What to Look for When Picking up a Brand New Car?


I bought a brand new Mazda CX-5 on 02/01/2021 (Build Date Dec 2020 and Compliance Date Jan 2021) and the dealership said they will deliver the car around 28/01/2021. But the dealership told us last week that the car is now ready to be picked but when I received the tax invoice it says Build Date Dec 2020 and Compliance Date Dec 2020. So clearly the dealership was trying to be fraudulent and they were trying to deliver an old car to us. Anyway I brought this to their attention and they said the wrong compliance date got printed by mistake in the tax invoice (which I don't believe). Anyway, they have told us to wait until Feb 2021 now so that they can deliver the car to us which is Build Date Dec 2020 and Compliance Date Jan 2021.

I simply don't believe the dealership anymore and I just don't want to get cheated again. All I want to know from you guys is now what things I should look for when I will pick up the car in Feb 2021. I just want what was promised to us. I am not looking to complaint about them yet. And I don't know anyway how the complaint will help us.

I don't think I can cancel the entire purchase now otherwise I would have even considered to do this.

Thank you.


  • How long are you intendeding on keeping the car?

    At the end of the day it makes bugger all difference.

    It's the same MY which is really all you should care about.

    So clearly the dealership was trying to be fraudulent

    Most definitely /s

    • +12 votes

      When they sell you the car - “compliance date is 2021 so it’s a 2021 car.”

      When you sell the car “build date is 2020 so it’s a 2020 car.”

  • Wait till you physically see the build date stamped on the vehicle before you decide your next course of action

  • What's the big deal? It's one month

    The car was still built when they told you, the compliance date is just when it was 'rubber stamped' that it was checked and fit for Australian standards…

    • The car was still built when they told you, the compliance date is just when it was 'rubber stamped' that it was checked and fit for Australian standards…


  • +25 votes

    So clearly the dealership was trying to be fraudulent and they were trying to deliver an old car to us.

    Whoaaaaah, calm down Captain Corruption, it's only a month, with the vehicle being Dec-2020 plated it's highly unlikely there's any financial benefit for the dealer.

    • -20 votes

      Being a 2020 instead of 2021 CX-5 (even by 1 month) means it will be harder for the dealer to move without a big discount.

      Redbook says a 2017 CX-5 is worth at least $5000 less than a 2018 CX-5, so this car is probably worth at least $5000 less.

      • so this car is probably worth at least $5000 less.

        LOL for one month difference on the compliance date?

        The build date is more important but even 1 month difference on the build date wouldn't change the price by $5k.

        • +39 votes

          I have owned a few December built vehicles. I think they're great value (to buy) but when it comes to selling them, every buyer looks at the year.

  • Are you for real? The compliance date means bugger all if you will keep the car for more than a couple of years.

    It’s still the same build date, same model same specs etc. once you go to sell that’s the important stuff not when someone stamped it as received into Aus.

    When you ordered the car on the Second day of the year they would have had a specific vehicle in mind that was ready to go, already stamped etc.

  • I would be more worried about be ripped off when you take it for a service!

  • So you prefer to wait than use your new car early because of that 1 month difference? I would be very happy if have been told my car is ready for pick up.

  • Why is the same spec, same MY vehicle any better with an 01/21 Compliance?


  • I had a similar experience when i picked up my vw two years ago. it was a limited edition run and was expecting the car to be delivered in Feb, somehow delivered in Dec.

    Found a 5 mm paint chip in the door. Was too excited to drive it and dealer said they will handle it, so I stupidly accepted delivery. Long story short, I was without a car for 6 weeks whilst it was in-and-out of the repair shop, and the car has been repaired even though i didn't cause the damage. Where was the dealer during the 6 weeks? No where to be found, no apology for the inconvenience and head office brushed off my complaint.

    Dealers are your best friend until you've paid your deposit.

    • to answer your original question, get a copy of the delivery report and re-do the check. most of the time the pre-delivery people will pick up things before it hits the showroom for delivery, however if you really want to get into it:

      • check all panels for chips and dents (cars get moved and driven around alot during the loading and shipping process). pay attention to the doors.
      • steering wheel and drivers seat for tears, rips and nicks in the leather
      • km's on clock, whilst google says between 50-300kms is ok, my personal view is that anything over 15kms is too much
      • spare tire is there
      • any optional extras that you ordered

      tbh, most things will be covered under warranty anyways, however to get back at their untrustworthiness:

      1. head office normally conducts survey's about your experience once you've taken delivery, you can destroy them in the survey
      2. google review
      3. take your car to get serviced at another dealer
      • and nicks in the leather

        Let's not go down this rabbit hole

      • Why is anything over 15km too much?
        I have never seen a new car on display at a dealer with the odometer under 20km. Is there something I'm missing?

        • Some km are incurred just getting the Vehicle off the Boat, to the Dealer yard and on Dealer Delivery.

          If you ordered a Car it is reasonable to expect this but at some point you have to wonder if the Car has been used as a Demo and should be sold as such.

          What that number is and whether it bothers you is individual.

          The number could be 42. lol

        • Other than moving it between showroom and getting washed it should be put on the back of a truck to be moved around.
          You pay a premium for a 'New Car' if its got more than 50km's someone probably had a demo in it.

          saying that its a bit more subjective with regards to total cost of the car a Hyundai Getz new might have up to 50km.

          A new BMW or Merc better have less than 1kms or its not new IMO

          • @Gumster: Even I'll say 1km is unrealistic. They get driven out of the factory, onto trucks, trains, RORO etc. I've been involved in the purchase of dozens of cars. Easy 75% of them have been under 10km, most between 6 and 9, least that I can recall is 4. I'd be happy with under 20 but as spackbace said, in WA they're driven at least 25km (which IMO is unreasonable, no way they should be driven that distance, they should be shipped).

          • @Gumster: Well, I have heard that some car brands(VW anecdotally) allow the dealer to reset the odometer once or twice before it hits 100km to keep the feeling like new.

            I have no idea if that is true or not but it doesn't seem farfetched.

            If you get a new car with 1km or under, ^^^seems like the most likely scenario considering how these cars are transported.

            I would be more concerned with how the cars are treated by the transport companies taking them off the ship. I would be surprised if the performance cars don't get redlined before it reaches the dealer. Even soft limiters are easily deactivated.

      • km's on clock, whilst google says between 50-300kms is ok, my personal view is that anything over 15kms is too much

        Holy crap I hope people don't believe a new car should be under 15kms.

        For starters, here in WA the vehicles are driven from the wharf to Kewdale, a roughly 25km run

        • I've never had a car over 21km and most have been under 10km. If there's a reason for more that's fine but it needs to be explained and shown that other new cars match.

          • @apsilon: What in particular would you be concerned about if your new car was delivered with say 40km?

            • @MS Paint: Why it was delivered with 40km. Probably used for a test drive or two and I'm not buying an ex demo for new prices. If on the other hand I'd ordered it with things like tint and other accessories I know it gets driven to those places so the km would make sense. It's relative.

        • Dealers can reset the delivery km’s anyway can’t they?

    • How many ks did they end racking on your car?

  • You shouldn't trust a dealership or for that matter anyone trying to sell you something, especially a significant purchase. They're not your friends despite the act. That said, same build date different compliance makes little difference.

    Anyway, what to look for - essentially damage. Scuffs and scratches inside and out and ordered accessories fitted (if anything was thrown in expect the "not in stock but it'll be fitted at first service" line). Check km match. Check log book and manual are there. Basic roadworthy (lights, tyres etc), check windows and reverse sensors/camera works. Check if there's been any recent recalls and ensure they've been done. Check the VIN on your paperwork matches the actual vehicle, make sure you're getting two keys, tank is full if you included that, remember to organise your insurance.

  • Same thing happened to me at Mazda. Though I took it anyway as it's only one month. Maybe Mazda have a bug in their system where the compliance date is one month off.

    When you get the car, check the km's on the odometer and make sure it's reasonable.

  • How much did you pay for the car?

  • Don’t forget the paint thickness gauge :)

  • I simply don't believe the dealership anymore

    Why did you in the first place? They are only there to sell you a car and make the most profit they can, they are not your friend and never will be.

    However it's still a brand new car and unless you intend on selling it in the next few years you are overthinking the issue, it'll make SFA depreciation difference when making your next purchase.

    • They are only there to sell you a car and make the most profit they can, they are not your friend and never will be.

      While this is true, it can only be to a point. The dealer needs to maintain a decent number of customers. That’s only going to happen if they provide decent service.

  • +10 votes

    trying to deliver an old car

    old ??

    Dec 2020 is last month…

  • Check VIN on Tax Invoice #1 and #2, see if they're the same vehicle.

    Tax Invoice normally gets done up by the Business Manager, who has nothing to do with stock control.

    And stress less.

  • Is this about the fifth or sixth post you've created about your little adventure to get a car? And you still haven't even got your hands on it yet! 🤣

    I'd understand if you were trying to choose a wife, but… this is a car. Also, unintentional mistakes sometimes happen, so please don't just go around throwing words like "fraudulent" and "cheat" at the drop of a hat. It really doesn't help anyone and just makes you sound like a douche.

  • Sorry to make your purchase a little bit less fulfilling but you are buying an outdated CX5, given a refreshed and updated model is only around the corner…..


  • How much and for what model? Curious about 2021 pricing compared to 2020

  • Not worth kicking up a fuss unless you can get a 2021 build date. Compliance date is just the month it clears customs.

  • Check the colour. Make sure it’s the colour you ordered. They are trying to rip you off!


  • Hey mate, since you care so much about 1 month difference, here are some suggestions for checking new car at handover

    • check the air pressure in all 5 tyres is bang on 32psi. If it's 1 psi less defienty lodge a dispute

    • check if the mirror have been adjusted greater than factory angle. If it has, you have the right to get a full refund

    • check the windscreen wiper washer water is exactly on Max level indicator. Anything less you are definitely scammed. I would jump on Today Tonight, tomorrow.

    • bring a thermometer (can easily get from the Mazda reception) and check the heated seat temperature set on High on both front seats. If the heat varies by more than 36 degrees it definitely has Covid 19 traces.

  • OP asks a question, doesn't like the answer.

  • You should be getting what you agreed on and paid for, no more no less. Never trust car dealerships.

  • confused, in both cases you are getting a Dec 2020 car. Compliance date is irrelevant. talk about making a mountain out of a molehill, could understand if the build date was different.

  • You live in Victoria, right?

  • I've never gotten a brand new car in the same month as the compliance date. They'd have to really rush it for you to get it.

    I see absolutely no difference between a Dec and Jan compliance date. That's the date when the car is checked to be inline with AU regulations and stuff.

    If the car was built in Dec 2020, then the car has just arrived in Aus. It really makes no difference. If it makes you sleep at night, then negotiate, but I don't think you are gonna get anything out of it.

    What to check during inspection? The plate that says build date and compliance date in the engine bay. Make sure what you are getting is what they promised. And also look for imperfections and damages to the panels and wheels, just your usual inspection stuff.

  • Melodrama much! "Fraudulent" "Lost Trust". If I was a business, I would hate customers like you.

  • Make sure you can fit roof racks on it.
    Heck bring your kayak to make sure it mounts as well.