Scams to look out for when buying a second car from used car dealers?

Been doing some research.

Although the prices in middle/southern Taiwan seem to be lower than second hand car prices in the northern Taiwan, there is this theory that car sellers/dealers who have their shops in the middle/southern part of Taiwan deliberately lower their selling price in order to attract customers from the north to their shops.

Yet after customers waste a few hundred NTD on train tickets and what not and waste a few hours worth of their time sitting on the train, the mysterious “cheap car” or “special value car” would mysteriously disappear and customers would have no choice but to look at the more expensive cars in the car dealers’ inventories.

Are used car dealers in the middle/southern part of Taiwan this dishonest or are used car dealers generally dishonest throughout Taiwan or even in the whole world?

I had so many crooked used car dealers lie to my face last time I was shopping around in Taipei that I’ll probably never buy from one again unless I get a trustworthy recommendation. I can’t imagine they’re any better further south. There’s a reason for stereotypes in this case.

We nearly bought a stuck-together car in Taichung. I wouldn’t have spotted it, it was a well done job, but thankfully we took my wife’s cousin mechanic along for a 2nd look. The dealers just laughed a little when he pointed out the welding to them.

The car we did end up buying, different dealers, was fine except that they’d clocked the mileage. Instead of 40,000km it was actually 140. Only found that out later at the Ford garage, the last service they had registered for it was 125,000. Ok about that now, as the car has been stellar, and is just coming up to 200,000 :notworthy:.

I think 2nd hand car dealers are all the same, world over. Next car, I’d prefer to do a private sale.

buddha boy is well travelled topic wize !! :slight_smile:

from caves to achieve nirvana in the forests of taiwan to buying used cars !

My advice: If you’re sweating it over a few hundred NTD and a couple of hours in traffic, you’re not in the market for a car.

Paying for parking alone in a big city is no small sum, and combined with maintenance costs, it would make more sense to rent every time you need one unless you’re really going to use it every day of the week and cannot rely on public transportation instead.

Plus public transport helps the environment. :serenade: (That’s my inner hippie singing a protest song.)

I doubt the Taiwanese are sweating it for the cost and time, they just want to save money. I’m sure they already understand
the costs involved in owning a car. Well, maybe they don’t in the beginning, but they’ll learn soon enough. I say this
because the car shops aren’t trying to attract foreign shoppers by doing this, as I’m guessing the OP is a foreigner. The OP
is just trying to get the best bang for his buck, which is understandable. I’m not surprised by this, as most people here know
used car shops have many tricks to make they cars they sell look better than they really are.

They do this switch and bait routine all the time. Oh THAT car, sold today to blah blah.

Fortunately we have THIS car…

That’s just the minor lies that they tell.
I also found many of them to be insufferingly arrogant and hard to negotiate with. I think it is due to the popularity of small and medium sized cars, they weren’t interested in knocking off prices in many cases, they would rather wait for the next fool to come along.

Plus they somehow share the car stock between different dealer groups. Dodgy stuff as per usual.

It’s much better to buy direct from the owner, dealers here don’t really serve any function and they add on a substantial commission.

I’m pretty much restricted to buying from foreigners (due to zero-zongwen) and have travelled up from Tainan to Taipei (where be foreigners) to look at cars.

I’d be reluctant to do that again, since I find it does put pressure on me to close a deal.

I’d be very reluctant to talk to a dealer even if I could, unless there was some guanxi involved.

After I bought my current spectacularly scruffy car, I lost count of the number of colleages/students/neighbours/acquaintances who said "Oh, but you could have bought my/my grannies car, I bao fei’d it last week / sold it to a dealer for buttons / gave it to my cousin but I don’t really like her, etc etc. Some of this is probably bullshit, but I knew a few of the cars and they would apparently have been good buys.

So if youre flexible and not in a big hurry, it may be worth putting the word out.

Next time, if there’s a next time, I might try making it a student project. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I’m a bargain-bao-fei-basement kind of vehicle buyer, but if I was spending more (and if you’re considering dealers I’d guess you are) I’d definately use Mr S’s Autocheckers sourcing service. Seems to be a no-brainer. ENDEDIT

My advice: If you’re sweating it over a few hundred NTD and a couple of hours in traffic, you’re not in the market for a car.

Paying for parking alone in a big city is no small sum, and combined with maintenance costs, it would make more sense to rent every time you need one unless you’re really going to use it every day of the week and cannot rely on public transportation instead.

Plus public transport helps the environment. :serenade: (That’s my inner hippie singing a protest song.)[/quote]

I should be driving my future car every day of the week and I don’t expect any major public transport facilities in the areas where I will be hanging out nor will there be too much traffic, I hope.

No I am not gonna be parking my car in big cities much or even at all.

Why don’t you just get a scooter? Buying a car is not at all practical unless A: You plan to use it for some 5-10 years, or B: You’re so loaded you don’t know what “practical” means.

Because I will be sleeping/meditating in my car and I intend to cover lots of Ks during my explorations. Didn’t you read my cave hunting threads?

Or C. You have children to take to see their grandparents every weekend and a 20 min drive becomes 1.5 hrs on public transport. Granted that’s pretty specific criteria but you get the idea.

Don’t see what the problem is here. Most Taiwanese people manage to fit children and grandparents on their scooters.

I concede sleeping in one might be a bit awkward. But a tent might be a better idea. Cars are bloody uncomfortable for sleeping in, and a lot more expensive.

Much more waterproof, though. And have you ever tried driving a tent?

Never had a tent leak in British weather, but I guess if you’re travelling in monsoon season you might have a problem. And obviously, the idea is that you pack your tent on the scooter. Modern tents fold up pretty small.

[quote=“irishmoe”]

Or C. You have children to take to see their grandparents every weekend and a 20 min drive becomes 1.5 hrs on public transport. Granted that’s pretty specific criteria but you get the idea.[/quote]

You’ve got serious money if you’d buy a car to use 40 minutes a week just to save two hours. I live out in the sticks with a child so I kind of need a car. I often park it somewhere and use the MRT/folding bike when I go to the city.

On that note, I’m in the market for a van. Was thinking a VW Transporter, the longest one, but would settle for something else if the right price came along.

Because I will be sleeping/meditating in my car and I intend to cover lots of Ks during my explorations. Didn’t you read my cave hunting threads?[/quote]

I’d love to see what this looks like on a form filed with the Immigration Agency.

Purpose of Stay in ROC: Mediating in car
Address in ROC: In car, meditating

I thought I wrote about many of these scams before. That’s exactly why we have a used car sourcing service at Auto Checkers. It’s simply to take all of the hassle out of buying from dodgy dealers with false promises.

Typical scams which I have written about numerous times include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. Lying about a car’s mileage
  2. Lying about the condition of the vehicle.
  3. Lying about the advertised price in order to lure potential customers to distant locations, just to disappoint them with the news that the price online was the “starting price for negotiation”. (It only goes upwards from there.)
  4. Lying about the availability of the ghost vehicle which actually didn’t exist in the first place. (but now that you’re here they can show you a multitude of utterly shit vehicles in the hope that your desperate enough to buy one of them)
  5. Lying about the service history
  6. Lying about the number of previous owners
  7. Lying when they say that the car was previously owned by an old lady who didn’t drive it much and just kept it garaged indoors.
  8. Lying when they show you their internal buy in cost sheet which clearly shows that they would only be making a few thousand NT if they sold the car to you today.
  9. Lying about the so called “warranty”.
  10. Lying that it’s their own personal transport which they use day to day, “just to prove its reliability”.
  11. Lying when they say they’ll throw in a free service as part of the deal.
  12. Lying when they say they’ll just have to “check with the boss” as they walk away to have a pretend conversation with their boss about reducing the price, when in fact they are still ripping you off, and everyone knows it but you. You’ll be particularly impressed when “the boss” starts shouting at the salesman and demands he takes the loss on the sale out of his own wages.

I could go on, but I think you get the message. When sourcing a car, do it based on the car’s condition, and ignore everything else but the actual price. That’s what I do.

Because I will be sleeping/meditating in my car and I intend to cover lots of Ks during my explorations. Didn’t you read my cave hunting threads?[/quote]

I’d love to see what this looks like on a form filed with the Immigration Agency.

Purpose of Stay in ROC: Mediating in car
Address in ROC: In car, meditating[/quote]

Didn’t know you had a side-job as an Immigration stooge.

Don’t see what the problem is here. Most Taiwanese people manage to fit children and grandparents on their scooters.

I concede sleeping in one might be a bit awkward. But a tent might be a better idea. Cars are bloody uncomfortable for sleeping in, and a lot more expensive.[/quote]

I slept in my car (Nissan Sunny hatchback) while doing a one-year masters course at Aberdeen University. Thats on the North East (North Sea) Coast of Scotland, where it can get quite cold in the winter.

It was perfectly comfortable. I modified it for sleeping by taking the passenger seat out and “roofing over” between the dash and the rear parcel shelf to form a cozy cave, making it look as if it was full of (worthless, to reduce the chance of break ins) household stuff with a few books and table lamps on top.

I’d say it’d be safer to do in Taiwan (I’ve been broken in to several times while van-sleeping in London) but it might be rather sweaty. You could probably fit mosquito net to the windows and leave them open, which would be too dangerous to do (at least in urban areas) in the UK.

(Apologies to Californians living in Taipei. I know sleeping out in a Scottish winter is nothing compared to the White Hell you have to endure. :whistle: )