How new cars on a lot can end up with pre-purchase damage

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2023 | New Cars

Buying a new vehicle is as much about the prestige and sensory experience as it is about the investment. After all, new vehicles typically lose a portion of their value as soon as someone leaves the dealership.Some people experience a more precipitous drop in value than others because there is something significantly wrong with the vehicle already.

Even seemingly brand-new vehicles purchased directly from a licensed dealership may sometimes have significant damage. How could a brand-new vehicle purchase directly from a dealership already have damage?

Test drives can cause vehicle damage

People taking a vehicle out for a test drive may push the vehicle a bit to see what it is capable of doing. They may find that they struggle to control it because they are not familiar with its systems yet. Ultimately, test drives could result in damages to the vehicle. Test drives could cause damage to the brakes or a slow leak in one of the tires. They could also cause extensive damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle if somebody bottoms out due to excessive speeds.

The driver who causes the damage may not disclose it when returning the vehicle, which means that the dealership may not be aware of it. Even if the salesperson notices the damage, they may choose not to report it to the dealership or to the next buyer who looks at that particular vehicle.

Transportation snafus frequently occur

Some dealerships now arrange to have someone’s brand-new vehicle delivered right to their driveway. They load the vehicles onto a flatbed, often right at the manufacturing facility, and then transport them to individual customers or the dealership for someone who arranged for pickup instead.

All sorts of things can go wrong during that transportation process, from debris kicked up by other vehicles striking the paint or glass of the vehicle and causing damage to issues with the suspension caused by the improper use of restraints when loading the vehicle onto the truck. Such damage could affect the vehicle’s resale value or even make it less safe to drive.

Buyers who discover undisclosed defects in the brand-new vehicles that they just purchased usually have rights. Dealerships may need to provide repairs on what should have been a brand-new vehicle in pristine condition. Reviewing the damage to the vehicle and the sale paperwork with an attorney can be a good starting point for those frustrated by the condition of their recently-purchased cars.