Questions you should ask your dealer
There’s nothing quite as intoxicating as buying a new car. Getting a waft of that new car smell when you open the door for the first time is exhilarating. But how can you be confident, when you drive off that dealership floor, that you got the best deal?
Charl Grobler, manager of marketing and product planning at Suzuki South Africa, has four years experience working as a dealer and twelve years in the industry. He gives pointers about the conversation you should have with a dealer about before signing those papers.
BEFORE YOU SIGN THE ORDER TO PURCHASE
How long has this car been in your stock?
If the car has been on the dealer floor for longer than two months, you’ve got room to negotiate price. The dealers get charged interest on cars on the floor for longer than that.
Can I get a breakdown of the ‘on the road’ service fees?
“These are easily padded - see what you’re really paying for,” says Charl.
What’s the settlement on my trade-in car going to be?
Charl explains, “It’s good to know up front where you stand financially. Is this deal even possible from your side?”
Does my car have genuine carpets?
“Believe me, you’ll want them. They’ll be branded, and they’re much higher quality,” says Charl. “They’re less likely to get caught in the pedals and are more expensive - for a reason.”
What accessory options do I have?
It’s easy to upgrade and get a roof rack, car seats or bluetooth! You just need to ask what options are available for your model.
What are the finance value-added products?
Ask in-depth questions about the benefit of features like extended warranties, top-up insurance, paint protection, and the availability of features like smash & grab windows.
AFTER YOU’VE SIGNED
Can I meet the head of the service department?
“Start this three-year relationship off on a good note by taking interest,” says Charl.
Who should I phone after hours if my car breaks down?
For example, Suzuki Auto Rescue uses the Automobile Association (AA), so you’d be better off calling the AA right off the bat.
Does the car have any hidden features?
You’d be surprised at some of the cool things your car can do!
What are the jacking points of my car?
Each car has different jacking points to lift the car up if there’s a flat tyre.
Where is my jack?
It’s a good idea to know where all these essentials are before you drive off.
Can I make an appointment to go through the car with you?
“When you take delivery, spend time at your dealership,” recommends Charl. “Set up an hour appointment with your dealer to go through the car thoroughly.” The salesman wants to explain all the car’s features - and most cars have hidden surprises and cool tricks - but people rush this part of the process.