This article is about the many pitfalls of buying a new or used vehicle without seeing it first. Many people out there are buying vehicles on auction websites, from online ads, and more. This even includes agreeing to purchase a car or truck from a dealership that they have yet to have on hand. That is known as a ‘dealer trade’. Just about all aspects of any of these transactions will leave the buyer with a problem.
Let’s start off with the familiar auction website everyone knows and uses. You see the ‘perfect’ car for you, but unfortunately it is in a different state. Even if there is a ton of pictures and great descriptions of everything, there is nothing that replaces seeing it in person. Committing to buy here without as much as even sitting in the driver’s seat is absolutely crazy. You have no idea what you’re buying, and it could even be a scam just to take your money. A reputable seller will let you go over the car before binding you to the auction selling price.
Another one is ‘for sale’ ads on the internet. Usually these have little or no pictures and very little real information about the vehicle you’re interested in. Luckily, these aren’t legally binding contracts like winning an aution bid. If you don’t like the car when you go to see it or pick it up, you can walk away.
Lastly, I want to talk about dealer trades. This is when you go into a new car dealership and want to buy a new car or truck, but they don’t have the exact one you want in stock. They will try and find a vehicle to your liking that is located at another dealership within a certain distance. The thing you have to consider here, is just like the other points listed above, you’re agreeing to buy a car that you haven’t even gotten to test drive. The dealership will want a full commitment from you to buy if they are going to the trouble to trade one of their vehicles to another dealer for the one you want. This may seem ok, and you probably would have test driven a comparable model, but in reality you have no idea of what you’re buying. Not all cars of the same make or model ride the same, have the same options, etc. Every single vehicle on the road has it’s own little tweaks, noises, and quirks. You won’t realize this until you are in the actual car you’re buying.
The moral of this story is to ALWAYS test drive and inspect thoroughly the vehicle you are wanting to buy. Never, ever commit to anything you haven’t seen, or been able to check out to your liking. As stated in a previous article, there is no better way to make sure you are going to enjoy driving your new car unless you actually test drive it. You don’t want to be unhappy in a vehicle that you are stuck with!
I want to buy a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero but the guy says its coolant outlet has a slow leak. Its 120k miles. How much would that repair cost me. He is selling the car for $1300 obo. Please help. I’m a woman and don’t want to throw my savings away. Thx.
That depends on what engine size the car has and exactly what is leaking. If it is the thermostat housing on the V6 engine, expect to pay about 1 and 1/2 hours labor times the repair shop rate, plus $15 for the part.