First Gear English edition, Signing on the dotted line (Chapter 04)


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Everything you need to know about your first car.

Welcome to the wonderful world of wheels!
We know that every single person dreams of owning a car. It’s understandable: a car epitomises independence. Success. Stature. Mobility. The freedom to go your own way. But we also know that the decision to purchase a car can be fraught with challenges. What car do you buy? What can you afford? What about the servicing requirements? What safety features should you look out for? What about safety out on the road? These and many other important questions plague your mind. First Gear aims to address all these topics and many other essential issues associated with car ownership. We have canvassed the opinions of the world’s leading authorities and this book aims to give you independent, authoritative and utterly essential advice. We want to take the mystery and malaise out of car ownership, and replace it with easy to follow advice and tips… so that your road to car ownership isn’t filled with potholes! We trust that it will provide you with a stress-free introduction to the world of wheels.

Enjoy your first car; you’ve worked hard for it!

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First Gear English edition, Signing on the dotted line (Chapter 04)

  1. 1. CHAPTER 4: Signing on the dotted line eets your a vehicle that m anaged to find Once you’ve m alership, it’s tim e to start a trustworthy de about needs at the salesperson u should chat to financial negotiating. Yo to protect your rvice plans in order per work warranty and se to get all the pa tshell, you need interest. In a nu in order. We all know that you’re dying to get behind can save. If you learn how much others are the wheel and head out on the road – but paying for the car you want, you’ll know it’s very important to focus on all the immediately if the price you’re being details. quoted is competitive. “Do your research,” recommends Joseph Knowledge is power Cueter, operations manager for Ford’s First things first: you need to agree on a Customer Service Division, Asia Pacific and price. The more you know, the more you Africa. “By visiting chat rooms and reading 28  First Gear   First Gear  29 
  2. 2. u are s and blogs, yoonline car forum payinggoing to see whaand find a pr As we’ve alread t people are ice range.” y stressed, the sticker $5,000 ning th e window of price that’s ador The amount you be negotiable. showro om vehicles may s hat sort of sale should budget for Depending on w e m anufacturers ar incentives auto t bonuses car maintenance alers, and wha offering their de eir sales the dealers m ay be offering th over five years of erson may be willing to staff, the salesp cessories. ownership (if you lower the price or add ac s staff always have Remember, sale won’t have a service to achieve… and targets that they need e t to achieve thos they will do a lo or maintenance plan). targets. “Ask what kind of wiggle room is model, that’s a good indication that the 5 available,” Cueter advises. “Ask the salesperson might accept a lower price. dealer: ‘What can you do today to make Likewise, when car companies roll out me buy this vehicle?’ “ new models, dealers will often be Keep in mind that car sales operate in motivated to clear out existing cycles: there are high and low seasons. inventory to make room for the latest When sales in your market traditionally product line-up. drop off, such as during the Lunar Festival in China and Taiwan, Christmas As Jill discovered when she went car shopping, there is nothing wrong with Fast facts in Australia and Tet in Vietnam, dealers buying what is known as a “previous Do your research may be even more motivated than generation model”, especially if you can For more bargaining power, buy at usual to make a sale. get it at a great price. When car the end of the year or month There are other times when sales companies launch so-called “new” staff might be more willing to give models, they are generally one of two Read the fine print: don’t pay for customers a better deal. For example, things: a completely new car boasting accessories or services you don’t at the end of the month, when all sorts of fabulous new features need dealerships are trying to meet sales – known as a “new generation model” quotas and companies are eager to – or a “face-lifted model”, which has Make sure there are no out-of- post record monthly sales figures, you had moderate changes. In the case of pocket expenses for warranty- may have more leverage to negotiate. the latter, they do not offer huge covered repairs If you see lots of promotions and benefits over the models they are Compare the warranties offered rebates being offered for a particular replacing (much like many movie stars, with different models30  First Gear  First Gear  31  First Gear  31
  3. 3. and tell you the repair is free of charge? Or purchase but, in most markets, you must when you go in, do you have to fill out a pile purchase the extension before the initial of paperwork, pay for the repair out of your time period runs out. own pocket and then submit a claim to be The terms and prices of the warranty reimbursed under the warranty? Some agreements generally cannot be companies out there make you do that,” negotiated. But you can shop around and explains Cueter. “When you bring your compare the different warranty options vehicle into a Ford dealership for a offered for a variety of new vehicles. warranty-covered repair and provided the Consider the following example: one component you’re after is covered, you vehicle has a sticker price of USD 10,000, don’t have to pay anything up front and you and comes with a one-year bumper-to- don’t have to fill out lots of paperwork to bumper manufacturer’s warranty. The get the service you’re entitled to.” dealership will sell a three-year warranty The warranty period can be extended for extension for USD 3,000. Another vehicle an additional fee. Warranty extensions do has a sticker price of USD 12,500. It comes not have to be bought at the time of with a five-year warranty. Even though the they have just had a nip and a tuck here afraid to query any items on the invoice. and there). Jill opted for an older model Remember: you are the one with when she decided to invest in a nippy the power! hatchback because it had all the safety and technology benefits of the face-lifted Protect your investment model, but the exterior and interior styling Now that you’ve successfully negotiated a was slightly different. However, this did not purchase price, it’s time to think about how bother Jill one iota when she discovered best to protect your investment. All that she could knock 10 percent off the reputable manufacturers offer a warranty sticker price. with new car purchases. If you want to be the first one in your A good warranty offers complete town to drive a new model, you will pay for coverage and easy repairs at any dealership the privilege, and Jill decided that this with no out-of-pocket expenses for simply was not worthwhile. So, do as Jill warranty-covered repairs. Read the fine did, and buy a previous generation car. print carefully, as you would with any After you’ve agreed on a price with the warranty, to understand the terms and salesperson, check the invoice carefully for conditions exactly. hidden fees. Make sure you’re not paying “When you take your vehicle in for a for accessories or additional services that warranty repair, will the dealer just hand you don’t want, need or order. Don’t be you an invoice explaining what was fixed32  First Gear  First Gear  33 
  4. 4. The sticker price that’s adorningthe window of showroomvehicles may be negotiable. first car boasts a cheaper purchase price, schedule. You don’t need to fret about this; This really is a great way of ensuring that “If you buy a new car and intend to keep the second vehicle may be a better value just take your car to a franchised dealer your car is constantly in tip-top condition it for five years, you can buy a scheduled for money proposition when you factor in when its service is due – the professionals while never having to stress about breaking maintenance plan and lock in service at the warranty coverage. So weigh up all in the workshop will know precisely what the bank or cutting back on your today’s prices for parts and labour. This these factors before deciding which vehicle to do. entertainment budget. “It’s just like buying protects you from fluctuations in the cost to buy. The only snag, of course, is that it can be insurance,” Cueter says. “Pay a little today of oil and raw materials that could drive up Remember, for your warranty to remain expensive to service a car. One way to to avoid a big hurt later on.” the price of components,” explains Cueter. valid, you must maintain your vehicle and negate this expense is to sign up for a In addition to meeting warranty adhere to the servicing recommendations maintenance or service plan that will requirements, there are other benefits to of the manufacturer. For instance, the oil ensure that all the necessary work is buying a service plan up front. For instance, must be changed regularly, and all hoses, performed at a manufacturer-authorised you can avoid future price increases in belts and filters must be replaced on dealership free of charge. parts and lubricants.  34  First Gear   First Gear  35