18 July 2015 at 10:35 pm #66699
I am looking to buy my first car and am searching for a used Ford Fiesta.
Some branches of the Trust Ford dealership (previously Dagenham Motors) seem to occasionally have cars within the specs and budget that I would be looking for.
I would most probably buy from the Epsom or Kingston branches / or alternatively from the Stamford Hill or Edgeware branches. A few random reviews that I have seen online for this dealership (various branches) weren’t very reassuring…
Is it advisable for me to get an independent vehicle inspection of the car I am interested in before buying from them / any other dealership (I would ideally like to do so for my own peace of mind) and if so, how does it work? Will I need to pay a deposit and fill the order form for the vehicle before arranging the vehicle inspection?
Any advice most appreciated.
18 July 2015 at 11:30 pm #66701
Hi Shamee. You are perfectly entitled to arrange an independent vehicle inspection before handing over your money and taking delivery of a car. If a dealer is not prepared to agree to this, walk away.
In terms of how you go about it, you will need to do the following:
1) Make sure that you actually want to buy the car, as long as it gets the thumbs up from your independent inspection. Read The Car Expert’s Ten Golden Rules for buying a car. If you’re not 100% on the car,don’t waste your time and money with an inspection.
2) Make sure the dealer is happy with an independent inspection BEFORE you sign a contract or leave any deposit, and that he/she is clear that this will be a condition of you buying the car. Confirm that they will make space available for your independent inspection to take place (since they won’t allow the car to be taken off-site for an inspection until you’ve paid for it, and you don’t want to pay for it until it has passed the inspection).
3) When signing the contract of purchase, ensure that a clause is written into the contract stating that the sale is “subject to a satisfactory inspection by an independent technician”. Do not accept a verbal agreement, regardless of how nice the salesperson appears to be; make sure it is written onto the contract form. Both you and the dealer must initial the clause so there can be zero confusion. You will have to leave a deposit of up to 10% when you sign a contract.
4) Do not transfer the remaining funds or sign the finance agreement, regardless of what the dealership requests or threatens or claims that they need for the inspection to take place. It is not necessary prior to the inspection. If they are pressuring you in this manner, it is a warning sign that they are worried about the results of the inspection.
5) Book your inspection. The technician should be able to contact the dealer directly to arrange a suitable time, rather than you acting as a go-between. It’s much easier all round.
6) If the inspection gives the car a clean bill of health, you are clear to pay up and take delivery. If problems are reported, you will have to raise these with the dealer and decide what action you want taken. If the dealer is not prepared to remedy all faults noted (or there are several issues and you no longer want the car), you have a signed agreement allowing you to walk away and get your deposit back. If you are happy for the dealer to fix the issued raised, do not pay remaining funds or sign the finance agreement until the work has been completed.
Follow this process and you will ensure that you are protected. Your bargaining position is much stronger if you haven’t given them money than if you are trying to get it back from them afterwards.
19 July 2015 at 9:50 pm #66709
Thanks Stuart, this is very helpful indeed!
27 July 2015 at 8:49 pm #66764
– none –Member
I have got myself into quite a bit of a situation with a main dealership.
I signed the order form, paid a deposit, and entered a finance agreement with the dealership on last Saturday 25th July, and the order form, does mention that me taking the car is subject to the vehicle inspection that I have arranged to get done on Wednesday.
The main issue I now have is that I only realise now that the dealer did not sign my copy of the Finance Agreement.
I originally wanted to go collect the car and pay the remaining deposit on Saturday 1st August, but the dealership really pushed for Friday 31st July (as its end of the month and they want to hit a target), and said they would deliver the vehicle to me themselves on Friday as long as I transfer the remaining funds on Friday. So the order form that I have states that the estimated delivery date is Friday.
Given the situation regarding the copy of my finance agreement, I now want to insist on going to collect the vehicle myself on Saturday 1st August, and get the dealer’s signature on the finance agreement then, and then pay the outstanding deposit and take the car.
Is this the correct thing to do?
Would you have any advice?
28 July 2015 at 9:54 am #66768
Hi Shamee. You are not compelled to take the car by 31 July, so you can do whatever suits you. Simply make it clear that you are not available during the week – you don’t need to explain yourself.
You are also perfectly entitled to refuse acceptance of the vehicle if the contracts have not been correctly signed. It’s probably not a sign that there’s a problem, but you are within your rights to insist.
If you want to pick the car up on Saturday, you may still have to transfer the funds in advance, depending on how you are paying the balance. If you are using a debit card, they may allow you to pay on Saturday and take the car. If you are transferring the money to their account, they may need it in their account by Friday so that their accounts team can confirm it has been received before they go home for the weekend (they don’t work weekends; usually it’s only the sales department). If they can’t confirm that they have received payment, they won’t let you take the car.
You will need to check their processes to make sure that you don’t turn up on Saturday and then find that you can’t take the car home after all because the money hasn’t arrived in their account. They should be able to email you a copy of their version of the finance contract, so you can see that it has been signed by the dealer. You can then get yours signed when you pick up the car, even if you need to transfer the funds beforehand.
28 July 2015 at 11:41 am #66774
Once more, thank you for your advice.
They contacted me early today and have sent me a scanned copy of the Finance agreement that myself and the dealer signed on Saturday, and took a long time to make me understand that the financing company will also only get a copy of the same agreement on the basis of which they will accept/decline the finance application and I’ll then get a confirmation through the post from the Finance company of the agreement. They are thus saying it is not necessary for me to bring my copy and us both to sign this copy, given that they have sent me a scanned copy of the agreement we actually both signed on Saturday. Is that OK?
I guess I may be being over-sceptical about this as it is my first car and it is the first time I am dealing with a dealership and I have heard so many horror stories.
Regarding the payment itself, yes, I will check on that as your point regarding their accounts team etc. makes perfect sense.
Apologies if I am asking the most basic questions and over-thinking this,
28 July 2015 at 12:06 pm #66775
Sounds fine. If the finance has not yet been approved by the finance company, do not transfer the rest of your funds until this has happened. If the finance is declined for whatever reason, you don’t want to have to stress about getting the rest of your money back again (You will be able to get your deposit back if this happens, but there’s no need to give them any additional money until it’s all approved).
By all means, take your copy of the agreement with you for them to sign for your own records. It’s no big deal, but if it makes you feel more comfortable then fine.
Hope it all goes smoothly!