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Handing back Golf - Cambelt?

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I plan on handing back my VW Golf Mk5 after my initial 2 years financing is up (bought on 4 year finance with balloon payment) in August 2013. It was bought from a Ridgeway VW dealership down South (via VW Finance).

Unfortunately my Cambelt is due this month and I've been wondering... When you hand back the car - do you literally just do that? No charges for low tyre tread, car dirty, nothing?

The reason for this question is that I can get a significantly cheaper cambelt installation by a friend than I can at an official VW dealership but will mostly likely be a generic cambelt. They won't turn me away or expect money out of me if it's generic and not VW branded?

Also, I plan on not driving as much in the coming year (as job travel requirements has changed) therefore don't plan on servicing or keeping everything up to date except for Service and MOT. Is this all OK?

Thank you

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So you've still got over a year to go until you hand it back? I would say that keeping up with the service schedule would be the right thing to do, although I'm sure many do not, are you sure it's due a cambelt anyway? if the car is less than a year old you'd need to be doing interstellar mileage to need one already.

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Is the belt change significantly cheaper because of labour rates or the cost of parts? Is a VW branded belt really a lot more expensive? (Buy a VW belt and get your mate to use it?)

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Car must be in road worthy condition and you must have taken "reasonable care of the goods". Reasonable is in the eye of the beholder though!

By the way, just because you will be halfway through the finance period, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will have paid "half the HP price" particularly if you have a balloon.

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Isn't there also an issue with handing a car back in this way?

I'm sure I read that whilst a finance company can no longer make an entry that might impact your credit rating (because you've acted within your rights), that they DO record early termination themselves and therefore probably wouldn't offer you finance again in the future?

On the subject matter itself, I'd envisage it should be serviced but bear in mind you're under no obligation to do so via the main dealer. You can take it wherever you want as long as it is maintained correctly or 'reasonably' in line with their expectations (IIRC). I'd get it done. I don't quite understand why you'd not want to keep it servied or maintained whilst it is under your ownership. I view servicing as something I do for the purpose of keeping a car in good, reliable and A1 roadworthy condition whilst I'm driving it - not simply to abide by warranty or other obligations.

Edited by MrMe

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It was bought second-hand and is only a 58-plate. I needed a half decent car pretty quick at the time and this fit the bill. I was told when I purchased the car that after two years I could hand the keys back.

Excellent, I'll keep up with the usual services then but I'm not being overly cautious with it now.

It's in mid 60s at the minute and cambelt change is at 4 years or 80,000 miles for my model.

I guess I'll have to double check the documents then. I doubt they'll thoroughly look over the part numbers and the like.

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Isn't there also an issue with handing a car back in this way?

I'm sure I read that whilst a finance company can no longer make an entry that might impact your credit rating (because you've acted within your rights), that they DO record early termination themselves and therefore probably wouldn't offer you finance again in the future?

On the subject matter itself, I'd envisage it should be serviced but bear in mind you're under no obligation to do so via the main dealer. You can take it wherever you want as long as it is maintained correctly or 'reasonably' in line with their expectations (IIRC). I'd get it done. I don't quite understand why you'd not want to keep it servied or maintained whilst it is under your ownership. I view servicing as something I do for the purpose of keeping a car in good, reliable and A1 roadworthy condition whilst I'm driving it - not simply to abide by warranty or other obligations.

Not that I know of. I know plenty of people who buy brand new cars (finance or otherwise) who then trade in every couple of years so they don't have the hassle of servicing and MOTs.

I don't mind servicing it as I don't want it to die on me. However it'd be nice to know what they expect to see when it's returned. If I had the usual services, MOTs and a generic cambelt fitted, can you see anyone complaining?

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I'm sure I read that whilst a finance company can no longer make an entry that might impact your credit rating (because you've acted within your rights), that they DO record early termination themselves and therefore probably wouldn't offer you finance again in the future?

Yep. It gets recorded on your credit file as a Voluntary Termination. Lenders are not allowed to count that against you as it is your right to do so but there is good reason why accounts are marked as VT.......

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then trade in every couple of years

Trade in is VERY different to Voluntary Termination!!!

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Thought so. That said, I didn't realise it was on a persons credit file.

So what we're saying is they can't use it against you but you'll struggle to get credit again unless you pay Wonga.com rates.:roflmao:

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Someone once told me that settling finance early, as in paying off the outstanding balance and keeping the car, can have a negative effect on obtaining finance in the future, I assume because you don't pay interest on the outstanding amount that you are settling.

Any truth in that seeing as we are on the subject?

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I'd find that very surprising indeed as I don't see what they do other than record a "Settled" on your record?

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Someone once told me that settling finance early, as in paying off the outstanding balance and keeping the car, can have a negative effect on obtaining finance in the future, I assume because you don't pay interest on the outstanding amount that you are settling.

Any truth in that seeing as we are on the subject?

No truth whatsoever!! It would actually increase your credit standing if there isn't a credit agreement that starts as that one ends (i.e. you don't take out a consolidation loan to clear car HP and other agreements).

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I suspected as much, it could have kinda made sense in that the finance co don't get quite as much money back as you don't pay the interest on outstanding payments, but glad to hear it's rubbish.

I'm hoping the Galaxy will keep going for another couple of years now it's all paid for, I definitely won't be using Santander for finance ever again that's for sure.

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I should bloody well hope not. Bunch of Cnuts.

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A friend at work has just handed his car back to his finance company after a right battle.

The company told him over the phone that he could hand it back at the half way point and that's what he decided to do.

However, and I hope I've got this right, the loan wasn't actually secured on the car (although the car was listed on the credit file as being associated with the loan) and when he came to actually hand it back they told him he couldn't.

He complained, saying he was acting on what he was told by their representative. They said she was wrong to say that and tuff. He kept his nerve; made a formal complaint, said he'd take it to court if necessary and asked for the tapes, etc.

In the end they caved and agreed to take the car and auction it off. They agreed to cover any shortfall between outstanding finance and price obtained.

He got the impression the woman that told him he could hand the car back might be in quite a lot of trouble. Maybe even lose her job!

I don't know, but i think he was very lucky. After all, as far as I can tell, it was just a personal loan.

Edited by Sponge

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That would be an "associated loan". Not really sure why the big boys are doing more and more of these. Lots of motorbikes are in this type of agreement. They show up on hpi but the loan granter has no title over the goods. Bizarre.

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