Do not fall for these old tricks car dealers try
Shopping for a car can be a tiresome exercise. Not only is the choice of cars out there really vast these days, but you also have to deal with crafty car salesmen who will go out on a limb to grab your hard-earned cash. From the moment you walk into a car showroom, you are fair game to the car salesman, especially if you do so towards the end of the month, when targets have to be met.
Another thing you would notice is that it’s usually salespersons dealing with relatively slow-moving cars who are really willing to turn on the charm, desperate to make a sale. You will also find salespersons of cars such as the Maruti Swift or Hyundai Verna, which are fast-moving or command long waiting periods actually being less pushy, and will only often speak when spoken to.
CarToq, through its community of buyers, has cobbled together a few “lies” or “half-truths” that some car dealers will tell you, just to get you to seal the deal faster. Don’t fall for these old tricks.
Lie #1: “Prices are going up in…”
Ok, to be fair, this is not always a lie. Sometimes, there are impending price hikes that will come into effect in a few days. However, 75% of the time, it’s just a ploy to get you to take a decision faster. And this is more so, if it’s the end of the month and the dealer wants to quickly close a sale to make up his targets. Don’t fall for this ruse. Check with experts, peers and other dealers of the car brand for the best deal.
Lie #2: “The waiting period is only two weeks…”
More often than not dealers will not give you the accurate delivery date for your car. To get you interested in the deal, they will shorten the time-frame and have you believe that your car will be with you sooner than you expect. It’s only after you have booked the vehicle that you will actually realize that it isn’t likely to come to you on the promised delivery date. Some companies such as Mahindra, now have an online order tracking system, where you can log in and see the status of your booking, and get a better idea of the actual delivery date. Always cross check actual waiting periods with fellow buyers and owners if possible.
Lie #3: “You have to install accessories at the dealer only…”
Most dealers make money out of selling car accessories to you. They will dangle veiled threats such as “voiding the warranty” if accessories are installed elsewhere. Some dealers are so notorious that they may even include some “standard accessories” in your car’s invoice and you will end up paying for them if you don’t keep a sharp eye out. These include things like floor mats and scuff plates, which are much cheaper outside. Even when it comes to music systems, you get much better range and choice in the aftermarket, and these days most come with snap on connectors which won’t void your car’s warranty in any way, as the original wiring is not touched. Make a list of accessories you want and contact a good accessories dealer, who can give you the best prices.
Dealers will even try to make money of things like number plates – where they will charge you a much higher price for the plate. You can always refuse and get your own plates made outside, but it will have to be installed on the car before you leave the showroom. Sometimes, dealers will throw in a couple of accessories in lieu of discounts for you – these are actually good deals.
Lie #4: “Insurance has to be bought from the dealer only…”
Comprehensive car insurance is mandatory. And most insurance companies tie up with dealers to try and force customers to buy only a particular brand of insurance, which usually commands higher premiums. If you have the time and patience, you can strike much better deals outside and get your car insured through an insurer of your choice. It also helps to transfer your no-claim bonus, if you have one, from your earlier car to your new car.
Lie #5: “Buy an extended warranty as soon as you buy the car…”
This is another money-spinning tactic that dealers use. You have more than enough time to decide on whether you want an extended warranty, because the regular warranty you get with a car often lasts for about two years. Although buying an extended warranty is a good idea, you don’t need to buy it from your dealer at the time of buying the car. You can buy it later and also bargain for it. Or if you aren’t likely to continue servicing the car through authorized dealers after the warranty expires, you need not buy an extended warranty. Often a dealer will tell you that an extended warranty covers everything just like the original warranty does, but that’s not true. Many running parts that see wear and tear such as clutch, brakes and electrical components are not often covered.
Lie #6: “You will get very good resale value…”
In trying to push a particular variant or model of car, dealers will often tell you that the car will fetch you good resale value after three years. But do your own research on how that car is perceived in the market and what a second-hand model will sell for. Don’t allow yourself to be pushed to buy a higher or more expensive variant of a car, just for a few additional features, as in the second-hand market car prices don’t differ too much between variants.
Lie #7: “This color won’t be available for a while, buy this other color now…”
Dealers will sometimes try to palm off inventory that they have in their stockyard to you. For instance, if you wanted a black car and they have a silver car in their inventory that hasn’t been sold, they will try to get you to buy the car off them. Don’t allow yourself to be swayed so easily, unless the dealer is willing to sweeten the deal for you.
Got any other tips for the CarToq community? Do tell us in the comments below.