I am helping a client buy a nearly new BMW 330d xDrive estate.

BMW offered £11,000 trade-in on the client’s old car.

Once a prospective new car had been sourced at another BMW dealer, my client was asked for  £1000 deposit to bring the car across from the other dealership so he could see it. This was also on the basis that he would agree to buying the car unless there was an obvious significant fault with it.

Now, I understand why a dealer would want to take a deposit to move a car from A to B, but why £1000 (£200 should cover it!), and why only on a ‘you will also therefore buy it unless it isn’t as described’ .

Also, as soon as my client signed on the dotted line (we weren’t in contact at the time), a more senior salesperson appeared and looked at the trade-in car again and started knocking down the agreed value of it, along the lines of “Well that scuff will cost us £250 to repair, those stone chips will need sorting at £350” and so on.

You’ll be pleased to hear that, with my advice, the client walked away (after, admittedly, a short debate) without losing a penny and found another BMW dealer to do business with.

So, don’t sign anything until you know and agree what you are signing for, don’t be rushed or bullied into signing until you have read every word of what is in front of you, and make sure the salesperson looks very closely at your trade-in and gives you a guaranteed price in writing before you even start to negotiate on a new, nearly new or second hand car.

Beware dealer tactics!