Playing the game at the dealership27 February 2018
If you’ve ever bought a new car from a dealership you’ll probably know the routine. Financing the new car is of course very important, and our advice is to shop around for a loan before you go into the dealership. Feel free to give us a call here at Ezilend and we can get your finance sorted, so you can go into the car dealership with finance ready to roll.
Although finance is pretty important, there’s more to it than that (and read our previous article on this here – Keep your wits about you before taking up dealership finance). In fact it’s a game that plays out along very similar lines, irrespective of which car you’re interested in.
Phase one is of course to do your research. Don’t just read the reviews, have a good look on all of the car sales sites and see what prices various dealers are putting on the car you’re after. That way you can make sure that when you choose the dealer/s to go into, you have a good idea what you should be paying. And if you’re planning on trading in your current vehicle, do the same research on it too, so you know if you’re being offered the right trade-in value.
Phase two is walking into the dealership. The process is very much choreographed once you’re in and it’s a psychological battle as much as anything. Of course today the internet gives the buyer a lot more power – you can research every last detail, but don’t underestimate the lure of that brand spanking shiny new car sitting right in front of you, literally begging you to pull out your hard-earned on the spot. Resist the temptation. Let the car salesman (or just as likely saleswoman) go through the process. There may be various offers and incentives put your way – just remember the research you did, and ideally visit a few dealerships for the brand you’re after to make sure you’re getting the best deal. This does take a bit of time though – expect to spend 1-2 hours in each dealership.
Car dealerships rely on the initial excitement and a well-honed strategy of starting with a high price and coming down, often linked into a ‘promotion’, which normally ends the day after you go in. You may often get a ‘this price is only valid today’. This is very rarely true, however – if you are able to forward plan your purchase – it’s a great idea to buy either at the end of the month, or the quarter, or best of all at the end of the financial year. This is when stock must get moved on.
Should you get the extras?
Once you have identified the dealer offering the best price, and the car is definitely the one you want, you will be shuffled off to see the last person – the person who will talk to you about all of the essential ‘add-ons’ you should take with your new car. For many dealerships the margin on the car is very small, so they’re interested in extra income from add-ons and, of course, from the income from the ongoing service schedule you will need to keep to, to make sure your warranty remains valid (a new car warranty is not in fact invalidated if you take your car elsewhere to be serviced, although it can complicate matters should you make a claim).
Add-ons generally fall into three categories…
- Paint protection
- Upholstery protection
- Tinted windows
…and sometimes a service to fix those occasional dints and scratches that it’s generally not worth claiming on insurance. Are these extras worth the money? There’s no clear answer to this. Here are the pros and cons…
- If you get the add-ons at the dealership you just take the car back in if there are ever any problems related to that add-on
- It’s all done for you before you pick up the car – no need to take it in later to have the work done
- If you are financing the car it’s easy to add the extra cost into the entire car loan
- You can be fairly certain that the work will be done to a reasonably high standard – the car brand will not want to be associated with any problems relating to the add-on down the line
- the add-on may not be necessary – it is a new car after all
- getting add-ons done at point of sale at the dealership can be more expensive that getting the same job done at an external company
To an extent the dealership relies on the fact that you probably don’t know about latest paint protection technologies, or how much it would cost to get the same treatment elsewhere, so again… a bit of research goes a long way.
Once you have – quite literally – negotiated your way through the buying process, don’t forget the other stuff you need to organise just before you pick up the car… make sure you’ve swapped your insurance over to the new car, and don’t forget to take your toll tag out of your old car and inform the toll company of your change of vehicle. Then you can relax, and enjoy your new wheels!