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.