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Say hello, wave goodbye...


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In a further endorsement of the Wild West nature of Reids near Alfold, Surrey, I bid a sad farewell to my 90 last week.

Having paid £6k for the privelege of buying a 200Tdi County 90 from Reids, I assumed that although it was above the odds, being from a dealer, it would be sound. It was my first Defender, didn't really have much of a clue so figured along the old stitch in time saves nine approach...

It was coming up to MOT, I was temporarily staying at my parents whilst picking up some work. Only 30 mins from Dunsfold, so figured I'd get them to service it. Dropped it off, said "Just do what needs doing to get it through the MOT" and strolled into Dunsfold to read the paper and get some breakfast.

Was found by Phillip half an hour or so later - "I think you'd better come back to the garage"

Upon my return I was presented with an A4 piece of paper, every line of which contained a fault, ranging from cracked light lenses through leaking PAS pump, via rotted rear X-member and shagged bushes to the "best bit" - "incorrectly and unsafely mounted rear seatbelts". The only things that were sound were the bulkhead and engine.

Apparently it wasn't even an original County, it was a van which had been bodged to look like one.

To scrape it through the MOT would have cost £2k, and that was before he'd even looked at the gear and Xfer box. He also estimated that in a years time it would need another £1k.

This was on top of the £800 of various other bits of work I'd already had to have done during the year of ownership. So much for the peace of mind of buying from a dealer.

On balance therefore, Phillip said that it would seem best to get rid.

Despite all this I had had a brilliant year with some awesome adventures around England Scotland and Wales, and learnt a lot about my pride and joy. It was a tough decision but I ended up leaving my old Defender in the corner and insuring myself on my girlfriends' Ford Focus.

This lasted two days - I then took out a loan and headed off to Keith Gott on the basis of some good things being said about him on here. He offered me a very reasonable part exchange on my old truck, and I am now the proud owner of a 300Tdi Red County!

And what a difference compared to Reid's! Everything written down and signed, everything checked, accounted for, Ben there couldn't have been more helpful. Some people have said that some of their stuff is a bit expensive. I say that they are worth every penny.

So I am once again a happy man, and now have three weeks in which to sort everything for my impending Scottish/Hebridean adventure!

So moral of the story, don't buy from Reids. Dunsfold are awesome, a lot of respect to Phil for being brutally honest and putting an honest opinion above the thousands he stood to make from me. And thanks to Ben Gott for reminding me how easy getting the right vehicle can be.

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