Choosing a Car Dealership: Why Transparency Matters and How to Spot Marketing Gimmicks
When it comes to purchasing a car, there are two main types of dealerships you can visit: franchise dealerships and used car dealerships. Franchise dealerships are those affiliated with specific car brands, while used car dealerships carry a variety of pre-owned vehicles from different brands. While franchise dealerships may seem like the more obvious choice for purchasing a car, there are actually several advantages to choosing a used car dealership instead. Here are some of the top benefits of going to a used car dealership:
- More Variety
One of the biggest advantages of visiting a used car dealership is the wide range of vehicles available. Unlike franchise dealerships, which typically only carry cars from one or a few brands, used car dealerships offer a variety of makes and models. This means you have a greater chance of finding a car that perfectly fits your needs, preferences, and budget.
- Lower Prices
Another major advantage of going to a used car dealership is the lower prices. While franchise dealerships may offer newer models and the latest features, these often come with a hefty price tag. On the other hand, used car dealerships can offer great deals on pre-owned vehicles that still have plenty of life left in them. Plus, used car dealerships often offer financing options that can help make the car you want more affordable.
- Less Depreciation
When you buy a brand new car from a franchise dealership, it starts to lose value as soon as you drive it off the lot. This is known as depreciation, and it can be a major disadvantage for those who want to sell or trade in their car down the line. When you buy a used car from a dealership, however, it has already gone through its steepest depreciation period. This means you’ll likely lose less money if you decide to sell or trade in the car in the future.
- Expertise and Service
Used car dealerships often have experienced and knowledgeable staff who can help you find the perfect car for your needs. They can also provide valuable advice on financing options, as well as help you navigate the paperwork and legal requirements of purchasing a car. Additionally, many used car dealerships offer maintenance and repair services to help keep your car running smoothly for years to come.
- Certification and Quality Control
Many used car dealerships offer certified pre-owned vehicles that have gone through a thorough inspection and refurbishment process. This means you can have peace of mind knowing that the car you’re purchasing has been thoroughly vetted for safety and reliability. Additionally, used car dealerships often have their own quality control standards to ensure that every vehicle on the lot meets certain standards.
- No High-Pressure Sales Tactics
When you visit a franchise dealership, you may be subjected to high-pressure sales tactics designed to get you to purchase a car on the spot. This can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience, especially if you’re not quite ready to make a purchase. Used car dealerships, on the other hand, often operate in a no-pressure environment. Salespeople are typically more focused on helping you find the right car for your needs, rather than pushing you to make a purchase right away.
7. Beware of Zero Percent Interest Rates
One common marketing gimmick that some franchise dealerships use is the promise of zero percent interest rates on financing. This sounds like a fantastic deal, but the reality is often different. In many cases, the zero percent interest rate is only available to customers with excellent credit scores. Furthermore, there may be hidden fees or penalties that can offset the benefits of the zero percent interest rate. Some franchise dealerships may also use the promise of zero percent interest rates as a way to persuade customers to agree to a higher purchase price or to purchase additional add-ons that they don’t need.
8. Cash Purchase Fees
Another marketing gimmick that some franchise dealerships in Ontario use is charging more for customers who pay cash instead of those who finance their purchase. This is because the dealership earns a commission from the financing company for each loan that they originate. By charging more for cash purchases, the dealership is essentially trying to steer customers towards financing options that will earn them more money.
This practice can be particularly frustrating for customers who have saved up to pay for their car in cash, only to find out that they are being charged more than they would be if they had financed the purchase. It’s important to be aware of this practice and to ask the dealership about any additional fees or charges that may apply to cash purchases.
In contrast, used car dealerships often offer more transparent pricing and financing options. While they may not be able to offer zero percent interest rates, they can often provide competitive rates and more flexible financing terms. Additionally, used car dealerships may be more willing to work with customers who have less-than-perfect credit scores, making it easier for them to purchase the car they need at a price they can afford.
Ultimately, when deciding between a franchise dealership and a used car dealership, it’s important to consider all of the factors that are important to you, including pricing, financing options, and customer service. By doing your research and asking questions, you can make an informed decision and find the car that meets your needs at a price you can afford. Remember to read the fine print, ask about any additional fees or charges, and don’t let marketing gimmicks persuade you to agree to something you don’t need or can’t afford.
9. Positive Reputation
Finally, many used car dealerships have built up a positive reputation in their community. This is often due to their commitment to customer service, quality vehicles, and fair pricing. You can often find reviews and ratings of local used car dealerships online, giving you a better idea of their reputation before you even visit the lot.
In conclusion, while franchise dealerships certainly have their advantages, there are several compelling reasons to consider going to a used car dealership instead. From the wider variety of vehicles to the lower prices and less depreciation, there are plenty of benefits to buying a used car from a dealership.