Test drives - spotting a dog?


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Jun 1, 2015
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Does anyone have any tips for what to look for on a test drive for a FL S3. So far I have driven 2. The first one felt great main dealer was all set to buy just couldn't get past the fact it had had 4 owners in 30k odd and 1 seemingly for 2 weeks. Felt like financial suicide if I was forced to sell in a year due to change of job etc it would be 5 owners with some pretty short periods of ownerships and rightly or wrong thought it would put future buyers off.

I drove the 2nd almost identical one slightly lower miles and for some reason it just felt a bit flat. I'm 99% sure the first one wasn't mapped as I have an older S3 running a little over 300bhp and it wasn't 50bhp different

Any their any particular routines or noises to look out for. On the 2nd one I noticed a rustling like sound below 3k on v light throttle. Is that a case of they all do that?

My b7 had 4 previous owners in 4 years, I've owned it for 9 with no issues, tempting fate here but it's been the most reliable car I've ever owned. Some folks fancy something a bit different, in my case a cabby, then realise it's not for them. In some cases could still be the sign of a dog I suppose.

Sorry that's no help, if it doesn't feel right just walk away.
Number of owners are subjective and don't really tell the full story of a car. Many people could have been affected by Covid in losing their jobs for example... And offloading expensive motors is usually the first port of call in these instances.

Service history is far more important imo. If its all main dealer which is sounds like it is & that's where you test drove it then that's good. If your buying off the main dealer, they will give you 12 months extended warranty also... In short, don't write a car off purely on number of owners.
This is well worth the money as well, regardless of where you buy! https://www.vcheck.uk/

Look at some of the things it has found!!! https://en-gb.facebook.com/pg/vcheck.uk/posts/

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Thanks guys the vcheck thing is interesting, some of those rightoffs returned for sale are scary, if I wasn't paranoid before well I am now! I did find a very basic free car check can be done on wbac if you just want to know previous keepers where an advert doesn't say (could have saved me some pain on 1st one) https://www.webuyanycar.com/free-car-check/. Pet hate of mine is now trade adverts that don't feature the reg :-(

Might end up broadening my search out to Golf R estates but not much stock of either for sale tbh and prices are super high not quite offset by better than expected part ex value on my 8P. I am almost, almost tempted to keep my 8P as it "feels" a bit more engaging(revvy?) than the 8V and mine has such a smooth precise manual box
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I am almost, almost tempted to keep my 8P as it "feels" a bit more engaging(revvy?) than the 8V and mine has such a smooth precise manual box
If you are thinking it do it, I wish I'd kept my S3 long term now :( Just did a quote on https://www.arnoldclark.com using my old reg and it's only dropped £5,000 in the 43 months since I sold it! £116 per month loss. It's passed every MOT as well.