How to buy used Scalextric cars and the problems you'll encounter


Most used Scalextric cars are purchased through eBay and eBay has it's own special problems. Here are the main things to look out for with an eBay purchase and some tips to help you.

C3 Javelin

Buying Scalextric cars on eBay can be a terrible minefield as there are many traders and home sellers who are not totally honest in what they do. We have seen many Scalextric cars purchased as eBay Scalextric items that are NOT what the buyer expected and definitely not as described.

Is this deliberate fraud or simply lack of experience in the Scalextric car on offer? Probably both, in varying measures. So what’s the answer? Simple, the phrase "buyer beware" still operates in the frontier land of eBay. As a buyer you must know what you want and what makes a good example of the Scalextric car you want. The buyer must know their stuff.

There are 2 generic types of eBay Scalextric cars; there's new and there's used. New Scalextric cars can have several things not right with them; the first is that they might not be new but used and simply cleaned up. The second is that the Scalextric cars may be stolen and not the property of the seller and therefore not yours once you've purchased them. The third is that the Scalextric cars may not be what you expected, for example many eBay Scalextric cars are removed from sets so do not come with a box.

Ebay Scalextric used cars are even worse. The best advice we can give for a used eBay Scalextric car is that the car will have a fault of some type and will need Scalextric spare parts to repair it. Your mission as the buyer is to find out what the fault is and decide whether or not you can fix it or live with it. Sellers of eBay Scalextric cars tend to lie by omission, so find out what is not described and ask lot's of questions.

So, here are some basic rules as a buyer of Scalextric cars, especially if you are using eBay:

  • Find out as much about the car you want as possible
  • Find out the common problems
  • Find out what spares are available and at what price
  • Establish the faults and defects of any potential purchase
  • Use eBay feedback to find out more about the seller
  • Is this a trader or private seller?
  • Traders tend to bodge cars to sell at a higher price
  • Private sellers sometimes know nothing about the car for sale and cannot describe it properly or recognise simple errors
  • Look out for white mould on the car, usually on the inside as the outside will have been cleaned. Cars with this white mould growth must be rejected immediately and be considered a health risk
  • Brown discolouration on the pale coloured cars generally cannot be removed as it will propagate through the moulding - seek expert advice if unsure

There are many more pitfalls out there so contact us if you want to know more about the purchase of a specific Scalextric car.

About the author:

Gary Harding has been working with Scalextric cars for over 30 years and now operates Scalextric Car Restorations in the UK. Scalextric Car Restorations is a Worldwide internet based business that offers for sale high quality Scalextric cars and Scalextric parts from the 1960s to the present day. All the restoration work is carried out to the highest standards with the highest quality parts available. Only the best cars are selected and the final result is a car that is genuinely like new.

Further help and advice relating to this article or Scalextric cars in general can be found at: