Second hand range cookers – how and where to buy them

If you're looking to save by buying a used range cooker, here's what to consider

Cast-iron ranges are built to last a lifetime, so if you can’t afford a brand-new model, you can always rely on the roaring trade in reconditioned second-hand range cookers.

There is something about a range cooker that gives a kitchen personality. It adds the character that you simply can’t achieve with a built-in cooker. The only problem? Ranges don’t come cheap, which is why many people turn to the second-hand market.

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And no wonder. Provided you know your stuff and stick with a reputable supplier, you can find the range of your dreams for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

Where do I start?

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Image credit: David Parmiter

First off, consider what type of cooker you require. Will be electric or gas or oil powered? An AGA or an Esse? The most popular tend to be electric models like the Dual or Total Control AGA, where you’re able to turn the hobs or ovens on and off separately, reducing running costs.

Gas or oil-fired cookers can be cheap to run, too, but require a flue system and annual servicing.

How much cheaper is a preowned range cooker?

Potentially, you could save thousands of pounds. Classy Cookers recently offered a three-oven, 13 AMP electric AGA for £5,499. A starting price for this model new is £11,040.

Should any types of used range be avoided?

‘It is a very bad idea to buy a secondhand Rayburn,’ says Rose Norman of Twyford Cookers. ‘They tend to be installed originally as a cooker and central heating system, and are generally on their last legs when removed. If you want a Rayburn, always buy new.’

Can I change the colour of my used range cooker?

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Image credit: Rachael Smith

You might think you can just repaint your cooker – however, even if you use specialist high-temperature paint, you’re unlikely to get a good finish. Instead, you will need to contact a specialist to shot-blast and re-enamel your range for you. Blake & Bull charges £2,860 + VAT to recolour a typical two-oven cooker.

How do I collect and install a second-hand range cooker?

While a freestanding range oven is easy to remove, a solid cast-iron range or AGA will need to be dismantled, transported and refitted by an expert. This is not only because cast-iron cookers are extremely heavy, but also since if anything is lost or damaged in the move, the range could be rendered worthless.

‘Trying to move an Aga as a whole unit is also not a good idea,’ says Classy Cookers’ Anthony Harrison. ‘The way in which the cooker is built means that moving it as a whole can easily break internal seals or at worse stress fracture the cast iron.’

Do second-hand cookers come with a warranty?

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Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Buy a pre-owned or fully reconditioned Aga cooker from a business, and you should expect at least a statutory guarantee – not something you’ll get if you buy privately. You might also be able to take advantage of finance packages, for example, paying in instalments and interest-free credit.

‘Buying from an AGA-registered dealer will guarantee that you will get a purpose-built Aga and not bits and pieces of many AGA cookers put together,’ says Rose Norman, marketing director at Twyford Cookers.

Where to buy a second-hand range cooker

Image credit: Polly Eltes

Best for Installation – Classy Cookers

Classy Cookers has a huge stock of pre-owned ranges. Once the sale goes through, it will dismantle the range in its current home and reassemble it in your kitchen.

Best for AGAs – Twyford Cookers

Twyford Cookers is an authorized AGA specialist that has a limited stock of reconditioned models. Cookers come with a five-year warranty and the option of interest-free credit

Best for the perfect colour – Blake & Bull

Independent Blake & Bull converts, re-enamels and refurbishes Aga range cookers. You can choose from more than 30 shades, from aubergine to light grey to Wedgwood blue.

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