No service history. At all

Apologies if this is in the wrong section.

Hi all, looking for some advice.

I went to look at an nc sport tech today. It has had 1 owner from new that apparently died and his nephew is selling off his belongings. It is one of the very last nc sport techs to be made and has less than circa 30k on the clock. The guy selling has the keys and logbook but no history whatsoever from new. I contacted the dealership it was bought from and they haven’t seen the car since it was sold new.

Engine seems in good shape, oil is clean. Couldn’t start it due to a flat battery but did turn over just not enough juice. No apparent leaks from driveshafts, box, diff or engine. Bodywork is surprisingly good, underside fair apart from rear subframe and suspension looking cruddy. Tyres look…well…tired. Brakes rusty where it’s been sat on his drive. Headlights hazy and someone has had a go at cleaning them up badly but they’re salvageable. Rubbers in good shape but have a bit of algae on some where it hasn’t been used or properly cleaned. Steering wheel, pedals and gear knob in good shape, drivers bolster worn I’d imagine because it’s difficult for an older gent to get in and out. By all accounts he was in his 80s and only stopped driving when he couldn’t any more.

My question is how can I car like this be valued? I’ve never even considered buying a car with no history but the background checks out. It seems a genuine car but at the same time feels like a huge gamble. I’ve always bought on condition but the history has always backed up any opinion I formed.

If anyone has any suggestions I’m listening and would appreciate any advice :+1:t2:

Has it not actually been serviced or is there just no evidence to prove it? If it seems all OK and if the price is right no reason not to have it and give it a good service to bring it up to date.


It’s almost impossible to comment what it’s worth without seeing the car. Autotrader could help identifying a similar age Sport Tech for prices, guessing 14 plate or a little later than that.
I’d be prepared to change all oils tyres and brake discs/pads, brake/clutch fluids too.
Factor that and no service history into your pricing.
Any idea how long it’s been stood, any price been mentioned?
Check MOT history, even at possibly 9 years old now the dreaded rust can get hold around the rear wheel arch/sill areas.

I had the same trouble until I did a buyer’s search which revealed that the car had been on a private plate, which had been transferred to the sellers new car. So searching under existing reg drew a complete blank.

Check the MOT history as suggested. I found out what garage had been used. It was close by and I got some off the record info that way.

Thanks for the info so far :+1:

Here’s the sort of thing coming up for the car:

So in theory if I could somehow find out which garage did the mot, there’s a good chance they may have serviced it as well?

I have budgeted for fluids and brakes, tyres within reason, refurbish the headlights and general tidying up. The underside looks scabby on the subby and arms in particular but I’m yet to look at one that isn’t to some degree….no leaks from the shocks but in honesty I’ll be fitting new wheels and tyres, Meisters probably and rotors with decent pads. However I don’t want to overpay for subpar condition items which bring down the car.

Overall the outside is very tidy. Barely a scratch. Straight etc.

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He says it would have been serviced every year, but has no documentation and doesn’t know where.

It has put miles on at a steadily declining rate over years, consistent with an elderly owner. But not many. If the story about the owner is genuine (which I’ve no reason to doubt so far) then the excess wear on the seat is also consistent with someone that struggles to get in and out.

I’d be looking £2-3k under the price of a equivalent, immaculate car :red_car:.

That will give spare money for tyres , oils , brakes , under body treatment , any labour costs and hidden costs etc , to fetch it up to standard :white_check_mark::white_check_mark:

Just my opinion :man_shrugging::man_shrugging:

This was what I was thinking. But with some nice examples offered at anything from 10-12k it’s very difficult to gauge and I’ve never been out to offend.

Has a price been suggested???

I wouldn’t have to pay any labour - I’ve done it all before, albeit on Nissan. :+1: but it’s a very similar setup with the subframe except this has the additional links instead of a lower arm. And the Nissan wasn’t as crudded up.

Yes but I could never pay it as is. 10k.

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tbh i get my car serviced and don’t really care if its in the logbook or not as I ain’t planning of selling it. my car is being used on road and track but is serviced regularly and if anyone would look at it you can see it straight away.
my suggestion is to get the car fully checked out at a garage if you cant/dont know what you looking.

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It’s not so much that, it’s more I can’t gauge the condition of the underside as the mx5 seem to suffer so badly. Wish I’d took pics, people may suggest that the level of corrosion is normal or to be expected.

they rust. all of them. they need to be treated at some point in their lives and the earlier you do it the better. now if the rust got into the arches and sils you won’t see it by naked eye until its too late. you have to try the areas and see if the underseal is loose - that’s bad news. if its not it may still be rusty underneath. take it to someone who knows what they are looking. If it is not too bad and just surface rust knock the price a bit, buy it and sort it out (properly)

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It’s disappointing as I know the earlier nc’s were affected, you’d think knowing that Mazda would have taken action. I’m sure buyers would have paid a few hundred quid extra new if the car was built with adequate protection.

Is it this one?

Not a great advert really or much to go on. One photo?!

That’s the one. I have been sent more, I took a look as not everyone is an enthusiast and to some it’s just a Car. In those cases I find the adverts are very basic,

You couldn’t get any more basic than this one really! :wink:

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I guess you’re right to be honest, I’m not set on buying it, quite the opposite. I was just intrigued. For an expert mx5 guy this could be a good deal. I don’t have the confidence as a novice to the cars to move ahead I don’t think.