:: Looks like it will be THURSDAY at 4:55pm ::
This should be a guest post from Paul over at I Heart The Mart but since I am writing it up I am not giving him credit
Today on Houston’s Chanel 13 Paul will be on at 4:55pm talking about Used car buying tips. Plus talking about how he did not follow his own advice and got a bad deal.
We bought a car from Gillman Acura and were shown a carfax that the car had never been in a wreck. There were a few scratches on the mirror and we were told ” oh, that was the older lady that owned it before you.” We bought the car and left without the carfax we were shown.
Last month we decided to trade the car in, it was too small for us. Paul was given a quote from a dealership for $15k for the car as he was trading it in. But when that dealership pulled a Carfax they offered us $12k for it as it had been in a wreck. We were shocked. Upon pulling our own carfax we could see that it in fact had been in a wreck, had frame damage and was previously a rental car.
Gillman had lied to us. Paul went back and they apologized and said they would “make it right.” By making it right, they tried to roll the difference into another car. Which meant we were still paying for it. Paul was in there 3 different times and tried for 2 weeks to get the general manager to talk to him. When he was finally reached, he was not any help and the only way we were going to be able to do anything with them was buy another car from them and “eat” the amount our car was now worth.
Tips when buying a car:
- Check the body – Run your hand down the lines of the car and make sure there are no bumps, or uneven paint.
- Make sure the lines of the car match up.
- Make sure there is consistent texture in the paint job.
- Open the doors and hood. Look for “over spray” and mis matched colors in paint.
- Check to make sure the mirrors match.
- Take the car to your OWN mechanic and have them check it out. Even if a private seller seems like the nicest person in the world…. My brother bought a Subuaru from a Houston Symphony director only to find that 200 miles into a 1,000 mile trip back to college it had a bad transmission. “But the guy was soooo nice….”
- Buy from a referral.
- Check their carfax with the Vin number on your car to make sure they match up and check the date of the carfax.
- Campare Prices / Do your homework. Search for your car and get an idea what your trade in would be worth. What you see online your car selling for subtract about 20% for trading it in.
- Check Kelly Blue Book, Autotrader and Cars.com to get an idea what cars are selling for.
- It is not always better to sell your car privately. You will loose the tax savings if you are buying another car. Say you are getting $10k for the trade and buying a $20k car. You will only be paying tax on $10k after they take out the trade.
Finally, Gillman tried to “make it right” by buying back my husbands car from him at the quote of $15k. This is after they were contacted by Chanel 13 for an interview. Paul sold it to them and we are currently car shopping. This time we will make sure to do the things that Paul tells EVERYONE else to do!
If we had not had access to the news media, or had an online presence, there is nothing Gillman would have done. As an “average” consumer you are on your own, make sure you do your homework and get all the help you can!Pin It