Don’t Buy a Car Without Asking These Questions First

Don’t Buy a Car Without Asking These Questions First

One thing that’s pretty synonymous with EOFY is car sales. Every year, car brands whack hefty discounts on their range of models in an effort to attract customers after a solid deal on their new ride.

But whether or not you’re shopping the EOFY sales, it’s always worth knowing your way around car sales and whether or not you’re landing a good deal when purchasing.

For that reason, I chatted with Richard Dicello, Director of Motors at Autotrader Group and Malcolm Flynn, Editor of CarsGuide. Each of these vehicle pros ran me through their top tips in mastering the art of shopping for a car.

First thing’s first, what kind of questions should you be asking when shopping for a car?

If you want to ensure you’re getting the right car and the best price, you’ll need to get comfortable asking the right questions.

Flynn shared that it’s important that you dig in on the following:

  • What are the standard technology and safety features of the vehicle?
  • What are the on-road costs and are there any promotional deals?
  • What is the vehicle’s warranty and service costs?
  • What are the key advantages the vehicle has over alternative models? Be on the lookout for disadvantages also.

In addition to that, he stressed the importance of you asking yourself whether the car suits your lifestyle. As an example, he asked “Do your child seats fit? Can you fit a pram in the boot?” Think clearly about what you need and it should help you narrow down your choices.

Dicello added that when it comes to second-hand cars, it’s imperative that you “request the full history of the vehicle including servicing and accident history”.

“Check for completion [of services] and that frequency matches manufacturer recommendations,” he said.

Other important inquiries to make, according to Dicello, would be asking “what the vehicle has been used for,” comparing the clocked kilometres to its age and assessing “whether it will meet your long-term goals for a vehicle”.

car buy

When it comes to negotiating price, knowledge is power

On this topic, Dicello has a few pieces of advice.

First, have a discussion “with your dealer about what you’re looking for,” he said. He shared that forming a relationship with a dealer can be key to ensuring you’re getting the best vehicle.

“…they can do the hard work for you by liaising with their networks to understand the best stock available. They also know better than anyone the promotional deals that will save their customers the most money, so don’t be afraid to ask,” he said.

Second, he pointed to external research. Go in knowing what kinds of prices are reasonable, and which models fit your list of wants.

RedBook is a popular resource here. And Dicello suggests “browsing listings on classified sites such as the Autotrader platform” to gain context on what is available for how much. CarsGuide also has a heap of information on assorted models, pricing and reviews.

When is the best time of year to buy?

Well, the End of the Financial Year (EOFY) is a popular one because, as Dicello shared, it “signals that brands will soon be making way for new model year stock. It’s a great time to investigate buying a vehicle as you may get a competitive deal on a vehicle”.

In addition to that, however, the NRMA states that the end of the month and end of the calendar year are also often great times to land a deal because dealers are likely to be keen to get models out the door at that point.

Like with any major life choice, be sure to spend some time doing your research and chances are you’ll end up with a sweet new ride that you’ll be pretty chuffed about.

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