10 questions to ask your dealer before buying a new car
Here are 10 questions your dealer will be glad to answer and will help you find the information you need.
1- Do you have a car that meets my needs?
This is a broad question but a good place to start because it means you have to define your own requirements. Do you need big towing capacity or space for a large family? Can a child seat be comfortably installed in the car you’re considering? These questions may not be top-of-mind right now, but remember you’ll have your vehicle for many years.
2- Is the vehicle rear-wheel or all-wheel drive?
The type of transmission may not seem important at first. But when you’re driving in winter, you may want the traction offered by all-wheel drive. You may find that rear-wheel drive (where power is shifted to the back wheels), usually a feature of sports cars, doesn’t suit your driving style.
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3- What is the car’s fuel consumption?
At a time when gas prices go up and down, but mostly up, the gas mileage is an important piece of information. It could influence your decision because if it’s too high, you’ll spend a lot on gas and blow your budget. The rating also lets you judge the impact of your car on the environment.
4- How long is the car under warranty?
Each manufacturer offers a basic warranty whose length varies in terms of time or distance. In some cases, the time period is shorter while the mileage is unlimited. But most of the time there are limits on both. It‘s important to know the details to avoid unpleasant surprises.
5- What exactly is covered by the warranty?
We know how long it is, but we still need know what will be repaired under warranty if there’s breakdown. Ask questions. Warranties include items ranging from the powertrain to corrosion.
6- What is the maintenance program?
It’s a simple question that will help you calculate your budget. Whether oil changes are required every 5,000 km or every 15,000 km will significantly affect costs.
7- Are there fees beyond the sticker price?
Some provinces require dealers to include freight and preparation costs in the advertised price— others don’t. Some dealers pass an air conditioner tax along to consumers but not all. So make sure you have a figure in writing that shows the total price of the vehicle before signing the deal. It will be easier to navigate your way through the process.
8- Are there any discounts other than those listed?
Loyalty or graduate discounts are often available but not well publicized. Ask the question, and you may save a few hundred dollars.
9- What are the standard and optional safety technologies?
Safety technology is becoming a bigger feature of new vehicles. Many electronic or physical systems, backup cameras and air bags, for example, have become mandatory or standard accessories, while others are optional or even unavailable. Ask for them— your family will be safer.
10- Does the car already have some kilometres on the odometer?
Stupid question? Not really. Some cars are used for demonstration purposes and have a few hundred kilometres on the odometer at the time of purchase. They’re brand new but considered demonstration models. Ask your dealer if they have such vehicles. Sometimes they’re offered at a substantial discount!
Once you have answers to all these questions, you’ll be better equipped to make a selection, and you’ll find yourself with a new car that truly meets your needs.