Open up on hidden costs
BY VIRTUE of the jobdescription at carsGuide, you’d be right in thinking we get plenty of time to spend in many new cars.
It’s part of the job, driving, comparing and ultimately writing about what’s out there.
But when it comes to buying a new car, we’re in the same boat as most consumers.
I’ve just spent more than six months building a shortlist of preferred cars I’d like to have in the garage and was astonished by the plain indifference shown by some dealers to a genuine inquiry.
But that is not the real beef. The hidden costs are something of a revelation.
Apart from the expected rego and stamp-duty fees, one dealer wanted to charge $2995 for dealer delivery on a $40,000 car. Expensive for a quick wash and fitting the rego plates.
When pressed, I was told it was ‘‘negotiable’’. By how much couldn’t be fathomed. Nor could I get a breakdown from another dealer of what you get for the money.
I understand there are costs involved in preparing a new vehicle, but it’s still a grey area in the buying process.
When Denny Mooney, the former GM-Holden president and chairman, arrived here to take up his post in 2003 he was amazed to discover the dealer delivery fee, an impost he said was peculiar to the Australian market.
At the time he said that if he were a dealer he’d scrap it, figuring that an increase in showroom traffic and corresponding sales would more than compensate.
Rort may be too strong a word, but it hurts like an interest raterise and leaves a sour taste for the brand.
I accept that dealers are in business to make money but consumers, me included, would welcome greater transparency.
Dealer delivery charges: grey area in the buying process.