Jump to content

Buying a used car in France


Recommended Posts

It is looking like we have found the next roof over our head.  Should be confirmed within the next 48 hours.

So, if all goes as planned, we will need to buy a car.  When we lived down South, we bought a new car, so that was pretty clear cut.  Simple process, no issues.  We sold it when we left and that was also fairly clear cut with no problems.

This go round, we would rather not pay the price of a new car, so we're looking at used cars.  It seems a bit safer to go with one of the larger car dealers as they offer one year guarantees (limited, I'm sure, but still) on most of their 'newer' used cars.

We're looking at vehicles that are one to two years old.  Probably a Renault as that is what we had before and we were happy with it.

So, how does the process work here?  Can you make an offer that is less than the dealer's asking price?  This is common place in the U.S., but I don't know about here.  I've read on here that payment can be made by wire transfer from our bank to the concessionnaire.  I presume cheques for the amount of a car are not accepted, though I have no idea.  I know cash cannot be used as the amount is over the legal limit for a cash purchase.

So, can anyone offer us any tips for buying a used car?

Thank you !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lori wrote the following post at 26 Apr 2021 10:39:

It is looking like we have found the next roof over our head. Should be confirmed within the next 48 hours.

That is excellent news .. how exciting.

As to the car .. dealers are awash with second hand cars especially at the moment so yes, make an offer.

Also you can bargain for a better or longer guarantee. If you don't ask then you definitely don't get.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you both for the feedback, much appreciated.

I didn't think to ask for an extension of the one year guarantee.  Like you say, if you don't ask, you certainly won't get.

In the U.S., you can pull up a car by its vehicle I.D. number (plastered on various parts of the vehicle) and determine if it has ever been in an accident or had body repairs done.

Does anything like that exist here in France?  Is the dealer/seller likely to know?  If asked do you think he would tell us the truth?

Do buyers ask if they can have a private garage inspect the car prior to purchase?  This is also done all the time in the U.S., but I imagine here the reply I'd get would be 'that is why we offer a guarantee.'   However, guarantees are always limited and some problems can be seen during a good inspection and can point out things you might prefer to avoid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lori .......l

Just one other avenue to consider.

See if you can find a ‘vehicule de direccion’. Our local VW dealership is long established family firm, so there are probably half a dozen cars of all shapes and sizes on their books.

They are obviously used as demonstrators as well as personal transport for the people in the firm. As a result, they’re always in good nick and quite low mileage.

The last one that we bought this way had 3k kms on the clock, was 5 months old and at a 17% discount to list price.

Not necessarily the best answer, but one to consider.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Mint, I got your PM, thank you so much.  We are following up on it.  Extremely helpful source.

Nomoss, that is also very helpful.  We will try to use the source when we find a car.

Thank you all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Lori"]
It is looking like we have found the next roof over our head.  Should be confirmed within the next 48 hours.[/quote]
The best of luck to you both. A good decision to return home to the South, you won't regret it.

[quote user="Lori"]I presume cheques for the amount of a car are not accepted, though I have no idea.[/quote]
Although two years ago, it wasn't a problem for my wife.  She refuses to buy new in view of the depreciation the minute you exit the car lot.  She traded in her existing model along with a cheque for €26,000 for her 12-month-old acquisition and no explanations were required. I can only speak for this particular dealership.

[quote user="Lori"]So, can anyone offer us any tips for buying a used car?[/quote]
I am not aware of your take on dealing with car sales folk, but in my wife's case it required a firm and assertive attitude to deflect the hustle they adopted in attempting to steer her into taking out one of these rent/own deals.  This is where you basically rent the vehicle at a predetermined (extortional) rate for three years and at the end of the period there are three options open to you.

1. Start the three-year cycle over with a new vehicle and contract.
2. Purchase the vehicle (now second hand) at a prearranged, at the commencement of the contract, extortionate price.
3. Hand the vehicle back and walk away heavily out of pocket.
Apparently it is a sales technique, imported from Britain, and the French love it. It has had the advantage of shifting all the wrecks, that one time cluttered french highways, as 'new' is now more accessible. If you can afford it, avoid this like the plague.

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Gardian.  I will keep that idea in mind.

Thanks Cajal.  Yes, the car lease has become extremely popular in the U.S.A.  Wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.  Crazy for all kinds of reasons. 

At our age, we have learned that the process of purchasing a car requires a very firm attitude and a strong knowledge of exactly what you want - and - don't want.  This we can do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello we have found our two vehicles via www.lacentrale.fr

Gives a good idea of current prices and the site gives a value for the car.

We found a garage that imports new Renault from Belgium

and bought our first ever new car for the price of a used car. They took our old banger in part ex.

Good luck.

www.largus.fr also good site

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...