Tuesday, October 14, 2014

9 Mistakes that Pre-owned Car Buyers Make

Walking in a car lot or showroom could be a battle and the result is either walking away with your dream car or getting ripped off by the car dealer. Its best be prepared and know some of the mistakes that car buyers often commit that car dealers are also eyeing for. Below are the nine common errors most car buyers fail to realize when buying a used or brand new car.

Not researching about important specs
Some car buyers simply trust the words of their car dealer or the information given by the car manufacturer regarding some of the important data such as gas mileage, crash rating and horsepower. Check at least two credible sources confirming these data before buying a specific car model. Car forums also serve as a good research center, especially that previously owned a similar unit.

Window sticker is the “final price”
The window sticker in front of a brand new car is what you call the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Dealer discounts and manufacturer’s rebates can be slashed from these MSRPs and should not be the negotiating price of the unit. Check beforehand if the brand of the car has promos, to ensure you don’t get ripped off.

Getting caught on the “buy today” bait
You often hear it: promo, discount or rebate ends today. Don’t get sucked in simply because you want to get that price off, if you buy today syndrome. You came to the dealer lot or showroom to purchase a competitive car that can accommodate your needs. Fact is, only one out of five customers return to a showroom after they left, and this is all just to increase their conversions.
Other types of this bait are the “freebies” from an umbrella to oil changes, you name it. There is also a good chance that discount may increase tomorrow, especially if they simply are forced to grab more sales.

Getting emotionally attached to a car
You walked in a used car lot to check out, say, fully researched Toyota Vios you personally researched and you have your budget set. But when you saw the stylish Mazda 3- you get so emotionally attached and bought the latter only to find out you spend more. The lesson, you buy a car because of its function and how it fits into your life, before form (unless of course you have wads to show).
Not getting a mechanic check the car
Some car owners feel that owning their first car have made them a car guru; and thus, neglecting to bring a professional or at least a knowledgeable friend to have a second opinion. Bringing a mechanic in the shop of a used car dealer could make him vulnerable and a little bit honest. Plus, your mechanic friend may spot problems that the naked eye may find difficulty finding, which is worth his service, especially when you are buying a high-end car.

Paying on a monthly basis (and looking the part)
If there is any customer that car dealers prey into, it’s the guy who wants to pay via a financing option (especially loans). Whether you are buying brand new or used cars, dealers would always first approach you with “easy payment terms.” If you could buy it for a whole price, then go. If not, the worst you could do is look the part for someone willing to pay monthly and not having the opportunity to haggle (in case of buying a used car).

Bowing to the “finance man”
There are three types of dealers in a car lot or showroom. The dealer (sells you a car), the delivery coordinator (adds dealer options) and the highest paid, most skillful of them all- the finance manager. Just be wary of this guy and scrutinize every word he says.
Also, read the fine print of every document he hands to you. Often, these guys rip you off by offering things like extended warranties, theft protection, etc. in the promise that you will get a “better rate.”

Buying all the dealer options
Tire covers, mags, dual climate air conditioning, leather upholsteries, headrests DVD player, and more are just some of the equipments your dealers (a.k.a. Delivery Coordinator) would try to get you hooked. There is nothing wrong in getting some of these nifty add-ons, you must be warned that this would also cost you a few ten thousand of pesos or more. Choose only what you really need, not because the dealer said your car is incomplete without any of these.

Not performing a test drive
Either the car buyer was so enticed by the chit-chat with the dealer or he has completely forgotten to do so. Often, a car buyer would simply assume that he has driven this type of car (say a sedan) and knows how they perform on the streets. A test drive gives you a chance to fully assess the car’s handling and how it performs on curves. This is the last phase of your review before signing those papers and should never be skipped.

About Carmudi Philippines
Carmudi Philippines is a comprehensive online car portal that displays the listings of brand new and used cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles from trusted vehicle dealers across the country. The website also has a journal page, which contains useful tips and resources covering the automotive industry.

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