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Buying / paying for a vehicle purchase in the EU


neil0841
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In another forum post, I asked about import issues in relation to buying a privately owned 1979 Unimog that is in Germany.

 

What I would also be interested to understand is what means of / arrangement for payment would you use to ensure that the purchase is 'safe', i.e. that you don't pay for something that then disappears.. Given that the scenario is likely to be one of having a transport company pick up the vehicle.. Ideally, I guess one would want to exchange the monies as the vehicle is loaded onto the transporter.

 

I would be interested to hear any thoughts or experiences on the subject. What other questions should I be asking before going to far? E.g. getting proof of ownership, etc?

 

Any advice would be gratefully received.

 

Regards,

 

Neil

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I bought a Dodge WC52 unseen from a dealer in the Netherlands, I paid by bank transfer as the dealer came recommended and I believed his description. NEVER again, if you are buying a vehicle go and LOOK at it properly or have someone known to you do it for you. I had so much grief with mine I can only say, a flight over would have saved me thousands of pounds and saved me countless sleepless nights :cry: This "perfect running machine" cost me well over £1000 AFTER purchase just to get it vaguely mobile and it still needs work. Have a weekend away and go and view it, flights are cheap, you may live to regret it if you don't :-)

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Good advice Arcot! Always, always go and see a vehicle before buying. I've bought vehicles the length and breadth of the UK, in the US and in Europe and the first and only time I've been ripped off was when I paid for a car in Scotland without seeing it....never again!!

 

As a long distance buyer you have to put a huge amount of faith in the seller so go and see the vehicle, ask for all the documentation for the vehicle and do some checks on the seller and his bank if he'll give you his IBAN/BIC details. It's amazing what you can find online! If everything checks out then comes the hard part, paying for the vehicle! I've never found a way of making instant payments overseas (apart from PayPal but their exchange rates and fees are horrendous) so the idea of making payment once the vehicle is on the transporter isn't feasible, cash isn't really an option as a transport company wouldn't want to take the responsibility, there's a limit on the amount of currency you can take out of the country and a lot of sellers don't want cash anyway, so the only way I've found of doing it is by bank transfer which usually takes 3 days.........3 worrying days :D .

 

Chris

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Good advice Arcot! Always, always go and see a vehicle before buying. I've bought vehicles the length and breadth of the UK, in the US and in Europe and the first and only time I've been ripped off was when I paid for a car in Scotland without seeing it....never again!!

 

Chris

Totally agree...only once ever bought one (a Landrover) without seeing it ....and although it was 'sort of' as the fella described it ?.....it pretty much sort of wasn't as well ..........there were loads of things that he had 'forgotten' to mention at all and when they were all added up ...if I'd bothered to go and see it I wouldn;t have bought it .but being a decent sort and abiding by eBay rules I did :(

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Further to my earlier answer here is the list of the major things wrong with my Dodge when it arrived at Hull docks, remember this truck was described as " a very reliable, well maintained usable truck, drives perfectly and my own personal truck for six years". On arriving at the docks it would not start, thinking the battery was a bit low I had to jump it from the low loader just to load it. The battery was knackered on getting it home £160, after renewal it still wouldn't start, the starter was reconditioned £125, I could not see the engine there was so much oil down the sides which turned out to be a blown head gasket £75, the gearbox and transfer box both need all seals replacing (parts bought yet to be fitted) £60, very few of the lights worked and I had to have a new rear wiring loom made up and fitted £160, all the oils looked as if they were of 1942 vintage £150 with filters, the canvas was so thin first time out it tore in half :embarrassed: £400+, I started to think I had a usable truck until the first drive over three miles produced a badly overheating engine, new radiator £275, speedo didn't work still doesn't, no horn there wasn't even one fitted ! I managed to do most of the work myself or else the cost would have been at least double. After finally getting it to run long enough to make the D Day 70th in Normandy the clutch went while we were there :cry: This list is just a FEW of the problems I encountered, all on a truck supposedly ready to use and that was claimed to be the sellers own truck he had loved and maintained for six years :D My advice is simple NEVER EVER buy unseen and if you do prepared to be burnt. In hindsight the seller of my Dodge must still be laughing I'm certainly not. :embarrassed: I paid top money for it too !

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Yet I bought an MG TD unseen from a Californian Dealer some 22 years ago and there was no trouble for me. The car is still in the family. Just luck of the draw, I guess.

 

Tony

 

Yes Tony you were lucky, also it seems people were more honest back then. With the rise of the internet comes the need to be very very careful when buying ANYTHING especially from abroad where the temptation is to rely on descriptions which all depends on trust. :-D Blokes will always claim 7 inches their wives/girlfriends will say 4 :-D

Edited by arcot1751
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Further to my earlier answer here is the list of the major things wrong with my Dodge when it arrived at Hull docks, remember this truck was described as " a very reliable, well maintained usable truck, drives perfectly and my own personal truck for six years". On arriving at the docks it would not start, thinking the battery was a bit low I had to jump it from the low loader just to load it. The battery was knackered on getting it home £160, after renewal it still wouldn't start, the starter was reconditioned £125, I could not see the engine there was so much oil down the sides which turned out to be a blown head gasket £75, the gearbox and transfer box both need all seals replacing (parts bought yet to be fitted) £60, very few of the lights worked and I had to have a new rear wiring loom made up and fitted £160, all the oils looked as if they were of 1942 vintage £150 with filters, the canvas was so thin first time out it tore in half :embarrassed: £400+, I started to think I had a usable truck until the first drive over three miles produced a badly overheating engine, new radiator £275, speedo didn't work still doesn't, no horn there wasn't even one fitted ! I managed to do most of the work myself or else the cost would have been at least double. After finally getting it to run long enough to make the D Day 70th in Normandy the clutch went while we were there :cry: This list is just a FEW of the problems I encountered, all on a truck supposedly ready to use and that was claimed to be the sellers own truck he had loved and maintained for six years :D My advice is simple NEVER EVER buy unseen and if you do prepared to be burnt. In hindsight the seller of my Dodge must still be laughing I'm certainly not. :embarrassed: I paid top money for it too !

 

Well fella there is one way to deal with this and to maybe prevent some other poor soul getting shafted

 

NAME and SHAME

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I would be afraid of the legal problems that may ensue suffice to say a regular Milweb advertiser. To be honest totally my fault I should have viewed the Dodge :red: Will never do it again that's for sure. I know underneath all the problems there is a good truck and it will turn out ok. My whole point of this post was to warn of the pitfalls of buying unseen, not to open up old wounds best forgotten. Hindsight is a wonderful thing as they say. :-D

Edited by arcot1751
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Thanks all for responding.. I was mostly concerned with the payment aspect, but there is a very clear message coming through regarding viewing a vehicle. If anyone has found some novel way of safeguarding the payment process, I would be most interested to read your post.

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