Outside of a house, for most of us a new vehicle is the next major purchase, replacing your current motor vehicle or buying your very first car can be fun.
It helps to do your homework before you enter the market and before you enter a dealership.
Now you can do a lot of research from the comfort of your own home.
Every car manufacturer has a comprehensive website, listing all their makes and models – with specifications, technical information, servicing requirements, warranties and even guidelines on drive away pricing and finance offers.
There are also websites which will compare various manufacturer’s vehicles, for example comparing a VW Polo to a Suzuki Swift or a Mitsubishi Mirage etc, or comparing an AWD (all-wheel drive) to a 4WD (four-wheel drive).
My advice is to always deal with the logic first, and that is, which vehicle best suits YOUR wants and needs. Most of us require a motor vehicle in our life to achieve our day to day life commitments, but there are ‘different strokes for different folks’ so to speak, so make sure you are choosing wisely.
Once you have narrowed down a few options of vehicle choice, take a test drive of each one and compare the drive – we are still dealing with the logic right now.
This is really important, as once you are ready to move on to pricing and packages, this is where the emotion can come into it.
If after the test drive you find the vehicle ticks all of your boxes, then move to purchasing negotiations. Here it is important to remember that it is not all about the purchase price, there are other very important factors to consider, like if you have a trade-in, the finance options, servicing prices and intervals, warranties, convenience offers, such as complimentary courtesy vehicles while your vehicle is getting serviced or is off the road etc. In other words, the total cost of ownership.
Most importantly you need to feel comfortable with not only the sales consultant who is helping you, but also the dealership, if you don’t, then leave and find a different dealership.
And remember, don’t be afraid to ask questions, as my Nanna would always say ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ (I didn’t always get though).
Debbie Clark is the Dealer Principal at Nepean Motor Group. Visit www.nepeanmotorgroup.com.au.