Newest Review: ... (we had just had mega snowfall), which made me think, there won't be many people there and he would have time for me if I visited from L... more
Be my Guest....
Independent Dealers in general
Member Name: thecompaqguy
Independent Dealers in general
Advantages: Over 200 cars on site....
Disadvantages: ...perhaps only 68 of them are roadworthy O.o
I was looking to downsize from a BMW 520d Touring to something a little smaller as parking in London is a nightmare.. so I found a nice 325d Touring (Estate to you and me) on AutoTrader.
The company selling it was Guest Motors of Withybrook (near Coventry), it was on a 2008 plate, said it had all the mod cons, leather interior, climate control etc, just one previous owner. I had a look at some of the pictures, but they didn't marry up with the product, there was a pic of a funny looking hole next to the Start button, which instantly made me think of Ex Police Traffic Car / Unmarked vehicle. (I used to own one so I knew what to look out for). I asked the dealer about it, he said it's never been an ex-copper, come up and have a look.
The weather wasn't great (we had just had mega snowfall), which made me think, there won't be many people there and he would have time for me if I visited from London.
After nearly killing myself on the icy backstreet where the dealer was (BMW's hate icy snowy hilly roads with ditches), after an hour or so I was there.
I trudged in the snow to the door (the place looked more like a Stolen Recovered yard they have at the police) thru lines of cars with numbers on the dashboard (hope that's not permanent pen!) and said I'd come to have a look at the car advertised. I asked him if he would like to look at mine as a part ex. His reply was 'can't be arsed in this weather, just look at this one here. take the key and look round' (loving the customer service!)
As I sat in the car, lo and behold, there was a hole next to the Start button, and the Courtesy Light wasn't fitted in properly and came loose. Eek! The seats were cloth, there was no Climate Control, the ventilation controls looked like something from a 1990's Vectra...
The cage fitted to the back in the boot area was the big giveaway. It was an unmarked cop car. Lifting the centre console to look for the cigarette lighter, there was a dirty great hole, and masses of wires. I'm not sure I'm supposed to see the wiring loom like that O.o
I started the engine and the service warning light, of a car on a stand came on, and the guy said 'that's the suspension setting itself to Sport mode' It wasn't.
I'd seen enough, and thought I'd have to put a lot right if I was to take this car. Again I asked if this was an ex-copper, and he denied it. Ok then, I'll call his bluff. Looking at the grubby V5 he pulled from a foolscap folder, the first owner? The Met Police!
'I had no idea it was a police car' he stammered. Surely he knew when he got it from the auctions? There was no service history, no owner's books or any BMW leaflets or anything. 'I can nick them from another car for you mate' he said....
I saw enough and made my sorry way home, on slightly better roads...
These guys are moving to a site in Northampton on the A45, so be careful of them... It didn't help to read in their local rag (Coventry Telegraph) the local Trading Standards fined him for selling dangerous cars. Looks like I had a lucky escape from Robin (and Batman)...
They can easily be confused with established dealers Guests of Solihull, these aren't them. If you do choose to buy a car here take someone with an eye for cars (Friend / Dad / VOSA inspector)....
Summary: You may need more than a can of T-Cut to put these right