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Trying to buy a Lexus during Lockdown 3.0


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So my current car blew a head gasket beginning of this week and I am completely over it. However, no repairs can be down until a few weeks due to availability etc. I'm a key worker and cannot work from home. I have sporadic access to another car and I own a motorcycle. It is winter though so riding a motorcycle isn't the best option.

 

Before the gasket failure, my plan was to buy a Lexus approved used CT200h or an IS300h in March so I was kind of prepared to purchase another anyway. However, I just found out yesterday after speaking with a Lexus dealer that I cannot come in to view any vehicle or do any test drives. I can only make a purchase over the phone then come and collect it. I will then have 14 days to return the car if I don't like it.

 

I've spoken with the sales reps extensively about a couple of cars and they have sent over personalised videos of the cars so that I can make a decision. I'm still finding it very difficult feeling comfortable with purchasing a car this way... especially a used car. I know it comes with 12 month warranty and I can purchase the additional 2 yrs but I feel almost like I'm buying a cat in a bag if I do. The purchase will be partly financed so there is that added headache of having to return it within the 14 days if I don't like it. So I'm struggling to make a decision at the moment. 

 

If we weren't currently in winter I would wait until lockdown was over to start looking but we are at least a month away from lockdown easing and are likely to have it extended until March. Have any of you guys purchased your Lexus during lockdown via a dealer or does anyone on here work for a Lexus dealer and could offer some further advice?

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I see you’re located in Bucks.  Is it Lexus at Milton Keynes that you’re dealing with?  They state on their website that they’re open for sales and servicing by appointment and are also offering online video meetings with sales reps.

i can certainly recommend them - In fact they’ll be servicing mine next month.

 


 

 

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27 minutes ago, LenT said:

I see you’re located in Bucks.  Is it Lexus at Milton Keynes that you’re dealing with?  They state on their website that they’re open for sales and servicing by appointment and are also offering online video meetings with sales reps.

i can certainly recommend them - In fact they’ll be servicing mine next month.

 


 

 

Yes, dealing with Milton Keynes. They will be my local for everything once I purchase and would rather purchase from them as well. The guy I was dealing with has been fantastic but it's more of me being comfortable with purchasing a car in that manner.

I like to have options and be able to manoeuvre a bit in terms of maybe upping my initial budget if i cannot find what I'm looking for initially. I like to see, smell and feel what's available on the market and there is really no flexibility with these current lockdown terms. Click and collect maybe fine for purchasing a new car but for purchasing a used one? I find it difficult. You are putting a lot of trust into car salesmen and subjectivness.

 

Car sales are classed as non-essential but if your car dies having it fixed is essential? What if it cannot be fixed? So I can go to the dealer to have my car fixed but if it is irreparable I cannot look on the forecourt of that same dealer to purchase a replacement? Mad.

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You say you’re a key worker so would it not be the case that a car is essential transport to you and a safer and more flexible option than having to use public transport?

As for trying it, I would have thought that MK would be happy to arrange an extended road test of any of a selection of ‘pre-owned’ vehicles that interested you.   Say, a couple of days or so?


 

 

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For what its worth I have just had to buy my Daughter a 'new car' as her old one was 'rear ended' and written off just before Christmas. The other driver accepted full responsibility and they provided a hire car for a 'limited' period while she got sorted out with a new motor.

We had the same problem of not being able to 'enter' the showroom or test drive a vehicle but there is nothing to stop you visiting the forecourt and looking at the cars. We ended up buying a car from the same dealer group - Inchcape - but it was in stock at a different location as the one in stock at our local dealer that we thought we would buy was sold just before we phoned!

The handover was a bit weird as we had to stand out side the dealer and sign everything virtually on the phone - having already paid the full amount a few days previous. We bought an early 2018 Yaris Hybrid and have the option of returning it in the first 14 days if we are not happy with it. 

I do not think that if you are buying from a recognised Lexus dealer that you would have any issues - but I certainly would not buy this way from your typical back street dealer. My Daughter - and Grandson - are happy with the car and unless something drastic happens it will not be returned.

All the best in your search!

 

John

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Nice informative Post John.

What can go wrong? Change it if not like. Under Warranty until 2022, Hybrid Battery for 15 years until 2033/34 and all Mechanicals and Electricals covered until 140,00 miles or 2029 for a relatively small fee.

Happy days.Enjoy,tell your daughter.

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3 hours ago, LenT said:

You say you’re a key worker so would it not be the case that a car is essential transport to you and a safer and more flexible option than having to use public transport?

As for trying it, I would have thought that MK would be happy to arrange an extended road test of any of a selection of ‘pre-owned’ vehicles that interested you.   Say, a couple of days or so?


 

 

I tried to work something out but most they say they can do is not activate the finance until I go to pick up the car to make sure I am happy with it. But no test drive first and I can only look at the one car I have paid the deposit on. So I will still have to make my decision based on pictures and video.

They also won't let me just walk up and have a look around the forecourt.

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1 hour ago, John Hutton said:

For what its worth I have just had to buy my Daughter a 'new car' as her old one was 'rear ended' and written off just before Christmas. The other driver accepted full responsibility and they provided a hire car for a 'limited' period while she got sorted out with a new motor.

We had the same problem of not being able to 'enter' the showroom or test drive a vehicle but there is nothing to stop you visiting the forecourt and looking at the cars. We ended up buying a car from the same dealer group - Inchcape - but it was in stock at a different location as the one in stock at our local dealer that we thought we would buy was sold just before we phoned!

The handover was a bit weird as we had to stand out side the dealer and sign everything virtually on the phone - having already paid the full amount a few days previous. We bought an early 2018 Yaris Hybrid and have the option of returning it in the first 14 days if we are not happy with it. 

I do not think that if you are buying from a recognised Lexus dealer that you would have any issues - but I certainly would not buy this way from your typical back street dealer. My Daughter - and Grandson - are happy with the car and unless something drastic happens it will not be returned.

All the best in your search!

 

John

Sounds like you guys made out ok with your purchase and that's good. Looks like I just have to man up and make a decision. Sucks this happened in the winter as it's really the only thing making me seriously consider purchasing a car this way.

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6 hours ago, Alex34 said:

I tried to work something out but most they say they can do is not activate the finance until I go to pick up the car to make sure I am happy with it. But no test drive first and I can only look at the one car I have paid the deposit on. So I will still have to make my decision based on pictures and video.

They also won't let me just walk up and have a look around the forecourt.

Delving further into the website, I see there is a page updated 05.01.21 headed: We’re Open.

But it only applies to the Workshop.  No gawping in the showroom or, unlike John Hutton’s experience, investigating the forecourt.  Online contact only and, as you say, no test drives.  I suspect this may be down to Milton Keynes promotion to Top Tier COVID lockdown.

I wonder if there’s any upside to this?  For example, it can’t be exactly encouraging sales, so maybe now’s a good time to get a better deal.  As others have said, you can reject the car after a trial period anyway and Roy pointed out the extended Warranty cover that’s available.

I have friends who have also bought from Lexus MK and none of us have had cause to regret it.  If you know the car you want, as you seem to, and need to get it resolved, then I would be inclined to rely on their integrity and established reputation.

Alternatively, there’s an operation called cazoo.co.uk that sells online and trailers your selected vehicle to you.  Again you have the opportunity to reject it if it doesn’t live up to expectations.  Currently they’re listing quite a few Lexus available for MK delivery.  Might at least make for an interesting discussion with the folk at Lexus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I bought my RX from Lexus MK in December 2019, and I have no regrets in doing so. Obviously back then we were in very different times to where we are today, but I live some distance away in Stockport, and the majority of the interactions were via phone and e-mail. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Edited by mikey2001
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4 minutes ago, mikey2001 said:

I bought my RX from Lexus MK in December 2019, and I have no regrets in doing so. Obviously back then we were in very different times to where we are today, but I live some distance away in Stockport, and the majority of the interactions were via phone and e-mail. I would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Tis just a smooth hop due South on M6 AND M1 Mike !

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2 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

Tis just a smooth hop due South on M6 AND M1 Mike !

I guess I meant relatively speaking to where the OP is located 😄 The journey back home after I bought it was sublime though 🙂

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Thanks for the input guys. You all have been really helpful.  I will keep speaking with MK Lexus and see how it goes.

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19 hours ago, LenT said:

Delving further into the website, I see there is a page updated 05.01.21 headed: We’re Open.

But it only applies to the Workshop.  No gawping in the showroom or, unlike John Hutton’s experience, investigating the forecourt.  Online contact only and, as you say, no test drives.  I suspect this may be down to Milton Keynes promotion to Top Tier COVID lockdown.

I wonder if there’s any upside to this?  For example, it can’t be exactly encouraging sales, so maybe now’s a good time to get a better deal.  As others have said, you can reject the car after a trial period anyway and Roy pointed out the extended Warranty cover that’s available.

I have friends who have also bought from Lexus MK and none of us have had cause to regret it.  If you know the car you want, as you seem to, and need to get it resolved, then I would be inclined to rely on their integrity and established reputation.

Alternatively, there’s an operation called cazoo.co.uk that sells online and trailers your selected vehicle to you.  Again you have the opportunity to reject it if it doesn’t live up to expectations.  Currently they’re listing quite a few Lexus available for MK delivery.  Might at least make for an interesting discussion with the folk at Lexus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've checked with other Lexus dealers and they are all operating the same way.

Tried to haggle on pricing due to me taking a unforeseen risk but they hardly budge from their prices. They offer small things like 12 month MOT and so forth but will only offer to take a couple hundred pounds off the asking price.

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Decide what you think is a fair price and make an offer at that price. Be reasonable and calm but make it clear that’s what you’re prepared to pay. See what they say. They won’t have people falling over themselves to buy cars at the moment.

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I would imagine that should be strange feeling buying car this way, but I guess feelings aside... what is important is to agree all conditions on used car in writing.

What I would do in such circumstances, I would try to ask all relevant questions over the e-mail e.g. service history, tyre thread, brand overall condition of the car, interior damage, exterior damage, everything what you would generally check on the car. If easier, get yourself "car inspection sheet" from internet and just go through the questions. Most used approved Lexus cars will have inspection sheet as well - you can use that as a basis to make your questions.

Open ended questions are fine... "is there any damage to wheels / or interior / or exterior". Expectation is that dealership should provide list of damage to you in high level e.g. "stone chips on front bumper and bonnet", "scratch on rear bumper, left corner". Here it is their responsibility to be as detailed as possible as anything they miss, could then be used as reason to reject the car. Obviously, the more detailed are your questions the easier is to argue they misrepresented something.

When you receive the car you should compare the answer to your questions and see if something is different e.g. tear in the leather I assume is important, but maybe small scratch under the front bumper could be considered within "general wear and tear" - Based on how important it is, I would again inform dealership in writing (within 14 days) whenever you happy with car condition or not.

Besides if something is seriously wrong with your car, the statutory rights extends past 14 days Lexus policy e.g. when I bought my car my brakes were very worn, but I was assured they are fine. 3000 miles later different Lexus dealership reported that there are literally no inside pads left and outside were like 1mm. This was nearly a year after purchase, but I only covered 3000 miles due to lock-down. In this case I went back to dealership which sold me the car and asked them to fix brakes for free... there was a little bit of drama but in the end they agreed (largely because condition of the car was discussed and agreed in writing).

So again, I think what matters - ask all questions, have answers in writing and you will always can go back see what was agreed and keep them to their word.

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Has anyone tried to buy new in the last few days?

We've been looking since Christmas and got to the point of deciding what we wanted and agreeing on a quote last Friday. It's a UX with Premium Plus in a colour not in stock.

When the dealer tried to put the order in they came back and said that Lexus have added £1000 to the price of all models that they have to order in across the board which they didn't know about until they tried to order. They've had to requote us now. I've had my last two cars from this dealer and know they aren't trying to pull a fast one.

Just interested to see if anyone else has come across this.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I decided a week or so ago to wait the lock down out but it looks like it's going to stretch into summer now.

Found a couple IS at the Reading dealer and have requested info etc. The ones at Reading fit what I was looking for a bit more and pricing seems better.

Have any of you had any experience with Lexus Reading? Are they better or worse than Lexus Milton Keynes? I've been told they are directly under Lexus / Toyota UK, is this true and if so is it a pro or a con?

 

Thanks in advance.

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26 minutes ago, Alex34 said:

So I decided a week or so ago to wait the lock down out but it looks like it's going to stretch into summer now.

Found a couple IS at the Reading dealer and have requested info etc. The ones at Reading fit what I was looking for a bit more and pricing seems better.

Have any of you had any experience with Lexus Reading? Are they better or worse than Lexus Milton Keynes? I've been told they are directly under Lexus / Toyota UK, is this true and if so is it a pro or a con?

 

Thanks in advance.

Reading is part of the Jemca Group along with Croydon,Edgeware and Sidcup.

Do searches for Lexus Reading and Lexus MK.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hiya 😉

 

So I bought my GSF during lockdown. All over the phone and email, from just photos videos and conversations. 

 

As other people have mentioned yes you have 14 distant selling regulation which will allow you to return the car for any reason. 

 

You also have statutory consumer rights which means that if any faults occur within the first 30 days you can reject the car for a full refund. This is covered by the consumer rights act. 

 

Haggling on price is very minimal I noticed but I did try buying two cars from two different lexus dealers and got two very different services. 

Hull refurbed all my wheels, replaced breaks which didn't really need doing I was just fussy, gave me new tyres (none of the old ones were at limit ), had the body work machine polished to remove any swirls etc, they also offered me more on my trade in by nearly 50%, paid for my admin costs, delivered the car for free to Colchester from Hull, organised me a replacement card key which was missing, gave my next service early(so gives me an extra year cause I won't be mileage related servicing lol) and  finally didn't try to hard sell me everything under the sun. For the record I took 0 add-ons. 

 

 

Coventry however.... Refused to do anything 

 

Would recommend trying a few different dealers 

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On 1/21/2021 at 4:02 PM, Alex34 said:

I've been told they are directly under Lexus / Toyota UK, is this true and if so is it a pro or a con?

They are part of the Toyota Group but I think they are part of Toyota Tsusho Corporation not Toyota GB or Toyota Financial Services UK which are the two retail entities we commonly associate with Toyota in the UK.

I don't think it really makes any difference other than I guess they have more duty to uphold the Toyota brand. 

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On 1/21/2021 at 4:02 PM, Alex34 said:

So I decided a week or so ago to wait the lock down out but it looks like it's going to stretch into summer now.

Found a couple IS at the Reading dealer and have requested info etc. The ones at Reading fit what I was looking for a bit more and pricing seems better.

Have any of you had any experience with Lexus Reading? Are they better or worse than Lexus Milton Keynes? I've been told they are directly under Lexus / Toyota UK, is this true and if so is it a pro or a con?

 

Thanks in advance.

I bought my Lexus IS 300h (first one I have had) from Lexus Reading a few years ago and had all servicing etc. done there too. I don't have another Lexus dealer experience to compare it to but have had numerous other brands, including BMW and Mercs. I have been happy with the service I have received at Lexus Reading for the sale and on-going servicing - compares with or is better than other main dealers for other marques I have experienced. We also purchased a Toyota from the sister site next door and again were happy with that experience.

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