Text by Robert McNaught
Buying a vehicle can be a stressful and time-consuming experience, but it doesn’t have to be.
Most of the stress that comes from buying vehicles is a result of “information overload”. There seem to be a million different vehicles to choose from these days and most can be equipped in a number of different ways.
As well, you have different brands competing against each other. The Toyota sales rep tells you that his or her vehicle is the best, while the Pontiac sales rep insists that his/her vehicle is the best. The Dodge guys tell you that Ford makes garbage and the Ford guys tell you that Dodge makes garbage (incidentally, they’re both right) and you don’t know what to make of it all.
Here are a few suggestions that might help relieve some of the anxiety that seems to surround shopping for a vehicle.
Do Your Homework. All this requires is to make a list of a few needs and wants for your next vehicle. What do you want your vehicle to be able to do for you? Take some time to think clearly about just how you want to use your vehicle before you head out to look for one. It seems like a simple idea but most people don’t take the time to do it. Do you need extra room for the kid’s hockey equipment? Is it added comfort you’re after? Maybe you just want something that will get you from point A to point B. This is the information that you want to take with you to the dealership.
Take Your Time. Many customers are in such a hurry to get in and out of the dealership that they spend all of their time looking at vehicles in the hopes that they will find the right one in record time and make a quick escape. Taking your time will actually save you time in the long run.
Don’t Forget about Service. On average, most people spend at least three to four hours with a salesperson when purchasing a car. This includes selecting a vehicle, test-driving it, arranging the paperwork, and going over other details. One of the most important (and most often overlooked) aspects of a vehicle purchase is the quality of care you will receive from your dealer after you purchase their car. Find out up front and include it as part of your buying criteria so you won’t be disappointed later.
Utilize Your Salesperson. Once you get to the dealership find a salesperson that you feel comfortable with and sit down with them for five or ten minutes before you start to look at vehicles. This is a step that is skipped by customers and salespeople alike. Quite often your salesperson will be able to suggest something that you may not have thought of otherwise. Give these people a chance to do their jobs and make some informed suggestions; you may be surprised at the amount of time saved when you both exchange the right information with each other.