Terms, Conditions and other Trivia

A quick look at some of the other practical aspects of buying a car from Goodwood Sportscars
When I sell a car, I always ask for an initial payment in order for me to take the car off sale. People often refer to this as a 'Deposit' but In reality, this is actually an initial payment for the car. It forms part of the contract between you and I and basically forms part of the payment for the car.

I'm conscious that some of my customers live miles away from me so often this part of the transaction is carried out either over the phone or online. I am happy to accept your payment either by bank transfer, Paypal (though I also ask that you cover Paypal's 3% transaction charge) or by cheque. I will always send email confirmation and receipt of your payment. We need to be clear about what this initial payment is for: its to take the car off sale and reserve the car for you. I will no longer market that particular car and will carry out any work in order to prepare the car for you.

This payment is refundable if the car does not meet my original description to you. In this case, I would expect you to view the car before making that decision (obviously). However, if you simply change your mind or cannot proceed with the sale for any other reason and do not even come and view the car first,, I will keep a minimum of 50% of your initial payment to cover loss of other sales on that car and any other costs incurred. This is more generous than most dealers who will simply not return any of your deposit. The usual rule is that if you make a payment in order for me to take the car off sale, you are agreeing to buy the car.

Trust me, you have no idea how many people pay me a deposit only to tell me a couple of weeks later that their wife won't let them buy it after all (the number one reason). Please tell your partner what you are up to! OK, I don't tell mine but then I have lots of places to hide cars...not recommended though and I'm definitely NOT a marriage counsellor.

This is more relevant if you are buying a new import from us. Buying a car that may still be sitting somewhere on the other side of the world and where we are dependent on so many other organisations that we have little control over, is always going to require a degree of patience. We have the sellers in Japan, the shipping company, the port authorities in the UK, Customs & Excise and finally DVLA, all of whom need to do their job efficiently to get our cars here and at an early stage in the buying process, its difficult to give an accurate idea of when the car will be ready. As the process moves on, it gets easier and eventually I should be able to give a reasonably accurate completion date and will always give you plenty of notice. I ask that the car is collected within a maximum of two weeks from the completion date I give you otherwise we reserve the right to re-sell the car.

When collecting the car, you of course need to pay the balance. It sounds obvious but if we can ensure we understand what is happening before the actual collection day, we can make the whole thing go nice and smoothly. There's nothing worse than having to drive around on a Saturday afternoon trying to find a bank thats still open. I don't mind if its cash, Paypal (plus fees) or bank transfer but I do need the funds to be cleared or at least proof that a bank transfer has been made, by the time you drive the car away. In the past I have had customers who have tried to pay me with Euros and travellers cheques (I'm being serious here!)and a few who want to drive the car away and pay me later. If there is any doubt, please contact me beforehand and we can make suitable arrangements.

Insurance and Road Tax
I've spent many a 'happy' hour sitting with a customer who has just bought a car from me, while they then get on the telephone and try and arrange their insurance. They usually start by the customer saying something like 'I've already spoken to my insurance company and they have all my details and all I need to do is give them a quick OK and thats it - the car is insured'. I'm willing to bet that this almost never happens in reality (trust me, I see this every week in my place). What actually happens is that you phone the insurance company who then either A: deny all knowledge of you. B: Deny all knowledge of ever having given you a quote within £200 of the one they gave you yesterday. C: Insist that you go through the whole quote procedure all over again only this time, they find various reasons to charge you more. The lesson is, where possible (and I appreciate that sometime it just isn't possible) arrange cast iron insurance beforehand.

Arranging road tax is much the same as above. Since the new tax laws were introduced in October 2014, DVLA reckon they have improved both their online and telephone systems to enable you to instantly tax a car. Don't believe them. Its well worth while doing your homework beforehand and ensuring you understand the process of taxing a car. Even better, do it the day before collection if possible. Again trying to find a post office open in rural Northumberland on a Saturday afternoon is nigh on impossible.

Unless otherwise stated, we always give three months warranty on my cars. However, we insist that the car is returned to my chosen garage (AK Automotive in Rowlands Gill). Occasionally I will allow the car to be taken to another garage of my choice but if repairs are likely to be costly, complicated or are in an environment where I cannot maintain some degree of control over what happens, the car needs to come back to AK Automotive. I want to ensure that whoever is to be working on the car knows what they are doing and is going to charge a fair price. Please don't just book the car into a garage and expect us to pay the bill. In reality, this is rarely an issue as my cars are well prepared but sometimes mechanical things go wrong that are out of all of our control and we want to be able to fix it in the best way possible.

Trading Standards insist that extensive checks are made to ensure that the mileage shown on a car's odometer is accurate. I always carry out HPI and MOT history checks. However, the majority of my cars have originally been imported from overseas and its plain impossible for me to prove beyond all doubt that the current shown mileage is actually accurate. Unfortunately this leaves me in a position where I have to declare that any mileage shown should be disregarded and considered incorrect. I always make this clear on any receipt given too.
When we search out and buy cars directly from Japan, we're dealing with a slightly different attitude towards mileage. The Japanese are very hung up on mileage at the cost of everything else. A car that has covered say, 100,000 kilometres is towards the end of its life as far as they are concerned. The irony is that a Mazda with this kind of mileage on it is hardly run in. Cars over there with substantially lower mileage are hugely more expensive, hence we import very few genuinely low mileage cars. The prices we would require would make them un-saleable over here. In reality, we tend to buy on sheer condition rather than the numbers on an odometer. Its pretty obvious to tell whether a car has been abused or has led a hard life. Mazda's have pretty bullet-proof engines and gearboxes, so high mileage is almost irrelevant - its rust that will spoil the party every time. On our freshly imported cars, all have their engines compression tested and are fully serviced. Where possible we will always make it clear what mileage the car's odometer was showing when it was imported.

Our charges for extra work
Many buyers ask us to carry out various extra jobs on the car they are about to buy. For example, we get many requests to fit items like roll bars, performance exhausts etc. We're happy to do this and sometimes it makes sense to do this while the car is with us and possibly partially stripped. However I'm sure you can understand that we need to charge for our time. The below will give you an idea of a few sample labour charges:

Fit a roll bar (TR Lane, GCR or similar). This is a particularly time consuming job, involving cutting of trim and bodywork so a typical price is £150.

Fit and set up aftermarket suspension. For example to replace the original shock/spring units with something like Meister R etc. This will require a wheel alignment afterwards. Price is £150 + £80 for wheel alignment.

Fit a performance exhaust. Usually pretty straightforward. Price is £35.00. Exhausts systems are readily available and price for a good stainless steel cat back system start at approx £240.00.

Rust protection is quite important, especially on a car that has just been imported. While we don't offer a comprehensive rust-proofing service, we can certainly treat the underside and the crucial hidden box sections with something suitable. We tend to use products such as Dinatrol or Dynax. This stuff is expensive but very good indeed. Standard treatment for a Eunos is £120.

Fitting a new soft top
We always supply our cars with a soft top that is in good condition. However, especially with regard to cars just imported from Japan, the soft top may have previously suffered sun damage and we will need to replace it. In this case, we simply fit something of the same style and material as would have been fitted when the car was new. Sometimes, this is an opportunity to upgrade the soft top and we are happy to give you this option. For example, you may choose to fit a mohair soft top rather than standard vinyl or have a glass heated rear screen fitted. This is all possible but again there are extra costs involved, especially when upgrading to a glass rear screen (the hood frame will need modifying). If you require the heated element of the rear scree to work, quite a degree of re-wiring will be required and new relays and a switch will be need to fitted so again, its worth mentioning that further costs can be incurred (re-wiring and the supply of new relays and switches will be around £75).