PDA

View Full Version : How many people took a test drive before paying up?



Siimplyloco
17-11-2013, 22:44
We were whizzing down the M27 trying out the Hymer Starline Sprinter before we stumped up £29,000, and against the unaccustomed background noise I asked Adrian, the proprietor of Viscount Motorhomes, why it was so noisy. He replied "These are very quiet: I couldn't have this conversation with you while I'm sitting in the back of most motorhomes."

I asked how many people went for a test drive. "One in ten" was the reply. "We've had people drive out and come straight back in again asking us to take it back: both caravans and motorhomes."

Ho hum.....
John
I have to say that the service from the dealer has been impeccable. Nothing is too much trouble and they have fixed absolutely everything on our snagging list.

Tezza33
17-11-2013, 23:08
We had a test drive in 2001 in an Autosleeper Palermo, it was quiet to us as our van at the time was a CI Meridian based on a Ford Transit normally aspirated 2.5D which was very noisy when pushed, we bought the Palermo and was very pleased with it to start with then it started to fall apart and 6000 miles and 3 months later we received a full refund from Brownhills, not without a lot of threats from us though, we didn't have a test drive in the new Hymer we bought in 2002 and apart from an upholstery problem and a fridge which was replaced it has performed impeccably, the only reason we didn't test drive it was we had been in a few owned by friends so we knew what to expect, we can talk normally in the front at 70 mph but there is a slight noise in the back, it is the only place you realise you are in a commercial vehicle

silverweed
18-11-2013, 06:24
I don't understand. I wouldn't part with one penny let alone thousands without a test drive. I assumed every one did the same. My car was written off recently and I replaces it with a £500 banger, it received a test drive. As mentioned, bit late once you've parted with your cash

yorkieowl
18-11-2013, 06:32
We had a test drive in ours before deciding to buy, our previous van was only 1.9 and struggled on hills, so we wanted to make sure this one was okay and handled nicely, (2.8) its actually better to drive than our focus IMHO.

hippy travels
18-11-2013, 06:46
I have never brought anything without a test drive or ride its the only way to get a good idea if there are any issues rattles knocks or bangs :hammer: or if you even like the way it drives. john

flyinghigh
18-11-2013, 07:09
IMHO anybody who parts with as in our case upwards of £40 grand with out a long test drive, motorway/A/B roads has more money than sense,

it doesn't matter if you have driven in similar vehicles or not,

It could have been a chuck together Friday afternoon one with a myriad of faults not picked up on the PDI,

welshrarebit
18-11-2013, 07:54
We had a couple that we bought at the NEC didn't test drive them as they were new, you couldn't anyway as They were all squashed in and had a warranty with them anyway.
The last one we bought was older and at a dealer's, we test drove that and if we bought private, we would go over that with a small toothcomb!!
Never bought a MH private though, could have saved ourselves a small fortune I reckon, we like the security of a warranty of things went badly wrong, which they have on 3 of them, fixed by warranty.
A test drive wouldn't have found the faults though, came to light over the months we owned them, mostly habitation part of the motorhome.

amazingskippy
18-11-2013, 08:17
We had a couple that we bought at the NEC didn't test drive them as they were new, you couldn't anyway as They were all squashed in and had a warranty with them anyway.
The last one we bought was older and at a dealer's, we test drove that and if we bought private, we would go over that with a small toothcomb!!
Never bought a MH private though, could have saved ourselves a small fortune I reckon, we like the security of a warranty of things went badly wrong, which they have on 3 of them, fixed by warranty.
A test drive wouldn't have found the faults though, came to light over the months we owned them, mostly habitation part of the motorhome.

We found the same thing with our Hobby. It drives superbly, but all the problems we have had have been on the habitation side.
Incidentally, we have met loads of owners who only use their vans weekends in which case many habitation issues simply wouldn't surface during the warranty period. So my advice is to use your van as much as you can during the warranty period.

GinaRon
18-11-2013, 08:41
We test drove our Freda (Ford Frontier) Camper and when we bought our Pilote second hand from the deals we had a test drive and went over finding
faults/problems which we had fixed before we parted with the money. We have had to go back and had no problems with them putting things right - SMC of Newark.

mark61
18-11-2013, 08:44
Never bought a MH, but have test driven all cars, vans, bicycles I have bought.

Siimplyloco
18-11-2013, 08:52
SNIP
A test drive wouldn't have found the faults though, came to light over the months we owned them, mostly habitation part of the motorhome.

Agreed. We took ours straight away for a 150 mile round trip and camped wild overnight at the Clay Pigeon race track nr Dorchester. The snagging list grew with every turn of a tap or light switch!
John

Smaug
18-11-2013, 09:14
Hhhhmmm, sometimes I test drive & sometimes I don't.

If what I am buying is cheap enough (against market value) to cover a major repair then the risk is reduced. I bought my current van from a caravan dealer off e-bay, unseen. But the dealer had given it a habitation service & warranted everything working & we didn't pay more than a small deposit until we had seen the van, given it a short drive & looked over the interior. But we were saving around 5k on a normal forecourt price, so that helped.

I have bought several cars on e-bay for a few hundred up to a grand, a couple of cheapos have been lemons, but most have been excellent value. The wife's Saab had a "check gearbox" light on the dash - and still has after a cold wet start in the morning, but we have done 50k miles in it with no problems. At a recent service, the garage told us it's just the sensor for the gear lever position, but it certainly frightened the previous owners into dumping it on e-bay about 6 years ago. Clearly they thought it was imminently doomed.

Our first van (a Commer CI Wanderer pop-top) came from a Ford garage & they were desperate to shift it so we insisted on it being re-sprayed & re-upholstered, we sold it at a small profit about 18 months later & bought a coachbuilt privately for the extra room & equipment levels. I couldn't test drive it as it wasn't taxed or insured, but I ran the engine & checked the interior over.

Don't forget a test drive won't reveal bodged over rust as other threads have shown. But if you get something at a price that reflects your certainty of quality then at least you will have the funds & motivation to sort it - which the seller seldom has. My main guide is to judge the seller as much as the car & to look for someone who needs to get rid of their van for a genuine reason rather than because of a hidden problem.

Syd Lexic
18-11-2013, 09:25
Agreed. We took ours straight away for a 150 mile round trip and camped wild overnight at the Clay Pigeon race track nr Dorchester. The snagging list grew with every turn of a tap or light switch!
John
Bought ours new from Davan of WSM in November 2012, no test drive. Although we've had no issues that would have flagged up on a test drive I would strongly recommend having a test drive.
We got caught up in the excitement of our first motorhome and the fortunate position of being able to negotiate a considerable discount on an end of season model. Our real test drive was AFTER purchase when we drove to Spain in January for a month, made a list of relatively minor nigglies that Davan attended to without question on our return in February.
Our real 'problem' has just been found on the first habitation service (by Davan) where numerous high damp readings were found. Davan flagged this up with Auto Trail and we are awaiting remedial work under warranty.
Yes a test drive should be taken but do not overlook the damp check of the habitation areas especially on an older model.

invalid
18-11-2013, 09:35
I always test drive, the only one we couldnít was our 1922 rover, it had a cracked block, but at 6í 4Ē and 22stone (Iíve shrunk over the years) youíd look a bit of an idiot if you canít get in to drive it.
I even test drove the ride on lawn mower, more to see if it would still move with my weight than my size. Donít tell my other half I admitted that.

marydot
18-11-2013, 11:23
Always test drive everything. My OH likes to know first of all that he can sit comfortably , and years ago tried a Rover car ( a lot of years ago!) which was in superb condition, one owner etc. However he just couldn't find a comfortable driving position, so it was off the list.

With motorhomes, he insists on the opportunity to drive up a steep, preferably winding hill, and some motorway driving, and then likes to crawl about underneath and see what might be going on there. Not really too mechanically minded, but would probably spot something that didn't look right.

Better a disappointment before purchase than the hassle we had with Brownhills, even after a test drive.

Marydot

maingate
18-11-2013, 11:48
I have never had a test drive of anything on wheels. Maybe I am just lucky but probably it's because I can tell when a salesman is telling more porkies than usual and I ask the right questions.

My present van had been in the dealers for a long time and had one or two cosmetic problems They gave me a very good part-ex, reduced the asking price and saw to everything I asked for (they were so glad to see the back of it). The only real problem I had was that the exhaust fell apart on the first really long trip. I expected that at some point but not so quickly. :raofl:

If a van stands for long periods, the exhaust rusts from the inside ...... remember that and use your van regularly. :D

Beemer
18-11-2013, 12:32
We bought our last two m/h from Brownhills, and test drove them both.
The latest m/h i drove down the dual carriageway near Brownhills after the salesman had driven it out of the dealers and onto the carriageway. I was impressed with the performance of the 2.8tdi engine, and then a bit worried when the salesman suggested to my wife that she should drive it back into the dealers!! 'er indoors has clipped a few kerbs in the last van before, but she did really well. So if she is able to drive it ....it must be ok.:lol-061:

Caz
18-11-2013, 14:31
Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

The only vehicle I've ever regretted not test driving was the Autoquest I had some years ago. Driving a Transit with no power steering had been a doddle, switching to a Talbot was a pain (literally). I didn't feel comfortable in the driving position, the clutch was so heavy I had to stand on it and the gear lever had a mind of it's own. I only kept it a year, had it been as easy as the Transit I would have kept it a lot longer. Maybe if I'd had a test drive I wouldn't have bought it. Made a big loss on it as I was so anxious to get shot.

Brian the snail
18-11-2013, 23:30
Viscount are a good dealership they look after you. Bought our 1st van from them September 2011. Yes we had a test drive and it was also very noisy but what a difference when packed properly.

Enjoy your new toy. :fun:

Clive

Tony Lee
18-11-2013, 23:38
We have bought 5 motorhomes totally sight unseen including the latest one and apart from one we bought from some crooks in Holland which we got rid of straight away, always ended up with exactly what we expected and have always got our money's worth. Latest one yet to set eyes on and we still have all the others.

I think test drives take place in such artificial and stressful situations that they really aren't much use in making a decision.

Tezza33
19-11-2013, 00:14
I think test drives take place in such artificial and stressful situations that they really aren't much use in making a decision.I have to agree, I had a test drive in the Palermo and it showed nothing yet I am a time served mechanic who worked in the development dept at Freight Rover (no giggles it isn't much of a claim to fame) and ran my own workshop after so I obviously know what to look for, 3 Months later and 74 faults on video I realised I had bought a nightmare but nothing was amiss on the test drive, after all the problems I researched the base vehicle and it was built in 1998 but first registered in 2001, it had been at the Factory for 3 years and as an ex development worker that spelled only one thing, 'development vehicle', I removed lots of interior fittings and found evidence of alterations, when I confronted Brownhills they issued me with a full refund and a decent discount if I bought another one from them, I didn't need a test drive in the Hymer I bought from them, if it had faults it was a new van and Brownhills were helping to mend bridges, also a friend of ours who was a researcher for Watchdog still had a copy of the video

I would always insist on a test drive for a used vehicle, I would also get an AA or similar inspection because most expensive problems would be with the drive train etc not the habitation dept, you can check those yourself

Wooie1958
19-11-2013, 08:20
I did and do.

Smaug
19-11-2013, 09:09
I have never had a test drive of anything on wheels. Maybe I am just lucky but probably it's because I can tell when a salesman is telling more porkies than usual and I ask the right questions.

My present van had been in the dealers for a long time and had one or two cosmetic problems They gave me a very good part-ex, reduced the asking price and saw to everything I asked for (they were so glad to see the back of it). The only real problem I had was that the exhaust fell apart on the first really long trip. I expected that at some point but not so quickly. :raofl:

If a van stands for long periods, the exhaust rusts from the inside ...... remember that and use your van regularly. :D

This is greatly aggravated by short journeys or starting the engine regularly to run it for 10 mins or so. The engine produces a lot of water in the exhaust until properly warmed up (at least a 20 minute run) and much of that will condense in the exhaust or end up emulsifying the oil. I bought a car from my Aunt once (at the AA valuation) it was 15 years old with 16k on the clock. When I sold it with 30k on the clock it was showing signs of imminent bearing failure. My uncle had never driven more than a couple of miles in it & the rocker box was full of "mayonnaise" when I bought it.

My frequent oil changes & decent length runs could never have undone the damage done in the early part of its life. Mind you, the interior was immaculate for the age! :D

mandrake
19-11-2013, 09:25
as for mechanical s nowadays ,its sometimes better to buy a highish mileage and well serviced than a low hardly used motor . my old seat diesel Alhambra had well over 250 thousand miles on it and was perfect mechanically .the interior of a lot of new motor homes is less than perfect nowadays and probably wont last that long without defects but thats down to the builders of the vans body not the van manufacturer so i guess you get what you pay for ,an expensive m/home will probably outlive the cheaper versions .personally i would never buy any new vehicle even if i could afford one ,i would buy a year or so old after someone else has sorted the problems out and the vehicle was much reduced in price over new with the dreaded depreciation

trevskoda
19-11-2013, 09:35
smaug is right, im a engineer motors now marine ,all engines etc require to be keeped moving.
i change my oil at 5000 mls regardles.
i bought my skoda favorit at 7 years old 70000 miles on clock for £10 stript it ,rebuilt it arse to elbow,
now over 260000 miles on and nerley 19 years old it,never mises a beat,should i have had a test drive ?.
i think i have had better value out of it than the twat that bought it new.

dysdera
19-11-2013, 19:02
I purchased a £10000 vw passat without even sitting in it, and a £23 000 motorhome without driving it ( incidentally the motorhome was from Viscount, and it was Adrian who sold us it and it was our first motorhome)
I have also put an offer in on a house without going through the front door (although my wife did).

Fazerloz
19-11-2013, 19:59
I did and do.

Me too.

just jane
19-11-2013, 20:04
I have bought two vehicles off ebay without test driving either.
The first was a Transit minibus with around 80000miles from ebay, we owned it for 3/4 years and had many great camping trips in it,the only thing that went wrong was the exhaust fell off.
The second was the Hymer we have now and we saw it at the dealers and looked around the habitation stuff and worked out its layout was what we wanted, there was no damp and was in good condition but we couldnt even hear the engine because it had no battery in at the time. We bought it off ebay for £5000 less than the forecourt price and so far have had it 4 years and only spent on servicing and general wear and tear type stuff.

I once bought a Mondeo after a test drive and although a beautiful car it broke down twice on it first journey and had to be towed home. It then developed a tendency to cut out and when it did it lost all power steering which was not fun when it happened half way across a junction so was back at the garage on average every 3 months over the three years we owned it. They replaced all of the engine management system and all the injectors and still never sorted it.

trevskoda
19-11-2013, 20:57
I have bought two vehicles off ebay without test driving either.
The first was a Transit minibus with around 80000miles from ebay, we owned it for 3/4 years and had many great camping trips in it,the only thing that went wrong was the exhaust fell off.
The second was the Hymer we have now and we saw it at the dealers and looked around the habitation stuff and worked out its layout was what we wanted, there was no damp and was in good condition but we couldnt even hear the engine because it had no battery in at the time. We bought it off ebay for £5000 less than the forecourt price and so far have had it 4 years and only spent on servicing and general wear and tear type stuff.

I once bought a Mondeo after a test drive and although a beautiful car it broke down twice on it first journey and had to be towed home. It then developed a tendency to cut out and when it did it lost all power steering which was not fun when it happened half way across a junction so was back at the garage on average every 3 months over the three years we owned it. They replaced all of the engine management system and all the injectors and still never sorted it.

only a nut would buy a ford,stands for fix or repair daily

mandrake
19-11-2013, 20:58
if i was buying an expensive motor i would ask for a test drive naturally but as most of my motors like this ebay special, rover 25 /200 i have now, that cost 175quid with 75k on it and 6months ticket its not really necessary, after all cars like this are are nearly for nothing arnt they my Alhambra was a swop for a non runner merc c class 250 and that lasted 2 years and was sold for 400 quid .my van i had was a bedford cf compass drifter cost 2.5k ran it 6 years and sold for 3k that i did have a test drive in the only thing wrong was a duff heater in the back and the guy at the dealership changed it for free i had 6 years of trouble free motoring with that van and also lived in it for near on 2 years i miss it though

Tezza33
19-11-2013, 21:13
only a nut would buy a ford,stands for fix or repair dailyFiat used to stand for 'Fix It Again Tomorrow', shouldn't laugh really we have a Hymer based on a 2.8jtd, a Fiat 500 and a Fiat Panda, the Panda bonnet is lifted the most but only to connect the electrics for the 'A' frame :o

mandrake
19-11-2013, 22:04
as for the things that can be said using car/van names ,i once had a lotus europa for a while well to be true i dragged it out of a scrappy and put it back on the road ,its usualy said lotus ,lots of trouble usually serious, mine certainly lived up to that, but i turned a few quid when i sold it all that mattered. i wish i still had it as it was the jps limited edition be worth a mint now ( jps john player special) in black with gold pin striping

Smaug
19-11-2013, 22:09
only a nut would buy a ford,stands for fix or repair daily

You don't have any experience of Ford in the last 20 years do you? Even back in the "old days" the reason so many Fords were hard to start or broke down was simply because people just drove them. They never repaired or maintained them. The surprising thing was how long the went before breaking down rather than how often the broke down.

I have had a handful of high mileage Mondeo "workhorses" for the last 15 years or so, most cost under 500 quid & have lasted several years of very hard use with minimal maintenance before I broke them. None of them has been in any way unreliable, but one had been badly "fixed up" before I bought it & that only lasted about 12 months before I scrapped it.

mandrake
19-11-2013, 22:28
ford have always been pretty decent on reliability i have not had any real trouble and have had many fords from anglias cortinas corsairs zephers/zodiacs, i had a sierra wasent that keen on it .only car i realy had probs recently with was a Mercedes c class 250 diesel load of rubbish, rotten as a bag of carrots bodily immobilizer probs was finally the last straw , so it went, swopped for a seat Alhambra with over quarter of a million miles under its belt no real probs with it

hextal
20-11-2013, 11:22
I always take a test drive. Partly to check that there are no additional faults and partly to make sure that myself and 'our lass' actually like driving the car/van.

Plus, once everything is up to temp/pressure it's easier to spot leaks and the like when you get back under it.

ricc
20-11-2013, 14:20
i would allways drive the thing , just to check that i actually fit in the thing comfortably and all the main controls, mirrors etc are comfortably placed. thats before trying to spot any mechanical problems.

over the years ive walked away from several vehicles that wernt comfortable or even just plain felt wrong when driving down the road.

kangooroo
20-11-2013, 14:40
I woudn't even contemplate buying any vehicle without a test drive. Some things can be judged from sitting in a vehicle on a forecourt or the vendor's driveway but you really need to drive it to get a feel for it. I also check/test brakes, steering, CV joints via tight circles, how quickly engine warms up (or doesn't), any warning lamps flashing after a few miles... etc. I also check the dipstick before and after a drive and take pics of the underneath of a vehicle to view at home on a larger-screen to check for any obvious faults or defects (and I've found quite a few over the years).

I've always done this right, from buying my first vehicle aged 18. Until reading this thread, I assumed everyone did!

trevskoda
20-11-2013, 17:13
You don't have any experience of Ford in the last 20 years do you? Even back in the "old days" the reason so many Fords were hard to start or broke down was simply because people just drove them. They never repaired or maintained them. The surprising thing was how long the went before breaking down rather than how often the broke down.

I have had a handful of high mileage Mondeo "workhorses" for the last 15 years or so, most cost under 500 quid & have lasted several years of very hard use with minimal maintenance before I broke them. None of them has been in any way unreliable, but one had been badly "fixed up" before I bought it & that only lasted about 12 months before I scrapped it.

yes smaug i have worked at fords of ,still crap ,i had a jago jeep still have it went through more diffs engines g boxes than i could shake a stick at.
worked in a garage we had contract to fix fords for radio rentals plus others,all our aprentices ran for the doors when ford or laylan came in.
then went to work for toyota,they very rearly broke down,just sold manly body panels etc crash damage.
engines from new in my jago lasted about 40000 mils and just bluw up mostly bearing failure or oil pumps.
7 years running 4 engines 3 g boxes and about 5 diffs,dont call this reliable.
at mot station of late,ask mot man what was the best car without trouble ,hi reply there all not good now but dont buy a ford .

tony
21-11-2013, 20:22
the 3 campers/motorhomes we bought. 2 privatly & 1 from a dealer we had a test drive in all 3 & given time to make our minds up with no pressure.
thats the way it should be.
tony


CLICK HERE TO REMOVE THESE ADVERTS