News Flash: Brand-new Cars Come with Miles

2011 Chevrolet Volt exhibited at the 2010 Wash...

Image via Wikipedia

I was reading the Autoblog Green post this morning entitled “GM Drives your Volt before you do,” and it reminded me of a story one of my dealer friends told me a few years ago. A lady special ordered a new car from the factory. When she arrived at the dealership to pick up her new vehicle, she expected it to have zero miles on it. But it didn’t have zero miles on it (because, well, that’s virtually impossible). It had 10 or 11 miles on it. Not only was she was livid but she also caused a big scene in the dealership – all over a few measly miles.

I’m just going to break this down for you…if you buy a new car, the odometer will not read zero.

The manufacturer test drives new cars after they come off the assembly line in order to make sure that the engine and all systems are operating properly. Think of it like the final checkpoints that pilots go through before flying you and your beloved family to Hawaii.  You wouldn’t want them to skip that step to save some time, would you?

So, just remember that if you’re going to buy a new car at your local dealership, it is completely normal to have a few miles on it. When I bought my new car, it had 11 miles on it.  The only time you should be cautious is if the car has more upwards of 100-200 miles on it. That means the dealer or general manager have probably been driving the vehicle as a demo for a few weeks. If that’s the case, then you could have a little extra bargaining room.

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.