Getting the best out of your car dealer – top 10 tips when you’re purchasing a brand new car

Tips for getting the best deal when you buy a brand new car from a dealer.

Published: 12th November 2012

1. GAP Insurance

GAP insurance is essential for anybody buying a brand new car as most comprehensive insurance policies will only cover you for the current market value of your car if it is written off or stolen. Brand new cars depreciate quicker than used cars and if your brand new car is written off then you could find yourself out of pocket. Car dealerships will try to sell you GAP insurance, but their policies aren’t good value for money. You can get cheaper insurance quotes from specialist GAP insurance companies.

2. Finance and Hire Purchase Options

Finance packages from car dealers can be very confusing for buyers and in a lot of cases you will be able to get a better quote elsewhere. We advise that you get a written finance quote from the dealer so you can take it away and compare it with alternative options.

If you opt for a Hire Purchase (HP) finance agreement that includes an agreed buyback value go through the term and conditions carefully as there could be restrictions on your car’s use. For example, the agreement might put a limit on your annual mileage and the penalties for going over can be quite high.

3. Car dealers holding onto your V5C certificate (logbook)

When you buy a car the dealer should give you the V5C certificate logbook, however when selling pre-registered cars some unscrupulous dealers will try to hold onto the V5C for up to six months for their own records. Ensure you receive your V5C when you take the car as there are legal implications to not having this document in your possession and it is needed to validate your car insurance policy.

4. Inflating the trade-in price of your old car

Be concerned if a dealer gives you a higher than expected trade-in price for your old car. Whilst it may seem like an attractive offer you will usually find that the price on your new purchase has also been exaggerated. When comparing offers from different dealers, it is advisable to do your sums and base your decision on the amount of money you’ll be paying once the trade-in has been taken into account.

5. General Warranty terms and conditions

While the warranty you get with a new car can seem like an attractive prospect, make sure you’re familiar with the terms and conditions. For example you may end up spending money you don’t need to for routine checks to ensure the warranty remains valid.

6. Tyre Warranties

Whilst these, and other policies like it can be well worth buying and save you a lot of expenses for tyre replacement and minor bodywork damage (see below), this can be another insurance extra where the dealer can overinflate the cost or not offer you the relevant cover. Make sure you buy from a reputable, specialist company and carefully look at the terms and conditions to make sure it is right for you.

7. Alloy Wheel Insurance

In addition to tyre warranties, your dealer could also offer you alloy wheel insurance. As with tyre and paint policies, whether you need this or not really depends on your use of the vehicle. If you do decide it’s something you would like cover for, again, look at all available providers before buying this insurance from the dealer. Specialist insurance providers will be able to offer you much more competitive quotes and comprehensive cover.

8. Hidden costs (or are the extras too good to be true?)

Watch out for any hidden costs, for example, check the price you have been quoted includes any delivery charges and first registration fee. Also it’s worth re-confirming that any extras you have requested are included in the quoted price.
When it comes to extras, watch out for supposedly “free” extra features. If during your negotiation process the dealer offers you high value optional extras for “free” this could indicate that the price you are paying overall perhaps isn’t the best value for money.

9. Paint protection

You want to keep your new car looking shiny and new for as long as possible, so the paint protection offered by the dealer might seem like a good idea. This is one extra we would advise you haggle to get thrown in for free.

10. Scratch and dent insurance

Scratch and dent insurance is another offering you may come across when buying a brand new car from a dealer. This cover protects against any costs incurred to you from repairs to dents and scratches. We advise you get quotes from external suppliers if you’re considering this protection for your car as they will often be much better cover, at a better price, than buying direct from the car dealer.

Click here to read more: Guides ALA Connect.

Published: 12th November 2012
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