I’ll stop ranting there in case it gets boring. Instead, let’s just look at the kinds of cars I could have bought.
Mercedes-Benz Approved Used is plugging the GLA at the moment. The showrooms are full of them. A 2014 200D AMG Line with 45,000 miles is £17,995. Rather more interesting is an S320 CDi with 76,000 miles up at £9900. It is quite a shock to find something that old at a main Mercedes dealer. It is pricey, but one assumes that it is spot on. More main agents should sell higher-mileage cars like that one, because it proves they are confident in their mature products.
Click here for used Mercedes-Benz GLAs on PistonHeads
Main dealers are chock-full of dealer demonstrators. Some of them will be the genuine, one-careful-salesperson keeper, or possibly ex-hire. Others are minimal-mile pre-registereds. Certainly a Hyundai i10 1.0 is pretty much the perfect town runabout these days and a 2017 example with 5000 miles saves you £2500 on the list, meaning you shell out about £7200.
At the prestige end, you’ll find the delivery-mileage-only cars. A brace of BMW 116ds I found at £16,995 may be worthy of your attention. The same goes for little Audis: a 2017 A1 Sport 1.4 TFSI is £14,500.
There is, then, plenty to sell – both fairly old and nearly new, and dealers often have access to stock across a wider group. The main agents should know better and in my experience struggle to put a realistic transportation proposal together. I’ll do a survey of independent dealers and the supermarket sector soon.
So, car manufacturers, if you want a bearded old man to help you sell many more cars to real people, I am sure it would make a great story in your favourite weekly car magazine.
What Ruppert almost bought this week...
Ford Edge - It’s a bit of a lumpen old thing, but the value an Edge offers as a used buy is looking impressive. Build quality is high, the seats are incredibly comfortable, all models get loads of equipment and there’s tons of space. The downside is that you don’t get a third row of seats, but if you’re after a big SUV that only needs to move five, it’s worth a look.
See Ford Edge for sale on PistonHeads
Tales from James Ruppert’s garage:
Land Rover Series 3 - Mileage: 128,675: Sound system number two is dead. After the phoenix-like restoration of the Lorry into the perky two-tonne, semi- commercial load-lugger and reliable local errand-runner it used to be, the rather less crucial audio upgrade has been a bit of a let-down. I now realise why I had not bothered with a radio for the past five years.