Edmunds.com is a respected internet website that allows a consumer to research the details of automobiles prior to going and actually making a purchase. According to Edmunds.com (2012), it is not advisable for a consumer to just sign on the dotted line of the purchase contract without carefully reviewing it first. The “out-the-door” numbers should match up entirely with the various elements within the contract. These elements are called terms, which are defined by Colorado State University-Global Campus (2014) as the “elements of contracts that specify important matters, such as quantity, price, and time for performance.” While the numbers on the contract outlining the purchase price and possibly even the monthly payment total are important, these are certainly not the only details to pay attention to, as I found out one day a long time ago.
As a young female just off active duty with the military, I found myself in need of a dependable vehicle to get around with so that I would not have to borrow one of my parents’ cars anymore. One winter day I saw an ad in the local paper for a 1987 Honda Civic at a local dealership, so I went to take a look at it. Fortunately my father was able to go with me, as I was not skilled at such things and he proved to be very wise in the whole process. While test driving the vehicle, we asked questions about it and specifically asked whether it had air conditioning. The salesman pointed to the fan control and stated that it was the air conditioning control. Since it was cold outside, we did not test this information to ensure it was factual. We took his word for it.
After the test drive, we engaged in conversation about possibly purchasing the vehicle. This began the process of contract formation, which contains the elements of the offer, acceptance, and consideration. The offer creates the power of acceptance in another party and includes the agreement’s essential elements, which must be definite and certain. An acceptance must be a mirror image of the offer and the consideration is the bargained-for exchange. The car salesman presented the offer which included the price and the details of the vehicle, which included air conditioning. At first, it did not contain the verbiage specific to air conditioning, and my father stated that it needed to be included. This proved to be the valuable contribution he brought to the table.
After reading through the information, I agreed to the terms of the offer, including the loan details and repayment requirements, and signed on the dotted line. I left the dealership as the proud owner of a cute, little, blue Honda Civic. Consideration had taken place and the bargained-for...