Buying a New Car?
Written by Shonagh Walker: 19-October-2015
Wise up before you buy your next new car
Have you ever felt that you’re not taken seriously when you step into a car yard? Yep, me too. In fact, the first time I was able to buy a real, brand spanking new car, I was almost bullied into buying a second hand car that I found completely uncomfortable and ugly, denied the test drive of the car I wanted to buy and ended up buying a demo model car at full retail price. Don’t get me wrong, I love my car and 15 years on, it runs as steadily as the day I drove it home, but my memories of being treated badly, and duped into paying retail for what is essentially a second hand car, remain fresh in my mind.
If only I had known David Lye, founder of Private Fleet, who acts as a middle man between you and the dealership, helping you to find the right car at the right price.
“Women do feel that they’re not taken seriously when going into a car yard,” laments David. “It is a very blokey environment and women can often feel intimidated and pressured.”
“Even couples notice it,” he adds. “The salesperson will chat to the man about the motor, fuel consumption and tyre tread and then spend a few minutes asking the female what colour she would prefer.”
“It turns what should be a really exciting experience into a horrible one, which you will remember for years to come. It really can take the shine off the new car.”
According to David, there are some common sales traps that car buyer’s can easily fall into. Below, we’ve listed them, and David has offered some easy ways to avoid them, ensuring your car buying experience is as seamless and special as it should be.
1. THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB
You’ve spotted it online. It’s the car of your dreams, at a price you can’t believe. You race into the dealership, only to find that it’s been sold already.
“A car will be often be advertised at an unbelievably cheap price,” explains David. “It’s frequently a hugely popular make and model, and it will be advertised to stand out more than any other car in the dealership.”
“By the time you arrive to find it sold, you’re caught in the dealership web, where you can be coerced into test-driving any of the other more expensive cars in the lot.”
“The worst case scenario is that the car was never there – the ad was simply a lure to get you in. At best, there was only one car in the lot at that price and the dealer was willing to take the loss on its sale, as he can make it up by getting people into the yard and buying the pricier vehicles.”
2. Beware the Demo Models
This is where I went wrong. “People get really excited about buying ex-demos,” explains David. “They naturally assume the price will be discounted well beyond that of a brand new car. This may often happen, but it doesn’t make up for the fact that you are buying a used car.”
Even if the car only has 2000kilomters on it, the amount of drivers it has had to make up that number should never be discounted.
“The average test drive is around five to 10kilomters”, says David, “and each one is a big workout on the car; testing acceleration and brakes. If the car has driven 2000 kilometers, that means it has had around 200 people giving it that workout. It can take a toll.”
“People also tend to compromise on demo models,” explains David. “It might be your second choice in colour, or have features that don’t really interest you. Sometimes it is worth paying that little bit more for the new car you really want.”
3. Be Realistic about Trade-ins
“People often think the car they are trading in is worth more than it really is. They look online to compare, but these prices advertised are not necessarily what they sell for. It tends to always be a lot less than average advertised price.”
“It’s also imperative to remember that if you are trading it in, you will be getting a wholesale price, which then goes through to auctions and the car yard makes a small profit. There is a huge gulf between wholesale and retail.”
Moral of the story? It might be worth your while selling your old car yourself, to recoup the extra funds.
4. Avoid Options and Accessories
“You don’t necessarily need to get roof racks and tow bars on your new car when you purchase it, and it is in fact cheaper if you don’t,” stresses David.
“You won’t pay the taxes that are lumbered on new car accessories, such as GSTand Stamp Duty, which can be five per cent. If it is a luxury car over $60,000 you’ll have to pay 33% extra tax on each of those accessories.”
“You can buy extras brand new from an accessory workshop and they can fit for you in a matter of a couple of hours,” recommends David. “It will likely be a lot cheaper. Getting it done at the dealership itself is probably not the most cost effective way.”
5. Don’t go it alone
“Don’t go into the lion’s den alone,” warns David. There are car brokers, such as private fleet, whose sole job is to work on your behalf to find the right car and then negotiate the price.
“We work with car yards regularly and buy a great deal of automobiles through them, so we have better bargaining power and we can help you choose a car that is best suited to your lifestyle.”
“We can often secure discounts that are not otherwise offered to the general public. WE charge a one-off membership fee of $178 to research several vehicles and go into bat for you, saving you time, stress and effort.”
For more information: www.privatefleet.com.au