How much would you spend?

Something I’ve been pondering for a while:

How much are you willing to spend when buying a vehicle, be it bike or car, from a private seller? £5k? £10K? Somewhere in between?

I’m always concerned that there is no recourse should something be amiss when buying private rather than from a dealer.

It’s a difficult one, because you’d have to prove that person knew of a fault and wilfully hid it. Which would mean they have an intimate knowledge (or good knowledge, or any knowledge) of mechanics. There’s people out there who don’t have a clue when a tyre is worn…

It’s very similar to buying ahouse. Aside from land registry / lease matters, the state of repair of the house is ‘buyer beware’. Your boiler can stop working, your roof can start leaking and you’re left footing the bill… Even if within a few hours of moving in.

Would depend on the age of the vehicle, mileage etc and the saving over buying from a ‘proper’ dealer.

Some private sales may be better than some dodgy dealers who keep changing company name.

If the saving is too much there could be something else wrong but if you can get a 10k vehicle for 8.5k I may consider it. If you aren’t confident of checking it over yourself or trust someone you know to do it for you then you could pay for an independent inspection and still save money.

To me the price never guarantee’s quality.
Even from a dealer you know you are paying over the odds

Best thing is know what you are looking at

Forget is it :stuck_out_tongue:
low milage
Full Service history

Oh look it has 5k milage … but yes that 5k was at high revs and warp speed and all in town traffic
Whilst the 40k milage one was driven by someone who loved to drive and with respect

Full service history …treat a service book like any Fiction book …
Its amazing what a potato print can look like …

Myself i look at the whole but i do have the advantage of the mechanical ability .
i bought a 89k 1999 puegueot 306 from a dealer in 2004 for £2500 ( most i ever spent on a vehicle at that point) and i kept it for 10 years without any major spend or need to work on it constantly .

Last car was a 2005 pug 307 with 105k in 2020 and its now on 146k and in need of some work ( cambelt ,suspension) for £940 and its now time to let go …

I will go cheaper and take the chance …

But its getting harder to find a true private seller these days

Funny enough I literally had this exact dilema happen to me in the snow we had.

On the way home the clutch went on my car, due it needing a Cam Belt change needed for preservation purposes, new clutch, aircon decided to just write it off an financially unviable to repair.

Worth noting the second hand market at the moment is literally insane!

So I spent days trawling the tinernet, found some dealer cars to look at and private. I ended up going with a private purchase, I did knock the guy down to such a price that I could spend £1k on work and still just about be at market rate for the car as is now.

I generally go over thing like MOT history with a fine tooth comb as it is not impossible but harder to hide behind those. There are certain things I see now which I’ll just walk away from due to lack of mechanical knowledge if I see it on an MOT but the one I bought only had a tyre worn warning plus full service history (I know T_cat), and ultimately came down to the person I bought it off of as well.

if it helps I bought a Vauxhall mokka with more tech than my mobile phone, 78K at a price of £5.5 (going trader rate was 6.5). Which when all said and done I think was still more than I would have paid had there been no pandemic! But as I mentioned above the 2nd hand market is a joke at the moment.

I jusst realised I never answered your questions…

I spent £850 for a Ford Fiesta that kept leaking every fluid under the sun from (what can be described as) a private dealer. Never again as these guys seem to buy every crap under the sun from auction, tidy up the engine bay and sell. In my case the car leaked on the next day.

The guy did knock off a couple of hundred quid to fix the leak and I thought that was an honest thing but a couple of weeks later things started happening again. The car drank oil like nothing and it quickly became a real pain. I spent more than the car itself over the course of 7 months before I got rid of it for £100 when I bought my current Kia at a dealer.

Bike, I’ve spent up to £5K. Would I spend more? Unlikely, unless it’s a 1-2year old vehicle with very low mileage…

I’ve actually been told if I’m to buy a bike, it has to be new or thereabouts and only from dealer by a higher authority.

As Sleeper said, the 2nd hand market at the moment is silly, so I have no idea what I’d do…

I’ve only bought privately once. I bought my old CB500 from a collegue. I took a mate with me who knew a bit more about bikes than I did (with hindsight the knowledge gap was marginal). I paid about market value for it (£1,100) but I wish I’d had it inspected as a mechanic would have pointed out that it needed a new chain and sprockets, new footpeg spring, was due a major service with valve clearances and there was a key snapped off in one of the paniers. All things I needed to deal with.

If you are going to spend more money than you can write off on a car I’d get it inspected by the RAC Vehicle Inspections | 218 Point Car Inspection | RAC or if you have a mechanic take it there for an inspection. They’ll be able to spot things fairly easily. Quentin Wilson always recommended that when he was on TopGear.

The most I’ve spent on a bike is £3k, and that’s also the only one i have bought from a dealer (unless you count buying insurance write off).

oddly, looking at the reliability of my cars, it’s inversely proportional to the amount i spent on them (I also buy cheap cars). the one i got for free lasted ages with minal work, the £800 one lasted a week.

I think I’d only spend a few grand max on a car from an unknown source. Always best to buy from friends or relatives if it’s really cheap.

I’d also restrict my choice of cheap car to Japanese or Asian brands, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai etc.

Bought a 16 year old Yaris for 3k last year. That car would have been £1500 a year or two earlier. Came with a months warranty from a local older car dealer. I had a good look, drove it and crossed my fingers. So far so good.


I buy stuff that’s got undeclared problems all the time. But then fixing things up is my hobby and I enjoy getting to know the vehicle as part of the process. That’s how I know about Tuono fuelling problems, Saab swirl valves, Honda charging etc etc.

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This post should have a disclaimer for Mian not to bother replying :grin:

I bought my beloved 2007 2co R6 for £4150 for a private listing on the R6 FB page, without even a test ride. She was a jewel.

Insurance valued £4900 after the crash. There you go.

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It’s also how you’ve got onto first name basis with mechanics, recovery and spare parts vendors in a 60mile radius :smiley: