Buying A New Car
From time to time I get invited to go along with someone to buy a new car. Why? Because some sales people have a special talent to apply pressure in order to get the sale.
Sales are important to the dealership, they keep the wheels running right…
So here is what I would do:
Research the car of your choice, and I mean research it like you’re going to sell this car yourself, get onto Mr Google and search all about the car:
- Look for engine options
- Look for so called fuel economy statements
- Does it cost more for metallic colors
- When you go to the dealer, do they have this model on the floor
- Search Mr Google about resale value
- Work out what accessories you might want, like window tinting and floor mats
If we work out what we want before we get to the dealer, then less tricks from the circus. A have nothing against the dealers accept when they work in packs and surround you like its their last meal.
I’m not convinced that getting finance from the dealer is a good move, instead shop around first and start with your bank. You never know, your bank might actually be better than the dealer when it comes to finance. Yes, are you thinking what I’m thinking? ‘A bank being better?’ Hey, come on, nothing wrong with dreaming.
If you have you finance pre-arranged, that one hoop to jump through.
Please don’t do what so many have regretted. Which means don’t drive out of the dealership in your brand new car without insurance. Same as above, get the insurance workout before you drive out of the dealer.
Within the dealership there are many people walking around and they all need to be paid. So, if you do the hard work, you will not need to pay for the extras.
For some reason when a dealer sells floor mats and window tinting they are dipped in gold or silver. I have even had a salesman tell me, that if we don’t buy headlamp covers, the headlamps will explode, if impacted by stone. These examples that make me wonder why a dealer principal allow such sales technics to go on, but go on they do.
If I wanted floor mats I’d be either search on e-bay, and or going to Repco/SuperCheap etc
This is another maze that you may need to know, when it comes to servicing. You can get your local mechanic to carry out the service and you will not loose your warranty. Don’t take my word for it, look up the consumer law in your state. It will tell you that you don’t have to get your vehicle serviced at the dealer to maintain the warranty.
Now there’s a subject that I could write a book about. Some dealers may refer you on to another dealer in order to maintain their 120% labor rate efficiency. Oops! Did I just write a typo here? No its true, some dealers will try to achieve a labor rate efficiency of 120-140%. This can only be achieved by upselling the service add-ons, I’ll come back to this point.
When it comes to buying a motor vehicle you are placing trust into a dealer without knowing how your investment will be managed. Also you have a part to manage your second largest investment, the car.
Let me go a bit deeper here. To run a dealership the costs are enormous. Most dealers are on prime real-estate paying an absolute premium in rental and insurance, then all the staff required to run the dealership, then the stock required to sell per month. Any normal person would not own a dealership or until they workout the formula to make a profit.
A typical dealer must meet a sales quota set out by the OEM, and if they exceed that quota the OEM will provide a good monetary reason to keep up the good work.
When a car is sold by a dealer this means potential repeat business for the service department. So if the dealer makes 2K on the sale of a motor vehicle then they might make more than that in the service department.
Now here is an interesting thing. If your car plays up, you need to get this sorted ASAP. Dealers don’t make money on warranty repairs, the OEM will dictate the terms of a campaign repair, such as a recall or legitimate repair required such as a leaking rear main seal.
I need to bang on about this subject because it needs to be addressed. If your vehicle has a warranty issue and the 21 year old service manager says, ‘Sorry, have not heard of that issue before’ and you say, ‘That interesting, because there are many people with the same problem online.’
The best way to get a warranty issue sorted is create a formal email correspondents, as my wife says,’ If its not in writing it has not been said’
Emails are documents that will stand up in court. Not that you want to end up there, but if you need to, then you will have evidence that you have activated an issue in the warranty period and you want a resolution without cost.
Sorry to say there are many tricks in the trade. Delay to act on both parties is the main one. Don’t accept the answer, leave it for a few weeks and see how it goes. This gives the potential for the warranty to expire for you to be exposed for a costly repair outside the warranty period.
We buy a new car because we want the latest safety technology, as well as minimal expense along the way, believing that if something goes wrong then its covered by warranty. Right?
Its up to you to get issues rectified ASAP as any complacent delay may cost you dearly.
Coming back to the car servicing, this part is very important.
You take your vehicle in and guess what? You get a call from the service coordinator. Now, these people are on a bonus system and you need to know facts from fiction, truth from lies.
Lets say your car is in for a 10,000km service. At the dealership you are approached by a very nice service coordinator, the one that meets you like a dating service, or a lawyer turning on the charm to get your trust. WELL BEWARE, behind the sheeps clothing are some very sharp foxes teeth, trying to upsell some items you may not need. Here are those and I don’t have the full list but I will add them as time goes on.
List of so-called necessary items:
- Engine oil flush and or additive
Coolant flush and or additive
Interior deodorizer (Wow! that’s a new one)
These items above are the items that push the labor rate efficiency over the 100% to 140%
Stop, there is more. At this time we need to ask ourselves whom is doing the service. What? Ha, what do you mean? Well, you hope it’s a mechanic, right? What if you found out it was an overseas backpacker here for a few weeks or a first year apprentice, and the list goes on.
I can tell you with authority you don’t need an engine flush. The only time an engine flush is required is when the engine oil has been mixed or contaminated with water, or when the service department needs a bonus or a free trip overseas from the supplier of the additive company.
As a mechanic it frustrates me that people are being drawn into unnecessary items that make dealer service intervals more scary than rising power bills.
You however must be strong and say no to the unnecessary items with the knowledge they are not required upon normal service intervals.
By Darren Gow-Brown