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I might buy a used car from a dealership for the first time soon – why would they list the car below value?

I did a search for VW Passats in the area and found the exact model I want at a dealership about 50 miles away.  It's a 2008 silver Passat with only 87,000 miles listed well below book value, which I don't understand. Why would they do that?  It had no discernible cosmetic blemishes from what I could tell by the photos.

It's at a Honda dealership, so could it be a bargain price because it's a VW not a Honda, and they want it to move quickly?

I even pulled up the Carfax report using the VIN to see if there was something wrong with it, but its record is stellar – all scheduled services done on time, it's passed the smog test (required here in California every 2 years), the last one was passed a month ago. 

And the dealership has only had it a few weeks, so it hasn't been sitting there for a long time.

I even checked its title & registration status on the DMV website and it appears totally clean, no back fees or anything (not that I'd expect any from a dealership, but I went searching for "dirt" on the car and couldn't find any).

The only thing is it's had three previous owners, so I'd be the fourth.  I don't know why three people would've sold it previously. 

2) The second part of my question is, what should I expect from the dealer if I do decide to buy it?  I usually buy my cars from individuals, as dealerships have such a bad reputation

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Update:

for trying to gouge customers and for dealing dishonestly.

Is a warranty of some kind standard for used cars?  Will they try to sell me one?  Try to shake me down for more money with extras?

They're asking only $4500. They could easily ask quite a bit more.  So it kinda seemds to good to be true, that I found the exact car I wanted, in the exact color, AND at a bargain price.  And to top it off it's got very low mileage.

Am I missing something or could it really truly be a good deal??

9 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You've done such a thorough job researching that the only thing I could think of is to contact those previous owners, especially the last one. 

    Only ask about the condition.

    Don't offer anything else.

    Maybe ask what the dealer gave them on their trade-in.

  • F
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It was obviously a trade in. Main dealers often send other marques to auction. The price they are offering you is really for quick sake but will be a lot than they will get at auction.

    They have made their money selling the new car. 

  • 1 month ago

    I hope you get whatr you want! Being at a HONDA DEALERSHIP< it was probably traded in for a HONDA of some type! So they are trying to MOVE IT!...In SPITE of what others say here, the VW PASSAT is a TERRIFIC CAR and wil get you to 500,000miles! VW uses teh EXACT SAME suppliers as AUDI< BENZ, BMW and other EURO suppliers, the BEST< usually! >>>ONETHING TO KNOW>>> y8ouu musatuase ONLY OIL with spec numbers 502/505 ON THE LABEL! It MSUT be PURE EUROEPAN GRADE FULL SYNTHETIC and change it once a YEAR< or every TWO YEARS! If you use PENNZOILULTRA EURO 0W=40, you get a WARRANTY out to 500,000 miels! Teh TRANS comes from ZF< the most PRESITI+GIOUS German trans maker, the now LONCON and CADDY< and KIA, and HYUNDAI< many FOPRDS and MOST CHRYSLERS are using! They are GREAT for durability and I reapired one of them IRGHT ONTHE CAR! They Are a BREEZE to servie and the VW engien is ALWAYS on the WARD's BEST ENIGNES!...Get new DENSO TI+WIN TIP IRIDIUM LASER PLUGS installed for the BEST protection and the use of PENNZOIL ULTRA EURO wil protect pricey engien sensors and the CONVERTER and the O2 sensors for you effortlessly! Kepp 1-800 ALL EURO< 1800 ALL AUDI, adn BLAUPARTS in your phone! They hAve the best prcies froWEAR ITEMS! use MICHELIN HARMONY TIRES with 80,000 mile WARRANTY< also called GREN tirres, or FUEL EFFICINT TIRES< or LOW RESISTANCE TIRES for the bst RIDE and BEST control! CHECK OUUT AUDI QUATTRO USED! The other day I spotted a GORGEOUS RED AUDI convertible for only about $5500! AUDI car are made to LAST for thirty + YEARS with next to ZERO issues! The BRAKES are ATE GIRLILNG< the BEST BRAKE MAKER in Europe and they have DOUBLE WISHBONE suspesnions that track like GLUE in bad weahter! Some ahve RADAR to avoid accidents GOODLUCK!

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    The name should be Pass it.  Many people have them on their front lawn trying to sell them.  There is something wrong with that model.  I don't know but seen too many for sale too soon. Makes me wonder. 

    .  Nobody is going to protect you when you buy a used car.  There is no warranty.  Once it leaves the dealers lot they do not know you anymore.  If you have a problem , YOU take it up with VW dealership.  Many are sold at bargain prices.  Makes me wonder what the problem is, but I am not going to risk my money to find out.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    "If it is too good to be true, it probably is".  The car is probably junk with a blown transmission.  TEST DRIVE it first.  You could end up with an empty bag.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Volkswagen passats aren't exacly great cars. I would avoid it as my coworker had a jetta with the turbo that was only 2015 and burned a crap ton of oil.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Some dealers list their prices "after $1999 down" or something like that.  

    Others list doorbuster prices for a few to lure people in. 

    And there is a 99% certainly of a $299-1299 doc fee added on.

    Using black book and assuming automatic and the base model average wholesale is $2525 retail is $5325. Rough wholesale is $2055 and retail $4775.

    VWs are not great cars and it could be a dayer too. (A car that has sat there over 60-90 days without selling)

    Almost all cars under $5000 are sold as is. And most dealers will push an extended warranty because its a very high profit item. (Half is profit)

  • !
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    It happens. Dealers often take vehicles as part payment on a new car. Its in their best interests to move the 2nd hand car on as quickly as possible, because they dont make money on it sitting there, so they usually list it below value just to get it off the lot

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I recently bought a used Citroen from a Honda dealer in the UK. That was below book value with low miles and in good condition with full service history. I came to the conclusion that they need the space. The space that can be filled with a new Honda at four times the value of the Citroen with five times the profit! Test drive it and bag a bargain.

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