I've just joined the forum, but I think I can help a little, I've just bought an 04 Indy Blue Cooper S with Works 210 and pretty high spec - 18" splits, xenons, sat nav (see my profile for fuller details). The car had 58k miles FBMWSH from new and is immaculate throughout. I paid £6500.00 private which I think was a pretty good deal for the car and looked to be about the bottom end for Works cars in this spec - I would think for a non-works of around the same spec you should be able to get a nice one for around £5k private at around 04 60-70k.
Obviously if you are looking for a newer one then the price will rise and if looking for an older one it'll go down. I found that after a couple of weeks trawling through the ads on Autotrader I had a pretty good idea of what looked 'right' and what looked 'too good to be true'.
I've never worried about buying privately (in fact I prefer it - private sellers are often way more honest than traders) and in the case of my Mini the guy I bought from was a really genuine guy who pointed out three 'issues' I would never have spotted when I asked him before going to see the car.
Thanks for the replies. I do wish that MINIs were as cheap here as overseas! Browsing eBay UK, R50/R53 prices are so much less than here!
Sorry for being a bit general. We're looking into buying a first car. We were initially looking at Coopers, but the common clutch/gearbox problems were off putting. S's seem to be that bit better - which I guess could be expected!
Would be wanting a car that's obviously been looked after, and not modified too greatly. Average km's - would that be low-mid 100,000s?
Were Indi Blue S's available right from the start in Australia? i.e through 2002/03/04? They seem a bit thin on the ground!
Just as a starting figure, what would around $10-12,000 be expected to buy now days? Would it buy an S (of any colour), or just a Cooper?
An S that matched my 'requirements' sold on eBay earlier this year for around $10k (had been a repairable write-off), but we weren't ready to buy at that stage!
I don't mind Hyper Blue at all, the reason for Indi Blue is that we're after an S that I can drive on my P's (when I get them!). I believe it's pre-upgrade models that you can put in an application to drive. If we were going for the later Cooper it would by Hyper Blue - although I don't mind the Park Lane either! Were blue Park Lanes very common? I've seen a couple on CarSales.
You're certainly right about a premium in Victoria. I've been watching Pickles Online Auctions for a while, and Victoria prices on even damaged MINIs always seem that bit more than anywhere else. Bit of a pain!
So is it reasonable to expect for a supercharger to need work at about 200k km? I imagine that would be expensive?
Would you happen to know of any for sale privately? Are advertisements available through clubMINI?
Thanks very much for the reply Roo. I'm sorry I haven't replied sooner. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but I now have my P's so we're seriously looking for a newer, safer alternative to my 1962 Mini!
We've been looking into one interstate, the one in QLD in one of your previous posts. From the seller, no accidents or significant mechanical failure, the timing chain and power steering motor replaced at 100,000 service, and not smoked in.
Anything to look out for in a car like this? It's seems good so far (not actually seen it in person), only bad point is location! Every good car I've found, even other than MINIs, has been in Queensland!
There is no timing chain on the R53. I am assuming he means the supercharger belt, get him/her to send you a copy of the service booklet.
Why would they have had the power steering pump replaced if there wasn't a problem? It is an expensive part to get replaced just for the sake of it. ~$2000 The reason I ask is that if it has failed, then it can be because of something or cause other things. Get this cleared up.
I would ask get pictures of the insides of the doors, they are very easy to scratch and can look tatty, can't see from the pictures.
It has a sun roof, ask about this, as they can have some problems and there is no fix other than replacing the whole sunroof, it is one complete part.
Get pictures of the alloys, they can be fairly easy to replace, but can be another cost, they look pretty kerbed from what I can see.
Also ask about the windscreen, MINI's a prone to stone chips and it may mean a new one to get past the rego testing when you get it re registered in Vic.
Also get pictures from under the door seals, they can hold a bit of water there and sometimes have rust.
Finally ask for engine pictures and if it has ever had any oil leaks, the engine mounts/bushes can go if they are the old type. Usually the first thing you notice is a oil leak on the left of the engine bay. The other thing in the engine is the coolant expansion tank can leak if it hasn't been replaced with a updated one. (gold tank at the back of the engine bay right of centre).
Not trying to put you off here, but you are looking at a 9 year old car. They are pretty reliable cars if well looked after, the engines are usually pretty bomb proof. Check all those things and you should be pretty right!
* I may or may not know what I am talking about and my advice must not be taken as gospel!
Unfortunately the upgraded S model is off the list due to P-plate restrictions. The earlier pre-upgrade is classed as 'Application Required' rather than outright 'Banned' on the VicRoads database. There's plenty of nice looking Hyper Blue S's around, but I can't drive them!
I'll have to get the seller to send plenty of photos. Apparently the power steering pump was replaced due to running for a while without any fluid. A car in Victoria would be much easier!
Any suggestions on where to look, where best to place wanted ads? There's a pretty specific target audience for an ad!
As I said previously, I also like the look of Park Lane Coopers. But again, all the good ones are in Queensland!
Which do you think would be better? An upgrade Cooper, or pre-upgrade S?
Back again, this time with a question about the later model R50 Coopers. Don't know if you've had much to do with them?
Early R50s have clutch/gearbox issues, you said R53 S's have the supercharger at about 200,000km, do the later R50s have anything major like this? My question is would a 2006 with 160,000km be okay for the right price, or should it be steered clear of?
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