Buying a used car from a dealer; the mechanic question

Im looking at buying a 2008 VW Rabbit from a used car dealer. They are an independent dealer (not brand affiliated) so how do i get them to let me get a second look at the car? I’d like to take it to a VW dealer because i feel like a dealer is going to come up with every possible thing that could need attention. There is a local dealer within 3 miles of the car lot, whats the best way to approach this with the salesperson? It seems like they would have to be willing to release the car from their possession, does anyone have experience with this?

Tell the dealer you plan to take the car for a mechanic to inspect. See what they say. If they don’t allow it then leave and keep shopping.

+1 to Uncle Turbo’s comment.

Just be sure to make an appt. with the VW dealer’s service department so that the car isn’t away from the used car dealer for an extended period of time.

An honest used car dealer who has nothing to hide shouldn’t object to having the car taken elsewhere for a few hours for examination. Just be aware that you will have to allow the used car dealer to make a copy of your driver’s license–and possibly other forms of I.D.–in order for you to drive away with the car.

A phone call to the car lot saying " I want to have a mechanical inspection before I commit to the purchase " would have taken less time than typing your post and you would have your answer.

+2 for UncleTurbo’s comments.

I have purchased used cars from both new car and used car dealers and I have always taken the cars to a mechanic for inspections. One dealer let me take the car to my mechanic 50 miles away. We had agreed on a price and put down $25 deposit and said that if the car didn’t pass, I would forfeit my deposit. The dealer said he would return my deposit because he was sure the car was everything he said it was. The dealer was right and I did buy the car.

This is all great feedback, thank you everyone for taking time to respond. I feel a lot more prepared to talk with the salesperson as far as what to say/expect. @Triedaq the deposit is something i had thought about, thats very helpful to hear how you made that work.

I agree with the others but one question is where did the used car dealer get his cars? They were not normal trade ins on a new car. He bought them at an auction where dealers are dumping the cars that don’t sell or rental agencies are selling their cars. I’d first want to know the history of the car before spending any money on an evaluation.

You might also have the dealer clarify with the shop you choose that they are indeed going to perform an inspection for you. A quick phone call would let them know things are on the up and up.

While I’m not saying that you would do any of the following, some people have been known to procure cars from dealers and use them for short personal jaunts, the fear that the shop will break something in the process, someone swapping good parts with bad from a broken car, or even heisting the car after using a fake ID.
Those reasons can be why some dealers are a little hesitant to allow someone to run off with a car for hours or even days.

Remember… YOU are in control of the negotiation. He needs your purchase far more than you need his car. Tell him you plan to take it for an independent inspection. If he balks, walk away. You’ll have lost noting; he’ll have lost the sale.

Bing…a lot of repossessions are picked up by dealers as well. I work with a multi-brand dealership that gets their used cars and trucks from Manheim auctions in several locations. The vehicles we pick up are just about equally split among lot orphans, car rental agencies, trade ins and repossessions.

I do have the carfax (was provided to me at no cost) and the car was bought at auction, its a two owner vehicle. Second owner sold it to a dealer which put it up for auction after 5 days on their lot. Car is clean, seems to be in great shape cosmetically at least. My concern is to make sure that its in good shape mechanically obviously.

I do have the carfax (was provided to me at no cost) and the car was bought at auction

When will people realize that carfax is a joke. Great marketing tool though…But even by their own admission they only collect 5-10% op all possible on all cars. It’s what’s NOT on the carfax that worries me…which could be a lot.

And i get that, i wouldn’t trust it for anything other then the chain of possession. For the few things that do show up on it I’m sure there are 5 times as many things that arent on it. I wouldnt pay $40 for one, a good mechanic can tell you most everything thats happened to a car.

“When will people realize that Carfax is a joke.”

Carfax is a joke. I bought an HHR last summer that has 4 accidents listed against it. I know the original owner (we go to church together) and it was involved in one minor accident. The wife drove it too close to a parking block/stop and knocked off part of the plastic air dam under the radiator. We have the same insurance agent and the agent confirmed that it was the only claim against this particular HHR. The body shop that fixed it was a shady outfit and apparently sent in 4 Carfax reports. For what reason…I don’t know.

The body shop that fixed it was a shady outfit and apparently sent in 4 Carfax reports. For what reason....I don't know.

They get paid for each transaction sent…

If your planning to buy a used car check if everything is working and ask dealer about the cars history.

and ask dealer about the cars history.

You really think the dealer is going to know…or even tell the truth?

They get paid for each transaction sent…

Thanks MikeInNH. That was my guess but I wasn’t sure.

The only way to give yourself some assurance that it’s in good shape is to bring it to your own mechanic for a thorough checkup.

Carfax is worse than a joke. Jokes aren’t generally designed to mislead the masses for financial gain.