It can be very daunting walking in to a car dealership so we've asked our Dealer Principal, Tom Niederer, for his top ten tips to consider when researching and looking for a new, demo or used car.
1. Be prepared and do your research
- Before you walk into a dealership, know exactly what you want, remember that knowledge is power! Check car review sites like: Car Advice, Motoring, Cars Guide etc.
- Research the car that suits you, your lifestyle, your family requirements etc.
- Do you want to buy, lease or finance?
- Always check the dealership website for promotions and special offers.
2. Check reviews
- Check the dealership's reviews so you get a feel for the team and the culture.
- Check the bad reviews and how the dealership has responded to these comments; this alone can tell you a lot about a business's ethics and morals.
3. Be clear about your expectations.
- Let the dealership know exactly what you want, how much you want to pay and how much time you have to finalise the deal.
4. Keep the emotion out of it and stick to the plan
- Ensure you stick to what you have researched so you walk away with what you really want/need/can afford.
5. Take it for a test drive.
- Consider taking someone you trust with you as they may notice things that you may have missed.
- If you drive the car during the day, think about going back later and taking it for another test drive at night; does it still tick all the boxes?
- See if the dealership will agree to you having the car for a few hours/overnight so you can really see if it fits in with your lifestyle; do all family members like it, do you feel comfortable in it after a longer drive, is it fuel efficient etc.
6. Get a vehicle history report when buying a used car (or Personal Property Security Register).
- When buying a used car, make sure to receive a vehicle history report from a reputable source; you will need the registration or Vehicle Identification Number (usually found on the windshield) for this.
- You'll then learn the mileage history, who has owned the car, how many people have owned the car and its general life history.
- Ditch the deal if you're not satisfied with the report results - because, let's be honest, if your sales executive wasn't upfront about the state of the car then they don't have your best interests at heart anyway.
- If you don't ask the question, you'll never know the answer.
8. Be prepared on the financial front
- Determine ahead of time what your budget is.
- Remember that you will typically make payments for 3-5 years so, as best you can, try to ensure it's a payment you can commit to for the full term.
- Use a financial calculator such as the one on the Finance Ezi website and determine what you can afford; if your budget allows for an SUV, there's no point in looking at a Ferrari.
9. Express yourself.
- Share the love (or dislike) and write a review on sites like Facebook and Google. Help future car buyers to locate friendly dealerships in your city.