Why You Should Inspect a New Car for Damage Before Buying
Most people are shocked to learn that dealers do not have to disclose damage on a new car unless it exceeds 6% of the MSRP.
Since most dealers repair damages in their own facilities, the 6% threshold is more like 10% if you were to take it to an independent repair shop.
Think about this - a brand new $30,000 vehicle can have an equivalent of up to $3,000 in repairs without the dealer being required to disclose it.
Granted, a brand new car that's been repaired will usually not affect resale value, but it could have adverse affects down the road if the repair wasn't adequate.
The most common type of damage occurs when new cars are being removed from the transport truck.
Don't believe us? Check out this picture of a Ferrari that was dropped from the carrier. If they're this careless with a Ferrari, you think they're going to care about your Toyota?
New cars are also frequently damaged when moved around the lots. The cars are in tight spaces, with dings and scratches quite common.
Before taking delivery of your car, make sure you do a close inspection, both on the outside and interior of the car. Look carefully for overspray of paint in the door jams, near the headlamps under the hood, and chrome trim.
Also pay attention to the spacing between openings such as when the trunk, hood, or doors are closed. Make sure the spacings are even on both sides.
Small scratches and dents are not uncommon to find. Make sure the dealer agrees to fix these blemishes before you drive off the lot.
If you suspect the car has been damaged and repaired, ask the dealer to confirm or deny this in writing.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.