For most buyers, visits to car dealerships are known to almost always end up being painful experiences. For a less unpleasant experience, you need to prepare adequately before heading off to the dealership. Here are some pointers every shopper should know well before they visit a dealer.
Buy what appreciates and lease whatever depreciates
Although that low monthly payment dragging out over an entire 84-month period might seem attractive on face value, it is usually a trap, and you will most likely get burned in the end. Once your newly acquired Lexus is out of warranty, repair costs might consume whatever value it has remaining. Leasing provides the most viable solution and might ensure your payments remain manageable while allowing you to get a new car every few years. Today, most leases include standard maintenance, and all you may have to pay is depreciation. At times you are better off buying a used car, of course, if you must buy.
Dealers are not charities
Financing companies work with car dealers because it is quite profitable for them, and car dealerships recommend specific options because it makes them money. Finding your own loan before approaching a dealership or at least researching the rates your bank can offer so that you can compare your findings against what the dealer is offering is, therefore, advisable.
Beware of the extended service contract
Most service contracts offered are actually just a profit making scheme by car dealers and typically issued by external vendors operating like insurance companies. As such, you will rarely get your value back. To capitalize on their premium rates when it comes to labor, car dealerships will most likely try to convince you to service through a preferred care center exclusively. Regardless of how important the salesperson makes it sound, it is vital to remember that you do not need to buy the service contract. You have the final say on where to service your car and should not let anyone tell you otherwise.
Knowledge is power
When dealers say they cannot show you some information pertinent to the Lexus you want to buy, it’s because they do not want to and not because they cannot. Expect for the personal service records of the previous owner, dealers can show you everything else regarding the vehicle including holdback and invoice price. The knowledge gained by getting this information can be invaluable, meaning if you will have to harass your salesperson, so be it.
A good example is Pay 310, a line on General Motor invoices solely for holdback, which is a percentage charge of the price intended to help car dealers defray the expenses associated with advertising and marketing. Buyers who knew to look for this line usually asked for the invoice and haggled over it, saving hundreds of dollars.