By Alan Lourenco
Purchasing an automobile is an important decision… actually, it is a HUGE decision. Buying a car is more than likely your largest purchase outside of buying a home. You work hard for your money, you save when you can and ultimately, you find the need at some point to buy a car. It is important for you to be informed, knowledgeable and prepared to make that purchase.
When purchasing an automobile, there are two primary sources, person-to-person or through a licensed car dealership. When buying a car person-to-person, understand that the risk “may” be greater, as that person has no responsibility to guarantee the vehicle. Often, this is why the purchase price is less when buying a car directly from the owner. When buying a car from a dealer, there are so many additional options available to you; it is very important that you know how to benefit from each one.
Licensed car dealerships should offer services such as financing, warranties, GAP coverage, CARFAX, vehicle maintenance and vehicle registration services. All information should be provided upon request and it is your responsibility to ask for the information. Even if the dealership has all of these offers available to you, it is important for you to take the next step, which is to evaluate the people at the dealership, who they are, how many years they have been in business, their connection with the community and most important, their willingness to work with you and deliver the vehicle that you want.
There are many options when it comes to which vehicle, which dealership and even which salesperson you choose to work with. Understand that once the vehicle is purchased and delivered to you, it should not end the relationship. If you have questions regarding a feature of the car, questions on the warranty or if you have any issues with the vehicle, it is critical that you have a positive relationship with the dealer. If you have this positive relationship, a reputable dealer should be there to assist you with any question or issue you may have.
Many customers feel that once the vehicle is delivered, the sale is complete… this is NOT true. You need to maintain a relationship with the dealer, through service, repairs, general questions or referring other customers. This will provide a mutually beneficial relationship that will last for years.
One rule to remember: “The best price does not always equal the best experience.” Always search out the overall best “deal,” which includes not only price, but also how you are treated as a customer…this is YOUR money you are spending and a dealer with a good reputation will treat you with respect, listen to your needs and provide you the vehicle you want.
Keep car buying simple. Do your research, ask the dealer questions and make sure you are comfortable with not only the car, but also the people you are working with. This is your opportunity to get the car you want and build a long-lasting relationship.
This article was written by Alan Lourenco (president of DRT, Inc.). For more information, please call us at (203) 792-5160 or visit us at www.DRTCARS.com.