Handling a Car Dealer – Tips to dealing with the dealer!
They say people would rather go to the dentist than the car dealer. Frankly speaking I can’t say I blame them. Going to the car dealership, whether to buy a car or service one, deals with 2 of your most precious commodities… Time and Money! My goal is to help consumers feel more at ease by understanding some of the truths about dealerships.
Myth: I can get a better deal if I buy through the internet department versus walking in the dealership.
Busted! Truth be told, there is no better or worse deal to be had. I’ve seen great deals be given to walk in customers and customers who inquire online equally. The Internet is a great place to get information about the car you are researching and the dealer you want to buy from. Doing preliminary research is a great way to cut down on your time at the dealership. Know your budget and what you can or are willing to spend on your new car.
Power Tip! When you start negotiating always start lower than what you are willing to spend… Your budget is your secret
Myth: I can get a better deal if I pay cash for a car.
Busted! Dealers are often more willing to give you a better deal on the selling price if they know you are financing. There are incentives for the dealership when we send business to the banks. In today’s current economy banks are offering very low interest rates, even on used cars, to people with great credit! Why not take advantage of a super low interest rate while keeping your hard earned cash in investments that can be earning you interest. I always ask my customers this question “Why spend your hard earned money on a depreciating asset?”… Just food for thought, but it is a question not many people consider.
Myth: Dealers will recommend services I don’t need.
Busted! Because consumers hold Dealers to a higher standard we take our recommendations to you very seriously. Typically dealers may recommend items that another shop or independent service station may reject as “needed”. Firstly, everyone’s opinion of “needed repairs” will vary person to person. But from the dealer perspective our job is to make sure your vehicle is taken care of to the highest possible degree. Sometimes we make recommendations based on time or mileage. For example, timing belts should be replaced every 5 years or 60,000 miles regardless of what their condition looks like to the naked eye. Many times internal damage can occur after that amount of time and that can leave you stranded. We would rather be safe than sorry in a case like that. Ask your service provider to organize the recommendations by urgency so you can plan your budget accordingly. Not all items have to be taken care of at the same time.
Power Tip! When you have recommendations from your shop ask them to prioritize the items recommended in the following category:
Urgent needed ASAP
Important but not Urgent
Good idea to keep car running longer
These are just a few tips for handling a car dealer to help you have a better understanding and some special tips that you can use to benefit you!
Lindsay Hauptman is the Customer Retention Manager at Larry Miller Toyota of Peoria and a SmartFem Expert on helping Arizona women shopping for a new or pre-owned Toyota.