The burden of simply having no common sense

There are just some things in life I just don’t understand. Too many to list here of course – apart from one thing that really does puzzle me.
Why do so many car buyers insist on taking their new purchase somewhere else to see if it’s OK after they have bought it?

On the occasions I’ve ever purchased a second hand vehicle I’ve always wanted to see the latest MOT (as recent as possible please), service history, recent repairs and the sellers PDI report.  If I was still in any doubt I would invest some money in, say, an AA or RAC report (other inspection providers are available!) to tell me the condition of the car before I parted with my hard earned cash.

Yet time and time again we see people who buy a car who then immediately take it to “my local, trusted garage” to learn of their opinion of the vehicle.  And so that “local, trusted garage” examines the vehicle with, seemingly, the instruction to “find as much wrong with this car as possible”.  That can only be the logical conclusion for why else do we see so many direct contradictions between the inspecting garage’s report and the MOT pass that is so fresh that the ink has barely dried on the pass certificate?

I cannot think of any other transaction where one would ever have an inspection after purchase and not beforehand.  Imagine spending half a million quid on a house and whilst the sofas are being moved in the surveyor is in the loft checking to make sure that the roof is not about to blow away!  It just doesn’t happen.  And nor should it happen in the second hand motor industry either.  But it does. Day in. Day out.  People shell out half their life savings and check out the wisdom of their purchase afterwards and not beforehand. It makes no sense to me at all. Unless, that is, the motive is to “shaft the seller” into getting free upgrades to their vehicle.

This can be the only reason.  For we notice how the words of the inspecting garage always end up somewhat “different” when the consumer tells the seller of the outcome of the vehicle’s post-purchase health check.

The following examples are typical:

Inspecting garage writes:  Tyres will need replacing at some point.  Consumer writes: Tyres were all completely bald and I want you to refund me the cost of 4 brand new replacements”.

Inspecting garage writes: “Brakes are part worn”.  Consumer writes: “You sold me a death trap!”

Inspecting garage writes: “Windscreen wiper failed to operate at correct speed”.  Consumer writes: “The car is un-roadworthy”.

Inspecting garage writes: “A small scratch was noticed on the front bumper”.   Consumer writes: “You never told me the car was accident damaged”.

Inspecting garage writes: “Slight vibration when running at idle”.  Consumer writes: “The clutch, master cylinder and slave cylinder all needed urgent replacement.  Whilst the mechanic was doing this we decided to replace the timing belt and water pump at the same time.  Here is the bill for £3000 and we want payment within 7 days or we will take you to court”!

I think you get my point.  Best I move onto something else before I fall off my well worn soap-box...


Authors: Jason Williams

Published: 09 Dec 2015


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(cAse SeNSItivE!)

Trusted garage owners wife (11/12/2015)
Yes, people do do what you are saying, as it happens all the time I had never thought of it from your point of view. We try to get the chance to look before they buy, but its not always possible. I suppose in coming to us quickly they will have warranty rights so to that end it is sensible.
Luigi Motors (11/12/2015)
Very true, we've seen it happen on both sides, either as the seller or the inspector. Which is why we now forward inspection reports to the seller and the buyer, and any customers inspection after we've sold it is shown the inspection report and asked to seek a 2nd option before giving us backlash as main dealers love a good old free inspection to tell the customer the car is a scrap heap and here is a long list of faults we can repair anything from "slight noise from starter motor" or "air con not running at 100% suggest regas"
john1632 (09/12/2015)
All very true and it wil only get worse with this new law from October!

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