Buying a Prius- how can you tell whether you can trust the dealer?

I am trying to buy a Prius. I test drove 3 cars yesterday- 2 of them had carfax reports that clearly said when the maintenance was done and finally that they were repossessed. The third, has 9 records, all of which are for registration of the car, it has been a one owner vehicle. But there are no records for any of the maintenance. The dealer that I test drove this at is a very small “family owned” dealership, which does not have any mechanic shop attached to it. The dealer says he will sell me $1500 3-year bumper to bumper warranty. Should I buy this car? If you think I could take the risk, what are the things I need to check and be aware of before taking the plunge?

Have it inspected by an independent mechanic before you buy it. Do not buy the warranty. Do not trust Carfax. Do not trust a dealer. Simple as that.

My truck had a perfect carfax, just misses the plow that was factory installed and that looks like Frankenstein at the front bumper…

Yep. If the salesman’s lips are moving, assume he’s lying. That’ll keep you out of a lot of trouble.

[b]NEI - Not Enough Information[/b]

[list]What Model-Year Cars ? [/list]
[list]How Many Miles On Each ? [/list]
[list]What Is The Cost Of Each ? [/list]

[list]Toyota Genuine Factory warranty or some aftermarket warranty ? The difference is huge. [/list]

[list]Why won’t the dealer buy your warranty for you ? (Factory warranty that is)[/list]

[list] How would you get any service if buying a car with no service facility ? [/list]

[list] Why do want a used Prius as opposed to something else ?[/list]

None of these sound good to me with the information provided.


It’s very simple. Don’t trust anyone who plans to gain on a transaction wit you. Do the research yourself and never ask a question of a car dealer you don’t already know the answer to. Ask only to verify they are being truthful. In this day and age of access, there should be little reason to take much or a risk where a business is concerned; except for your own unwillingness to do the research.
Because you must plan your own service, have that in line before any transaction. New car dealers have more of a commitment to service and their legitimacy can be easier to discern. People get taken usually because they want something for nothing themselves and are trying to avoid a fair market price.
Check your own motivations first and realize you may have to pay more for legitimacy.

CarFax may have a good chance that reported problems are real. However I would not bother even looking at a CarFax since there is no reason to believe negative facts have been reported. There is no requirement that anyone report problems.

Carfax has only been around for about 10 years. I’ve been buying cars for almost 40 years…and I only made one bad choice of the plethora of used cars I bought without carfax.

Get the vehicle inspected by someone who knows Prius’s.

Use Carfax as ONE tool. I wouldn’t put blind faith into those carfax reports.