Visiting a dealer’s Finance and Insurance office is usually the last excruciating step when buying a car. The F&I rep will go through an endless stack of documents to finalize the sale while attempting to sell as many pointless add-ons as possible.
Many of us know to avoid add-ons like pin striping, paint protection, and extended warranties since they are either overpriced or valueless — but we may be letting the worst offender of all slip by.
Car alarms seem like sensible choices, especially if they’re offered at a good price, but the alarm that many buy in the F&I office can barely be considered more than a dealer profit device. These alarms are often presented as add-ons to the factory alarm that are supposed to improve on the factory security system, but in reality are usually nothing more than a shock sensor and some hacked wires.
There’s been a slow, yet steady change in the automotive marketplace over the last eight years, and you, the consumer, have been the lobster sitting in the pot as the change has occurred. The market has gotten significantly worse for car buyers. The number of franchise and independent dealers has been reduced by almost half. And yet, those surviving dealers have had an unprecedented run of year-over-year growth since 2008.
But as that growth has slowed in 2016, car buyers find themselves paying more money for used cars than ever before. We know that the typical American household can’t afford the typical new car sold in America, but we may soon be approaching a day when that same household can’t afford the typical used car, either. In fact, according to NADA Data, the average used car transaction price in 2016 will crest $20,000 for the first time in history, and will be 59.1 percent of the average new car transaction price of $33,903.
What does all of this mean to you? That buying used may not be the smartest financial choice you can make. In fact, it might not be very smart at all.
If sales and service reviews were gold, Cars.com will soon the the richest third-party shopping website in all the land.
Cars.com plans to buy DealerRater, making it the largest soundboard of criticism and praise for dealers, salespeople and servicing in the industry, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)
Driving off the dealer lot in a longed-for new vehicle is one of life’s richest pleasures, but there’s no joy if a buyer can’t find the chariot of their dreams.
Now, imagine that your dream ride is a gray Chevrolet Malibu — a 1LT model with two common options. Doesn’t that seem like an attainable goal? Shouldn’t be too hard to find, you’d think, right? Well, one would-be buyer says otherwise. (Read More…)
After riding the sales roller coaster to dizzying, record-breaking heights, it’s only natural that consumers will bring automakers back down to reality.
This year will be a high water mark for new vehicle sales in the U.S., according to a new study by consulting firm AlixPartners (via Automotive News). Sales are forecasted to hit 17.8 million vehicles this year, but a downturn is on the way, and the industry won’t start to see a rebound until the coming decade. (Read More…)
Have you been considering a new BMW but only have enough coin to buy one of Bavaria’s finest? At least one BMW dealer in the U.S. might have a solution.
If you don’t mind buying a new BMW that’s been languishing on the lot for a year, Century West BMW will throw in a lease on a BMW i3 on the house.
How old do you think the average new car buyer in America is? Go on, take a guess. Based on all of the ridiculous advertising strategies you see lately, you might think that the average new car buyer was a hip, trendy, Generation Y hoopy frood, wearing his beanie to buy organic, fair-trade coffee at the Park Slope Starbucks. (Confession: I went to the Park Slope Starbucks daily during the New York Auto Show this year. Parking was surprisingly easy.)
But no! According to the NADA, the average new car buyer is 51.7 years old, and earns about $80,000 per year. In comparison, the average age of Americans is 36.8 years, and the median income is roughly $50,000. In other words, Baby Boomers are buying all of the new cars right now. There are all sorts of people on the Internet who will tell you why this is a horrible comment on today’s bleak economic landscape (oh, here’s one), but I’m here to tell you that the future of new car sales could be changed with just a bit of clever marketing.
Spending hours or days negotiating for a vehicle can be a taxing experience, so reaching an agreeable price feels like a big accomplishment for car shoppers. It seems reasonable to let your guard down and relax as you enter the F&I office to finish up the paperwork, but that can lead to a big mistake.
The finance manager or clerk will start going over the paperwork, representing the car as sold and financed while showing you a specific rate. You skim through the mountain of paperwork and quickly sign all of the forms so you can drive off in your new car.
At this point, most people are brimming with excitement — they show off the car to their friends and family and share pictures on social media — but that jubilation can quickly be deflated with a call from the dealer telling you that the financing has fallen through and you don’t own the car after all. (Read More…)
Automotive search startup AU.TO is getting into the mobile game, and it wants you to find your next car in the same way you judge members of the opposite (or same) sex — at the swipe of a thumb.
AU.TO’s newest initiative is called Wyper (rhymes with “swiper”), and the company bills the app as “Tinder for Cars.”
I found this interesting, so I asked a few questions.
On May 4th, my friend “Jenny” (whose name is changed for the sake of her privacy) could not contain her excitement. She posted the photo seen above to Facebook, sharing with her friends that she had just bought what she believed to be a brand-new 2014 Kia Soul from Orlando Kia West. She got what she also believed to be a rip-roaring deal, too, paying $4,000 under sticker.
Although the car was a 2014 model with 530 miles on the clock, Jenny said the dealer claimed it had never been sold to a private customer, but Orlando Kia West had to list it as a used car because it had purchased it from another dealer.
The minute I saw that, I immediately knew something was up. I contacted Jenny and asked her some questions about her experience. Fifteen minutes later, we were both furious.