Useful car buying tips

Useful car buying tips

Some simple tips to help make car buying safer and easier.

Useful car buying tips

Useful car buying tips - we get some tips from an industry professional.

Buying a car can be quite daunting and difficult and there are certainly mistakes that can be made.

We thought we would get some useful car buying tips from someone who works full-time in the car sales world - David Lye, founder of the car broking firm - Private Fleet.

David reckons there are five common mistakes that car buyers make;

1. The sacrificial lamb

This is when you see a heavily discounted car advertised online. It sounds great so you ring the dealer and arrange to come down and have a test-drive. However, when you get there, the car salesman tells you the car has just sold but not to worry as there are plenty of other options.

It is just a marketing ploy to trick you into coming to the dealership so they can talk you into buying a car.

2. Beware the ex-demo

It’s easy to assume that you will get great value buying a demo car but that’s not always the case.  Sure, it may be advertised at a 20% discount from retail but could you negotiate that or more on a brand new car?

Also, think hard – is that the exact configuration in terms of options and colours to be your perfect match or are you compromising and trying to convince yourself it is?

Lastly, the km – it only has 2,000 km which is nothing but, in terms of test-drives that could be 200+ different people giving it a workout.

3. Don’t think your trade-in is worth more than it is

It’s easy to hop online and see dozens of cars similar to yours for sale at a reasonable price. However remember this is the advertised price, not the sale price. These listings could have been there for months without even a nibble.

When you trade a car, you should expect the best possible wholesale price.  That’s the price a wholesaler pays – he then puts it through the auction for a used car dealer to buy, taking a cut along the way.

The used car dealer then has to transport it, get it fit for sale (detail, fix up a niggle here or there), finance it, advertise it, store it on his lot, pay a salesman to sell it, register it, cover the mandatory warranty and make a dollar himself.

All these steps mean there’s a bigger difference between wholesale and retail than you might think.

4. Consider buying options and accessories later

Aftermarket products may be a lot cheaper than through the dealer. Not only do dealers like to make a decent margin on them but often the branded products cost a lot more to start with.

Also, you’re likely to pay Stamp Duty (that can be up to 5%) and possible Luxury Car Tax (33% for cars valued over $61,884) on every dollar of accessories if you buy them with the car order.

5. Use a professional

You wouldn’t go out and buy or sell a car without speaking to a professional so why not do the same when dealing with the second biggest purchase you’re ever likely to make. It costs nothing to make an enquiry with a car broker and it could save you thousands, in money and hours of time.

Some good advice there from David Lye from Private Fleet. Do you have any other tips to share? Had a bad experience buying a car? We’d love to know. Leave your comments in the Disqus box below, or contact us directly via [email protected], or our Contact page.

About the author

Kate Richards

Kate has always had an interest in writing and cars and now as a key member of the Behind the Wheel website team she gets to spend her days consumed by both. Aside from being a contributor and an editor at Behind the Wheel, Kate enjoys driving her Lancer EVO and walking her beloved dog, Max!

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