Buying or Selling Used Cars

An increasing number of customers come to us when they are in the process of:

  • Buying a car
  • Selling a car
  • Returning a lease hire car

They come to us for a quote to repair body work but we end up giving general advice. Here are some tips based on some real life situations.

Buying a Car

Most new cars lose around 40% of their value in the first year. Buying a used car is, therefore, a great way of cutting the cost of your driving. However, it is only sensible to ensure that the cost of making good any damage is known before making the purchase.

We were approached by a lady from Bordon who had her heart set on a nearly new VW Golf. However, there were several bumps and scuffs and one particularly deep dent on the driver’s door.

She had taken loads of images of the car and we were quite comfortable in providing an estimate for the scratches and scuffs. However, we were not as comfortable in doing the same with the door as, in many cases, the internal mechanisms can be damaged. Often the damage is not revealed until it is opened up.

At her request we provided two quotes but also gave some tips on how to inspect any potential damage to the door. It turned out that there was more than just a superficial dent but the lady was more than happy to add the cost of making good all of the damage to the car in considering the final purchase price.

For good measure she asked us to mop all of the paintwork and she ended up with an almost as new VW Golf

Selling a Car

A customer from Frensham Ponds popped in to see us as they were selling their car. It was a very nice BMW 5 Series SE GT or, more accurately, it had been. The nearside had been driven against a hedge and it was looking a bit sorry for itself.

The customer had been advised that a relatively high discount would have to be offered to have the damage made good and to compensate for the now unattractive appearance.

Not all of the damage required painting as some would polish out. We discussed what the essential repairs that would be required and provided a quote for them to use.

They decided to have the repairs carried out before selling the car and later popped in to tell us they were happy with the outcome.

Returning a Lease Car

This is always problematic as the attitude of lease hire companies in assessing fair wear and tear varies considerably. Whilst we are pretty experienced in this area there are some common sense approaches that will pay dividends.

Do remember to have the vehicle assessed well before the return date – we suggest 12 weeks and not the 12 days that often happens.

Whatever is judged to be beyond fair wear and tear will, if the repair is carried out by the lease hire company, be significantly more expensive than having it done by a body shop such as Bumps & Scuffs.

A few additional tips:

  • Choose a time and place with good light. This is how the leasing company will examine your vehicle. Appraisals carried out in poor light invariably miss some faults.
  • Before appraising the vehicle, make sure that it has been washed and is thoroughly clean but remember to allow time for it to dry. Water on the paintwork can mask faults.
  • Walk all the way around the vehicle and examine each panel including the roof, bonnet, doors, and body for significant damage. Observe where the light is reflected differently from dents and scratches.
  • Crouch or kneel down at the front and rear of the vehicle and look along the bodyline on each side. This will help you see scratches and dents that may otherwise be difficult to spot.
  • Inspect lamps, lenses, windows and mirrors for chips, cracks and holes.
  • Clean and valet the interior.
  • Check upholstered areas for odours, tears, burns, stains and wear.
  • Inspect all controls, including audio equipment and accessories – they should be present and fully functional.
 Working with Bumps & Scuffs

Whether you are buying, selling or returning a car we are happy to provide advice and guidance. As well as serving Farnham we have extensive coverage from Bordon and Alton through to Aldershot and Farnborough.

We look forward to being of assistance to you

Telephone: 01252 217087                                                     [email protected]

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