The burden of simply having no common sense


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?

Author: Jason Williams
Reading time: 3 minutes

This article is 6 years old.

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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…

Jason Williams

Legal Advisor

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