Why Are There Car Salesmen Out There Trying to Weasel Every Penny Out of You?
Other than buying a house, your car is probably your most valuable asset. Shopping for this asset is probably one of the tougher things in life. Even with research, the car buying experience can be a frustrating one. There are many things still wrong with the automobile industry, making it difficult for a buyer to feel comfortable with the process. All things being equal, here are some changes that would help “Joe Car Buyer” out:
Make car warranties less confusing. There are a variety of extended warranties available to you when purchasing a car from a dealership. They are one of the biggest profit-producing items for the seller. In addition to adding hundreds or even thousands of dollars on to your vehicle’s price tag, they aren’t worth much down the line. The fine print of these “make you sleep easy at night because your car is always taken care of” security blankets have a variety of clauses that can void your coverage. Most include things like requiring your car to be serviced every time at the dealership (which is far more expensive than your mechanic down the street) and keeping all your records. Clauses like those can surprise the heck out of an owner down the line when something does go wrong with the car. The transmission goes out and the bill is going to be $2,200. You think, “that’s fine, I have my trusty handy-dandy warranty to cover it.” Well, you probably don’t. If the dealership wants to be a stickler about all the fine print, you must have all your service record, and that means ALL of them. You can’t be late on any of your 3,000 mile oil changes or your other required maintenance. The services must be performed at the dealership. If any of these conditions aren’t met, they can choose not to cover any of the repairs. A friend of mine had a transmission go out while the vehicle was under warranty. Same thing happened – there was a clause in the warranty he did not meet. He had a quote from a shop in town for $2,300 to fix it. The dealership said they would cover some of the cost ($1,000) if the repairs were done in-house. The quote from the dealership to repair the transmission was $3,450. It would end up costing him more for the dealership to honor part of the warranty. That is just one scenario that could rear its ugly head in regards to car warranties, click over here.
The shopping experience at the dealership needs to improve. Carmax is on the right track with their friendly “no-haggle” policy. Most of their prices are in the neighborhood of reasonable and you can browse the ones closest to Kelley Blue Book for the best deal. Most dealerships still operate under the old “hardball” approach with slick salesmen and frivolous “extras” put into the contract to pad their bottom line. Consumers as a whole are getting smarter and it’s only a matter of time before more dealership create a softer environment to increase traffic and ultimately sales.
The best thing that could be addressed about the car buying experience is to offer Internet-direct ordering. Most people can research cars online, test-drive a few at a dealership and know what make, model and features they want. For new cars, the makers need to offer direct ordering where a consumer can save money by cutting out the middle man. Select your colors and features, approve the “direct and unpadded” price, get your financing verified and you’re done. You have the option to pick the car up at a few different locations or you can pay to have it delivered. But that process is way too simple for buying a vehicle. In order to get a new car you must haggle with a salesman, get charged more than you should and walk away with a car that isn’t exactly what you want.