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Yet another car question. Sorry!

August 21st, 2005, 08:57 PM
Ok. We found a car. We worked out our budget and we can afford it. We are able to afford the financing they have offered, but we are still searching around to see if we can get something cheaper.

A few questions I have still:

1. Are deposits refundable if we change our mind (we are going to call tomorrow morning and let the dealer know we want it, but we still have a few things to work out)? We don't want it to get sold while we are working out other details, but if the mechanic finds something bad we may want our money back. We also don't want them to sell the car if we want it. We only saw the car at 5:30 on Saturday, and they were closed Sunday, so we didn't have much time to get any details worked out or get much info. Most of our searching will be done tomorrow, but we want them to hold the car for us, so he asked for a deposit.

2. We still need our own mechanic to look at it. How long should that take and how much should it cost? Would we be able to get it done in an evening, or will we have to leave the car with someone for a day? Can you hire mechanics to come with you as opposed to bringing it somewhere?

3. What things can you use to negotiate price? The tires will probably need to be replaced this year (before winter) so we were thinking of demanding they take off about $500 from the price. Is this reasonable?

4. The vehicle didn't have complete service records (some were in the glove compartment). It was a trade in at a suzuki dealership. The original dealership's card where it was bought was in the glove compartment. Should we contact them to see if it was surviced there and what the records are like. It's a 2000 mazda protege with only 78000 km on it, "lady driven", really good condtion. We ran the VIN through carfax and the record was clean, no accidents or anything. The pink slips for the previous insurer were also in the glove compartment, should we contact the insurance/broker to double check all was well with the car? It only had one owner.

I'm sure I had other questions, but those are the main ones. Our biggest question is about the deposit. I don't want to put $500 down if there turns out to be a major problem that a mechanic finds, and I can't get it back.

August 21st, 2005, 09:20 PM
You will need to ask the dealer about the conditions of the deposit. Find out the black book price of the car. I would call the locations that you have numbers for to find out as much history as possible. Go online to research any problems associated with this car/yr. Have the car checked by a mechanic before talking price. The mechanic should only take a few hours with it. Write down all questions you have for the dealer including waranty and don't appear desperate. Send in a friend to check out the car as an interested buyer so you can go back armed with extra info. Ask the mechanic lots of questions regarding the condition as well as ways to lower the price. How much they lower it will depend on how much they paid and what condition they are selling it in. If you are really wanting to know, call the previous owner.

August 21st, 2005, 09:52 PM
1. No. I have never heard of a refundable deposit on a car. If you change your mind, you kiss the money good-bye...

2. An inspection could take a couple of hours, and should cost $75-$125. If you have CAA, you can get a deal at some garages. I don't know about getting the mechanic to go to you. They usually need their own tools...

3. Anything. Anything at all can be used. Keep in mind that there's probably over $2000 above cost when you are buying from a dealer. Any scratches, any chips in the windshield, rusty muffler, etc. Get it inspected BEFORE you talk about price. Start low and move up slowly. Try to keep it in your head that you don't need THIS car. You will find another if this falls through. Negotiating always craps out when you get attached...

4. I would do this after the inspection and even after buying. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that dealers/mechanics will divulge that much info without you owning the car. Even owning the car didn't get me anywhere with the previous servicing dealer.

Frankly I think if a dealer asks for the deposit up front before the test drive and before the inspection, then they are not on the up and up... I worked for a dealer that wouldn't let you test drive without a deposit and all their cars were barely running...

August 22nd, 2005, 05:00 AM
He didn't ask for a deposit before test driving, it's just that they closed at 6 pm, so we didn't have time to go. the deposit was something we asked about to hold the car if we decided we were interested.

Wow. Didn't know it would take that long for a mechanic. How does that work? We were hoping we would be able to get it done tonight,but I don't get home until 7:30 pm. Do we just tell them we want our mechanic to look at it, and take the car?? We don't have our own mechanic, so we going to take it either to the mazda dealer my BF's brother takes his to, or the Canadian Tire. Would the dealership allow it to be there overnight if we dropped it off tonight, and picked it up tomorrow?

We checked black book and red book values, and this car is just below the median for this year and make with this amount of kms, so we're good there. We checked consumer reports and other sources, and there are no problems with this year or make, no recalls, etc.

August 22nd, 2005, 06:03 AM
We actually bought our car through a Suzuki dealership!! And yes our deposit was refundable!(we only put $100.00 down) just ask to make sure, and if your worried, have them put it in writing, maybe condition upon inspection, or financing.

Call mazda with the VIN, and they should be able to give you the complete service record.

As for negotiating the price, it all depends on how desperate they are for a sale! If it has been a bad day, they are very flexable, if sales have been great, they may not be so willing to bend.

August 22nd, 2005, 08:08 AM
Good news. The deposit is conditional. More of a "good faith" thing, that actually won't be processed until we decide to buy it. BF is going to try and get off work early today to take it to a mechanic this afternoon. We get the results hopefully today, take it for a test drive and double check everything, and work out details tonight.


August 22nd, 2005, 01:56 PM
Please don't go to Canadian tire!!! Call CAA and ask for a recommended garage near you, or go to the mazda dealer (the mazda dealer would know mazdas better). Not Canadian Tire. Or Costco.

heeler's rock!
August 22nd, 2005, 05:17 PM
I agree with Prin. Don't go to Canadian Tire! They'll rip you off. I've known people to take a car in for something minor like an oil change, and they come out spending hundreds to thousands of dollars getting things replaced that didn't need to be replaced! They'll rip you off every chance they get! Just be very careful. :o

August 22nd, 2005, 09:00 PM
They use many trainees/co-ops. Not all of them have proper training. :cool: