So Baggott wants a 911 does he? In that case, he’s clearly not a pure bred car dealer – for those of us in the trade know that the car you really want to drive yourself is whatever’s in stock, is still taxed, and doesn’t have any real profit in it.
For that reason alone, Big Mike’s last three cars have been a Rover 600, a Peugeot 205 diesel and a Vauxhall Combo with a 15-year-old wheelchair conversion.
But if he really does want to get there, and start out along the way, what tips can a seasoned professional like me give him to help him? Here’s five. If he wants any more, he’ll have to pay me for them…
1. Look for cars with minor bits of trim missing. Badges, hub caps and rubbing strips cost pennies from breakers years, but put Daily Mail readers and their ilk off buying a car. Once replaced, the car looks miles better and will sell for more.
2. Clueless sellers often give away bargains – especially on auction websites. Look for cars with little by means of description, then ask the seller a few questions. I picked up a low mileage Corsa with FSH this way, as he had neglected to mention either in the listing, and all the other bidders were too lazy to ask.
3. Dirty cars are often huge bargains. It’s amazing how many people can’t be arsed with their old car once they have a new one, so don’t even clean it before putting it up for sale. A valet costs £40, or is free if you do it yourself. It can add hundreds to a car’s value.
4. Buy unpopular cars. The usual favourites (Fiestas, Astras, Golfs etc) are in huge demand, and as such there’s competition to buy them. Go for less obvious stuff like Alfa Romeos and Citroens – if they’re cheap enough, you’ll always make money.
5. Don’t buy anything too new – if you’ve got a four-to-six year old motor, there are hundreds of identical ones on the market, and you’ll need a damned good reason why someone should look at yours. If, on the other hand, you have an immaculate old Mercedes, BMW or Audi, somebody, somewhere is looking for it, and will travel miles to get it.
So, Mr B, sell a Merc to a man from Germany and you’re quids in (I know, I did it last year). Buy a Focus and you may as well run it into the ground and forget the 911. Or just buy a Skoda Rapid instead – they’re just as much fun, and far rarer. Good luck!