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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are currently in the market for a replacement Mini Cooper for my wife.
I spotted one locally and we went to have a look at the weekend.

On the whole the car appeared in good condition averaging 6k miles a year with one owner from new. One or two larger stone chips that will require attention, but other than that just a few light scratches and a bit of rash on the edge of the drivers door.

The only thing that was putting me off at the time was that the front bumper under close scrutiny was a slightly different shade to the rest of the car. and the alignment of the bonnet and bumper on the passengers side was squiffy. It looked as though the bumper had dropped, though looking at it now, I think it is more likely the bonnet wasn't sitting properly which seems to be common to Minis.

Our current mini came back with similar problems (though with a terrible job on the paint) after insurance repair, so I'm assuming there has been a knock at some paint in the last 8 years. Nothing too alarming about this really.
The dealer (Renault) assured me they could rectify this, so we moved onto service history and this is where I started to think perhaps not . The dealer has absolutely no service history for the vehicle as nothing was provided by the previous owner. They have put in a request to BMW today to see if they have anything. Knowing this I asked the dealer to give me the V5 number so that I could check the MOT history. On the whole this reads OK, apart from the fact that the last owner clearly didn't like spending money on tyres until they absolutely had to. However the test in 2011 has an additional advisory apart from tyre wear, and that was for the coolant bottle being empty.

Scratches, scrapes and bald tyres I can live with to a point, but should I be running for the hills where the owner hasn't even maintained the coolant level?
 

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Easy decision to walk away from that car. Plenty more to choose from.

It's very common for bumpers to be a shade or two out though. Normal for many cars and colours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks chaps - it was the combination of low mileage and price that made it tempting, but you have confirmed what common sense was trying to tell me. :)
 

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i wouldn't risk it. no history could be when he did it himself, like I used to do, and do it more often then necessary. but a empty coolant level shows this isn't what's going on.
and uneven / bald tyres may seem not to bad, but this will stress the joints... so leave it and have a look at another one
 

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We've just confirmed what you already knew!...plenty more out there which have been looked after properly.

I know of a 2007 Cooper, 47k miles, nicely spec'd & loved by the owner if that may be of interest?...she's only selling as upgraded to a Cooper S convertible!

PM if so:thumb:
 

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Rule of thumb for me as to whether a car has been looked after or not is if there are chips on the edges of the drivers door. Do you really think that somebody who bashes their own car door off things cares for it??
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the additional replies.

The mileage and price were the things that were perhaps swaying my judgement against fully appreciating the negatives, as the paintwork etc... seemed somewhat minor until I read the MOT history. I am expecting the service history report from BMW tomorrow, but I am not holding my breath.

Fortunately this is now somewhat irrelevant as I put down a deposit on an 06 Park Lane this morning that popped up with our local Ford dealer yesterday. This is a far better example (albeit for a more realistic price), and for a 7 year old car is in immaculate condition. Full service history with same local dealer from purchase, all MOTs , and every conceivable receipt for consumable purchases. We're not 100% sold on the stripes, but we can ditch these if they prove too much to look at long term.

Just in time for some winter prep!
 

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Sounds idea chap. Im not a lover of the stripes on the mini but like you say, you can easy get rid if need be. Look forward to seeing your pictures . A colleague at work had a dark silver park lane edition
 
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