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I visited a 'car-supermarket' in Northampton today where they had an Ampera for sale. Registration number: NL13 FPX. The car had been charged and I took it out for a very short test drive. I did not have the oportunity to try the internal combustion engine - if it did run, I did not notice it.

I know that Ampera owners are a fairly elite and knowledgeable group so I wondered if anyone on here knows this car?

I liked the car, it is a nice colour, and the price seemed OK but . . .

The last dealer service was at 13,800 miles (Bristol Street Motors, and it has now completed 38,000 miles - does this mean that the various warranties are no longer transferable? Is this likely to be a serious problem?

The car was shod with a collection of cheap tyres all 215/55 R17 - I could only pronounce one of the makes: "Arrowspeed N6000" - tyres are easily replaced but these looked like recent fitments as they all had plenty of tread - this might point to a cash strapped previous owner? Apart from safety considerations will these cheap tyres affect the car's economy/range?

I am looking at another Ampera tomorrow . . .

The car was quite dirty - especially the driver's side footwell - I guess this could be cleaned? The seller was trying to push something called 'Smartguard' for £249 extra - stating that this will make the car look shinier and will protect the paint and alloy wheels against corrosion. A complete valet would be included - is it worth it?
 

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Smartguard no, just give it a Polish.

The service interval is a problem, the 8 year/100,000 mile Voltec warrantee depends on 20,000 mile or yearly servicing, which ever first, and Vauxhall try to get out of it. You need it in writing that Vauxhall will honour the Voltec warrantee.
Tyres do effect the electric range and poor ones are noisy!

What is the vehicle's registration number - MOT History

Looks like its been off the road a while.
 

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Just had a quick look at the MOT history using link above. I'd be a bit pee'd off if that were mine - it had a couple of fail points on 16 Jan, presumably took the few weeks till retest on 2 Feb to procure and fix the failing parts then it went and failed again on something else!

And the mileage dropped 17 miles between the dates!!
 

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I visited a 'car-supermarket' in Northampton today where they had an Ampera for sale. Registration number: NL13 FPX. The car had been charged and I took it out for a very short test drive. I did not have the oportunity to try the internal combustion engine - if it did run, I did not notice it.

I know that Ampera owners are a fairly elite and knowledgeable group so I wondered if anyone on here knows this car?

I liked the car, it is a nice colour, and the price seemed OK but . . .

The last dealer service was at 13,800 miles (Bristol Street Motors, and it has now completed 38,000 miles - does this mean that the various warranties are no longer transferable? Is this likely to be a serious problem?

The car was shod with a collection of cheap tyres all 215/55 R17 - I could only pronounce one of the makes: "Arrowspeed N6000" - tyres are easily replaced but these looked like recent fitments as they all had plenty of tread - this might point to a cash strapped previous owner? Apart from safety considerations will these cheap tyres affect the car's economy/range?

I am looking at another Ampera tomorrow . . .

The car was quite dirty - especially the driver's side footwell - I guess this could be cleaned? The seller was trying to push something called 'Smartguard' for £249 extra - stating that this will make the car look shinier and will protect the paint and alloy wheels against corrosion. A complete valet would be included - is it worth it?
Was it this one that you went to see Saved Adverts

I admit to being biased as I once visited that Car Shop and would never do do again. (I'm 29 miles north of their premises). Their lack of customer service and focus on selling you the extras like Smartguard is typical. There prices are never keen and they are asking £11,439 for a 2012 model Positive (the lower spec and the older model).

I'd recommend reading the guidance on this forum and posting any further questions on here.
 

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Just had a quick look at the MOT history using link above. I'd be a bit pee'd off if that were mine - it had a couple of fail points on 16 Jan, presumably took the few weeks till retest on 2 Feb to procure and fix the failing parts then it went and failed again on something else!

And the mileage dropped 17 miles between the dates!!
Remember a retest is only valid for 10 days so I'd assume between the 16th Jan and 6th of Feb then they had to pay for another MOT. Also they appear to have taken it to another MOT centre after it failed on the 6th as the "pass" on the 10th as the disk condition has been downgraded or I guess they could have fitted old disks but its unlikely.

Missing MOT from 2017 could have an understandable reason as well as ones to be concerned about. Its a shame whoever owned it didn't keep the service schedule up to date to maintain the voltec warranty.

Its an interesting question as to how much the voltec warranty is worth what would have been a year to run on it. I'm not even sure these car supermarkets understand that either and just price as per a traditional ice.

If i was going for this then I'd want to confirm everything on the MOT was fixed so tyres (think you've said they have been done), new disks / pads all round and the handbrake issue.
 

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Expect to find corrosion on the standard Ampera alloys. Poor quality control by GM. Absolutely no point paying a single penny for alloy protection, as they'll peel from under the surface. Some of us luckily got refurbed ones from Vx under warranty, most didn't and and will end up paying for their refurb if wanted. I haven't bothered (yet).

As stated above, the 8 yr/100k mile wty is very valuable, though not a lot left on 2012 cars now! So 2015 cars will cost more for this very reason, and might well have been built in 2012 anyway, and stored on dealers' lots.
 

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Assuming this was the red on on Autotrader I enquired about its service history when it first came up for sale.

Honest lady who answered my call, came back after a day to say they couldn't find its history so I said I'd pass on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you to all who responded. I have decided not to buy this car. I have found another: same colour, later model 'Electron' and with a full service history being sold at a proper Vauxhall dealer. It is more expensive but they will take my two year old Astra in part exchange and provide an unconditional twelve month warranty on the Ampera. I have arranged to take delivery on 1st May.

I did put a modest deposit on the Ampera that is for sale at the 'CarShop' in Northampton and although that car is not for me, it may well suit someone who is looking for a bit of a project. I say this because from my limited inspection it appeared to be in very good nick for its age. The car's handbook pack was in mint condition and it was complete with two chargers. The cheap tyres are explained by the MOT issues noted above and the most likely explanation of the lack of annual services may well be that the car was in storage or unused for some time.
The link below is the one that I am now not buying:
Used VAUXHALL AMPERA 111kW Positiv 5dr Auto | Red | NL13FPX | Northampton
 

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Sounds like you did the right thing. It is worth noting that the red Amp for sale at Car Shop is a MY2012. It does seem in quite good nick and I am guessing the alloys have been reconditioned. I am not keen on Car Shop, but I did buy my MY2013 Electron from one of their places, and it has (so far) been a gem, and it price was very keen as I think they were under pressure from the leasing company that owned it to get it sold. Just don't look for any expertise from the sales people who are just there to punt cars out, and say no to the Smartguard. If you want Smartguard you can get it afterwards much cheaper, but better to use polish and elbow grease.
 

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Seems like a nice enough car for the price, low miles if that gives you the extra warranty. Just have to check that VX will honour it, like mentioned here.

I would not worry about cheap tyres, just swap them out. The reason is that at that mileage they will still be on the original Michelins and will have just shredded themselves after that long. If a dealer got hold of it they'd be duty bound to replace them ... with something 'legal' .....

Smartguard no, just give it a Polish.
How would you know what nationality they are down at the car wash?

(OK, OK, you probably meant a polish not a Polish .... ;) )
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just to add - one thing that I noticed about the 2013 Ampera for sale in Northampton, the car had been charged using a 'granny' charger that appeared to be in very good almost new condition - much better than others that I have seen. There was also a newish type 2 to type 1 charging lead in the boot - I am guessing that this is something that doesn't always come with the car?
 

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The granny lead was supplied with the car originally and you should expect to find one under the boot floor. The type 2 to 1 lead was an (expensive ) extra if bought with the car, most are bought from third parties.

When (if) I sell mine it will go with its 2 to 1 lead as the next EV will be a type 2 not type 1 and the lead will not be needed.
 

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In 2013, when I bought mine, Vauxhall had a promotion for the Ampera, 3 years free servicing and a public charging cable over and above the 'lifetime' warranty that was available on all Vauxhalls at the time. I also received a £1,000 'free fuel' prepaid debit car but can't recall if that was a dealership promotion or Vauxhall.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Those were the days!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One piece of advice that I have learned is to always search through the relevant forum before asking a question. I don't always follow this advice myself - had I have done so, I would have known to avoid that establishment in Northampton and to avoid cheap Amperas advertised via on-line auction sites. Why do these fraudsters focus so much on Amperas?
 
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