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My car died a couple of weeks ago and I have been struggling to get a Lexus dealer to allow me a viewing during lockdown. However, I managed to twist some arms with my key worker status and the backing of my very large employer.

So I had the opportunity to view two very similar 67 plate IS300h today. They were pretty much exact match spec and 1K miles difference ODO. Priced very similar as well.

Anyway, one was better than the other but the interior wear was similar on both. All seats except the driver's were flawless. Both driver's seats had some wear, especially the side profile near the door. Is there anything Lexus can do to rejuvenate the leather and remove any discolouration and scuff marks? It's a cream coloured leather.

The front brake calipers of the less desirable one were very rusty. Is this a normal thing with the IS300h? Wish I'd taken a picture of it.

Lastly, is there anything I should look out for with a 67 plate at 18K miles? Is there anything I should try to get the dealer to replace or throw in with the deal? 

Thanks in advance.

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For 18k miles car you should not expect any issues, especially Lexus. 

I am surprised to hear that there is noticeable wear on the seats for 18k miles car. I cannot really answer this question without looking at the actual seat - being cream leather maybe it is just dirty and could be cleaned? However, my 54k miles RC literally had a hole in exact same place - so this indicates overall Lexus MK3 IS and RC (which are very similar inside) has some issue with seat wear in that area. Yes the leather could be fixed, but I would rather ask for discount and take it to proper leather specialist than let the dealer deal with it. if it is just scratches and discoloration, then any place working on leather repairs should be able to fix it in the way it is nearly invisible without much issues, mine having a hole was much tougher job.

Brake disks are mild steel, so yes it is normal for them to flash rust just by sitting outside.. depending on the weather and how lucky you are it could happen within a week. However, braking once or twice should clean the surface very well. Considering lock-down and low number of test drives/sales and general period of the year I think surface rusted brake discs are to be expected/

Now what you should ask for ... that will really depend on how desperate the dealership is to make as sale, how the car is already priced and how good of negotiator you are. So it really depends. Few common sense things to check would be if tyres are in good order and all matching (premium brand as well), how worn down brake disks and pads are... those are quite expensive to replace... but again for 18k miles cars I would not expect any particular issues. In the end, what is very important - you must have a record of what you agreed, ideally white an e-mails and get them commit in writing.

One tip I can give you when it comes to negotiation, be prepared for Lexus to offer you long list of unnecessary junk. Say if car is £20k and you ask them to produce like "sales offer" don't be surprised if the sales person comes to you with bill for £28k. What are these tings - useless coatings, rims and tyres protection, Lexus insurance.. various other things which are just bad value for money. Now the trick is - don't negotiate on the base price of £20k. They won't normally agree to lower it by more than few £100s, negotiate on whole "deal" of £28k. Give an impression you consider the extra items and when they agree to discount, ask them to print the offer again. What you ideally want is that expecting for you to take extra bits they will discount the car's base price. At which point you can say "yes I want to go ahead with the deal, but I decided I will take the car only". This trick may or may not work, but that is the only way in which you can actually negotiate base price down - if you go straight for it, then they won't negotiate at all.

Now just to give you example of what is possible - when I bought my RC200t it was priced at £16,800 and I managed to get it for £15,500, agreed for the seat to be repaired (dealership did terrible job thought), stone-chips to be professionally touched-up (again hit and miss) and for brakes to be checked again (I wanted the replacement, but they insisted that brakes are good - there is long story how it went if you interested) and on top of that 2 years free service (minor+major).

Be aware that RC200t is not IS300h, so do not expect same results (RC200t is literally unsellable car and dealership was really desperate to shift it). IS300h is pretty much staple product, so they will be way less likely to offer amazing discount, but again that depends on how the car is priced already... or whenever there are other cars offered at similar or lower price.

Good luck with your purchase!

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1 hour ago, Linas.P said:

For 18k miles car you should not expect any issues, especially Lexus. 

I am surprised to hear that there is noticeable wear on the seats for 18k miles car. I cannot really answer this question without looking at the actual seat - being cream leather maybe it is just dirty and could be cleaned? However, my 54k miles RC literally had a hole in exact same place - so this indicates overall Lexus MK3 IS and RC (which are very similar inside) has some issue with seat wear in that area. Yes the leather could be fixed, but I would rather ask for discount and take it to proper leather specialist than let the dealer deal with it. if it is just scratches and discoloration, then any place working on leather repairs should be able to fix it in the way it is nearly invisible without much issues, mine having a hole was much tougher job.

Brake disks are mild steel, so yes it is normal for them to flash rust just by sitting outside.. depending on the weather and how lucky you are it could happen within a week. However, braking once or twice should clean the surface very well. Considering lock-down and low number of test drives/sales and general period of the year I think surface rusted brake discs are to be expected/

Now what you should ask for ... that will really depend on how desperate the dealership is to make as sale, how the car is already priced and how good of negotiator you are. So it really depends. Few common sense things to check would be if tyres are in good order and all matching (premium brand as well), how worn down brake disks and pads are... those are quite expensive to replace... but again for 18k miles cars I would not expect any particular issues. In the end, what is very important - you must have a record of what you agreed, ideally white an e-mails and get them commit in writing.

One tip I can give you when it comes to negotiation, be prepared for Lexus to offer you long list of unnecessary junk. Say if car is £20k and you ask them to produce like "sales offer" don't be surprised if the sales person comes to you with bill for £28k. What are these tings - useless coatings, rims and tyres protection, Lexus insurance.. various other things which are just bad value for money. Now the trick is - don't negotiate on the base price of £20k. They won't normally agree to lower it by more than few £100s, negotiate on whole "deal" of £28k. Give an impression you consider the extra items and when they agree to discount, ask them to print the offer again. What you ideally want is that expecting for you to take extra bits they will discount the car's base price. At which point you can say "yes I want to go ahead with the deal, but I decided I will take the car only". This trick may or may not work, but that is the only way in which you can actually negotiate base price down - if you go straight for it, then they won't negotiate at all.

Now just to give you example of what is possible - when I bought my RC200t it was priced at £16,800 and I managed to get it for £15,500, agreed for the seat to be repaired (dealership did terrible job thought), stone-chips to be professionally touched-up (again hit and miss) and for brakes to be checked again (I wanted the replacement, but they insisted that brakes are good - there is long story how it went if you interested) and on top of that 2 years free service (minor+major).

Be aware that RC200t is not IS300h, so do not expect same results (RC200t is literally unsellable car and dealership was really desperate to shift it). IS300h is pretty much staple product, so they will be way less likely to offer amazing discount, but again that depends on how the car is priced already... or whenever there are other cars offered at similar or lower price.

Good luck with your purchase!

Thanks for all the info.

There are a few things I am using to negotiate but they probably will only come off the list price by £200. It's priced at £19800 and is the Advance model with heated and vented seats. 

The brake rust I mentioned is on the calipers, not the disks. It's on the car I won't be choosing but was asking if it was a common thing with these cars for reference. The level of rust was quite concerning. The car I'm likely to choose doesn't have any rust on the calipers. 

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Calipers are cast steel as well and they rust, but for 18k miles car I would expect them to be rather clean, perhaps linked to what I said before - it is lock-down, cars stay outside for prolonged amount of time and that accelerates the rate at which they rust. As long as calipers are not stuck it should not matter. But that said mine were clean when I bought my car and that had 3 times the mileage.

There is one way to "rust your" calipers very quickly thought - use strong acidic wheel cleaner and leave it on calipers. Does wonders that thing! So just a speculation, but maybe somebody "super-cleaned" the wheels, just forgotten to rinse the cleaner of the calipers.

So raise that with dealership - ask them what is the price of the calipers and when they say it is like £1000 to replace ask them why they so rusty and whenever they need replacing.

In my case that was exactly the issue (just with disks and pads). I said it looks like disks are grooved and have a lip and pad are rather low, they told me that car passed MOT and their inspection and thus should be fine, then I asked the inspect them again... long story short, they didn't, 3000 miles later it turned out that there are no pads left and other dealership concluded that disks and pads requires changing all around for £1000+. Because I had this conversation on e-mail the dealership which sold me ended-up paying for it.

Now... I know it may sound scary, but used card dealing has a lot of grey areas. I was quite disappointed considering this was Lexus Dealership, but don't be fooled by false sense of security of it being dealership. It is still used cars sales and what matter is only what you spot, and what you have agreed (preferably in writing).

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9 hours ago, Alex34 said:

Thanks for all the info.

There are a few things I am using to negotiate but they probably will only come off the list price by £200. It's priced at £19800 and is the Advance model with heated and vented seats. 

The brake rust I mentioned is on the calipers, not the disks. It's on the car I won't be choosing but was asking if it was a common thing with these cars for reference. The level of rust was quite concerning. The car I'm likely to choose doesn't have any rust on the calipers. 

Good advise from Linas there Alex. The bit about documenting in writing what has been agreed is particularly important.

I would offer £19500 if the car you want is otherwise ok. If they so NO ,then walk away.

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Thanks for the advice!

The one I would consider buying doesn't have any rust on the callipers. I was only asking for reference.

I was actually thinking of offering them £19500 as well. I can also ask them to throw in the rubber floormat set, boot liner and a full tank of petrol instead, if they find that option easier. I was planning on purchasing the rubber floormats and boot liner anyway.

They've already offered to carry out an MOT and fill in any stone chips with a full valet. I will also ask that a vehicle health check be carried out detailing condition and wear of the brake pads and disks along and tyre wear. Although I didn't see any excessive brake wear or tyre wear. It was what was to be expected with 18K miles. I just want the full condition of the car to be documented. 

I should hear back from them Monday, I will let you guys know how it goes.

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the rust on the calipers may of been because the last owner lived by the coast

and regarding the seat if the car has been used for just around town

stop / start journey's there may of been alot of getting in & out of the car

hence the wear you can see.

if the car doesn't need a service right now ask for them to include the next service

in the price and ask for a touch up paint stick its always handy to have one

incase you get a stone chip you can cover it up before it has chance to rust

 

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13 hours ago, 200h said:

the rust on the calipers may of been because the last owner lived by the coast

and regarding the seat if the car has been used for just around town

stop / start journey's there may of been alot of getting in & out of the car

hence the wear you can see.

if the car doesn't need a service right now ask for them to include the next service

in the price and ask for a touch up paint stick its always handy to have one

incase you get a stone chip you can cover it up before it has chance to rust

 

Thanks.

The last service was carried out in Sept but they've pretty much had the car back shortly after. There was 20 miles difference between the last service and when I went to see the car on Saturday.

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As the IS300h is no longer available in the UK after 2020 I started looking at some later models instead. Came across a 69 plate F-Sport, silver with red leather that they won't take less than £27,400 for. Comes with new rubber mats and boot liner. 9K miles on the ODO and super clean. Thinking PCP for 48 months on 4.9% and more than likely pay it off in the end with a £11.5K balloon.

Sales manager then threw a spanner in the works. Offered me a brand new F-Sport in red with black leather.  £35K at 1.9% on PCP, 42 months with a balloon at the end of £15.4K

 

The monthly payments for the 69 plate is £301 and for the new one it is £403. If I decide to keep the car at the end, I will have almost the entire amount saved up for the 69 plate (based on money I put away every month for "car payments / saving up for new car") but will have to finance a portion of the balloon if I go with the new F-Sport.

Difficult to decide when thinking in the long term. Either car I could realistically keep for 10yrs... 6 or 7 years quite easily. I do about 10K miles a year.

 Ideally I would have wanted to be as close to £300 a month as possible and have it paid off in 3yrs but my car dying and being scrapped has taken that ideal away from me.

The two options seem to be balanced in comparison when you weigh up the differences in age, condition, and cost funding. The 69 plate will probably be paid off in 4yrs but will always be a year and a half older with 9K more miles and previously used. Whilst the new car would be financed for probably 5 years in total but will be newer with one owner and 9K miles less.

A down side to both though is that ridiculous luxury road tax charge to vehicles with original list price over £40K. So an added £1280.

What do you guys and gals think?

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I ran your numbers in a calculator and the 69 plate is coming out at £412 a month, not £301.

48 x £301 = £14,448

Plus balloon of £11,500. Total= £25,948.

That's less than the £27,400 you mention, and doesn't even take into account any interest. Is there some huge incentive somewhere? Am I misunderstanding?

Personally, I'd take the older car and try and finance elsewhere, rather than PCP. Money Saving Expert is showing car loans for up to £25K (you'll need to find a couple of grand to cover the rest up to £27.4K) for 2.8%, vs. 4.9% you're being quoted by Lexus. Over 4 years, that's nearly £1,700 in interest savings alone. Of course both scenarios are subject to passing credit check which may be easier to do at the dealer perhaps.

You seem adamant on paying the balloon and keeping the car, so take a loan for it.

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45 minutes ago, matt8 said:

I ran your numbers in a calculator and the 69 plate is coming out at £412 a month, not £301.

48 x £301 = £14,448

Plus balloon of £11,500. Total= £25,948.

That's less than the £27,400 you mention, and doesn't even take into account any interest. Is there some huge incentive somewhere? Am I misunderstanding?

Personally, I'd take the older car and try and finance elsewhere, rather than PCP. Money Saving Expert is showing car loans for up to £25K (you'll need to find a couple of grand to cover the rest up to £27.4K) for 2.8%, vs. 4.9% you're being quoted by Lexus. Over 4 years, that's nearly £1,700 in interest savings alone. Of course both scenarios are subject to passing credit check which may be easier to do at the dealer perhaps.

You seem adamant on paying the balloon and keeping the car, so take a loan for it.

My deposit is £5K for both cars, sorry.

I've never done PCP before so I always look at it as purchasing the car outright. However, I think PCP will give me more flexibility in case I don't want to keep it or something else happens. Will have a look at the deals you mentioned though, thanks.

One of the main reasons I'm considering keeping it is that there will be no more IS300h after this year. Don't know if I would consider any other Lexus models after this. I'm also a bit old school and try to get as much as I can out of a car (maybe a bad thing). So many people treat cars as a direct debit nowadays or like a subscription. Changing cars every 2 to 3 years and never really owning it. I've never done that so maybe I'm just looking at it the wrong way?

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22 minutes ago, Alex34 said:

My deposit is £5K for both cars, sorry.

I've never done PCP before so I always look at it as purchasing the car outright. However, I think PCP will give me more flexibility in case I don't want to keep it or something else happens. Will have a look at the deals you mentioned though, thanks.

One of the main reasons I'm considering keeping it is that there will be no more IS300h after this year. Don't know if I would consider any other Lexus models after this. I'm also a bit old school and try to get as much as I can out of a car (maybe a bad thing). So many people treat cars as a direct debit nowadays or like a subscription. Changing cars every 2 to 3 years and never really owning it. I've never done that so maybe I'm just looking at it the wrong way?

There`s many of us like you Alex. We are not of the throwaway society. I feel that used Lexus vehicles will appreciate in value relative to other used cars.

How many other manufacturers warrant their vehicles for 10 years and 140,000 miles and their Hybrid Batteries for 15 years ?

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11 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

There`s many of us like you Alex. We are not of the throwaway society. I feel that used Lexus vehicles will appreciate in value relative to other used cars.

How many other manufacturers warrant their vehicles for 10 years and 140,000 miles and their Hybrid Batteries for 15 years ?

My brother who lives in Miami still has his 2008 IS250 with 130K miles that he keeps as a spare car. Says he will never get rid of it unless it dies.

It's just so difficult to choose. Should I be thrifty or should I get what I want, especially if I may keep it long term? I even considered just getting a 69 plate CT200h and not spend a lot. After test driving one though I realised the error in my thinking. It's quite small in terms of interior space and witn a very small boot.

I started out looking at cars from £16K - £20K and now I'm up to £35K! I probably wouldn't have considered the new F-Sport but the discount and low APR is tempting. The 69 plate is more my style in terms of colour scheme though. Both are Premium Pack too.

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Considering both brand new and the 69-plate cars are basically same identical car as far as equipment is considered I would go with 69-plate. Going for new you just basically going to burn more money in depreciation and for it you won't get any "more car". And 69-plate car is basically new as well - call it extended test drive or something 😁, 9000 miles is nothing for such car. The only advantage if new car is that you configure it yo your liking and then depreciation punches you in the face for it, but in this case both cars are pre-configured and it seems you like 69-plate car more anyway.

As well, if you take 69-plate car (being a cheaper car) say for 3 years instead of 4 year, then you will save on interest as well.

By the way what is wrong with your current car (what car is it?). I thought Toyota/Lexus still offers up-to £4000 (dependant on model you buy) for scrapping it, not sure if that would be viable option for you.

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32 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

Considering both brand new and the 69-plate cars are basically same identical car as far as equipment is considered I would go with 69-plate. Going for new you just basically going to burn more money in depreciation and for it you won't get any "more car". And 69-plate car is basically new as well - call it extended test drive or something 😁, 9000 miles is nothing for such car. The only advantage if new car is that you configure it yo your liking and then depreciation punches you in the face for it, but in this case both cars are pre-configured and it seems you like 69-plate car more anyway.

As well, if you take 69-plate car (being a cheaper car) say for 3 years instead of 4 year, then you will save on interest as well.

By the way what is wrong with your current car (what car is it?). I thought Toyota/Lexus still offers up-to £4000 (dependant on model you buy) for scrapping it, not sure if that would be viable option for you.

My old car was a 1.6 diesel Ford Focus. I bought it out right as a pre-reg in 2015 after my BMW was written off. The reason I went with the Focus was because I was about to change locations at work and was going to be doing 18K miles a year for a few years. I wanted something I could do 100K miles in and was cheap and cheerful.

4 years in the input shaft bearings in the gearbox went, which Ford paid for most of the repair but it never drove the same after. Then loads of little silly cosmetic things started going and finally a couple weeks ago the head gasket blew. The car never overheated the entire time I had it and didn't even overheat on the day I had it recovered. It just all of a sudden started bogging out and spewing white smoke from the exhaust. I didn't want to go down a rabbit hole with cost of possible repairs to the head and pistons so I scrapped it for £1K. The repairs were going to run me at least £2K with changing the waterpump and timing belt which made sense to do. If there was damage to the head and pistons then it would have to be an engine rebuild or scrapped so I decided not to take the risk. The car was only worth about £4K at the time with the mileage it had. That's why I was going to buy a car this year anyway but in the later part of the year. I did get 88K miles out of it, however, my first and last Ford purchase. 

I think the Lexus Scrappage scheme is for older cars.

Thanks for the advice by the way.

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makes sense... 

I think Lexus does not care what car you have, the scrappage scheme works based on the car you get. £4000 to be honest is for likes of RX, LS, LC, but for IS it may be £2500 or £3000. Anyway too late for that.

As well worth noting - there is night an day difference between CT and IS. Not that CT is bad car, but it is much more like fancy Toyota (still very reliable), but IS is proper Lexus and you can feel the difference. 

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41 minutes ago, Linas.P said:

makes sense... 

I think Lexus does not care what car you have, the scrappage scheme works based on the car you get. £4000 to be honest is for likes of RX, LS, LC, but for IS it may be £2500 or £3000. Anyway too late for that.

As well worth noting - there is night an day difference between CT and IS. Not that CT is bad car, but it is much more like fancy Toyota (still very reliable), but IS is proper Lexus and you can feel the difference. 

Definitely agree with the difference between the CT and IS. The biggest thing for me though was the CT's small cabin space and tiny boot, despite being a hatch. It's smaller inside than the focus was.

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Does Lexus finance allow you to sell your car to a third party at the end of the term whilst paying off the balloon? 

Example: if the GFV is £15K and another trader offers you £18K, can the other trader pay off Lexus Finance direct and pay you the balance?

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As well it depends what kind of finance option you get. In some types of finance you are the owner of the car either way, so you technically can sell car any time (it is yours), you simply own money to Toyota Finance or whatever and they don't care if you still have the car or not.

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i have part exchanged my last 3 lexus cars mid term of a pcp

and used what equity i had to go towards the deposit of my next car

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So, after long deliberation I don't think PCP is for me. That being said the new F-Sport is out of consideration.

I'm now left with the 69 plate F-Sport with 9K miles @ £27,400 and the 67 plate Advance with 18K miles @ £19,600.

If I look to keep either long term, will there be much difference between the two 7 - 8, possibly 10 years down the road? In terms of reliability etc.

Is the F-Sport worth spending almost £8K more on and having to spend £1280 more in road tax over the next four years? Will two years newer make that much more of a difference in 7 - 8 years time?

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The F-Sport has nicer styling in my opinion. I went for an F-Sport a few years years ago.

If you're going to treat yourself (and I suppose you are, the Lexus is a good step up from the Ford) and you like the F-Sport, go for it. You won't be able to change it later. As you noted, these are now discontinued.

£8,000 over 10 years is £66 a month extra over ownership life. If you keep it that long that is.

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Hi Alex

dont forget with the 69 plate you will still have the remainder of the lexus warranty

and the AA breakdown service for you and anyone else in your household.

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