Jusfer Laffs: What those ads really say.

Semi-retired car dealer Mark Newton share a few of his thoughts on the small ads, eBay and Internet car adverts. 

Spilling the beans in a typically light hearted trade insider and non-PC way, he explains to us what the advert babble and small print really means….

The Fast Show Special
A light hearted look at what those dealer and public small ads can sometimes really describe – Its all just for fun!

Mark K Newton:

I woke up one morning and phoned in sick. That was it, the day I decided enough was enough. Having worn out more pairs of shoes that you could imagine, I was shagged out, weather beaten and nigh on pummelled into the ground. Being old enough to know better my days of walking around the forecourt were numbered, so I threw in the towel and called it a day after more than twenty five years.

So why did I pack it all in? Quite simply, I became sick and tired of messing customers suffice to mention middle and upper management being of non motor trade backgrounds. Also, the internet turned my dealership premises from something like Euston station in rush hour to the Marie-Celeste within a few years. Even my fellow salesman and women left one by one which found me old enough to be most of my colleagues father, I quickly became the last man standing. We were financially sound at home so I took early retirement but my word it was hard.

Shortly after, the withdrawal symptoms kicked in. To those who not aware, the motor trade is worse than cigarettes, drinking and gambling, if it gets in your blood you are well and truly addicted. The steal of the deal is such a good feeling and there is no better way to pass the time than to go to work and get paid for doing something you really enjoy. So I started buying and selling the odd car from my home much to my long suffering wife’s annoyance.

One of the aspects of my current hobby is the huge enjoyment I get from reading other adverts. I often roll around laughing at the sheer pony that some people include in their wordage with most of it being total tripe. So, for your delectation, I have decided to give you the phrases and the subsequent meaning in real world terminology. Please try not to get your knickers in a knot either – its all purely for the fun.


My word how I hate this phrase. Tends to get used in trade adverts more than private ads but it means literally – bugger all. Traders use this to put off punters from bringing along AA / RAC / Green Flag or some mate from the pub who used to work for ATS as tyre fitter who will find issues or pick fault. The breakdown companies will charge a substantial fee for checking over a used car so by using this term the browsing customer subconsciously thinks “it must be ok then” and makes a potentially expensive gamble.


barn find
This is a barn find.
council garage
These are NOT barns.

This one is currently the most popular bullshit phrase in the current motoring world. My idea of a barn find is a 1967 Cortina 1600E in bronze that’s been forgotten about languishing in an actual barn since the owners one way trip to the promised land some twenty years ago. However, a rot ravaged MK2 Fiesta 950 Pop which has been parked up owing to an enthusiastic DIY owner losing his bottle does not. Also – rented council garages are not barns and be wary if the owner of the so – called barn is the same name printed on the log book – idiots!


Another load of old cobblers. Once again its a cleverly used tactic to make the browsing punter think this vehicle is bang on the button for quality and condition. Though its true that in some cases it does mean what it states, more often than not its just a load of hot air to coax you into calling the number and viewing the car, regardless or not whether you buy it.


Along with a compressor, receiver, actuator clutch and re-wire. Air conditioning systems are lovely when they work but a potential money pit when they pack up. They seldom get repaired unless the car is a minter or the owner is fussy. I also like the adverts that say it needs for example only a C.V joint to pass an MOT test. If the car is being sold for hundreds less than its really worth without the required work done then why hasn’t the owner spent that paltry £100 to gain an extra £1000?


Falls in one of two categories this one, either immaculate or knackered. One tale I will share with you was a middle aged single lady who brought in a battle scarred three year old Nissan Micra to part exchange. She trilled: “I’ve had it from new for three years and never so much as had a moment of trouble“. I asked her to pop the bonnet for me only she had no idea where the bonnet release lever was and I had to do it. Revealed was an empty washer bottle, its oil level right at the very bottom of the dipstick and more dead leaves than Sherwood Forrest.


Another load of old cobblers to make humdrum standard cars look a bit more sexy. Example: a 99 1800 Vectra Club does NOT have an electric pack fitted. The electric front windows, remote central locking and aircon are all STANDARD equipment from the day it was nailed together. Its just cleverly worded twaddle to jazz up a car advert to coax some desirability. Though some packs do exist in the real world its down to you to do the research though my experience finds its mostly to be hot air.


grand sport
This is a good example of a shiny new company car. If the sellers alleged company replacement is a three year old bashed and bruised Mondeo, your leg is being pulled.

Quite often the case but a good phrase for an owner to fob off what looks like a really nice car but is really a troublesome pig to an unsuspecting customer. If you go and view the vehicle and a shiny new lease car is nowhere to be seen, or the so called company replacement is two or more years old be worried. Also be worried if they have only owned the car for a very short time. The above phrase is excellent if you bought a right money pit that has bled you dry from the off without the painful squirming of searching for a real reason for getting rid.

Also, another excuse that can catch out the unaware that works a treat was something I once used. Once I ran a problematic Volvo that was chewing my wallet like an angry Dog and a man came to view. He quickly noticed the fact that the car had been in my title for only a couple of months and duly quizzed me. My quick reply was that we had just inherited a car from a relative who passed on pointing to my wife’s shiny three year old Renault. I could see the reason compute in his mind and deal was sealed there and then.

Editors Note – Autobritannia.net doesn’t necessarily agree with all of the above (but most of it LOL)

And don’t forget to add your own pony advert phrases… or comments below!





  1. “Serviced Regardless Of Cost”

    Once looked over a K plate Sierra for a relative with that phrase in the advert.

    It was looking good until I flicked through the booklet and paperwork carefully.

    For the last four or so years in the last owners tenure it had only had oil and filter changes.

    No cambelt
    No brake fluid
    No antifreeze
    I pointed this out to the owner who just got moody and asked me to clear off.

    Who was it that once said every car has a story to tell?

    Great article Mike / Mark

    Merry Christmas to all at AB

    Ray & Fiona

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