The Walk Around
I have had a number of responses since asking, “So do you actually recommend buying cars unseen? Surely this is crazy?”
Yes, I do. No, it isn’t.
THEY ARE ALL THE SAME
Explanation: I have a friend called Christian Craggs who is a property finder (same principles as Palmdale… just with larger items!). But Christian needs to view every single potential property as they will all vary in build and decor.
Cars don’t. One standard specification Meteor Grey Audi A3 2.0 TDI (140 PS) S Line Sportback is the same as any other… in all but condition.
SO HOW DO WE QUALIFY THE CONDITION?
It really is as simple as calling up the dealer, asking them to grab a cordless phone and having them walk around the car describing it to you.
I would however suggest a little caution and only try this with main dealers selling ‘Approved Used’cars that will have needed to pass a manufacturer approved inspection.
DON’T ALL CAR DEALERS LIE?
No, they don’t ALL lie… but some of them do.
And this is the whole key to the success of a Walk Around: figuring out whether you are being told the truth or not.
TRUTH FINDING HINTS
– It should take at least 5 minutes to complete a walk around, so any dealer that after 60 seconds says, “Yeah, Mate, the car is mint!” has told you nothing.
– Detail is critical so being told, “There’s a 2 inch long light scratch on the bonnet just behind the badge” is 100 times better than hearing, “There’s a tiny scratch on the bonnet.”
– If the salesperson is not giving you the level of detail you want, ask them to be more detailed. If they still do not provide what you need, you probably aren’t going to get it.
– Make sure that they describe the bodywork, interior, wheels and tyre tread (most main dealers are supposed to replace any tyres with less than 3mm of tread).
The key thing, however, is to worry less about the detail and more about the general impression you get about the car and MORE IMPORTANTLY the Salesperson.
And guys, women are far better at this than us blokes, thanks to their highly attuned women’s intuition. Try and rope in your lovely lady if you can… or borrow someone else’s (just remember to return her when you are done).
(Founder & Owner)