First Used Car Purchase - Ford Fiesta - No Service Book or Spare Tyre

Hi Guys,

Looked at Ford Fiesta at a Ford Dealership - looks good but it doesn't have the service log. 2011 Fiesta with only 30,000km on the clock (1 previous owner, 91yr old man).

Car came from Vic, and they can't trace which dealerships he took it for servicing. Being a Ford dealership, they have done thorough servicing prior to being on the shop floor, and can provide that. They can also potentially order replacement books, but of course they'll be blank (but we can start using them). Obviously it will have road legal cert etc.

Is this a big concern?

P.s. it also didn't have a spare tire, just an inflatable…first time I've seen that!

It is well priced for comparable models, especially for the mileage.

What do we think?



  • Why take the risk? There are plenty of Fiestas around to choose from.
    You might get it cheaper because it doesn't have books but it will be an issue when you come to resell it.

    • True, but not with this low mileage at this price (looking at 10k drive away for an auto in near perfect condition with 30,000 on the clock).

      • +2

        but may be he hadn't serviced it ever given that mileage (could be only used it for just home <-> weekend shopping).

  • +2

    The no spare tyre isn’t really an issue. It probably comes with tyre repair kit instead (reasonably common nowadays). The no service book is a worry though. As far as you know, the car might never have been serviced in the last 9 years.

    • True, apart from the full service the Ford dealership have done prior to advertising, ensuring it's road legal. They can provide evidence of this too. It's also barely been driven, so has only 'missed' 2 services or so I'd expect.

      Thanks RE the tyre!

      • +1

        It's also barely been driven, so has only 'missed' 2 services or so I'd expect.

        Potentially 9 missed services - keep in mind service intervals are distance or time. While not as bad, things left for a long time without maintenance can absolutely be a problem.

        I would certainly be erring on the side of caution. If you're still keen to proceed, make sure it's inspected thoroughly by an independent mechanic before you put any money down!

        • Yeah that's true…

          Ford have done a thorough service prior to putting on the dealership floor, should I be able to trust that or would you recommend I take it in for a check up whilst it's still in warranty? (3 months)

          • +3


            Ford have done a thorough service prior to putting on the dealership floor,

            Person selling it says a service has been done…

            100% get it checked out by someone else within warranty period. Before purchase, if possible.

          • @nickyd84: What is a "thorough" service? Coolant? Diff fluid?

            • @Presence: Not from a dealership pre-sale! It’s a quick trip to the service shop for an oil change and a flowery marketing description.

              • @Euphemistic: That's exactly my thoughts. Bit of tyre polish and air freshener maybe. I doubt they any valuable preventative maintenance.

            • @Presence: I don't know yet, waiting on documentation of said service.

              • @nickyd84: All it will say is ‘performed xxxxkm service in accordance with manufacturer spec’ and list what they should have done.

                It isn’t likely to be a true record of what they actually did.

          • @nickyd84: My concern is that fluids and oils break down over time. Let's say a worst case scenario where the car has only been serviced twice in it's lifetime, but has had frequent-ish short trips during that entire time. There is a risk that the oil will deteriorate and will build up in the motor, which could cause issues down the track. You're only going to be able to properly assess this by draining the affected oil to assess its condition (which is too late as the dealer already gave it a service) or by beginning to pull apart the motor. At 30,000 km there's a fair chance that if there has been a built up of sludge, it won't be bad enough to give you grief. But the fact that it's recently had a 'service' (ie an oil change and an inspection) doesn't alleviate this issue at all.

            Also, a roadworthy certificate simply means that the vehicle is safe to drive on the road at that given time. It is no guarantee that the car is in a reliable condition. They certainly don't look at a car's history in determining whether it is roadworthy or not.

            As another commenter has said, tyres should usually be replaced after 5 years as they begin to perish. If it's still on original tyres, I'd replace as soon as possible.

            • @redvaldez: thank you, some good comments there. I will check if they are original tyres.

              From reading all these comments, it almost seems better to get a car at 50-70k kms on the clock that's been used properly rather than something like this!

              The clock isn't a big deal for me, we don't plan to have street parking forever and in the next 2-4 years may need a bigger car so will need to upgrade anyway. We won't use this to commute so we'd be well under <10k km/year

  • +3

    Well there's good and bad sides to the low Kms being that it was a 91yo I assume he barely drove it to be so low Kms which isn't always a good thing because it would have been driven very short trips for 9 years,

    doubt it ever got over 80km/hr so it wouldn't even be broken in, if the car has spent 8 years driving under 80kms and under 3000rpm that can be a bad thing,

    every so often the engines need to be opened up on the highway… I've bought cars off old people before and they really need to be driven hard the first few days and the fuel to be cleaned out or put a tank of 98 through it because barely driven means old fuel sitting forever in the tank…. it's literally like buying a new car that's never been driven much…

    • that's great advice, thank you. Good points.

    • Ford have done a thorough service prior to putting on the dealership floor, should I be able to trust that or would you recommend I take it in for a check up whilst it's still in warranty? (3 months)

      • Yea it's possible a deceased estate so they got rid of it quickly and just couldn't find the log book… But i would still get an independent mechanic to inspect everything…

        But you can check yourself if the oil like clean and light brown not black, if they used coolant not water?

        Smell the engine, let it idle up to warm, listen to the engine closely..

      • +1

        Hey you can thoroughly service any car, doesn’t mean it’s a good car, it’s just thoroughly serviced.

        Don’t confuse service with certification. It’s like saying the tyres have been inflated to the correct pressure. You can do that with bald tyres as much as unworn tyres.

        Sounds like the dealer is trying to make you think servicing means it’s good overall, rather than at best what was serviced was good.

        • +1

          That's why I said independent rigorous mechanical inspection

  • +6

    $10k for a 9 year old Fiesta sounds steep.

    • I have done considerable research on carsales etc. Trust me, this is the sad world we live in at the moment (Covid hasn't helped!)

    • +1

      Goes without saying to avoid the problematic dual-clutch auto.
      Best ones are the 1.0ltr 3-cyclinder turbo Sport version with more torque and interior luxury.
      I wouldn't be paying 10k for a 2011 Fiesta.

      timing belt gets done at 150,000kms.

      • +1

        Timing belt is 150k or 10 years

      • It was advertised at 11, we put in our drive away best price of 10. Fairly certain we won't get it, there's another dozen people booked in over the weekend to see it.

        Welcome to covid used car craziness.

  • 1 previous owner, 91yr old man

    hmm… deceased estate?

    • it may be, yes. The Ford dealer didn't say, they just said his license was taken away.

      • +4

        Thats a bit harsh for the bloke that's just kicked the bucket.

  • +3

    I was once told by a car salesman that unless the log book is 100% up to date they just toss it. Makes sense, no info is better than incriminating info.

    As above, too low kms isn’t great. It means either things have sat around ntl being used and seals etc have had a chance to dry out and crack OR the vehicle has only been used regularly for very short drives where things don’t get used at proper operating temps etc.

    • Yeah, that is true. I'd say very unlikely it has been thrashed!

      Ford have done a thorough service prior to putting on the dealership floor, should I be able to trust that or would you recommend I take it in for a check up whilst it's still in warranty? (3 months)

      • +4

        A dealer thorough service is an oil change, a quick look around underneath while the oil drains on the hoist then a 2min test drive.

        • yeah, you're probably right. But it has to have been passed as road worthy?

          • +1

            @nickyd84: Do you understand what a Roadworthy certificate checks?

            Brakes, lights etc

            Bear in mind a pinkslip is a safety test and gives you no indication of the fitness of the engine or other systems to handle a trip around Australia.

            • @RockyRaccoon: no I don't, first car!

              Well they did a service of sorts, will see what the documentation says they did.

      • Mate please understand they haven't done anything useful to the car!! They are misleading you.

        After that long almost every fluid is due to be replaced, maybe timing belt. Battery and tyres probably on their last legs. No service records means you must assume the worst!

        Please forget this car.

        • I think I probably needed that haha. The car is in great condition, tread on tyres are perfect etc. You're right that the timing belt is probably due for a look soon too.

          This will be the same issue with any/most cars under $10k at the moment…

  • +1

    No spare on these. Just a refill kit.

    Low kms and short trips aren't necessarily good. Infact it can be very bad.

    • thanks mate. Their was a space as though a spare could have been there, but jut a little inflatable kit thing in its place. Glad it's not out of the norm.

      • Some overseas variants would have had a spare.

  • +4

    Lol @ $10k for a 9yo Fiesta… does it come with jousting sticks?

    • You know that the used car market is up on average 31% on Oct 19, right? I've even read someone people could make a PROFIT on a car they bought 3 years ago.


      • Quite well aware and have commented on it many times. But $10k for a 9yo Ford fiesta is up about 80% on its market value.

        Cars are the new hand sanitizer, face mask and toilet paper, and if you buy at these extortionate prices, you are part of the problem.

        I sold my Harley earlier this year and got the same price I paid for it as when I bought it 4years ago. All thanks to the government unlocking idiots super and them blowing it in luxury items instead of essentials.

        • Not sure my newborn child would be safe on a Harley - and I wouldn't be buying a car now if I didn't need one. I've done fine for a decade without!

          Yes at this 10k price point it's a battle with those idiots that took out their super.

  • +1

    Pretty sure timing belt is due on those at 10 years.

    Timing belt + water pump + labour = $xxxx.xx

    • thanks, if my offer is accepted I will get it checked properly.

      • +1

        Did your offer state "subject to purchaser satisfied with pre purchase inspection results"

        • no, but it will now!

  • +1

    Had a 2011 fiesta that I sold earlier this year…also low KMs but much cheaper than 10k (pre-covid).

    Avoid the fiesta if possible, the gearbox is notoriously bad (class action still in progress if not mistaken). . I had suddenly lost power a few times, and general gear shifting is horrible.

    It comes with the glue, no spare tire. However was told that it's a once off repair as the glue would temporarily repair the tire, but slowly disintegrate it. The tyre would need to be replaced soon after. Not sure how true that is, but I never used it despite a few punctures

  • +3

    If the tyres are the original the rubber has probably hardened and would have significantly less grip. Check the date code on the sidewall to confirm, and budget for replacement tyres.

  • +1

    Tyres look new. They were not factory issue brand and you can see where the old balancing weights have been removed.

    Pretty sure the dodgy Powershift transmission came in the WT not in the WS.

    These were assembled in Germany FWIW.

    OP - check Bluetooth functionality - I think it only streams phone calls, not audio ie music. I may be wrong as the zetec may have had this function.

    Looks to be in good nick but pre covid would have been about $7500-$8000 and in 6 months time when car manufacturing and covid settles it may be worth less than that. Ouch!

    • Hats off to you for the research!! Interesting point about the tyres, they did look new…

      Good point around the Bluetooth, but far from a deal breaker.

      Yeah I know, and I would love to wait until June EOFY/when Covid settles, but the mrs is due in Feb and wants a car before then so we're ready for the hospital trips etc. Worst possible timing :(

  • +1


    or do, only if they can prove that they have fixed the infamous transmission problems. I bought a used 2012 Fiesta in 2015, 33Kms, and at first the Ford dealership avoided and lied about any engine shuddering, but in 2018 they finally recalled my car and fixed it.

    There is also another recall on it for the door latches, please google to find out more. Got mine replaced a few months back.

    Agree with GHKC regarding the issues.

    I didn't get spare tyre either, but touch wood haven't had a flat since 2015.

    Other than the above, I love my fiesta, its small and stylish. I have the Zetec variant and it looks nice.

    I've used it on many a road trips, Sydney to Byron Bay, Sydney to Jindabyne and hundreds of times on the F3/M1.

    I get it regularly serviced so am happy at the moment.

    • +2

      I'm pretty certain the WS fiesta (unlike your WT) fiesta does not have the dodgy powershift transmission.

      I've been wrong plenty of times before and ICBF googling for OP

      • +1

        I actually see that this one is listed as a 4-speed automatic. It appears the issue was with the 6-speed automatic…

        "the affected Ford vehicles were fitted with a six-speed dry dual-clutch automatic transmission system, of which, to date, Ford Australia has sold over 70,000 in various versions."

    • +1

      I specifically mentioned the PowerShift issue when I took it for a drive yesterday. They assured me (and they're a Ford garage, not a private sale), that they have to run the info through the computer before putting on the shop floor to see if it's part of a recall (and obviously this one isn't…apparently)

      I might try and get something in writing if I do go ahead and grab it.

      • +2

        I have had a quick read through the whole thread, I think the most important thing for you to consider right now as many others have said is:
        You keep repeating, it's a ford dealer. They have done X, or they have said Y. It is all bullshit, specially considering Ford is neither known for quality or brand image or luxury. All the salesman cares is flogging off cars!

        Do you own research, unless you get everything they say in writing with condition that if they lied the sales is void up to 3 months for a full refund (you will quickly see them stop putting out random statements).
        No such thing as full service, means nothing, complete bullocks!
        Why do you care so much about low KMs? Does that equal to care or quality for you? Thing again. For me 30kkm on a 10 year old car is equivalent to a car that has not been driven at all.
        I personally know a few people with low KM cars, and they "take pride" in the weekly car wash they do on their shopping trolley cars but for the love of whatever god they believe in, they refuse to service the bloody thing on time and stick to KM…

        At the end of the day, it is your choice. If listening to the sales spill of the salesman makes you feel warm and fuzzy so be it.

  • No Spare Tyre

    Doesn't that make it unroadworthy?

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