Hey Cool Car Fans,
I can’t tell you how many times throughout the year I get an email or a phone call from someone, usually a woman, asking me to help them out of their vehicle(s) that they purchased from someone other than me.
Unfortunately, many times the people are so buried in their vehicles from some salesperson that took advantage of them that there is little that I can do to help them get out of their financial situation.
Buying the wrong vehicle can become a scary proposition for some people, especially if they get stuck making payments on a car or truck that needs constant attention. The majority of people think that buying a vehicle based on a CarFAX or because the bank financed it for them or they had their mechanic look it over, that it’s going to give them the protection that they need, but it’s just not true. I’ve seen many vehicles this year that have been in accidents, have had paint work and other mechanical issues that have a clean CarFax or become a nightmare for the owners.
I thought I would share a few of the stories I had in October this year here at CoolCarGuy.com for you to think about before you go and buy a vehicle all alone. The last thing you want is for your vehicle purchase to turn into the equivalent a Nightmare on Elm Street.
YOU BUY IT – YOU OWN IT Stop-Loss movie full
Last week, I received a phone call from a former client, we’ll call him Mr. G, and the call opened up like this. “Hey John, it’s Mr. G. Do you remember me? If I put $1,000 down a vehicle do I own it?” I said, “Mr. G, didn’t you buy a Mercedes C240 4Matic from me? Did you buy another vehicle?” “Well, I put $1,000 down on a Mazda RX8.”, he said. I said, “Did you sign paperwork for the vehicle and trade your Mercedes?” He said, “Yeah, I did sign paperwork, but I want to return the vehicle.”
At this point in the conversation, I had to inform Mr. G that he was now the proud owner of a 2004 Mazda RX8. I didn’t have to tell him that he paid too much for it, since it was the first year of that vehicle and it can be very temperamental, which he had already figured out on his own. Since he’s in school with a limited budget I wouldn’t have recommended that vehicle for him and he owned that Mercedes for thousands back of the book value and it needed nothing since everything had been done on it. I even asked him if there was anything wrong with the Mercedes and he said, “No. I didn’t have any issues with it and I really loved that car.”, but he got Hoodwinked by a sales person to trade his really nice vehicle, that I would have suggested he keep.
TRUST YOUR MECHANIC, BUT GET A SECOND OPINION
I’m always amazed at how many people love and trust their mechanics, but over the past five years I’ve found that I need to always get a second opinion for large repairs. Earlier this month, I took an older Lexus that I had on consignment for a client into one of the mechanic shops that I regularly use and they called to tell me that the car needed valve cover gaskets, a new rack and pinion steering and a number of other issues totaling $1,500. My client asked that I send it to his mechanic to see if we could get the repairs done for less and it turned out that his shop was too busy.
So, I called another guy I know who has a mobile mechanic service and is a Master Mechanic. He called me and said, “John, it needs a rack and pinion for sure, it doesn’t need valve cover gaskets, but there are some other serious issues that I cannot believe the shop missed. I’m not going to bad mouth them, but the fan is missing blades and the belts gone to the point that at any minute it could break and the fan would have gone right through the radiator. It’s going to be about the same amount for the repairs, but the right things will be fixed.”
Had I gone with the mechanic shop I sent it to and delivered that vehicle, the client who was buying it would be driving an unsafe vehicle from the standpoint of possibly being stranded on the road when the fan and belt broke. Furthermore, if you purchase a vehicle from a Private Party and have your mechanic look it over and they miss something like what I just described, they’re not going to stand behind it. Also, consider how many individuals selling their vehicles on Craigslist ever check them out or are just selling them to get rid of a problem. Anytime, I sell a consignment vehicle of a client, I have them checked out before I deliver it to another client and usually twice to just be sure.
BEWARE OF THE GUY IN THE SLICK SUIT
Many times people who don’t use my services will tell me how they got a “good deal” on their vehicle(s) and then they contact me to help them when they need to get out of them, only to find out their “deal” was a great deal for the salesperson. Many of the people who are in car sales don’t last very long, so they don’t really care if they “take your head off” and that’s how they put it when you leave. You can open up the newspaper on any given Sunday and you will see ads for dealerships hiring new salespeople, so beware of the guy in the slick suit.
There’s nothing wrong with a salesperson earning a fair profit on a vehicle and providing service, but let me share with you one story of the kind of calls I sometimes get. I had a call from a woman, this month, we’ll call her, Mrs. T and she asked if I could help her out of her vehicles. She owed $22,000 on her 2007 Kia that was worth about $11,000 and she owed $25,000 on her 2008 Dodge that was worth about $14,000 and she owed $13,300 on her 2008 Pontiac G6 that was worth maybe $9,500. I didn’t have to tell her that she was in rough shape financially and she needed to make a payment on her vehicle before losing it to the bank. She was in tears when she called me since she was working three jobs, had her hours reduced and was so far upside down on three vehicles she was making payments on and could no longer afford.
She had already been to several dealerships and they wanted to put her further in debt. None of them could help her and honestly I didn’t know if I could, but I actually have a plan to help her get rid of the Pontiac with minimal loss. She shared with me that she didn’t roll any negative equity into the loans of any of these vehicles, which means that the places she bought them from totally took advantage of her family. I mean, all cars depreciate, but to be almost $25,000 upside down on three fairly new vehicles, is crazy! Unfortunately, I’ve had at least 30 calls from people in these situations just this year.
The fact is that when it comes to buying, leasing or trading a vehicle, it’s Buyer Beware. Which is the reason why my clients continue to use my service because they know that I don’t have to make my mortgage payment on their one transaction, like many of the auto brokers and salespeople out there who sell one or two cars a month.
They also know that if they have a problem, they don’t have a problem because I want them as my clients for life.
Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy
John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @coolcarguy