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.
3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum MoneyThe key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:
Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted NetworkSelect the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirectTrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.
Step 3 Complete my ChecklistFollow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid
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