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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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advice for buying unseen new car

Hello,
I'm buying a new 2006 elise from manhattan motorcars, and am a little out of my comfort zone.. I'm flying in 11pm fri night to pick up the car on sat morning, and they require full payment before I do. They won't accept a cashiers check unless we wait 2 days for it to clear. Their request is that I wire the money to a manhattan motorcars inc account this week and pick the car up on sat. I realize people buy cars unseen all the time and have them shipped, so this must be common practice, and I have confidence in the salesperson I've been dealing with. Any advice or caveats? One more thing.. the car is not a demo, but has 50 mile on it...I've never purchased a new car before.. 50 miles typical?

dave
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 07:15 AM
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fax a copy of the cashiers check to them before you travel. they can easily verify the funds. i wouldn't wire the money if you're going to be there in-person, but that's just me.
a transaction takes trust on both sides and i'd say that if you provide the check info early, then the risk of the transaction is falls entirely on your side. which is ok, if you feel trusting.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 07:31 AM
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Hopefully someone from the Manhattan area will chime in and go check it out for you. If they are requiring payment in advance, they should be willing to send you some pretty detailed photos, as well as a copy of the ECU dump.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 07:35 AM
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They are correct in that you can stop payment on a certified check.

Given their performance with others (do a search), you might want to figure out another way.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 07:36 AM
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Those payment terms are a little odd, but then I guess every dealer does things differently. When I bought my Elise in California, I paid with a personal check, no delays, no phone calls to the bank, the dealership just took that on the spot with no questions asked. It was the first car I'd bought from them, so it's not like they knew me or anything.

Also, my Elise, the third one delivered to this particular dealer (this was back in September '04), it had just over 50 miles on it, 52 I think. It was a little surprising, but I wanted the car badly and convinced myself that if it was more than just factory test miles, at least the warranty was there to protect me in case anything bad was done in those 52 miles. One important thing for you to watch for though, is when I bought my car there was a little slip of paper, quarter page or so, where the dealer wrote down info for the car to activate the warranty. On it, it said something along the lines of how the warranty would start on either the date the car was purchased, or when it reached some mileage less than my particular car had (25 I think?). All we had to do was ensure that the correct delivery mileage was stated on that particular form, if not then there could perhaps be some debate about when the warranty actually began.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 08:34 AM
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Write a personal check when you arrive. Any dealer I've ever been to will accept a personal check AND require that you fill out a financing form so they can check your credit. If they have any doubts about the authenticity of the check have them verify funds with the bank (they know what to do and have done it many times before I'm sure). The financing form is not really required and you could refuse it, however it gives the dealer a warm fuzzy to see a good credit score with a check in hand.

Remember...he who has the money has the control!

If you think they will sell the car out from under you (and they have every right to) then you can wire a deposit. This may be where the sticky part is and the state may not allow holding cars with deposits (or the dealership may have this rule). That's probably why they want payment in full to guarantee that exact car.

Cashier's checks used to be the end all be all of financial transactions, until all of the counterfeiting...now they are nearly worthless unless you trot it to the bank to clear.

Good luck and welcome to the insanity! You are hereby required to post pics due to request for advice!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 09:50 AM
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Good luck and welcome to the gang. Get in touch with me, there are a few of us around KC area.


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 10:16 AM
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don't do a cashiers check. go to your bank and have them cut a bank draft. better than cash!

if they won't accept that thel them to "pack sand" and buy one somewhere else. i recommend salt lake. easy as pie on both of the cars i bought from them! they took a personal check!

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 10:37 AM
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I advise you to visit this thread:

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/show...&highlight=top

Note my experiences with them, in a similar situation.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 10:50 AM
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Bank Check is the same as a Cashiers Ck.
the only way to stop payment on a Cashiers or bank check is to claim fraud. Police report has to be filed...sometimes you have to put up a bond equal to the value of the check.

What I would do is like someone else said. Fax them a copy of the Cashiers check a few days before . That gives them plenty of time to call the bank and verify it's legitimacy.

For you to cancel a bank or cashiers check you would have to somehow claim fraud. If all the papers are signed there is no way to that. If they wont do this...buy the car somewhere else. They are being unreasonable.

Problem with a wire transfer is that they have your money and the one with the money has the power. They also have the car so they have double the power.


Edit...if it is a new car...what is the worry? I would do the bank transfer. Do you think an authorized Lotus dealer would steal your money?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyguyskt
don't do a cashiers check. go to your bank and have them cut a bank draft. better than cash!

if they won't accept that thel them to "pack sand" and buy one somewhere else. i recommend salt lake. easy as pie on both of the cars i bought from them! they took a personal check!

Tony Vaccaro
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 10:56 AM
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One other thought, you know there is a dealer in StL right? Only a couple hours from KC, why not deal with them?


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvacc
... Do you think an authorized Lotus dealer would steal your money?
i believe that there has been one instance of that happening. don't remember the dealer but i spoke with the victim at a track day in april. the case was well on its way to court at the time.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 01:11 PM
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You're coming from Kansas City and your first experience driving your new Lotus is going to be in midtown Manhattan? That should be interesting. Good luck, depending on your experience driving in city traffic I'd recommend making a beeline for the Lincoln Tunnel. Visibility is not good in this car and you may find yourself cussing up a storm.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 01:21 PM
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I drove my car home without the items they promised, turned out to be a massive traffic day through Manhattan. I'm a decent city driver, but I had maybe 10 minutes driving experience on the elise before I was thrown into crazy cabbie land. I would definitely consider someone more local, and if you're making a trek, trek a little further and go to HRM IMO.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFutureSelfnMe
I'd recommend making a beeline for the Lincoln Tunnel.
OMG! Maybe up the Westside Drive to the GW, but not the tunnel.

Listen to DMA.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattG
Those payment terms are a little odd, but then I guess every dealer does things differently. When I bought my Elise in California, I paid with a personal check, no delays, no phone calls to the bank, the dealership just took that on the spot with no questions asked. It was the first car I'd bought from them, so it's not like they knew me or anything.

Also, my Elise, the third one delivered to this particular dealer (this was back in September '04), it had just over 50 miles on it, 52 I think. It was a little surprising, but I wanted the car badly and convinced myself that if it was more than just factory test miles, at least the warranty was there to protect me in case anything bad was done in those 52 miles. One important thing for you to watch for though, is when I bought my car there was a little slip of paper, quarter page or so, where the dealer wrote down info for the car to activate the warranty. On it, it said something along the lines of how the warranty would start on either the date the car was purchased, or when it reached some mileage less than my particular car had (25 I think?). All we had to do was ensure that the correct delivery mileage was stated on that particular form, if not then there could perhaps be some debate about when the warranty actually began.
I gave my sales guy a check when he delivered my Elise to my house 200+ miles away. Wire transfer? maybe really is to just hold your exact car during their $10K off sale?

My car was delivered with a grand total of 7miles on it so again .
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 01:31 PM
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Ohh, its the 10k off sale?? Well heck...all bets are off and you better wire that money son.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 02:01 PM
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manhattan is a center of sharp practices, new york.
the've probably had most of the scams tried there.
naturally, they are gunshy.

i bought my 2006 elise at The Connection in Miami.
flew in and picked it up.
til then, i had sat in ONE, never driven one.
had a great trip home, got acquainted with the car and lov it.

i did, however, send the cashier's check and it cleared before i picked the car up.
Michael, at The Connection, had EVERYTHING taken care of, and it was a great experience.
good luck on your new car.
sam

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFutureSelfnMe
You're coming from Kansas City and your first experience driving your new Lotus is going to be in midtown Manhattan? That should be interesting.
If you are picking up the car in a big city and driving it, I highly recommend that you read the Owner's Manual before you pick up the car. There are some interesting quirks to the car, and they are covered in the manual - much better to understand it ahead of time instead of trying to figure it out in traffic or a cross country trip.

Here's the thread on how to download a copy of the Owner's Manual: http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34395

PS: My car had 12 miles on it when delivered - but 50 is not unhead of...




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Last edited by TimMullen; 07-16-2007 at 02:28 PM.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 02:19 PM
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I bought my '05 Elise new sight unseen from a dealer in NJ and had it shipped to WI with no problems. Here are the details of the transaction. The car was new and discounted because it was old inventory (I bought it in March '06). The car had 12 miles on it not 50. I sent them a personal check for the car which held the car like a deposit and they held the car until the check cleared. There was no need or want for a cashier's check --they said (as others here have said) a cashier's check was no better for them and wiring money was not even mentioned. They mailed me a copy of the purchase agreement after receiving my check so I could check the amounts and VIN. During the wait for the check to clear, the shipping agent (Horseless Carriage) inspected the car for me with instructions to report anything damaged or odd. I also had input on the dealer from another ET reader in NJ. The inspection on the car came back clean and all the numbers matched. The check cleared and the car was delivered to my house 5 days later. All the paperwork (manufacturers certificate of origin, sales papers, owner's manual package, alarm code, etc.) was in the passenger side cubby or on the seat. I inspected the car along with the truck driver upon arrival for any new damage (none found). The only thing I would have done differently would be to have the paperwork mailed to me rather than sent with the car, but once the car was loaded into the truck the truck was locked. I had considered flying out to pick up the car in person and driving it home, but as others have said, I didn't want to try to drive an Elise home from there. Having the help of the inspection from the shipper (they don't want to ship damaged cars) and the other ET person helped me stay comfortable with the deal. It worked for me, but like most things in life, YMMV. Good luck with your purchase and I hope everything goes well for you.
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