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Buying an Aston Martin.

So, you want to buy an Aston Martin....

If you're thinking of buying your first Aston Martin at an auction click here!

Buying from a dealer - Advice from Gary Ungless

My first piece of advice when buying is the most important, and you're probably going to ignore it completely.  Don't take the decision to buy based on your emotions. When looking around that sleek V8 or V12 engined beauty, I am asking you to consider what is going on beneath that polished exterior, under that luxury premium interior, and behind those diamond cut wheels. You will need to focus on the bits you can't see. 

To stop the sales agent clamping his jaws shut around your wallet I would recommend that you : 

  • Don't open the door and don't sit in the car.
  • Don't start it up.
  • Don't open the bonnet.

Doing any of the above renders you into a state where you would sell your mother, wife and any sons/daughters into slavery to buy the car. I suggest that you walk around the car, peer inside it, kick the tyres and say something along the lines of "Yes, lovely car, this could be just what I am looking for." This will cause the blood pressure of any decent sales agent to rise. He/she will already be planning what they're going to buy from Ikea with the commission they've just earned from you. You must now bring them crashing down to earth. "As soon as I have had it inspected, and passed by an Aston Martin expert, we have a deal." 

Sales agents know that no car will pass an expert's assessment 100% unless it is less than 3 months old and its tyres have never come into contact with tarmac. Even then an expert, if pushed, will be able to find paint blemishes hidden behind the grease on the door hinges. The final nail in the coffin, for the now spluttering wreck of a salesman, is to inform him that your nondescript 'friend' standing over there, is actually such an expert. "So, could you please arrange for him to check over the car and give it a test drive?" 

You should only pay for an expert to accompany you to the first viewing if you have seen enough publicity photographs to know that you really want a particular car, or you just love watching sales agents being reduced to snivelling wrecks. The nicest thing to do is to arrange for the expert to visit a day or two later. 

Armed with the expert's opinion, you can either negotiate a price that fully reflects the cost of rectifying the faults (hard!), or walk away (extremely hard!) 😁😁. If you do manage to walk away please let us know how you did it by posting the story on our forum. Such hard-nosed objectiveness is almost unknown, and you will be duly venerated, and your deeds written into Aston Martin folklore.

There are many videos and articles on the techniques used to sell you a car.  This is a really good start  from You can probably convince yourself that neither Aston Martin, nor dealers that sell Aston Martins, would stoop to using such tactics. You would be wrong.  

As a great example of what  goes on, whilst researching for this page content, I came across this video.: 

The crusty sandwich

These are cars that hang around dealerships because they are the wrong colour, wrong specification, high mileage, DB9 engine tick, etc.  Salesmen are often given much higher commissions on such cars, known in the trade as crusty sandwiches. You definitely don't want this car, except that...

In 1961, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato did not sell. They were reduced to being used for brake testing. They could probably then have been defined as 'crusty sandwich' cars. They now sell for £10M+, so the trade doesn't always get it right!

It is only after 13 years of owning, driving, maintaining, attending auctions and learning from many different experts, that I now feel I have the knowledge and experience to purchase an Aston Martin on my own. If I have any doubts, I will always seek the advice of someone I know who is an expert in that model.

All of the above advice is a classic case of 'Do as I say, not as I do' :

I ignored all the above advice when buying my first Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante (the longest car name ever?) and it was the best car I ever bought. My second Aston Martin, I bought without seeing it. I was on a cruise at the time. My third Aston Martin I purchased off eBay, it was in the USA and I was on a cruise at the time. My fourth Aston Martin I purchased as a complete wreck. Yes, you've guessed it, I was sent a photo and I was on a cruise at the time. To stop this ever happening again, I have now completely changed my ways. We don't cruise anymore.

Buying privately

The only question you really need to ask a private vendor is "Have you ever been a car salesman?" 😁😁😁. If the answer is 'yes' see above. My experience as a private purchaser and private vendor is that the price is very flexible. A dealer taking a 10% discount loses 60% or more of their profit. A private seller has probably asked the highest price recommended, and if you make a silly offer at 20% discount, will usually meet you in the middle.

Unless a car for sale privately is an obvious gem, get it inspected

We have a listing facility for private vendors who are subscribers and, along with all the usual descriptive bu*****t, we ask them to provide answers to the questions below.  

Questions to ask

For any purchase these are the questions you should be asking:

  • Why are you selling the car?
  • How long have you had the car?
  • Where did you get the car?
  • Does everything work?
  • Does the car have an MOT?
  • Are there any modifications?
  • Can I have an independent pre-purchase inspection performed?
  • Can I test drive the car?
  • Are you ready to make a deal?
  • May I see the registration documents?
  • Is a vehicle history report available?
  • Has the car been accident damaged and, if so, what was repaired?
  • What maintenance have you done?
  • Has anything major been replaced?
  • Are the service records up to date?
  • Who has been looking after the car?

For a full explanation of these questions see the Autotrader help

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