Christmas Car Shop Carefully

So you think you’re ready to buy that special someone the gift that keeps giving? That is, the gift that keeps costing… haha. Okay but seriously, if you’re really buying someone a car for Christmas you are either about to spend a large amount of money at one time or, more likely (statistically speaking) you plan to finance the car. This means while they continually drive the car each day, you’re making payments each month. There’s a lot that can go wrong in this epic gift giving voyage so grab a coffee, have a seat in a cozy chair and let us educate you on what you need to know to avoid a Christmas car crisis this holiday season.

Returns are not in the cards

You may have heard the rumor of having three days to return a new car regardless of the dealership policy. There is some tiny truth to this tale but in this case, it wont be of help. This rumor is based on the Federal “Cooling-Off Rule” but is only applicable when a sale is made at your home directly. The law went into effect after a series of consumer complaints about ruthless door-to-door salesmen pressuring their victims into buying high-ticket items on-the-spot. That said, there are some exceptions to the lack of an automatic return policy:

Lemon Law

Lemon law varies state-to-state but in Florida, if you purchase a vehicle and it has significant defects that make it unsafe or unable to drive the seller must accept the return if they cannot fix it within a reasonable timeframe.

 

Dealer Policy

Some dealerships actually do have return policies that actually allow for a return simply based on a ‘buyers remorse‘ situation. We highly recommend that even if you do follow all our other tips and tricks, buy from a dealership with a return policy. Be sure to have the salesmen point out on the purchase agreement exactly where the return policy is and then give it a good read to make sure it protects you and does not have a large amount of technical jargon the dealership can use to back out of the return in the event it is needed. Some dealers will actually advertise that they allow for returns during the holidays in order to target gift giving buyers.

If you’re still reading, great, we haven’t scared you away just yet. Good news for the ‘to-be’ auto unwrapper.

How to choose the right car

Hopefully you already have an idea what that special someone likes and possibly you’re lucky enough to know the exact model. If not, here’s some tips on how to narrow down the selection:

To simplify things we’re going to pretend you’re buying the car for your partner, Alex.

Boss Tip

1

Show Alex a funny car meme or video to get on the topic of dream cars and then steer the conversation into more practical terms.
Boss Tip

2

Try to plan a short road trip (few hours away) and see if you can rent a similar car to what you think Alex may want. Let her drive it and pay close attention to what she says about it.
Boss Tip

3

Warning: Elaborate
Hire an actor or better yet, get a friend to do some acting for you. Ask Alex if she wants to tag along as your friend test drives the car. This will take some serious skills but it could be the best way to really find out what Alex likes. If your actor friend can also blindly love Alex’s opinion so much he wants to see what she thinks about how the car drives you might just pull of the miracle of having Alex test drive her own car.

Boss Tip

4

Ask her friends, family and especially co-workers about what she may be day dreaming of.  Why are co-workers so important?  Trust us, they likely know much about her you simply don’t.  

Boss Tip

5

Merry Magical Marketing:  For this trick, we are going to utilize the Google/Facebook ad targeting system.  When she’s not looking, go on her phone and search google for the car you think she may like.  Once she goes on Facebook she will start seeing ads for it.  See how she reacts and this could be a great conversation starter that she may just find yields her the car of her dreams.

 

Alright, hopefully you have a strong grasp on ‘The Right Vehicle’ because as we’ve already seen, it’s not easy to return the car in the event Alex doesn’t like it.

 

Renting is a viable option

If you’re really not sure, you may want to consider renting the gift (or a matching model) so that Alex doesn’t feel as though she is stuck in a new car she hates. Even if she doesn’t love it, she might say she does just to prevent giving you the world’s worst headache. If it’s a rental you can tell her: “It’s a rental but I’ve found the same model at the dealership and we can go get it first thing tomorrow if you like it.” Better yet, keep the rental for a week so Alex can really get a feel for it.

 

Buy a refundable car

Search your local area, make it clear that the car is to be a gift and be 100% sure it is returnable.  Or, don’t buy a car as a gift.   

CarMax has a five day return policy

According to CarMax’s website you may return a new or used car within five days of purchase for any reason. We did a little digging and confirmed this online here.

This really sets CarMax apart from the rest when it comes to buying a car as a gift. OfferMore hereby officially recommends CarMax for your automotive gift giving needs 😉  (we are not in any way affiliated with CarMax)

There’s even a few CarMax dealerships nearby:

Pinellas:  2550 Roosevelt Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33760

Tampa: 14920 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33613.

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