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Let me just preface by saying that purchasing a new vehicle yields great rewards, and you're undoubtedly prepared to create a special bond with your new member of the family! However, did you know that even new vehicles contain certain blemishes and imperfections? Sadly, it's true.

As a new vehicle makes its way through the assembly line dust, debris, and other foreign matter can easily come into contact with a newly painted surface. In this day and age, newer vehicles are riddled with oversight within the manufacturing process, with some particular manufacturers recalling paintwork quality, etc. Once a dealership takes delivery of any particular vehicle, you also have to take into account all of the variables that encompass the purchasing process which would include delivery, exposure to the elements as the vehicle is kept on the lot, and the overall length of time a vehicle had spent at any given dealership prior to sale. So when you put this into perspective, there's a common misconception among those that purchase a new vehicle, because they're already of the opinion that they're receiving a "perfect" or "defect free" vehicle. This, unfortunately couldn't be farther from the truth and is a flawed perception of reality.

When it does come time to peruse the lot for a new vehicle, take into consideration the amount of general wear and tear. In most cases, you can use any imperfection as leverage when playing the price negotiation game. As a professional detailing technician, I need to emphasize the importance of bringing your vehicle into a trusted detail outfit like mine. Under no circumstances should you ever opt to have your vehicle "detailed" by the dealership prior to taking delivery of your new or used vehicle. Coincidentally, a dealership considers their "detail" department to be of tertiary importance. A dealership has one intrinsic motivation, and that is to sell vehicles. Now by no means am I defaming every dealership across the globe, but generally speaking, it's best to skip on their "complimentary" detail service.

Prior to purchasing your dream vehicle, it would behoove you to schedule an examination of any said vehicle with a trusted mechanic so that they can perform a proper diagnostic testing of the mechanics and overall condition. In this way, you'll have the maximum amount of leverage when it comes to exchanging offers across the negotiating table. Although it may be satisfying to assess any prospective paint job under cloudy conditions, it's best to examine the paintwork under sunny conditions because any blemish or imperfection will become easily magnified, therefore making each scratch and swirl mark easier to distinguish with the naked eye. For those of you searching for a vehicle out of state, take pictures with a grain of salt because often times dealerships will take pictures that mask imperfections (i.e. shots taken in a shaded location, using low-light conditions to their advantage, or giving you the false reassurance of how "perfect" the vehicle is.) Trust me, it happens all the time.

If time is of no concern, you can even make arrangements with your dealership to take any vehicle out for an extended test-drive. By using this outlet, you can examine the paintwork in two other ways without the fear of pressure looming over your head. If you have a dedicated garage, you can simply park the vehicle and turn off all the lights. Once all the lights are off, you can employ the use of a flashlight and examine the paintwork panel by panel. For those that don't have a dedicated garage space, plan to test-drive the vehicle in an area where street lamps are readily available. Simply park the vehicle directly under the street lamp and walk around the vehicle.

Interestingly, you'll easily be able to magnify any imperfection because the street lamp will serve as an over-sized flashlight, which will expose anything that you otherwise wouldn't be able to see with the naked eye.

The upshot of this experience is that contrary to what we might believe, the buyer has the power to negotiate, ergo, creating the necessary leverage of driving off the lot proud and satisfied. In my opinion, aesthetics are weighed just as heavily as any component under the hood.


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