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Phlipper

Scratches On Second Hand Car - Unreasonable?

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Hi,

We picked up our 2009 Gen III Prius at the weekend and all is well apart from the state of the paintwork. On initially seeing the car the first thing we noticed was the number of scratches on various door panels, the roof, bumpers. Scuffs behind the door handles and some sort of mottling on the bonnet.

Now, we said to them that we'd have the car subject to the scratches being sorted. Paid the deposit. Job done.

So when we collected it we thought it would be all rectified. Not so. The scratches above the doorframe were done, but scuffs on the roof, behind the door handles, scratches on the doors, bumpers and bonnet were not done.

Is it unreasonable of us to ask for these to be sorted, it is a second-hand car after all.

At the time of purchasing we were offered the G3 paint coating - thank god we didn't accept, as I can only assume they'd have sealed the scratches in with the G3 on top!?!!!

So, anyway, the dealer says they will have the car back in to rectify it but I'm not inspired to believe them to be honest. Why not do it properly the first time around?

The scratches on the bumpers (near the boot opening) they told us they might make it worse trying to touch it up (I'm assuming they can't rub down and spray a bumper as it's plastic) but that's no excuse not to have done the doors, roof etc.

Apparently a half day appointment will do - I'm not convinced they're going to do a good job in half a day.

What are your thoughts?

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Most garages/dealerships utilise a self employed contractor to carry out SMART repairs, unless they have a bodyshop that also do SMART repairs (one or two Toyota dealerships have this).

Most SMART repairers are quite used to repairs to plastic bumpers, etc. A good SMART repairer may well be able to do your work in half a day - obviously dependent on how much work there actually is. On a Mazda 2 we had, we had Chipsaway do some work on the rear (plastic) bumper - it had suffered a couple of scuffs due to other drivers in public car parks and the finished result was excellent.

I would be inclined to clarify who they are going to get to do the work, and if you're not happy with the response, suggest they do get a SMART repairer in.

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If you asked for the scratches to be sorted as part of the sale then "sorted" they should be as that forms part of the contract. However, how "sorted" they are will be dependant on the instructions they give to whoever sorts it (still with me?) You did not buy a new car so it is unreasonable to ask for it to be "as new" but SMART repairs are often undetectable and a good job can be done with this method

I would make a list of what scratches you want sorted out, maybe take a few pictures and show them before you leave it with them, then check it over before collection. If you are still not satisfied, leave it with them until it is sorted. Getting a manager involved could also help as the salesman will be next to useless in helping you out

If you asked for these to be done as part of the sale, was it written down anywhere or was it verbal? If it was verbal it is difficult to prove at a later date. Be firm, polite, but just point out this was promised as part of the deal and you expect them to honour their part of the contract

Kingo :thumbsup:

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I agree, that was part of the negotiation. A secondhand car will not be perfect, but scratches are always an issue. Get it done BEFORE paying etc. That is when you have all the leverage to conclude the sale. Once that is done they will not care at all as they have the cash.

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I know from past experiences that these type of scratches are never refurbished to the standard we would like so now I never buy a car that has not had the remedial work done before it goes on sale, in other words to be sold as seen. Even if they are buffed out they sometimes reappear. I've disguised scratches on my own cars in the past with "scratch remover" and coloured wax crayons and coloured polish and they look great at first but after a few washes they come back and you have to do it again, the dealer could very well do something similar.

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