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Paying for your car

Picture the scene:

You have found your perfect car! (And because you are an avid reader of these fantastic newsletters, you have managed to negotiate the bargain of the century, and also done everything possible to make sure it’s a good ‘un.)

All you have to do now is pay for it… and of course, we have plenty of brilliant advice here too!


The problem with walking around with a ‘stash of monkeys in your sky-rocket’ (that’s ‘a large amount of cash in your pocket’ to some of us) is, well, getting mugged.

When a seller absolutely insists on cash, we usually order it from the branch of our bank closest to the seller. Then we can withdraw it over the counterand hand it straight over to the seller. (We once did this with £16,000 and watched with amusement as the seller stuffed wads of cash into his pockets readying for the sprint across the high street to his own bank.)


Some banks now allow you to pay funds at a branch direct from your Debit Card into the seller’s account. Very easy. Very secure. But check with your seller’s bank first.


What a great idea! You send the funds and they appear in the seller’s account within 2 hours, but only up to a maximum of £10,000. Shame it does not work all of the time…

Last Thursday at 17:00 a client of ours paid for their car via BACS, straight to the dealer. So, allowing much more than 2 hours, I dispatched one of our drivers to collect the car at 11:00 Friday morning. However, the funds did not actually clear until Saturday! (Amazingly, the dealer still let us take the car away Friday morning!)

However, if you both happen to share the same bank, the funds can sometimes transfer instantaneously (e.g. HSBC to HSBC), but make sure you check first.


This works the same way as a BACS but is GUARANTEED to appear the same day if sent in the morning. It costs £15-20, but unlike BACS it has no £10,000 limit.

The real problem with any bank transfer, including BACS, is that you are sending the money before you have received the car. You are pretty secure with an established car dealer; however, be careful doing this with private sellers.


My personal favourite! It is very secure and unlike a bank transfer, it allows you to instantly swap the payment for the car.

But a lot of sellers do not like Bank Drafts, for a variety of very sound reasons:

Objection A: “Bank Drafts are easy to forge.”
Ashley’s response: “Don’t worry, I will fax/email a copy over to you the day before, so you can get it verified with the bank before I get there.”

Objection B: “I want cleared funds.”
Ashley’s response: “A Bank Draft is GUARANTEED funds. Once it is drawn it is as good as cash.”
(To be fair, a Bank Draft takes 3 days to clear and quite understandably some sellers don’t like this.)

Objection C: “I understand that Bank Drafts can be cancelled after they have been handed over.”
Ashley’s response: “Er… Um….”
(This is true, but very few people are aware of this.)

So that is it for 2009! 24 newsletters to teach you everything, including buying a car for £1, right through to my running a huge con for your educational benefit.

If you celebrate Christmas, have a great one! If you don’t celebrate Christmas, crash someone else’s party and see if you can blag some turkey…

See you in 2010!

Ashley Winston
(Founder & Owner)

At Palmdale we specialise in taking all the hassle out of the car buying process:


  • YOU tell us exactly what car you want
  • WE search for every available car in the UK that meets your description
  • WE negotiate with the seller
  • WE make sure that the car is perfect
  • WE collect the car and bring it to your door
  • YOU enjoy your new wheels for many years to come

These newsletters are our attempt to teach you everything we know about car buying; however, if you would like us to find and buy your next car for you, all you have to do is ask!