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Hello, done some research and think we’d like to get a used UP! for our sons first car. We have seen a 16/65 plate 3dr Move version, one owner 20k miles. asking. Looks a very clean car, one owner at a local dealer.
Are there any things I should be specifically asking or looking for please when buying VW UP!?
I’m no car expert, my dad was and I wish I still had him around to ask the sort of questions and look for the sort of things I should.
 

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Sorry your dad not around. My dad was a mechanic too but no longer with us. So In my limited experience of the UP I would say get a feel for the gearbox. Does it change smoothly and go into reverse. Mine is fine when cold but it shifts more sweetly when warm. Think the later cars like the one you are considering are better but the gearbox makes quite a bit of noise under load (acceleration). Mine certainly does but as I say it shifts gear very smoothly and I dont really hear it with the stereo on. With engine running push the clutch in and out and listen for a rattling noise. If really noisy it could be thrust bearing but they are a bit of a noisy engine at idle anyway. Otherwise great little car with fine handling and decent to drive. Good luck and hope this helps.

Check this thread regarding the rattle.
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks macp, for your nice words and also your advice. I will bear this in mind when looking at car and will try and sound like I know what i'm talking about at least
 

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Your welcome
If I might add something that I have always used as a good yardstick. If it looks right and drives right it probably is right. Anyway its stood me in good stead over the years.
 

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Hi SilBilly,
A great shame about your dad but hopefully you are finding the forum a good source of info in his absence. Ups are great little cars, perfect for first-time drivers (especially ones who live in urban areas). macp makes some very good points, but having bought a 15-plate second-hand move Up! as my first car, here are a few other things you may find helpful (a mixture of personal experience from the last 9 months, advice from my dad - amateur mechanic who had me working on cars from a very young age - and the RAC guy who gave it a once-over before purchasing):

  • as with all used cars, invest in a car history check (one option: https://www.theaacarcheck.com/) and, if you have any concerns about its physical state, get an independent inspection (local garage other than the one selling it, AA, RAC, etc.). If you do this, don't bother with the oil check - my dealer changed the oil as part of its servicing/MOT and Das Welt Auto guarantee, so by the time the RAC guy got to it he was testing brand new oil.
  • 20k in ~4.5 years means it's only done ~4.5k/year. Depending on what part of the country it's lived in (particularly with regards to road salt), and if it's only done short runs out to the shops, it will have had more difficulty clearing condensation, rainwater and general muck out of the undercarriage and exhaust line, which may lead to premature rusting/decay.
  • in a similar vein, a quick check of the suspension is to press down on all 4 corners of the car in turn; if the shocks are wearing out (unlikely in your case) it will bounce more than twice before returning to the original level (it will also bounce unevenly when cornering on the test drive - see, for example http://knowhow.napaonline.com/testing-your-shocks-how-much-bounce-is-too-much/)
  • as macp said, the gearbox is very important; even after 20k if the original driver wasn't very adept at clutch control they could have done a fair bit of damage to the clutch plate. Mine needs to change from first to second very quickly, and timing the engine revs and the bite point to give a smooth transition took a little practice; changing between the higher gears is less of an issue
  • the relatively high power:weight ratio means it's a very peppy car once it gets going, but both the Up and the Citigo (Skoda version) get a bit twitchy if you try to corner too quickly; I'd strongly advise your son to go slower than he might wish when cornering (especially in the wet) until he's had it a few months and knows what it feels like when it's starting to lose traction. More commonly, I would also advise he doesn't take roundabouts any faster than about 20mph, as it doesn't have bucket seats and front passengers in particular tend to start looking for things to hang on to above this speed...
  • it has a lot of glass, which means vision out of all windows/mirrors is generally excellent; however, I find the A pillar (the one to the front of the driver) relatively chunky and initially I missed people indicating to pull in front of me when they were quite close (I have learnt to move my head when a car is in the lane to my right and moving in front of me so I can spot any indicators and react appropriately). It also takes a bit of fiddling with the (manual) side mirror controls to minimise the blind spot to the rear of the driver.
  • the engine's a bit of a noisy one at the best of times (I thought it was a diesel at first, even though mine's most definitely petrol), but it is a 3-cylinder engine and it definitely improves after longer runs; while you'll never be able to sneak up on anyone, if it sounds excessive with the windows up, definitely have it inspected by a professional
  • fuel economy will vary with driving style, road conditions, heating/AC, etc., but on long motorway runs I've managed almost 65mpg, on the weekly commute (~30 min. each way) it's more like 50-55 mpg, and when I'm just doing short hops in the cold it's more like 45mpg
  • my Up turned out to have its original battery in it, which conked out in the first frost last week at just under 5 years old; given the time of year, well worth checking the date code on the one in yours (mine had it engraved on the negative terminal post) and asking for it to be replaced as part of the purchase negotiations if it's >3 years old
  • all Ups seem to have a big problem with cabin condensation - unless it lives in a garage, your son will need to use a mix of AC + heating, silica bag(s) on the parcel shelf (PINGI is a popular choice) and chami wipes/pads to get the windscreen and windows clear in the morning during the winter. By and large it is manageable, but it does add 5-10 min to the morning routine (plus microwaving the PINGI each week to dry it out!).
  • check the tyre date codes, including the spare in the boot (one source of advice: https://www.continental-tyres.co.uk/car/all-about-tyres/tyre-damages/replacing-tyres); advice here varies, but rubber will degrade over time even if the tread depth is fine, and round about the 5-year mark you may wish to consider a new set (they are your only contact with the road, after all, and the UK's weather is typically slippy year-round)
  • after the tyres, the next most critical items are the brakes; even after 5 years, I still have >50% of my brake pads in the front and the drum brakes in the back are fine as well, but absolutely get these inspected before purchasing. The brakes are very effective on mine, so I'd suggest pressing the brake lever gently at first until you get used to when they kick in!
  • mine has hill hold/hill assist; I don't know if this is a standard feature but since yours is a very similar age and model to mine, I would suspect it does. Works really well on mine once you master the bite point, but I highly recommend your son uses the official method with the handbrake once in a while so he'll be ok in a car without it (e.g. a rental car)
  • mine has cloth seats, which do seem to stain quite easily (even water from a leaking water bottle took a fair bit of scrubbing to remove, and there is spotting from sitting down when wet from rain); either invest in covers or the stain guard the dealer will happily encourage you to purchase, or be prepared to clean the fabric regularly
  • there is no Haynes manual for the Up, but there is a very good maintenance guide on this site (they've just reformatted the forum, but it used to be in the first item of the main menu - will see if I can find it and add a link below) and the manual's a pretty good starting point for the basics. While it does have a computer chip, the car is reasonably straightforward from a mechanical standpoint, making it a good learning ground for how cars work and basic maintenance (plus plenty of people on here will be happy to advise on upgrades/mods, should he be so inclined!). Doing weekly checks on tyre pressures, fluids, etc. is really straightforward and the correct replacement fluids are easily available from major retailers. Mine does seem to get through windshield washer fluid fairly quickly, but little else to report. Should he wish to wash it by hand, a bucket and sponge do just fine. Don't forget to clean the wiper blades (my rear one seems to attract tree pollen like a magnet).
  • I have on-street parking outside my house, and my Up has no parking sensors/cameras. Depending on your son's living situation, and confidence with close-combat parking, you may wish to either find a model that has these sensors or have them added later. The car has a very small turning radius and is extremly maneouverable, but with a dropped bonnet and almost flat back it takes a while to work out where you start and stop.
That's a rather long list, but despite a few grumbles at the end of the day it's a cracking little car, and I wouldn't trade mine in for anything (well, maybe a Golf...). It responds well when you press the accelerator (but doesn't overdo it), is surprisingly hard to stall, sips petrol, fits in small spaces (yet has a Tardis for a boot) and is very quick to tell you if something's wrong because it's so straightforward ('basic' seems a bit rude). The best advice I can give you is to take it out and pretend it's yours. If at all possible, take it on a familiar route, and include stop-n-go sections as well as something 50+ mph so you can go through all the gears. Give it an emergency stop to test the brakes. Test the hill assist (if present). Press all the buttons and make sure everything turns on/off as expected. Use the wipers and washers. As macp said, if it feels similar to other things you've driven, it's probably ok - and if you have any concerns, say you need to think on it and book it in for an external check before buying - any reputable dealer will let you do so. And above all, let your son take it out for a similar spin (maybe you drive it out and he drives it back); don't pass any comments before he does, and try to get the salesperson to be quiet while your son's driving. If he's the one who will ultimately be driving it, he's got to feel comfortable in the driving seat. Mine felt like an extension of me from the offset, which is more than I can say for many cars I'd driven before this one. Hopefully it will be for your son as well!
 

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Found the forum maintenance guide:
 

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Great as a first car. We bought a 2014 Move Up! for our son to learn in last year. He has passed his test now 9 months ago and flying solo, loving the freedom. His is approaching 50K miles and with the exception of a few minor scratches which were on it when we bought it, it looks like new. Tornado red 3 door with 14" black alloys, its a lovely looking little car.
 
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