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Second hand car advice

johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Second hand car advice

Other than a vague, theoretical understanding of how the internal combustion engine works (and how to actually drive), cars are an absolute mystery to me, therfore a plea for advice.
My daughter is off to university in September and has asked for a car (he didn't see this coming, you ask yourselves?). A neighbour (lady, age 72 years) is offering a 1997, 'P' registered Vauxhall Corsa. The vehicle is in mint condition, having being kept in a garage and with a genuine 16,000 miles on the clock. It comes with 12 months MOT. No price has been specified.
I do not wish to appear that I am 'looking a gift horse in the mouth', but can anybody advise on possible problems that may lay in store if I purchase the vehicle? Secondly, having scoured the internet, I can find no comparable vehicle to give a clue of any value. Any suggestions please?
30 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Second hand car advice

Probably nothing that can't be fixed easily.
Get it independently inspected, e.g. by AA or RAC to be sure.
I've got 2 cars almost that old that have never been garaged.............
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Second hand car advice

97 reg with just 16k. It will probably be almost like new. I'd snap it up if she wants a cheap price for it. No seriously I mean I will.
If you don't want it please send us her number as the SO's car is having trouble. With just 16k if you don't want...
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Second hand car advice

the big draw back will be that the insurance will cost more than the car, and dont do it in your name and put here as second driver, that doesnt work, she will be the main driver
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Second hand car advice

Go to a newsagent, like WH SMITH or McColls... and look for a small A5 size book in the motoring mag section.entitled Parkers Used Car Guide..... You should find the car listed in there, with a short description of how it performed, reliability, snags, and of course three columns of prices..... GOOD  average POOR and possibly a fourth one Trade.. by the year.... last time I bought one it was about £3.50 but I expect it is now about £4.50    well worth it... for background info when looking for used cars...
Wink
Moderator
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Second hand car advice

...or if you have internet access look here http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/reviews/vauxhall/corsa-hatchback-1993.aspx
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nadger
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Re: Second hand car advice

And if you haven't how have you read Strat's post  Crazy
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Re: Second hand car advice

Not much gets past you nadger Wink Cheesy
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Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Second hand car advice

One question to ask is how frequently it is used ?
Batteries and exhausts still wear out when not in use. Problems can occur with cars that do not get a good run once in a while.
Tyres can get flat spots if stood for long periods.
None of these things are major problems that can't be resolved but if you do purchase it and there is no service log with it change the oil and filter asap.
Ellis
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Registered: 04-02-2011

Re: Second hand car advice

Just a word of warning. If she's going to Cambridge she will not be allowed to have a car within ten miles (Proctorial law). Oxford may have the same regulations.
garlic
Dabbler
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Registered: 17-01-2011

Re: Second hand car advice

Whatever you decide, try to be fair with the old girl.
At her age she's probably vulnerable.
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Second hand car advice

Thanks all for the advice. I looked up the details provided by shutter & strat and managed to find comparable details that have given me the confidence to make an offer that I feel is fair and almost double what a local dealer has offered.
As HPsauce commented, I had thought of having the vehicle fully inspected (as an existing member of the RAC, I can get a discount on this) and my neighbour is in complete agreement, even though the vehicle comes with a full service record, She takes the vehicle once a week to the local shops. The description 'One careful lady owner' could not be more apt.
Regarding insurance, I am aware of the likely costs. I would probably have to pay the same premium if I bought a clapped-out old banger, as for this seemingly beautiful bargain. My daughter's safety and well-being are more important than the money.
wisty
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Re: Second hand car advice

Quote from: Ellis
Just a word of warning. If she's going to Cambridge she will not be allowed to have a car within ten miles (Proctorial law). Oxford may have the same regulations.

To reinforce Ellis
Check what the University says about cars. At Reading where I teach there is no absolute restriction as there is at Cambridge, but parking at halls of residence is very restricted, and access to campus parking only available to students who live at least three(?) miles from the University.
You might ask her to work out where she is going to keep it, and what she is going to use it for before buying. At campus universities (like Reading) most accommodation, teaching and the vast majority of student social life is usually well within walking (staggering!) distance. And at city centre universities .......
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Second hand car advice

Thanks for the warnings about parking near universities. When attending lectures and going out socially, I expect my daughter to walk/use public transport. She will be doing nursing studies and will have placements in hospitals, where she will be 'shadowing' various people. If they start work at 06:00, she must be there. If they finish at midnight, she must be there.
If she is accepted by the local university (Hallam), she may be expected to travel to a variety of hospitals: Chesterfield, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Barnsley, or any of the Sheffield hospitals. Parking at, or near most of these places can be difficult, but how else is she to get around? Public transport at midnight? Don't make me laugh!
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Re: Second hand car advice

I don`t think she will have any problem parking at the hospitals..... but the UNI parking might be a problem.... Perhaps she should get a folding bike that she can put in the car...
doesn`t matter where she parks the car.... she can bike to  UNI and then bike back to the car..... then on to her digs....
I used one when I move my  narrowboat from Marlborough in Wiltshire to Nantwich in Cheshire..... 10 mile stretches.... car & bike 10 miles >  bike 10 miles back to boat..... boat 20 miles.... bike 10 miles back to car.... car & bike 10 miles to boat.... end of day one...... and repeat several times until journey completed...  Cheesy