Car buying Part 3

So you want to buy a new car continued…


So your “friend” the salesperson is now trying to close the deal.


They will be pushing you to buy using the Manufacturers or Dealers finance packages because it has business benefits for them too. Often Manufacturers will sweeten the deal by giving you money towards your finance deposit, but look carefully as the type of finance may not suit you and some are costly to terminate early. I personally would not buy on a PCP deal, this is where you have a deposit, a low monthly payment then at the end the option to hand the car back, buy it or part exchange it to clear the balloon payment.  Finance is a whole different topic and so I won’t dwell on it here.


They know you will play hardball so the first deal they put to you won’t be the best. Reject this graciously either by just rejecting it or saying how much more you would like the deal sweetened. Doing a Dom Littlewood and asking for “flaps and mats” doesn’t cut much mustard these days, so go for price. New cars are priced on the road but used ones you can sometimes negotiate Road Tax to be included, usually you will get what I call a “splash” of fuel as most dealers don’t like giving it away. You often see FREE servicing included in a deal but consider its value if you are a low mileage user it may not be worth as much to you, likewise if you do high miles you may find the exclusions for mileage and time devalue its benefit to you.

Expect a bit of toing and frowing until you get to the price you want to pay, it can get frustrating as like I said earlier a lot of salespeople have to go through some kind of deal controller, unless you are buying from a smaller outfit which is owned by the salesperson. If you can’t agree on a deal then don’t be afraid to walk away, this can cause panic in a main dealer and you get one final salvo especially near to end of month targets. Having walked away my advice would be to move on from it, I personally don’t like follow up calls asking if I’ve had a think about it or to offer me a better deal SORRY you had your chance!.


Assuming you have agreed to make a purchase it’s not over for you yet. You will be asked about “extras” as this is a further source of profit for the dealer and some of it an FCA requirement of the dealer. A most common up sell is GAP  insurance this covers you for the difference between insurance payout and the market value of your car especially good if you have finance. This can be expensive through a dealer so if you are intending on buying on finance it maybe worth shopping around first. You will be offered a paint and upholstery treatment too, you can strike a deal on this cost usually or get it thrown in as the true cost to the dealer is obviously less than its retail price to you. From what I have seen they often are not applied very well or dare I say it sometimes not at all and most consumers don’t even remember they have it as there are caveats to its upkeep and warranty. My advice would be to take your vehicle to a car detailer then you are going to get a better application and more likely to remember you have it. Another add on is wheel and tyre insurance, don’t bother!. Extended warranties on used cars will be offered but check the cover and any clauses as it may not suit your needs.


Having survived the purchasing you will eventually be back to collect your car. Again you will be in a process don’t worry its a way of making it as hassle free as possible, but I would insist on a look at the car before signing anything or paying. If it’s a new car the salesperson has to show you all the details on the car as a requirement of the manufacturer he and the garage will get a bonus for it especially if you rate the experience 10 out of 10 on feedback. It’s an exciting time but try to listen especially about the controls as modern cars can be complicated with some controls for your safety and some for your enjoyment.


That’s it off you drive.


Any good salesperson will ring you in within 48hrs to make sure everything is ok.

Car buying Part 2

So you want to buy a new car continued…


Now you have got everything in order with your part exchange you are off to the dealership or used car pitch.

Before you go shopping decide how you wish to fund your purchase. Are you paying cash or finance? If you are a cash buyer consider a 0% finance deal and leave your money in the bank or a 50/50 deal where you pay half now and half later, often with little or no interest. If you need finance, and lets face it it’s a big purchase, look at how cheap you can source the funds yourself and effectively be a cash buyer.

The minute you set foot into sales territory expect to be met / intercepted  / jumped on / pounced on by a sales person. Unless you have arrived with a specific vehicle in mind make sure you are not rushed and, if you prefer, given time to browse. It can feel quite intimidating for some people, it’s just that salespeople are generally paid on commission and need to get to the “prey”, sorry customer before their colleagues. If you ask to browse don’t be surprised to be approached again by someone else, you must be firm but polite about wanting space. If you are ready to know more about a car ask for the keys to see inside, and never be afraid to ask for the car to be moved so that you may get a better look.

Now you are in the grasp of a salesperson you are in their process-driven sales pitch.

Some places will try to get you to test drive the vehicle before pricing your part exchange, some will insist on pricing it first. If you have no part exchange it’s reasonable for them to want you to test drive it before offering a discount as it’s irrelevant if you don’t like the drive.

Remember it’s about how much you need to pay to own your next car.  The part exchange valuation and price of the car you are buying can be manipulated however you like but it’s the difference between the two which is the important bit.


You are likely to be asked for your Driving Licence to be checked for offences, etc. before being taken on a test drive, due to insurance and safety of the staff. This is to be expected these days so make sure you have it with you.

For the safety of the staff most places have a set test route, therefore if you want to drive a specific road or take the car home to see if it fits your garage for example it’s only fair to make the salesperson aware of this before you set off so they can advise the person in charge.

A good salesperson will always drive the car first to explain some of the controls / features you may not be familiar with and to show how the car drives. Most people know very quickly if they like the car but if you feel you need a longer drive you should ask for it – after all it’s an expensive purchase.

After the test drive is when the work really starts.

Assuming you have now got a price for your part exchange, you can negotiate a deal.

It’s always a good idea during the buying process to “make friends” with the salesperson as they are only human and annoying them makes them less likely to be accommodating. If they like you they will fight your corner with the person controlling the sales process (I say this as most places have a Sales Manager/Controller looking after the sales profits). From the salesperson all the way up the chain the process is target driven so everyone wants you to buy – use this to your advantage.