car and just abuses it

I'd still say people don't take as much care of anything these days as they used to :(
 
Associate
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Probably due to the increase in PCPs, people consider their cars a temporary expense. No one (ok, few people) are buying a £15,000 car anymore. People are spending £230 a month on a car and therefore they don’t have as much pride as you would if you saved up the money I suppose.
PCP is the most common method of dealer finance on used cars (up to 4 years old) as well now.

Except they get totally screwed when they hand it back with any damage.
 
Soldato
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i suspect a lot of it is the growth of our commuting culture and folk getting cars on finance to be a daily workhorse to do 100 miles a day.

this is why i like buying cars from retiree's, almost always immaculately looked after with low milage and perfect service histories.
 
Soldato
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It's easy for people to not give a crap about their belongings nowadays, when £1000 smartphones and £xx,000 cars can be had for an affordable monthly payment.

Shame really.
 
Soldato
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Unless it's something quite rare, dealers have no reason to fix up a car before selling it to some mug. With rarer/classic things buyers will usually know what they are looking at.

For the sort of cars the masses buy on finance and get neglected (run the mill Audis, BMWs, VWs, etc). Inspect them thoroughly before buying, even relatively new ones. Many of them are absolute sheds under the surface!
 
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Soldato
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I have watched how the cars have been cleaned at both our local Audi and Ford dealerships and I can see why they get covered in scratches and swirls as the 'rag' they were using was lucky to see any water, let alone soap. The company in question, and they have many contracts here in the south east, is called Intercleanse and are to be avoided like the plague. Now I place 'Do not wash' posters inside my car when it is in for a service.
Even new cars are not prepped correctly and will be damaged.
 
Caporegime
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The well kept, well spec'd, worth it cars are mainly sold privately these days.
I think you're right. I actually prefer buying cars privately because I can then get a feel for the owner too. I've done that several times in the past. But this time I thought I'd be better going to an approved used dealer as it's quite a lot of money compared to previously.

I'm beginning to think a private sale might be better again.
 
Soldato
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Even new cars are not prepped correctly and will be damaged.

I saw a 68-plate car the other day. It was black, and the driver's side was covered in marring and holograms. If that was my new car and it looked like that when I picked it up, I'd be thinking "...really?"
 
Soldato
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I don't know why they think they need to touch brand new cars. All they need to do is hose it down a bit to get the dust off.

When we get new cars delivered to work they haven't been through a dealer's swirl installation department and the paint from the factory is perfect.
 
Soldato
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Sorry but new cars need more than just a hose down to be prepped correctly and even from the factory the paintwork is not perfect at all. They'll be marks, sticky residue, grease and all of the muck from being transported in the open. Then they'll be left unprotected out in the dealerships pound..
 
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