Buying a car, any car at all, is a gamble. And while we don’t like to admit it, that’s never more the case than when it comes to buying cheap cars. But that doesn’t mean that, as a motorist with a tight budget, you have to buy cars from a man operating out of a shipping container under the guise of a business that spells ‘cars’ with a z.
There are plenty of cheap, reliable, cared for used cars out there. So if you encounter any of these people, just walk away. They don’t deserve your money. We’re almost certain there’s a better car, owned from new by a nice old lady called Mildred, just around the corner. Possibly.
There’s no shortage of people like this. You know they type; he’ll tell you what you want to hear. “Oh yeah, the cambelt was done, and I replace the brakes, and the glove-box is full of gold and unicorn smiles.” It’s not. None of those things have been done. The brakes are shot, the cambelt hasn’t been subjected to a sharp intake of breath from a qualified mechanic and the glove-box is full of ketchup packets from Burger King. And nothing else.
But the blagger knows what you need to hear. He’ll even make sure the car is washed looking the best it can, but not through a desire to be a good seller, he only does it to get the sale. There’s a vast difference between the two. So unless he can produce paperwork to cash the cheques his fast mouth is writing, walk away. He’s selling you a pup, and worst of all, he knows it. But he doesn’t care.
The short advertiser…
Car looks good in the pictures, doesn’t it? Shiny and resplendent, just waiting for you to drive it off to a new life. but what’s this? The advert is laughably short? Like, two lines of text that barely tell you anything about the car. Hmm, give this seller a wide birth. If the minimal details, are, say, on a bit of paper stuck to the side window, you could give the seller the benefit of the doubt. They might be 400 years old and just want shot. But if it’s on eBay, or Gumtree, anything that takes effort and time to post an advert on, walk away.
We’re not saying every seller should write a novel about the car they’re trying to shift, but if they can’t be arsed to at least give the basic information online, can they really be bothered to, ooh, look after a car? Probably not. Sales is a street with effort going both ways, so don;t go down this one
The zero feedback…
Ah yes. You’ve seen a car for sale on eBay, but the price looks a bit too good to be true. There’s a reason for this – it IS too good to be true. Most of the time, these ads will say you need to contact them via a generic email address rather than through eBay. And if you see that, you can bet your bollocks to a barn dance that their feedback will be zero.
It’s a scam. Plain and simple. They probably pilfered the images from an old advert, or maybe even a forum or something, and now they’re looking to sucker people in and then get their money. Don’t be one of those suckers. Report it to eBay and be on your merry way.
Seen a car down the street that’s not moved for 35 years? Is it a desirable, rare old beast that you wouldn’t mind going full ‘Edd China’ on and bringing back to life? Is it also in a front garden of once grand house, surrounded by dead washing machines and other forgotten cars? Yeah, you’re not buying that. Ever. Sorry.
The hoarder is a special beast, and one that in most cases could honestly benefit from some professional help. It’s sad, but that’s just how it is. And if they’re of that unfortunate mindset, you can be certain that they will never sell you anything, no matter how persistent you are, no matter how much money you offer. Money is of little consequence to them. Just let the poor old car rot.
Your mate down the pub…
Dave isn’t your mate. Dave’s a knob who you shouldn’t trust. Remeber, you bought him a pint in 1998 and he still hasn’t returned the favour. Do you really want to buy a car from Dave? Of course you don’t. It’ll have speeding fines against it, the Police will have probably put a drugs marker on it after they pulled Dave over and found a spliff in his jacket and the radio will be cemented to Radio 1. And all the speakers will be blown.
Plus, Dave needs to sell it quickly, because Dave owes money to the kind of people you don’t want to owe money too. As such, much like ‘the blagger’ he’ll say what needs to be said to get a sale. Don’t trust Dave. His Volkswagen Bora SE is a nail and you don’t need it, even if it is £250.