Buying a car from a dealership has many advantages over buying from a private seller, despite the fact the cost may be slightly higher. The tradeoff comes in the form of more legal protection should the worst happen.
That being said, you still shouldn’t assume that all dealers will be as reputable as one another. Here are the guidelines you should follow in order to get the best deal possible and avoid any mishaps:
Make sure the dealership is reliable
When it comes to choosing a dealership, the one thing you will not be short on is choice. There are plenty of them out there, and not all of them are reputable.
To find the right one you should:
- Look at a companies history. If they have been in business a long time, the odds are, they have good codes of practice in places. Dodgy dealerships tend to last a few years at the most before word gets around.
- Dealers which follow codes of practice are often members of trade associations. This membership assures you that the service they provide will be up to standard. Don’t forget to check with the trade association to see if they really are members.
- Ask friends and family for a recommendation. If they cannot give you any help, check online.
- Try to choose a dealer who has their cars inspected by an independent body. Be sure to ask for a copy of the inspection report.
- Signs claiming that no refunds will be given, or that cars are ‘sold as seen’ should set alarm bells ringing. These kind of terms will limit your rights and can lead to trouble further down the road.
Things to look out for
When you have chosen your dealership, the next step is making sure the car you want to purchase is all above board.
The car you purchase should be of ‘satisfactory quality’. What this is exactly is difficult to define as there isn’t a precise definition of the term when talking about used cars. You should make sure you are happy with the condition of the car in relation to the asking price, taking into account things such as age, mileage and condition.
The next step is to check the car matches its description. A car’s description isn’t just what is written in the advert; it is everything that you have been told about the vehicle, including over the phone and in person. Check the mileage advertised matches what is shown on the dashboard and that all additional features, such as power windows, work fully.
Selling a car which is not roadworthy is illegal under the Road Traffic Act. If you have been sold a car which is unroadworthy, without it being advertised for ‘repair or spares’, then the seller has committed an offence.
If you think the car you have purchased is unroadworthy, then it is important you do not drive it, as you could be held accountable.
Keep these tips in mind and buying a new car from a dealership should be a simple process!
This blog was written by Mark Enright, a writer for Evans Halshaw, the used car specialists.