About to Buy without a Test Drive

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by DRock0904, May 7, 2013.

  1. DRock0904

    DRock0904 New Member

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    This is my first post. Excited to about to be a Prius owner for the first time. I am buying this car through someone who "knows-a-guy" at a dealership and has bought 20+ cars for their business. It is a legitimate big name dealership but the thing is, this dealership is 5 hours away from me and I have been doing all the dealing over the phone and they will be delivering the car to me this week. They do have a few day return policy and since I haven't test driven the car myself I am kind of nervous.

    First things first, it is a 2005 Prius(gray) with 96k miles on it. Based on the carfax it was involved in a "small accident" where it hit someone from behind.

    What should I look for in the first few days of driving it that will tell me that I need to return it to the dealership? What are the big issues with this year?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    First, buying a car sight unseen is rarely a good choice. Having said that, I have purchased 2 cars that were 18 hours and 27 hours drive away from me that I bought online without ever seeing, inspecting, or driving. I flew out, paid, and drove home in both cases. One of which was the Prius I drive daily.

    The worrying part is the "small accident". The car hit someone else from behind, meaning the front of the Prius was in an accident? If that is the case, then MAJOR WARNINGS AHEAD! If the car was on the receiving side and the Prius' hatch area was slammed, this is less worrying.

    The front of the car is where all the magic happens. You have the engine and the inverter there. Radiators and coolant loops, coolant thermos, and other gadgety gismos that your ordinary backyard mechanic has no idea what's going on. The High Voltage wiring runs in that area and insulation can be shed on an impact because of it scraping other bits when it gets crunched.

    There are lots of stories of repair shops messing with the Prius because they don't know how it works. Even putting a radiator fan on backwards can cause a ton of headaches.
     
  4. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    If you tell us your location (city, state) someone on the forum might be able to provide a comparison car or try driving your car with a comparison in mind.
    Just a thought...
     
  5. Sfcyclist

    Sfcyclist Senior Member

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  6. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    Geez site unseen purchase. Must be a good used car salesman. I can say that the 5 day return policy is most likely garbage. Your inviting trouble. why not look at used cars closer to home, and have a mechanic inspect the car prior to purchase.
     
  7. DU3L NRG

    DU3L NRG Junior Member

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    I bought mine w/o a test drive...but it was brand new lol you might wanna check carfax and get some more details on that "little accident" bud sounds sketchy
     
  8. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    If it is a "Certified Toyota" with a one year warranty then you might consider it, otherwise look somewhere else. There are a lot of used Prius out there. A Prius that has been involved in a collision to the front end is not something you want to get involved with.

    Ron
     
  9. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    The maximum age mileage of the Toyota Certified program is 6 years and 85,000 miles or less.

    Program Comparison
     
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  10. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Thank you for that information, that is very helpful.
     
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  11. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    No worries. Best of luck out there.

    There area few web sites out there that marry lease sellers and lease buyers. It is a great opportunity to get a jump on a dealer on a prime car that is about to be turned in on lease. In a sense you can assume the lease from the Leasing company TFS and the lease the car driver. The car needs to be at least 6 months left on the lease. You can assume the lease payments. You know the exact lease payments, months left, and the buy out figure, and sales tax. Many of the cars have warranty which is transferable. The cars have low mileage. Many of the leasees lost jobs and are just trying to get out without much damage. Discounts are about 40-50% off original list price. Not sure what your budget is but this is a good program to consider.

    You can google them, there are a few.

    LeaseTrader.com - The Most Recognized Name in Auto Leasing - Car Lease and Lease Swap - BMW 128 - BMW 135 - BMW 320 - BMW 328 - BMW 335 - BMW 528 - BMW 535 - BMW 550 - BMW 640 - BMW 650 - BMW 740 - BMW 750 - BMW 760 - BMW ActiveHybrid 3 - BMW Alpina - BMW M1 - BMW M3 - BMW M5 - BMW M6 - BMW X1 - BMW X3 - BMW X5 - BMW X6 - BMW Z4
     
  12. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    DRock. Make sure to keep us updated and let us know how the car drives when you get it. :)
     
  13. maestro8

    maestro8 Nouveau Member

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    This. It's an expensive way to learn a hard lesson.
     
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  14. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    True it can be an accident waiting to happen.
     
  15. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    "Small accident", sight unseen, no warranty? Run far away, very fast.
     
  16. DRock0904

    DRock0904 New Member

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    Thanks for all the info folks, They are delivering the car to me on Tuesday of this week.

    I realize it is not the wisest decision but it is a hard deal to pass up and I need a car fast(and relatively cheap) and the reviews of the prius are fantastic.

    The one thing that I think is possibly a good sign is that they are willing to drive it 5 hours to drop it off to me. They wouldn't be delivering it on a truck but actually driving the car itself.

    I will be sure to let you all know how it turns out.
     
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  17. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    You guys should of gone car shopping with my late aunt.

    She wasn't necessarily shy, but she hated car buying.

    She would literally arrive at a lot, with perhaps the only research she had done was asking people at work what brand of vehicle was "good". She'd then maybe "glance" around the parked vehicles, point at one off in the distance, and say, 'I'll take that one".

    She NEVER got a good deal.

    But oddly, her base approach of asking people what brand they recommended resulted in her buying a Volkswagen Bug, followed by several Toyota's.

    So despite her odd, hands off approach to car buying, she usually DID end up with good vehicles. But she never test drove them, never haggled on price, and often her greatest introduction to the vehicle happened after she had already purchased it, and it was sitting in the driveway.

    Probably lucky for her, that she also had the financial resources to buy a new vehicle about every 6 years.

    She'd also trade the vehicle in....at a huge value loss, when it had reached the ripe old broken down mileage of about 50,000-65,000 miles.

    She traded in a beautiful Celica, with less than 65,000 miles one time, when I was young and scrimping to get a vehicle. When she told me how little the dealership had given her in trade, I almost cried. Despite the Celica being almost perfect and pristine, she basically traded it in because it needed a new clutch.

    Oh well....Volkswagen Bug....and Toyota's was about all she needed to apply. At the time, that safety net, meant even though she got taken severely financially, the vehicles she did end up with....were good.
     
  18. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Hopefully you get lucky with this one. :)
     
  19. Dino33ca

    Dino33ca Member

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    Congrats! I'm sure you'll be happy with it... I had the luxury of 'test driving' my '04 in an auction parking lot, top speed about 15 mph! Just sitting in it I knew I'd be happy with it....:)
     
  20. DRock0904

    DRock0904 New Member

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    Ladies and Gents,

    I have officially received my new wheels. Here is a pic from the dealers, but it looks just as good in person.

    I have to say I am in love already. It is so quiet and fantastic. It was drive 3 hours to me today and then I drove it another 30 minutes to work. Drove perfect the whole time. I am still learning the ins and outs and figuring out how to put it in gear, park, etc.

    I will probably update next week after I have driven it 10 hours to the beach. The ultimate test.

    Thanks again!

    [​IMG]
     
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