Car-buy­ing tips to drive home

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Lifestyle - Gwyn­neth Hay­wood

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion has con­cerns about the value of add-ons be­ing sold to peo­ple buy­ing ve­hi­cles in WA.

There’s been an in­crease in com­plaints about the ex­tras sold at the point of sale such as ex­tended war­ranties, rust­proof­ing, paint and fab­ric pro­tec­tion, and win­dow tint­ing.

Costs may be rolled into a fi­nance deal, which can be very costly in the long run when you are pay­ing in­ter­est on the to­tal amount ow­ing.

Be­fore agree­ing to after-sales prod­ucts, make your­self aware of the gen­eral mar­ket price for the items of­fered. You might also ask your­self why the man­u­fac­turer is not pro­vid­ing cer­tain after-sales prod­ucts with their ve­hi­cle.

In most cases, the an­swer is the man­u­fac­turer does not be­lieve the ve­hi­cle re­quires these ad­di­tions.

In our ex­pe­ri­ence, con­sumers often sign up to buy things that will only add cost, will not in­crease the value of the car, and may not de­liver what they think it might.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber you do not have to buy things such as win­dow tint, seat fab­ric pro­tec­tion, body paint pro­tec­tion or rust pre­ven­ter at the time you buy a ve­hi­cle. In some cases we have heard of elec­tronic rust de­vices still be­ing sold de­spite these de­vices be­ing found to have no ef­fect.

After-mar­ket prod­ucts can be bought at a later date if needed.

An­other con­sid­er­a­tion is whether adding cer­tain items not rec­om­mended by the man­u­fac­turer can jeop­ar­dise the war­ranty.

Se­ri­ously con­sider the value of an ex­tended war­ranty be­ing of­fered. It is likely the pro­tec­tions are al­ready avail­able to you free un­der the Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law. With new ve­hi­cles, the nor­mal man­u­fac­turer’s war­ranty com­bined with ACL cover is usu­ally more than suf­fi­cient.

Be mind­ful some ex­tended war­ranties of­fered for sale have re­stric­tions and con­di­tions you must com­ply with. For ex­am­ple, ex­tended war­ranties often re­quire spe­cific ser­vic­ing sched­ules that must be car­ried out by an au­tho­rised deal­er­ship or agent, leav­ing you with­out the choice of ser­vic­ing the ve­hi­cle else­where for less money.

Car deal­ers may of­fer what ap­pears to be a good fi­nance deal but you should do some loan com­par­isons be­fore set­tling.

We also rec­om­mend you get mul­ti­ple quotes be­fore ac­cept­ing any in­sur­ance of­fered. A re­cent Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties and In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion re­view found the in­sur­ance add-on mar­ket­place was fail­ing con­sumers, with pre­mi­ums paid and com­mis­sion for car deal­ers well in ex­cess of the pay­outs for pol­i­cy­hold­ers.

Car buy­ers need to re­sist high pres­sure tac­tics and say “no” to ex­pen­sive, poor-value, com­plex in­sur­ance poli­cies in re­la­tion to their credit or poli­cies to cover items such as tyres and rims.

Ques­tion the value of the add-ons of­fered and con­sider if they are re­ally needed.

Re­mem­ber that “ex­tras” added to the orig­i­nal price of the ve­hi­cle add to the fi­nanc­ing costs and stamp duty paid on the to­tal cost.

Shop around for the best in­ter­est rate for car loans.

Think twice about any in­sur­ance pol­icy of­fered, read the fine print and get other quotes.

Gen­eral in­for­ma­tion about buy­ing cars is avail­able on the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion web­site com­merce.wa.gov.au/mo­tor ve­hi­cles, and in­quiries can be made by email­ing con­sumer@ com­merce.wa.gov.au or by call­ing 1300 30 40 54.

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