Would You Buy A Second Hand Vehicle Fitted With a Tow Bar

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Post by Fin69 on Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:59 pm

Looking to replace my current vehicle in the next few months, and I think I've found its possible replacement.

The vehicle is 'Suzuki Approved' on a 17 plate with just under 24k miles on the clock, the only fly in the ointment is it is fitted with a towbar. The advert makes no mention of the towbar, but from the one image it appears in, it seems to me to be a 'swan neck' towbar, though I cannot tell if it is fixed, detachable, or if it is 7 or 13 pin.

On the plus side I was possibly looking at installing a towbar on any potential purchase at a later date for the occasional trip to the LA recycle centre, but I'm  just a little wary about how this vehicle was used, or even possibly abused.  


Your advice and opinions appreciated,

Many thanks,

Fin

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Post by graham04 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:29 am

Without asking the previous owner there will be no way of telling. I have one fitted and only tow motorcycle trailers . I did however tow a triumph Dolomite on a car trailer for one 250 mile journey, The Vitara had no trouble. I can't imagine that it would have towed heavy caravans about on a regular basis. It will save you buying one.

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Post by Admin on Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:40 am

Towbars are a tricky subject when buying a used car and many main dealers will remove them prior to offering them for sale so at least you are now aware that the car has been fitted with one rather than at a later date finding out it has had one removed
You can usually tell if the towbar has been used much and even more so by the bolts etc if it has been used to launch a boat in salt water as corrosion soon sets in, on the flip side I also have a friend who fits a towbar to every new Suzuki he buys, never goes anything but sees it as an extra form of rear collision protection

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Post by Yorkshire pud on Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm

I used to have an sx4 s cross that came already fitted with a towbar, never really bothered me until i came to change one of the rear indicator bulbs....
The previous owner had made a right bodge of the electrics using regular 3 core flex and pierced through the water proof boot behind both rear light clusters and then hacked into the wireing loom.....
So i would never buy another car with a towbar without checking its been fitted and wired up correctly.
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Post by Bazzer on Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:58 pm

I once bought a 4L Jeep that had a tow bar fitted (which saved me fitting one) I wasn't concerned because it wouldn't have been stressed towing the horse box it was used for but with a small engine I would be wary.

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Post by Fin69 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:41 pm

Thanks all.

The last car I bought with a towbar fitted was a 1976 Ford Capri 1.6 (it later transpired one of its many previous owners had swapped it out for a 1.3!). I used the towbar as a rudimentary parking sensor; when I heard the crunch I knew I was 'close' to the wall at the works car park.

The towbar vehicle is taking a backseat at the moment as another vehicle c was added to the website this morning that is younger, with the same mileage and in a colour we 'both' agree on.

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Post by Admin on Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:08 pm

Did you decide on 2wd or AllGrip Fin?

I am returning my rental car first thing in the morning , a 1.0 Automatic Allgrip S-cross that I have driven 2500km around Iceland over the last week and the little 3 cylinder has been very impressive....

Would You Buy A Second Hand Vehicle Fitted With a Tow Bar Img_2092

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Post by Fin69 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:57 pm

Both the vehicles I'm interested in are Allgrip, and in budget. I'm booked in to speak with a sales agent in Glasgow tomorrow. Both the vehicles I'm interested in are in England, so I'm hoping as they are Suzuki Approved they can arrange for the vehicle to be sent up for me to give it a proper once over.

It's not really an issue for me to travel down there, but would prefer the convenience of doing it closer to home.

It's been 17 years since I last bought a second hand car; Honda Civic which I kept for 90k and 7 years, and then I bought my Octavia Scout brand new 10 years ago and 110k, so it's all a bit new to me but sort of strangely familiar at the same time....

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Post by Fin69 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:01 pm

I see the hire car firm specced that Crosser with the optionsl Icelandic Camo paint!

I was last there in 2014, had a fantastic time. I seem to remember the Iceland Air Stewardess uniform was modelled on the one issued to the Stasi....

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Post by graham04 on Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:44 am

The tow bar can be seen in the reversing camera which s handy going backwards, and does work as protection from the idiot trying to squeeze into the space behind.

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Post by Fin69 on Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:55 pm

Alas, the Suzuki dealership Down South refused to play ball. Possible reasons; they don't like dealing with other dealerships, or they have a potential buyer lined up.

Initial impressions are good. At least it was a far less confrontational exchange with the Suzuki salesman compared to the one I had with their Skoda counterparts; "you want to arrange a test drive just now, and you're not looking to buy until a few months? Come back and see me when you're more serious and then we'll think about arranging a test drive......"

Anyway the Quest continues....

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Post by Dougie M on Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:14 am

Had exactly the same problem with a Mercedes dealer a number of years ago. They didn't have a car suitable for me but found one at another branch and would arrange for the car to be moved. It would appear the other branch didn't want to lose any sales and reduced the price and sold it that day! I was lucky when I was looking for my Vitara as the local dealer, Eastham Motors didn't have a demo car for me to drive and couldn't get one from another dealership so ordered a new one in the colour and spec I wanted saying if you like how it drives we can do a deal if not I'll put it in our stock. It's a bit far for you to travel but have you considered Motorpoint who have a branch in Glasgow. My wife and I have had a number of cars from them over the years and never had a problem. The only issue is theres no haggling on price. It's worth the trip there and most of the cars are main dealer/importers forecourt clearance.

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Post by Fin69 on Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:56 pm

The plot thickens!

The Crosser with the towbar was removed from the Suzuki Website a few days ago, but has since been put back on today. According to the Car Gurus website the vehicle has been listed on their website for 65 days, and in that time the price has been reduced by £500.

My spidey senses are telling me to walk away from this one....

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Post by Admin on Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:57 pm

Allgrips are usually snapped up and it is the 2wd versions that seem to be on dealer forecourts for a while, like you say this one may be worth giving a miss

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Post by Fin69 on Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:31 pm

I've written that one off.

I'm now turning my attention to another one down south that I've had my eye on for a few days. It's in a colour I like, the mileage is inline with 10k pa, and it has the added Brucie Bonus of having a stainless steel bumper protector already fitted.

The only fly in the ointment is that it has had two owners since new; one for the first 11 months and the current one who has had it approximately 17 months.  Normally vehicles that had an owner for only 12 months are either hire cares (I doubt due to it being an Allgrip) or it is a Suzuki UK or dealership management vehicle.  That in itself is not an issue as my last second hand vehicle was a Honda UK management vehicle, I'm just curious as to why the second owner is getting rid in less than 18 months of ownership? A question for the salemsman tomorrow.

Anyway, thanks to all for help and advice,

Fin

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Post by kwikphix328 on Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:43 am

I work at Norwich Airport, I have seen lots of Vitara's parked in the short term car park. I think Hertz Rental Cars use them.

I had a genuine Suzuki tow bar fitted prior collecting my new Vitara, It was done during the PDI period.

Detachable head & 13 pin socket, I got a 7 pin adapter for my small car trailer ( used for taking garden waste to the tip)

I used to detach the head and keep in the boot, however I leave it fitted now as previous poster stated; you can see it in the reversing camera when parking, and also on shopping centre car parks distracted Mum & 3 naughty children hit the tow bar and crunch their front bumper before trashing my rear bumper.
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Post by Fin69 on Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:36 pm

Contacte the dealership this morning only to be told the car had been sold earlier yesterday morning.  I pointed out that it was still being advertised on their website, "Yeah, we just haven't got round to removing it yet."

When I initially phoned up they asked if it was the grey or blue Crosser Allgrip I was referring to. After telling me the blue one was sold he made no attempt to see if I wa interested in the grey one.

I've just checked the dealers own website, the blue one is still there, but there is no sign of the grey one. So they advertise one they have sold, and don't advertise one they do have.

And I thought Skoda salestaff were bad.  The silver lining is I didn't waste a tank of fuel and money on a hotel on the journey down.  

As for the Suzukis at Norwich Airport, I was not implying Suzukis are not used as hire vehicles, I would be a little surprised if any UK hire company would specify an Allgrip version.

Anyway, I shall persevere.  I'm travelling to two dealerships tomorrow.  The quest continues...

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Post by alec on Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:28 am

I think that the hire companies would specify what they could sell on easily at the end of their hire life so AllGrips are probably a better bet for them even if the hiring customers don't need it.
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Post by tigersaw on Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:38 am

I notice Suzuki are doing some good prices on new Vitara right now, discounting by the cost of the VAT.
It makes me a bit cross because despite all their banter about tight margins I could go in today and get the same car I bought last year for almost 2k less.

However, this should depress the used cars on the forecourt in your favour
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Post by Hutchy on Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:15 pm

i was toying with the idea of trading in my sz-t the other day but the most they would give me was £8800 for it which is annoying as i paid £10300 for it in december and it only has 10500 miles on it and being a 66 plate thought i might have got a bit more considering most 66 plates i have seen are around the 30k+ mile mark...so will keep it for the time being.
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