It’s End of Financial Year, the car ads are playing non-stop on the TV. All you hear on the radio is you can get a free this, thousands of extras, some free steak knives and we’ll even chuck in a free Esky full of cold tinnies. Well maybe not the last one, but I have seen a dealership give away a pallet of beer with every ute sold.
Regardless of the gimmick or advertising claim, you will pay for this somehow, somewhere, at some point. Since when have car dealers been known to be the caring, gentle, devoted souls who want to help you and your family’s motoring? Actually, they just want to make a profit to pay for the 5 star Fiji resort holidays and their next Rolex.
But are any of these gimmicks to lure you into buying really worth investigating or are you just falling for another trick to play on your emotions?
Here are the top six gimmicks to look out for:
1) $500 worth of free plastic accessories
It’s 2017, do you really need seat, headlight and bonnet protectors? These are items which cost nothing to produce, don’t add any value and don’t do anything. It’s not 1973, headlights are now made of polypropylene to make them safer in accidents and help reduce pedestrian injury, they haven’t been made from glass for twenty years.
Simply give these a wide berth, ask for the extra discount in lieu of the accessories.
Chasing up a discount rather than extra accessories means a lower price that translates into lower finance payments, which will make a bigger impact in the long run.
2) Free comprehensive insurance
Read the fine print on this one, as there can be some hidden traps. Do you get to pick the company so that you can keep your insurance rating or multi-policy discount? Is there a ceiling or limit in the insurance cost? More than likely. Is it limited to $1000 or $1200 per annum? If so, ask for a discount instead of the offer, a better deal is only a click away online. Geez, if a meerkat can find you a decent deal there is no reason why you can’t.
3) Free servicing
Similar to an apple that has been in the deep freeze at the supermarket for the last nine months, this seems great on the outside, but horrible on the inside.
Don’t fall for this one, the dealer simply wants you to come back and see them for the next three years in order to upsell items that probably don’t need to be done at horrendous prices. Ever been asked to replace your tyres at 30,000kms because one of the rears “might” not make it to the next service? Ever been asked to change your windscreen wipers at $85 a pop? This is how dealerships make money and lots of it; those Rolex’s don’t pay for themselves.
How much does a free service actually cost the dealership? Probably $150- $250, dependent on the size of the motor and car type. It always looks tempting just like the apples, but instead ask for the discount, the dealer costs these items out into the sale and purchase price. Once again, the car dealer isn’t here to be your friend, they’re here to make a buck or thousand from you.
Additionally, you can reduce your finance amount if you salary package on-road costs such as car servicing instead of building them into the final financed amount.
4) 0% Finance
I have written about this before, it seems to be the new way to sell the cars that no one wants. Do you ever see the popular car models giving money away below the RBA cash rate? Didn’t think so. Someone pays for this rate and it’s probably you. Don’t let a rate steer you into what car you buy, look at the quality, suitably and life cycle. Is the car at the end of its life cycle and about to be replaced by an update, yet you’re still paying full sticker price. Has the penny dropped yet? You’re paying the equivalent amount through the purchase price. Ultimately, you end up paying way too much for a car that should have been discounted heavily, a car that no one will want in three to five years’ time, your resale will take a topple. Put down the keys and walk away, no one will want a Renault, Citroen, small Nissan sedan or Ford hatchback. They didn’t want them before the headline rate, they won’t want them down the track. Take a deep breath and think, “hmmm, could I live with his car for the next seven to ten years?” Because that’s what will probably happen.
Don’t be fooled by a 0% finance offer as it usually has hidden conditions and by purchasing a less popular model you’ll ultimately lose out come resale time.
5) Drive and “Experience days”
I must admit these can seem fun and are normally centred towards the high-performance models and buyers, but they’re not worth the money they are sold to you at as extra value. The promise of hot laps with a race car driver around a race track showing the limits of the car, is code for three people and a third rate washed up ex V8 Supercar driver (that raced in the Konica Minolta development series, fourteen years ago) crammed into the base level performance model and driven at a moderate speed above the road limit whilst eating soggy sandwiches and lukewarm lemonade in the pits. As fleet manager, I get offers to go along to many of those “drive days”. Each calendar year there are only one or two out of the hundred or so that are offered to me that are actually worth it.
Take the discount and walk in the opposite direction, three sweating, balding, fat blokes and lukewarm lemonade is not on anyone’s fun list!
6) Free roadside assistance
It is a common mistake to think that you will receive actual roadside assistance. What you will receive is a tow truck that can do one of the following three things; put in five litres of fuel, jump start the car or tow it to the nearest workshop or mechanic. There is no knight in shining armour that is going to turn up like your state based motoring body such as NRMA or RACQ. These guys are the legends of the industry able to fix big problems in small bounds. They are able to fix everything from a dead battery, blown headlight globe and flat tyre to a vapour lock in an older car and still somehow carry it all in the back of the ute. Instead, with the free roadside assistance, you’ll receive is Tony the Towie and he isn’t going to fix the problem when you’re three hundreds kilometres west of Rockhampton.
Keep your car covered with the real providers and instead use this free roadside assistance deal as another opportunity to approach the dealer for an extra discount.
Also, keep in mind that roadside assistance can also be salary packaged, so don’t up your finance payments by building them into your amount financed.
All in all, what does it come down to? Ask for the extra discount and don’t be embarrassed. If you can‘t do it, get a professional (not your uncle) to do it for you instead, someone who knows the market and understands and has seen pricing trends over a period of time. Our staff are able to help you get those extra discounts that you may be too embarrassed to ask for. Just remember, the less you pay, the quicker YOU own your new car and not the bank!
When you chose to take out a Novated Lease on your next car with Salary Packaging Australia, we offer a service whereby we find the best deal from our large network of dealers. Reduce the pressure, give us a call on 1300 786 664 and allow us to use our buying power to do the negotiating for you.