AA checks on end of life cars

tgray, Sep 17, 10:08pm
Do you think I should let someone have one done, or simply say not to bother?
20 year old car with over 200,000k and asking price $2,000.

3tomany, Sep 17, 10:13pm
if i was buying a 2k car i would want a mechanical check just to be sure it is going to at leased last till the next wof

saxman99, Sep 17, 10:14pm
Last time someone asked me that I said "Not a chance, I might arrange for it to be checked by someone who knows about cars though. However, what do you realistically think the result will be on a 20 year old van with 390,000 k on it?"

They went away and I sold it to someone more realistic.

project_nine, Sep 17, 10:18pm
Are you selling the car or helping someone buy?

If you're selling the car, why stop them? It's their money.

bjmh, Sep 17, 10:26pm
If I sell any vehicle,i always encourage the buyer to get an independent check done. $2000 is still a considerable amount for some buyers.Maybe you could suggest that they get their own mechanic to check the car,probably be cheaper for them and you won't get the anal AA report.

richardmayes, Sep 18, 12:35am
As you tool around town in your Corvette getting 21.5 litres per 100km, remember that some of your customers live in a world where there is a difference between $2,000 and $3,000!

A $2,000 car that will need a new $30 bottom radiator hose soon, is really a $2,030 car.

A $2,000 car that will need a new $30 bottom radiator hose, two new $150 tyres and $80 of welding to repair a crack in the exhaust, is really a $2,410 car.

A $2,000 car that will need a $1500 power steering pump and rack rebuild soon, is really a $3,500 car.

A $2,000 car that will need a $3,000 trip to the automatic transmission specialists soon is basically a great big bonfire of cash down at the beach.

I can't blame a potential buyer with minimal mechanical knowledge for wanting to find out which of those scenarios it is.

If you've been honest, surely the AA report isn't going to come back with anything embarrassing - even if it does contain a surprise or two?

franc123, Sep 18, 12:42am
AA checks simply aren't appropriate for EOL cars, I'd tell them you are welcome to get a workshop of their choice to spend an hour looking over it and give it a road test to see if its not got any major problems and that's it. It looks too suspicious otherwise if you refuse any check at all.

tgray, Sep 18, 12:48am
It's not so much I think there is anything in particular wrong with it, but more the fact that the list the AA will create (in their anal 90 min inspection) will no doubt give the impression there are things they need to be concerned about and they then won't buy it anyway.
People who get AA inspections often know nothing about cars and a list of things on the report will worry them unnecessarily, when really all it would be are things in keeping with age, K's and asking price.

tgray, Sep 18, 12:53am
I totally get that.
In fact I was surprised last week when a finance company arranged a loan for $1750 which my asking price of a real 22 year old cheapy I had.
I didn't know Marac Finance or any other would lend money for a car that old/cheap. Mind you, it was a Toyota.

phillip.weston, Sep 18, 2:06am
When I was in the business of dealing with such cars I always recommended the buyer get a more comprehensive report from the likes of their trusted mechanic, or the dealer franchise of that brand as they would know that car inside out. Still. many people went to AA ant VTNZ and came back with reports that it has oil leaks from unknown locations, dents/scratches on the exterior and wear on the interior, and the generic clause that this vehicle may be prone to unexpected repair costs in the future. My favourite was VTNZ reporting that a car with a 2,000kms freshly rebuilt engine was down on compression 25% on two cylinders, measured by their device which fits to the exhaust pipe and measures pulses. I had to go through the hassle of pulling off the upper inlet manifold of a V6 engine and get an actual compression tester in there to show it had indeed an even 225-230psi across the board. Almost lost me a sale, and they didn't care about the true results.

mharwood, Sep 18, 4:17am
i knew a dealer who would say to the customer give me $140 and i tell you it stuffed but much stronger words

curlcrown, Sep 18, 7:50am
We all know that the type of person who wants an AA check on a $2000 car is not going to buy it, so why wait around to be told they don't want it. I would politely decline to let them buy the car and sell it to someone else who is easier to deal with.

cagivachick1, Sep 18, 8:10am
we have a EOL car, have had it for 7 years its a 96 accord vtis paid 2k for it, leather etc it is covered in dings and garks peeling clearcoat , and has zero value but its a great car, goes like the clappers, one of my boys uses it and its perfect for him but i doubt anyone would buy it which is a pity because its a good car. i enjoy driving it

geordiemotors, Sep 19, 1:39am
$2000 to $3000 cars are our bread an butter, and we sell lots of them, and never had any come backs. All with new Wof etc. Groomed and serviced. Few dings etc, mechanically they are fantastic. The point I am trying to make is you can still buy very good cheap cars around the 2000 to 3000 dollar mark. You just have to know where to buy them from.

phillip.weston, Sep 19, 1:43am
Exactly! But the issue is AA or VTNZ are likely to rubbish the cars with generic statements and unspecific faults due to the cars age and milage.

franc123, Sep 19, 12:16pm
And a lot of the time it simply doesn't make sense to spend serious dollars on a 'flash car', in fact it can end up depressing you thinking about lost value and some of the silly and expensive problems that excess complication and not so hot component and build quality of cars made in the last ten years can do to the finances. A couple of grand is enough to be spending on something that's going to be subject to the daily grind and the wear and tear that goes with it, it can get you something reasonable and reliable with a few modern niceties and safety features but no crap you don't need. Plenty of bargains to be had in the 98-05 era.

kazbanz, Sep 19, 7:49pm
You have totally nailed it on the head right there dude.
in my experience if you have a bit of grease under the fingernails you are going to have a long trouble free run out of a 10'-20 year old car.
The reason you will is that you will stay on top of the essential work.
You are unlikely to be the type that thinks a WOF is a full service.
unfortunately though there are far too many folks who genuinely expect nothing to need doing to their 20 year old 200k car. The results of which being either they are upset at the HUGE bills when the car grinds to a halt or they go back to the seller claiming dud car.
A perfect example turned up recently.
20 year old Toyota running on 2.5-3.5 cylinders.Open the bonnet and it had one new spark plug lead.
Aparently it had done the same thing a few weeks back so they replaced A lead which fixed the problem--the problem came back again.
THAT is the mentality that is pushing older cars off the road

tgray, Sep 19, 7:52pm
Tell you what, I sell a lot of $6000 - 12000 cars, and whenever I jump into a 1996ish Starlet, Pulsar, Corolla, Caldina, Accord, Bluebird etc, I always find myself wearing a little smile of nostalgia at how simple, reliable and inexpensive such a car is.
It brings back memories of when I started doing this business 10 years ago and the type cars I used to deal with.
I have far more problems with the newer cars than I ever had will the mid/late 90's ones.

amberley1, Sep 20, 7:07am
Just scored a xr6 turbo for 5k 220 kms happy to deal with any issues and yes ive got grease and oil under my fingernails! You have to be realistic with older high km cars and drive them and look after them, cheers!

carclan, Sep 20, 7:28am
Like, cam belts break at high mileage, tyres wear out at high mileage, just reminds you of a certain guide book out there.

kazbanz, May 25, 1:03am
My reaction is and will always be to say "no problem"
main reason being you come across as dodgy if you say no to the ":car gods" looking the car over.
Second reason is that if they go ahead with the purchase they are doing so on the basis of that inspection. Ie they know what they are buying with no hidden warts.

Share this thread

Buy me a coffee :)Buy me a coffee :)