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Buy private or go dealer!?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by selector007, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. selector007
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    selector007 Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    Due to the arrival of my baby girl I have to upgrade my 3dr and become the responsible adult and go into the 5dr market! I currently own a 1.8t Quattro. Although the age of the car is old (12 years) it runs perfect and still is a dream to drive.

    I have decided to remain with the 1.8t engine as find this a good runner and have decided to buy a sport back black edition as this would give me the practicality I need but still have a little speed. I am finding there are a few of these on the market my preferred option of buying the car would be direct from a Audi dealer but I have seen a couple cars which match my criteria but these are with private dealers.

    So my question is, what are the real risks of buying from a private dealer? Even if the car I am looking at is 2 years old so has a years warranty left is this enough of a guarantee I would be in good hands if I have any problems. I suppose my worst fear is if the car has had its mileage clocked! Or engine modifications!

    Any guidance would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.
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  3. A3Kent
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    A3Kent Different Gear

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    I think you pay a little bit more when buying from an Audi Dealer and it gives you peace of mind when things go wrong as you'll get Audi's 1 year Used Car Warranty as standard. This was the main reason why I purchased from a dealer and i'm glad I did as it's been back twice since I got it and fair play to them, they've sorted it out both times with a free courtesy car too. You also have peace of mind that the car has been well maintained (hopefully anyway).

    On the other side of the coin, if there is a car that's a good bit cheaper then it's probably worth the risk. Always read the small print of the independant dealers warranty though.
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  4. selector007
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    selector007 Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    Is it worth doing a rac/aa history check on a 2 year old car?
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  5. A3Kent
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    A3Kent Different Gear

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    I wouldn't if it's from an Audi Dealer. I probably would do if it's a private or independant dealer though.
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  6. nluk100
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    nluk100 Active Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    I you're buying a 2 year old car you will have the remaining Audi warranty anyway (just check it's been serviced as stated by Audi). I saved myself over 4k by buying private and not had a single issue with the car.
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  7. selector007
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    selector007 Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    Do you know when the first service is normally done? And also when the first mot is done!
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  8. Tay
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    Tay Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    This may not be useful advice but.... Keep the 3 door it's fine with a baby seat :) I've always managed fine with loads of space to manuever.
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  9. Soot1
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    Soot1 Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    If you are confident checking if a car is a Dud then buy private and save money. If your not so sure about checking a car then it has to be a main dealer, it can mean a big price hike though, as much a £3k. for what you want. Definitely go for a 4/5door car yours and your mrs back will thank you for it.
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  10. Tay
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    Tay Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    You have a very good point about your back, easy with isofix but once you get to forward facing it gets a lot harder.
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  11. rongagain
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    rongagain New Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    I don't have a history on this forum as a poster, but I have recently bought a 1.8 TFSi sportback (59 reg) 23K, from a Audi main dealer.

    The reason I did was based on the fact that after some negotiation the price was very similar to general dealer forecourt prices. Also the one year warranty came into use withn 24 hrs when the fuel filter started leaking????? Straight back, courtesy car (12 reg S-line A3), fixed next day and some compensation for the inconvenience.

    The 1.8 petrol is great by the way after the last seven years of TDI.

    In fairness I have previously bought from main dealers, and a supermarket type site (Autoquake, now gone) and never had a serious problem. If the price is reasonable go for the main dealer, at least you will have have re-assurance for that year, then you should have the confidence you have a good car. Buying a used car is always a bit of a gamble as you don't know the history, and not just the service history either.

    My 2p
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
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  12. grr666
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    grr666 Member

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    [Nov 16, 2012]
    Bought mine privately for a fiver under 17k.
    09 plate 47k, decent spec, fash.
    Once I had the reg number I phoned the last main dealer
    that had worked on the car and they were happy to verify the mileage
    and service history. My advice would be to ring Audi if you are buying privately.

    On mine everything checked out perfect so I did the deal and paid full asking.
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  13. MrLapou
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    MrLapou Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 17, 2012]
    When buying I approached loads of Audi dealers . Everyone lied in one way or another!! call them professional, I think not. Plus they gave derisory trade in value for my car. I found a gem of a independent dealer who could not do enough to make the sale go as smoothly as possible which included proper repair of bonnet chips, a rear bumper scuff and marked wing mirror, plus free delivery to me (95miles). Car was typically £1.6k below Audi's used retail prices and also I was given £2k more trade in so overall saving was £3.5k.

    Car was spot on and passed all VCDS tests I performed.
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  14. CJ92
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    CJ92 Member

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    [Nov 18, 2012]
    Have to agree with this as i found all the Audi dealers i approached all singing from the same hymm sheet.One of the three dealers in a fifty mile radius of me would not let me have a test drive without taking a deposit!!:wtf:
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  15. rOb_A
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    rOb_A Active Member

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    [Nov 18, 2012]
    if its still in warranty and has full audi service, i don't think it should matter if where you buy it. i think the only advantage would/should be the vehicle check not being required if buying from a audi dealer. if buying else where, i would advise one being carried out. i normally buy via a main dealer using any dealer within the UK to get the best price.
    I think its always the case that you try to get the best deal for you but remember car dealers need to make some profit to stay in business.
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  16. MrLapou
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    MrLapou Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 18, 2012]
    Sure dealers need to make profit, but as I was told by someone in the trade, dealers tend to be the greediest bunch of all!!!
    How much profit do they need to make?? some techs are paid min wage to £15/hr, but regardless we pay the full wack typically £120/hr.+ VAT... In the hair dressing trade you pay according to ones skills and qualification. Surely that's only fair to pass saving to the punter.
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  17. shady-ninja
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    shady-ninja Active Member

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    [Nov 18, 2012]
    IMHO i would buy private, for the following reasons.
    1). the economy is bad and a great number of private sellers lack hard negotiation skills. e.g. on a a 60 plate S3 worth £21k you could walk up to some private sellers and flash £17k or less in their face and they could go all wobbly and accept it. for private sellers, its hard enough to get calls when selling but when potential buyers turn up, private sellers are likely to go weak at their knees. (who knows, they could a days away from a house repossession).
    2). this happens every day when sellers part exchange their cars to traders and stealers and this niche in the maket represents big income for stealers and traders. e.g. WE BUY ANY CAR.COM
    3). there are some very helpful eloquent fellas on this forum that can "pull resourses" to help you make a valued judgement on how to separate the oranges from the lemons.
    4). my first hedge is to buy a one owner car privately.
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  18. rOb_A
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    rOb_A Active Member

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    [Nov 18, 2012]
    yep totally agree, techs and admin staff at dealer do get sometimes get poorly paid but its the running cost of the dealer premises (nice and shiney) that we pay the privilege of.
    when buying a car, we all look for full oem service stamps don't we (well until and age when it doesn't matter)

    jusy read the above, you'd think i worked at a dealers :laugh:
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