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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There have been many threads posted over the last few years on potential owners coming to the forum seeking advice on what to look for, what to be careful of, and what to expect when buying a used 12c. In the interest of having one place to direct folks, I am starting this thread and it will be 'sticky' so it should always show at the top of the forum section.

My intent is to, over time, add more info to this first post, and potentially the second one if needed, to make a sort of one-stop-shop for anyone looking for some quick pointers, tips, and advice when getting into the process of shopping for a 12c.

Things To Look For said:
- Paint. The paint on the 2012 cars was softer than subsequent years. Check leading edges. Also check areas where body panels meet and particularly near the rear windows for any chipping.

- Headlights and Taillights. Some cars had issues with condensation (rear) and fogging (front).

- Front tire splitter. Immediately leading both front tires, attached to the bottom of the car, are splitters. These are also the likely hit points for poorly planned approach angles, speed bumps, etc. Check to make sure they are both still there, and both still properly attached without any stress cracking in the panel they are mounted to.

- Wheel wells. Check for damage on the inner arches of the wheel wells.

- Doors. The doors are adjustable, make sure they are properly aligned when shut and that they properly latch without needing to be slammed into place.

- Stuff. Make sure there are 2 key fobs, owner's manual, IRIS documentation, and trickle charger.

- MSRP sheet. Ask for it. Make sure everything is accounted for. If there's supposed to be a car cover, add that to the "stuff" category.

- Look for any fluids under the car.

- Get the car on a lift.
---- Inspect the underside of the car with the bottom panels off. Check for any signs of fluid leaks, loose connections, excessive wear / corrosion.
---- The transmission unit is near the back of the car. Though uncommon, there have been incidents where the box has failed. The symptom is oil leakage under the car towards the back. The dealers are not authorized to open the gearbox unit, so the current fix is to replace the entire box. Out of warranty, this is will be a very costly repair.

- Drive the car. If the seller is a dealership and won't let you drive it, proceed to the "Things to Run From" section below. From personal experience I have been told by two separate non-McLaren dealerships that the only way to drive the car is to have a purchase agreement in place with a stipulation that a proper test drive is a requirement to close the deal. Clearly the dealership does not want anyone just coming in to drive their McLaren, but it is a point you should be prepared to discuss. While driving:
---- Turn off the radio. Get on the highway. Listen for any rattles, or whistling around the door. Make sure all the trim around the front window is firmly attached.
---- You shouldn't speed, but if you can get to ~100mph, be aware of any movement in the steering wheel or other indications that there may be balance issues with the wheels.
---- Make sure the shifting is smooth between gears. If it's a 2012 car, it likely has the pre-cog paddles, these may take a bit of time to learn.

---- If the seller is an individual, a drive may be a bit trickier to arrange.
-------- Ask the seller if you can drive the car. Be prepared to provide proof you can afford the car, and proof of insurance.
-------- If no drive is allowed, ask for either a long ride over varying road surfaces and varying speeds, or ask if you can have your licensed/bonded/insured mechanic test-drive the car.
Things To Ask said:
- As with anything, dealers may not know, and sellers may not be honest, but you want to ask how often the car was tracked, were the McLaren recommended track inspections done? CarFax? Service History? Clean title?

- What date does the warranty run to? Has the car been through the inspection to define if the warranty can be extended?

- Is the car part of the "McLaren Qualified" program?

- Ask about mods, or history of any mods done.

- If you are buying from someone other than a McLaren dealer:
---- Get the VIN.
---- Ask which dealer did the servicing on the car.
---- Call that dealer, ask if they can give you the service history on the car, or if there is anything you need to know... Dealers might not want to get overly involved, but it never hurts to ask. If the dealer is close, ask about a Pre-Purchase Inspection and about getting the inspection done for the warranty extension.

- If you are not buying through your nearest dealer, make sure you call your nearest dealer, on the assumption you'll need them for service. Make sure you understand what your situation will be... As an example: My nearest dealer in Miller in CT. If I buy a car from them, transport for the car to / from service is free provided the car is under warranty. I live 4.5 hours away, so I would need transport... If I buy a car somewhere else, Miller will still transport it, but a round-trip will now cost me 1500-2000 USD... A rip off? Yes, but also a pretty good incentive to buy through them.
Things To Run From (aka: we tried to tell you) said:
- If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

- If you are not allowed a drive, or the documents cannot be produced, get out. This is unlikely if through dealer. Remember, CarFax is great, but it is also easy to make sure a red flag doesn't get on it.

- Very low miles relative to age of the car. A 12c seems to do better if it is driven. Low mile cars that have sat for most of their lives seem more likely to develop seal issues. Though not necessarily a 'run for the hills' some miles may be more of an advantage.
Things To Read (Links) said:
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
With 'moochofun's' post below (http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/mclaren-mp4-12c/28402-mclaren-mp4-12c-buyer-s-guide.html#post639450), I'm adding a few pics so future buyers don't fall into the same "which IRIS" trap he did. If the seller is unsure, or you want further proof of which IRIS hardware version the car is equipped with, just compare a photo to the below. IRISv1 has recessed touch points on the buttons directly under the screen. IRISv2 has icons on these buttons, and no recessed touch points.

IRIS version 1:



IRIS version 2:



Pricing

Below is some information I've been tracking for the prices of used McLarens. The "Total" columns do count all models (12c / 650S / P1) and are counts based on what comes up off of cars.com. The price ranges have, thus far (as of April 18th, 2015) only picked up the 12c. This is purely informational and no more scientific than seeing what's on cars.com and counting things. It does not take anything like options, miles, or anything other than price into consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I will add in further details when I get a bit more time, but for all those that have been posting to the individual threads helping folks that ask about buying a 12c, please comment with any info that you think would be beneficial for potential buyers.

Thanks,

-Jamie.
 

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Good idea - but you might want edit the typo in the fifth word of your post, I always try and make to at least the sixth word before my first typo ( I don't always succeed).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good idea - but you might want edit the typo in the fifth word of your post, I always try and make to at least the sixth word before my first typo ( I don't always succeed).
Noted, fixed. I blame the iPad i'm typing on... And a lack of proofreading. :D

-Jamie.
 

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Looking forward to seeing more info on this as I will *hopefully* be getting my first Mclaren in the coming weeks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking forward to seeing more info on this as I will *hopefully* be getting my first Mclaren in the coming weeks!
It might be a few weeks before I can get all the info in that I've got in my head as I'm currently out of town. If you need something before all this is filled in, browse through this section and you'll see a bunch of threads with many different questions answered. I'm hoping this thread will, over time, become the one place to consolidate all that info.

-Jamie.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Added some data. I know there is more that needs to go in that I'm just not thinking of right now. If you guys are reading this, please post or PM what I'm missing and I'll add it in.

-Jamie.
 

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"If you are not allowed a drive .... get out" seems a little harsh, especially for buyers who are looking at cars being sold by individuals rather than dealers. I might take a buyer out for a ride, and I have no problem letting his licensed/bonded/insured mechanic test-drive the car as part of a PPI, but there's no way I'm letting some random dude drive my car before he buys it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
"If you are not allowed a drive .... get out" seems a little harsh, especially for buyers who are looking at cars being sold by individuals rather than dealers. I might take a buyer out for a ride, and I have no problem letting his licensed/bonded/insured mechanic test-drive the car as part of a PPI, but there's no way I'm letting some random dude drive my car before he buys it.
True. I was thinking more of cars for sale at non-McLaren dealers when I initially wrote that up. I amended the info there a bit.

Thanks for the feedback.

-Jamie.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Added link to Owner's Manual and IRIS docs in the "Things To Read" section... Thanks @Meekah.

-Jamie.
 

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A few buying experiences/learnings from me from the start of the year:

Get the software and hardware updates recorded against the car from McLaren, don't believe what the dealer says without him looking at a print out. I fell foul of this as my dealer said my car had all the updates including the upgraded IRIS - I asked 'you mean the IRIS2' and they said 'yes'. The car didn't have it... Also the latest aero updates weren't there either.

Also if at a dealer/garage, ask to look underneath the car - pay particular attention to the fins around the wheels - they shouldn't be broken, they are not all like that! Also check for scuffs below the front splitter. An acceptable level of condition is up to you.

Try not to fall in love at first sight - the dealers can detect this instantly! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A few buying experiences/learnings from me from the start of the year:

Get the software and hardware updates recorded against the car from McLaren, don't believe what the dealer says without him looking at a print out. I fell foul of this as my dealer said my car had all the updates including the upgraded IRIS - I asked 'you mean the IRIS2' and they said 'yes'. The car didn't have it... Also the latest aero updates weren't there either.

Also if at a dealer/garage, ask to look underneath the car - pay particular attention to the fins around the wheels - they shouldn't be broken, they are not all like that! Also check for scuffs below the front splitter. An acceptable level of condition is up to you.

Try not to fall in love at first sight - the dealers can detect this instantly! :D
That sucks about the confusion over the IRIS hardware version. To help others I added some pics comparing v1 to v2.

-Jamie.
 

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That sucks about the confusion over the IRIS hardware version. To help others I added some pics comparing v1 to v2.

-Jamie.
Jamie, the UI on the IRIS 1 screen you show was never released. It was a mockup, likely, or prerelease.

IRIS 1 has thinner lines, and has a little trapezoidal shelf toward the bottom of the screen, and lacks two icons not the lower 2 of 4 hardware buttons.

Maybe one of our IRIS 1.0 users will take a snapshot and show the screen with the shelf...
 

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Also if at a dealer/garage, ask to look underneath the car - pay particular attention to the fins around the wheels - they shouldn't be broken, they are not all like that! :D
You're right, but this is very common and a really cheap fix, much more important to know they have been regularly checked and replaced to prevent floor damage.
 

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One tip I got from a dealer to find out whether a car has been frequently used on the track is to look carefully at the headlights. Under normal road use there should only be very few bumps and scratches (assuming it's not a 200.000+ miles car of course).

If however the car has been used on the track on a regular base the headlights will have significant scratches and bumps. Most often it is too expensive to replace the whole unit so it is left.

I know, this is not at all fool-proof, NOT AT ALL !! but at least one thing you could check and ask questions about.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I updated the pricing info for 2015 in post 2 above (http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/mclaren-mp4-12c/28402-mclaren-mp4-12c-buyer-s-guide.html#post613266).

So far in 2015 the data are certainly showing more cars coming to market and that prices are consolidating between 160k-180k USD and 200k-220k USD. This mostly seems to be the gap between coupes and spiders. As I put in post 2 above though, please bear in mind, "This is purely informational and no more scientific than seeing what's on cars.com and counting things. It does not take anything like options, miles, or anything other than price into consideration."

-Jamie.
 

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With 'moochofun's' post below (http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/mclaren-mp4-12c/28402-mclaren-mp4-12c-buyer-s-guide.html#post639450), I'm adding a few pics so future buyers don't fall into the same "which IRIS" trap he did. If the seller is unsure, or you want further proof of which IRIS hardware version the car is equipped with, just compare a photo to the below. IRISv1 has recessed touch points on the buttons directly under the screen. IRISv2 has icons on these buttons, and no recessed touch points.

IRIS version 1:



IRIS version 2:



Pricing

Below is some information I've been tracking for the prices of used McLarens. The "Total" columns do count all models (12c / 650S / P1) and are counts based on what comes up off of cars.com. The price ranges have, thus far (as of April 18th, 2015) only picked up the 12c. This is purely informational and no more scientific than seeing what's on cars.com and counting things. It does not take anything like options, miles, or anything other than price into consideration.

I'm confused by this. I've seen some 2013 models with the IRIS with the indentations on the top two buttons.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm confused by this. I've seen some 2013 models with the IRIS with the indentations on the top two buttons.
Hmmm, maybe it didn't change with the model year? Anyone know a more precise date when IRIS2 was offered as standard?

-Jamie.
 
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