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How cheap is too cheap?

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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 13:52   #1
bkharrison
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Default How cheap is too cheap?

I'm in the UK (North east) and there's a 1993 Volvo 960 3.0 24V(?) Auto for £600. It's done (allegedly) 380,000km (235,000miles). It looks like there's a couple of scratches and dents, apparently there's decent maintenance history and the MOT history looks ok as well (handbrake, emissions, lambda, wheel bearing play).
My reckoning is that for £600, I can't really go wrong....or maybe it's just had generous MOT testers.
What are your views?

EDIT: I've just checked the MOT mileage, it went from 270,000 miles DOWN to 165,000 miles between 2012 and 2013. So in total its done 335,000 miles (which I'd be bloody proud of!).
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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 13:59   #2
griston64
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it could be a massive £600 money pit with that mileage on it !
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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 14:15   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkharrison View Post
I'm in the UK (North east) and there's a 1993 Volvo 960 3.0 24V(?) Auto for £600. It's done (allegedly) 380,000km (235,000miles). It looks like there's a couple of scratches and dents, apparently there's decent maintenance history and the MOT history looks ok as well (handbrake, emissions, lambda, wheel bearing play).
My reckoning is that for £600, I can't really go wrong....or maybe it's just had generous MOT testers.
What are your views?

EDIT: I've just checked the MOT mileage, it went from 270,000 miles DOWN to 165,000 miles between 2012 and 2013. So in total its done 335,000 miles (which I'd be bloody proud of!).
I think this one would be a better bet...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/324817848...0AAOSwMDNhXNcS

but either would get you your money back if parted out...
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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 14:22   #4
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Quote:
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it could be a massive £600 money pit with that mileage on it !
It could be, 'griston64'; equally, although it will never be an economical car, it could still be a sensible buy. I paid £550 for my 2000 V70 from a dealer five years ago and it has since proved to be a very reliable buy.

This is a risk that you take with any used car, whatever the price; at £600 there should at least be minimal depreciation. Given a reasonable service history and a good pre-purchase inspection, I think it is probably worth the risk. Premium, expensive when new, cars tend in general to be better looked after than cheap economy ones, so a £600 Volvo, in relative terms, is likely to prove a much better buy than a similarly priced Corsa, for example.

Regards, John.
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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 14:49   #5
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It could be, 'griston64'; equally, although it will never be an economical car, it could still be a sensible buy. I paid £550 for my 2000 V70 from a dealer five years ago and it has since proved to be a very reliable buy.

This is a risk that you take with any used car, whatever the price; at £600 there should at least be minimal depreciation. Given a reasonable service history and a good pre-purchase inspection, I think it is probably worth the risk. Premium, expensive when new, cars tend in general to be better looked after than cheap economy ones, so a £600 Volvo, in relative terms, is likely to prove a much better buy than a similarly priced Corsa, for example.

Regards, John.
I got my 940 for free but it only had 124k on it and i paid £375 for my V70 with 122k. Apart from normal things like brakes and exhausts etc they have been fine.

I'm saying I would be slighty more wary of a 960 with nearly 350k on it.
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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 18:10   #6
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With anything this old I just buy on a test drive and brief inspection. Check the oil and coolant. rag the arse off it for 20 minutes, check it stops and steers and make sure there's no annoying lights (airbags/ABS) which will result in an MOT failure.
The Golf I'm running currently had sat for the best part of 2 months at the dealers because it looked tatty and was running rough. It still looks tatty but all it needed was a coil pack, oil pressure sensor, and a filter change.
At that price it's worth more in parts if it does go pop.
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Old Oct 12th, 2021, 23:58   #7
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There are no hard and fast rules regarding price. There are periodically posts on here about sub £1k cars that reappear a few months later as allegedly cosseted examples with price tags north of £5k. IMHO with older cars you’re better off buying a cheap example that might need a bit of money spent to make it reliable rather than getting an expensive one that will also likely need a lot of money spent on it.

If the car is basically sound most mechanical niggles can be sorted out fairly easily and it can be cleaned and polished to make it look nice.

Things possibly to avoid are Nivomat suspension needing immediate replacement, a leaking heater matrix or a blown head gasket. None of these are actually show stoppers, especially if you plan to do work yourself. But they have potential to take time and/or be expensive so make sure you know what you’re taking on.
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Old Oct 13th, 2021, 06:25   #8
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In general the cheap ones tend to work out the most expensive. I know that exact model is relatively uncommon now, but Id hold out for a better one even if it meant paying more - in the long run itnis liable to cost less.
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Old Oct 13th, 2021, 07:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkharrison View Post

EDIT: I've just checked the MOT mileage, it went from 270,000 miles DOWN to 165,000 miles between 2012 and 2013. So in total its done 335,000 miles (which I'd be bloody proud of!).
I'd be proud of that too. My brother's 940 has ticked over 290k miles recently and still drives really nicely, albeit you can feel the miles over my 170k mile 740.

I'd buy it on condition, not mileage.

The one caveat would that I don't know anything about that 3.0 engine in terms of if there are any ticking timebombs there
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Old Oct 13th, 2021, 08:52   #10
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Right on cue, I notice the most expensive 960 Mk2 on eBay at nearly £7k is one that was on private sale in London in January this year at £750 due to the impending ULEZ. Within reason, and if you’re patient and have your wits about you, the price you pay boils down to what you’re prepared to pay.
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