I'm here in 2019 to update a post I wrote about nine years ago. It was when I was looking for an AGA Cooker to have in the OvenGleamers Academy Training Kitchen. I went through a whole process of looking for and buying an old AGA.
You may be looking at old AGAs as a solution to your desire to have the benefit of an AGA or 'The AGA Affect' or is it 'The AGA Effect'?. I bought this AGA for my office. And I have had three AGA cookers in my life since then. See my story here - Graham Rogers AGA Story - Why OvenGleamers Love AGAs
As someone who has an AGA in their house since 1996 I can see where you coming from. To buy a new AGA these days means an huge outlay to buy the latest brand new AGA. So why not a second hand one?
AGAs haven't changed in the way they work until the very recent new AGA DC, TC, AGA City, 3 and 7 Series. They have had the same format since the 1920s but just had different burners or ways to heat up the main chunk of cast iron that is under the boiling plate. The first ones were fired using coal. Then in the early 1960s they brought out gas and oil AGAs. The first electric AGA - the 30 Amp appeared in the early 1980s.
You can buy some of the earlier AGAs that have been 'converted' to run on gas, oil or electricity.
My advice now would be - if you are looking at a cheap AGA. That is cheap to own and buy then look at a reconditioned 30 Amp AGA. They only have two ovens and they'll cost about £6500 but it will be like new and cost about £18 a week to run. For an AGA cooker this is cheap. We bought ours 12 years ago from Tony at www.MrCooker.co.uk and I still recommend him.
N.B. AGA Total Controls (TC) and AGA Dual Controls (DC) have been introduced since I wrote this post. If you find one of those ensure it isn't one of the earliest ones or if it is that is had the update to the latest edition. Though looking at what people are saying about them I wouldn't recommend an older one (5 years plus) because of the expensive of repairing them - we are talking about £2500 for a new board and then VAT and fitting on top of this. It would be best to find an AGA Engineer and get him to do a report on the AGA you are looking at to buy. This will tell you whether it needs updating to the newer spec and/or there are software problems. Also the AGA TC and AGA DC are transferred as a whole unit (compared to the older types that can be disassembled and reassembled onsite). The handrail comes off and it's transported on a pallet. You will need to make sure this fits through your doorways and it is going to be difficult to get it up or down steps or stairs.
A Second hand gas or oil AGA is worth looking at too. Look for one that has good enamel. You can pick one up cheap on Ebay. Don't pay more than £1000 for a good second hand one. Get an engineer to check the oil or gas burner before you buy it as that will be the most expensive part to update/replace. And you must understand that the additional costs to install it will mount up - expect this to cost about £3000:
I now don't recommend getting the one with the boiler (as I mention in the text below) as you can produce hot water a lot cheaper these days with a modern highly efficient central heating boiler. The effort and cost of installing the pipework for the boiler isn't worth it.
I thought I'd write about buying a second hand AGA as currently I am on the lookout for one myself. I need one for my training room so really it doesn't have to be one that works just one that I can use to show the techniques and processes to clean an AGA cooker.
I have been looking on Ebay and last week I nearly bought an AGA, it was a standard one, that is one of the really old ones and it was unusual in that it was set up to run on coal. I say unusual as this was the way they all used to be but nearly all of them have now been converted into oil or gas.
Normally AGAs on Ebay are still in situ and need to be dismantled. This costs in the region of £250. It then needs to be shipped to you (can be more money for this maybe £100 to £200) and then you need to get it reassembled at a cost of from £250 to £1000.
So any AGA you see on Ebay going cheap will have these additional costs to get it in position in your home. So you need to find out if it has already been dismantled and on a pallet if you are going to get someone to transport it for you.
You then find someone who can reassemble it. Of course if it is gas or oil you need to make sure the supplies are in place and you definitely need a plinth for it which you can either build yourself (it has to be dead level) out of concrete or you can buy an AGA steel plinth that can be adjusted to get the AGA level.
And if you are going to use the boiler on the AGA you need to make sure that you have the pipework in place for this. Also for this you may need to up grade your hot water tank to make sure it can handle the hot water that the AGA will produce. Look at £3000 plus to get all this installed.
Also you need to make sure that you have the right flues, or outlets for electric AGAs, in position. Also for electric AGAs you need to have the electricity supply in position. For a 30 Amp AGA you need to have an off peak electricity meter installed. For a 30 Amp AGA I have been told that it isn't viable to move them once they have been installed as the need special insulation and they have a thing called 'a core' which apparently will disintegrate on dismantling. S
To if you see a 30 Amp AGA on Ebay it really does cost a lot to get it moved and re installed (look at a reconditioned one from a reconditioning company see below) and I mean in the region of £3000.
So the one on Ebay I saw was on a pallet and I could have got it transported whole on the pallet for £75 and I could have just plonked in down in my garage and hey presto one AGA for demonstration purposes in position. It went for £750. I'll carry on looking. The normal price for an old AGA is about £250. The older white deluxe AGAs (with the chrome lids) tend to sell at a lower price too. Really it is difficult to get rid of an AGA if you don't want it as even newer ones will be only worth a few hundred quid if you try to sell them to an AGA specialist.
If you are thinking about an AGA and you see one on line that is only a couple of years old but is two grand less than the cost of a new one please think about it. Say you use a company like www.Classycookers.co.uk who act as a brokerage. As far as I can see you will have to pay for the AGA and then the dismantling costs the delivery costs and then the rebuild costs. They don't offer a guarantee or original documentation or help in use of your AGA. The AGA may look different when you see it up close and when it arrives it more than likely is going to need a clean. For an AGA clean we charge from £180 for two oven AGA. So all these costs will mount up and you'll think 'I could have bought a new one after all'. Also think about why are the people selling such a new AGA. I am still reading about people having problems with 13 amp AGA cookers - though saying that our friend has had hers for two and half years without any problems - but the key is you need a guarantee.
If you think a two year old AGA is going to be like new, think again, most AGAs I have seen that are over 18 months old will have some sort of enamel damage on the top enamel plate. Also I have seen a two year old AGA recently that had just been reinstalled in a new house that didn't have it's original insulation jacket around the plates, they must have been destroyed when it was dismantled. Really if you are looking for an AGA that is like new then a reconditioned one is the one to go for. If you go with an AGA renovation company like Twyfords they will give you a five year guarantee - so just like a new one you'll be able to have a stress free experience with it and you'll save some money on the cost.
We bought our renovated 30 Amp AGA which looked like new from Mr Cooker for £5500, three years ago, which at the time was a significant discount on the cost of a new one which would have been £11000.
Graham Rogers Started OvenGleamers as one man in a van in Taunton in 2004. The business grew to a five van operation by 2007. OvenGleamers first franchisee started in October 2010. OvenGleamers Became An Associate Member of British Franchise Association in 2012. Now growing National OvenGleamers Network. OvenGleamers are AGA and Big Cooker Cleaning Specialists. Graham writes on this blog and films videos and has a podcast.