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November 7th, 1999 Article
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I saw an ad the other day and I have seen them before. This was an ad about buying a vehicle as a very large INVESTMENT! There is only ONE way to consider buying a vehicle as an INVESTMENT and that is if a person buys a COLLECTIBLE vehicle that will increase in value. Normal vehicles DO NOT increase in value. The real meaning of the term is that a person is INVESTING in TRANSPORTATION and transportation COST money. Buying a vehicle is just that, BUYING not INVESTING.

A person should do a lot of research BEFORE they spend a lot of money on a vehicle, just like they would research any other large PURCHASE. If I had a dollar for every time I heard from someone that had bought a vehicle with problems that cost big money, I would be rich. I would like to make a few suggestions regarding some of the things a person should check out before they buy.

The first thing a person should do is to find out what sort of laws there are in the area to protect consumers and what sort of recourse a person might have. Some areas have time limits in which a person can take back a vehicle and get a FULL refund, if the vehicle is a problem. Most areas have laws that require a vehicle to be Emission legal in order for it to be sold. This means that if a person buys a vehicle that will NOT pass a required emission test, the SELLER has to do whatever is required at their expense or refund the purchase price.

Know what sort of protection you have BEFORE you buy. What about warranties? If you buy a new or used vehicle, you should read the warranty on that vehicle and make sure you understand what IS covered and what ISN'T covered. I have seen lots of warranties that are advertised as "Bumper to Bumper Coverage," implying COMPLETE coverage when if fact the warranty covers little more than the "Bumpers." Extended warranties are extremely complicated by design and DO NOT take someone's WORD for what the warranty covers.

Although there are some laws regarding VERBAL agreements, you are further ahead getting it in writing. Just another bit of food for thought. I hear a lot from people who have purchased vehicle with specific equipment, only to find out a few weeks later that the vehicle is not equipped as they were told. However, there is nothing on the purchase agreement that says anything about the special equipment, only a STOCK NUMBER. For example, one fellow bought a truck and was told it had a camper package and trailer package but the sales agreement only showed a stock number "As Equipped". When the fellow found out that the vehicle was in fact a STANDARD LIGHT DUTY truck with a trailer hitch, he was not happy, but there was nothing he could do. This fellow had to spend a lot of money to get his vehicle PROPERLY equipped to haul his camper and boat trailer.

Make sure that you are getting what you pay for and I always tell people that are buying a vehicle, to get a written list of the equipment the vehicle is supposed to have. The BIGGEST thing of all is to ask someone that knows and that does NOT mean the Salesperson you are dealing with.

Mind you, if you are in a position where your vehicle is tax deductible, you may not even care.

"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - November 7th, 1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999

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