Women and cars: I know what you may think…for some men at least, this may not be the perfect combination. But believe it or not – when I buy a used car, I really want to know what I’m buying. And although I’m no expert, I read through scores of magazines and internet pages to find out anything I can about different types of engines and other technical details. Bhp, acceleration, cylinders, torque – I know what I want and when I decide to spend several thousands of euros on a car, I expect to get precisely what I want. However, most sellers, whether they are selling their car on a private or commercial basis, just don’t take me seriously. On the contrary, they often believe that I buy anything they try to sell me.
“Don’t worry – this car is absolutely accident-free,” is one of the statements that I heard on pretty much every stop during my extensive tour through the various car dealerships in the region.
Which is why I decided to take the test: What does a used car dealer say when I take him at his word? So what I did was to bring my coating thickness meter, a practical little device that tells you where somebody is trying to hide something: By measuring the thickness of the car paint accurately to the µm, you discover without a shred of doubt if anyone has tried to cover up any damage that he would rather not care to mention. And the next time I heard the word “accident-free” – right on cue – I pulled my coating thickness meter out of my pocket. “Are you sure?” – and suddenly I have the full attention of my car dealer. And the same guy who had just been telling me about cupholders and makeup mirrors, all of a sudden sees me with completely different eyes. On eye level, so to speak. Information on technical details, which I would normally have had to worm out of him, suddenly comes bubbling from his lips.
And even though in my case the measurement with the coating thickness meter confirmed the story of the used yet accident-free car – with this small but professional measuring device I earned the respect of my car dealer.
And the end of the story? I’ve got a sassy new car – a second-hand one, of course – that has never been involved in an accident, but has both a cupholder and a makeup mirror; a car dealer, who has hopefully learned a lesson for life. And I’ve got my coating thickness meter, which keeps protecting me both from malicious deception and from negligent underestimation.
What more could one possibly want?