Having a pre-purchase inspection performed on any car before you purchase it is SO important!
We did a pre-purchase inspection on this 2018 Volkswagen Golf R that CarMax had for sale. This customer has had many VWs before that we have serviced. He was looking for this car specifically.
CarMax: Hit Or Miss
I do like that you can have the vehicle transported to look at it and test drive it before you commit to purchasing it. If you are planning on purchasing a vehicle from one of these large online car resellers (CarMax, Vroom, or Carvana) you MUST have the car looked at by a professional before you purchase it. These newer cars go to auction for a REASON! Typically these are trade-ins from larger vehicle branded dealerships. It makes you think why wouldn’t that dealership just resell the car themselves? Typically, but not always there is a reason.
The biggest thing to look for when purchasing any newer used car is to make sure there has not been any previous body damage that may have not have been reported to Carfax.com. Typically newer cars are mechanically sound and there is still some of the factory warranty left. So the body and chassis are most important.
Previous body damage is always my biggest concern with any used car. As far as a pre-purchase inspection goes, never go to a dealership. Find a small independent shop that specializes in that make. At the minimum, you could bring it to a normal body shop. The body shop will tell you if anything on the car has been painted before. Anything more than a repainted bumper I usually tell people to keep searching for another car. Paintwork can change over time, it can fade, chip, and you do not know what may be underneath the surface.
This was the case in this 2018 VW Golf R that CarMax had for sale. It had some VERY recent paintwork done. The paintwork that was done looked awful. You could see the bondo/filler and sanding marks in the paint on the driver’s rear quarter panel. On that same quarter panel, you could see where the body shop taped off the panel and there is overspray of paint in the door jamb. You could see the paint line going up the driver-side A-pillar. All just really poor quality work, and it looked even worse in person.
So I hope whoever is looking at this Golf R for sale in NH sees this and does not purchase it.
Here’s the vehicle: https://www.carmax.com/car/20673816
We’re glad this customer brought this vehicle to us for a pre-purchase inspection. If you’re shopping for an Audi or VW right now, we encourage you to schedule a pre-purchase inspection with our team. Many of our customers have saved themselves headaches down the road, while others were able to confidently make that new purchase!