Car dealers are adept at shrouding buyers under layers of confusion with finance, fees and weekly/monthly prices – to the point where it’s easy to lose sight of the actual price of a vehicle.
Car dealers in Auckland also make considerable margin on selling you finance offers, along with the vehicle, and will have the upper hand with dictating finance terms if they also have the vehicle you want.
The easiest way to reduce or stop all of these issues, which can cost you money, is to get finance approved before you even walk into a dealership. Even if you just get pre approval, this will reduce the ability of the car dealer to make extra margin from you and give you an advantage in the buying process. If you know for certain how much you can afford, you can make a reasonable offer for a car in line with this and stick to it. You will be able to negotiate on one price only, the final price of the car. This transparency will help you get a better deal. Even if your car dealer has a better finance rate, you will be armed with this knowledge and able to make a better decision for your budget.
However if you do go with dealer financing, make sure your negotiating revolves around the price of the car and not monthly or weekly payments which can be used to hide the true cost, which may have added fees. It terms of getting the best finance, make sure you know your credit score so you have some reasonably accurate expectations, then shop around before entering a dealership. With your loan approval or pre approval in hand, you will then have the confidence to shop for your car of choice and be able to present your offers with clarity to dealers. For more information on the next stage check out our article on how to negotiate with car dealers.
Written by a former New Zealand car dealer now working in automotive finance in Auckland. (Who loves her dogs.)
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