Satyanam 3 | 6 20 Dec 2010 #1Dear friends, buying a used car in Poland is full of traps and deceptions. It's not a straightforward process as in Australia or elsewhere. Since i come from Australia, i had the most harrowing experiences ever in my life, regarding buying a USED CAR !PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN, THERE IS NO CONSUMER PROTECTION AGAINST THE SHARKS SELLING YOU LEMONS FOR THE PRICE OF TRUFFLES ! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED ! ( In Australia, we have a mandatory 10 day cooling off period to any contract or purchase of this sort, which means that the customer is protected against fraud in case the car is not what is advertised !! can any used car dealer in Poland come up with something like this ?? NO WAY I SUPPOSE )My ordeal with buying cars started 2 months ago ! and only yesterday after several visits to the used car yards called AUTO KOMIS i finally found something that i could spend my money on.I was given several helpful hints by my Polish colleagues and the most important advice that came through was " TRUST NO ONE " not even the so called authorised car dealers selling used cars in their showrooms.There are several used car web sites, and since i am not going to advertise for them, you just have to look around.Here are some of my observations that you need to keep in mind when dealing with the used car salesmen when inquiring over the phone.If the car you are looking for is advertised as ACCIDENT FREE< WITH ASO PAPERS OF REGULAR SERVICE> FIRST OWNERThen ask before you go to the car yard the following hard questions, this will save you tremendous amount of frustration, time and money.1. If the car has been resprayed for cosmetic purposes anywhere ?2. If the car has been re-lacquered any where ?3. Does the dealer have a paint thickness sensor ( called a Dczujnik) for testing the car panels, all over ? this is important, as some of these operators will not let you test the car, or will say that the sensor is not working, or the sensor has been misplaced, or the sensor is low on battery, or they simply act as if they dont anything about this device. If they make any of these excuses then simply walk away, as that car is nothing but a cut and paste job. My research shows that 60% of the cars at Gniezno (nest of liars) were damaged and patched up in Poland. These cars are often flogged off as new !This is very important as i have been to several authorised car dealers( Heaven Sake who can you trust ?) who advertised the cars as accident free, but on closer inspection it came out that the cars had been resprayed for whatever reason. My verdict if you want a car worth your money then be THOROUGH ! and ask for the paint sensor. The range in microns for metallic paint should read between 90 -- 120 if the reading is anymore than this then the car is repainted.4. If the car is advertised as having service papers ask them to take a picture of the service book and email it to you, if they are genuine sellers then they will comply. Be careful, very careful as some of the service books are stamped, but the stamps do not carry the name or telephone number of the servicing agent. Make sure all the stamps look similar. Tell them you will call the service station to check, take down the VIN number and give the service agents a call. Even if you are calling someone in Germany, it is still worth the call to find out whether the car is on their service database. Some dealers in Gniezno were furious that i was asking too many questions !! I too gave them a 2 finger salute and walked off ! If you are going to part with your hard earned cash then dont forget that CUSTOMER IS THE KING !Used car dealers in Poland need special praise for their hoodwinking skills, in one particular case i travelled to Gniezno in freezing cold only to find that the car that was advertised was still in France !! Christ-sake ! they said that they were so sure that the car would be here today that they could not resist putting the ad on the web-site.Ask any Pole, and they will tell that you winding the clock back on the odometer( a severely punishable illegal activity in Australia) is a common practice with used cars. On an average a car will not chock up any more than 22000 kms per year ! so if the mileage is somewhere near that mark then its fine. Take a trip to Gniezno( den of scammers) and you will find that most cars are very doubtful for their age. I did some further research into this and discovered that changing the kilometers on a digital odometer was easier than the old fashioned analog displays. Apparently there is special software that can do it in a matter of minutes !! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !In conclusion, do not buy the car on your very first date of inspection. There are CARS and many more CARS ! Take your time and decide. Most importantly take the car for a test drive, check the gear shift, press the clutch and check if there is any change in the engine noise, or feedback in the pedal, wear thin soled shoes to do this. If buying a diesel, check the whine for the turbine, if you hear a high pitched sound the turbine is on the way out ! It can cost upto 2000 zloty to get it fixed, and it can only be done properly from an authorised service station ( i have had 2 bad experiences with this problem)The last word--- do not hesitate to knock back the price by at least 2K !! i have had encounters where the car was advertised for 35,000, and the dealers were keen to flog it off for 30,0000 after some negotiation.I finally found a car after 2 grueling months, a rare occasion i must say. The car had all the papers, the service station was genuine, and everything checked out with the odometer reading as they are recorded in the service station each time the car goes in for service. Please wish me luck with the reliability of this car. Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you have any for i do not wish anyone to get their fingers burnt. I am 52 and have bought at least 6 cars in my life and i thought i knew a lot about the used car business, however the Polish market taught me many new things and scams to avoid. i certainly could write a book about it :-)Good luck with your purchase and remember i am here to help. Cheers.