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Buying Tips

Loving being in business since 2004!


Great Advice About Buying Cars Through Brokers!

1. Use an independent broker, not one funded by a finance house or a car retailer. Like any advisor, an independent one will give you unbiased advice and have the healthiest & widest dealer relationships. Check out who the broker is owned by.

2. Decide if you want to buy brand new, pre-registered/ex demo’s, or used, before you start comparing prices. It is impossible to fairly compare a price for a brand new unregistered car with another car which has been registered for a few weeks or months (and so has already lost that length of its warranty) or one where you may not be allowed to have the logbook for months. It is like trying to compare value for money between a brand new, unopened loaf of bread, with one that was put on the shelves a few weeks ago and has a couple of slices missing!

3. Don’t hand your credit card details to anyone other than the supplying dealership or finance company.

4. Avoid hidden extras. Ensure you are quoted an exact on-the-road price

5. Don't pay for a full quote – you wouldn't part with cash in return for a quote for anything else, so why pay for a car quotation?

5. Why are prices in car magazines or papers seemingly out of date when you approach the advertiser or a dealer? There’s a straightforward answer! Magazines require advertisers to place copy many weeks in advance ( i.e. we had to submit our ad’ copy to What Car magazine by 24th Oct 2010 for their Jan 2011 cover-labelled edition, which will actually be on newsagents shelves at the end of November 2010!). Between that copy being submitted to the magazine and it hitting the newsagents shelves, manufacturers can have changed the deals on cars, especially if the ensuing weeks have gone through into a new calendar quarter. Most manufacturers have cash bonus systems in place with their dealers which run on per calendar quarter (a couple of manufacturers even issue monthly changes).

6. So, if advertising copy is sent to a magazine on, say 25th September, for the issue due out on the shelves, say 25th October (which may be dated on the cover as their December issue!) – but manufacturers changed the bonuses available to dealers at the end of quarter 3 of the year (on 30th September) – then by the time that magazine is read in late Oct/early Nov’ the available pricing  will also all have changed. It’s all a question of timing!. Even newspapers can ask for copy a few days ahead, and if a car brand changes it’s deals with immediate effect the day after you’ve sent a newspaper your ad’ copy – you’re stuck! A good broker will always get you the best deal on the day you want to order

7. Most car manufacturers run their pricelists and discounts for their UK dealers on a calendar quarter basis (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jul etc) meaning pricing is valid for cars registered within that period._The best time to order a car which has to be completely factory-ordered is the beginning of a calendar quarter – this way the car has plenty of time to be built and delivered within the same quarter before the manufacturer makes any changes to the dealer’s bonuses for the next calendar quarter, which might affect your price

8. “Why does the car I want sometimes end up more than the price advertised?” – like most advertisers we have to show the basic price we can get that car on the road for without any extras. As we have no idea, from customer to customer, what paint options and extras each enquirer will want, so cars are priced with no extras at all, solid paint, but including everything to get you ‘on the road’ (plates, VAT, 1st registration fee, 12 mths tax). It is quick and easy for us to then add any paint options or factory extras you have requested to give you a total price for you car. You can always drive a car away at the price we advertise if you want a no-cost paint and no other extras and if it is available for handover to you before the end of the manufacturer’s current pricelist dates.

9. Many customers feel ready-stock is harder to find these days. Well, it is true. Manufacturers cannot afford to keep mountains of built and unsold stock, and neither can dealers. Much more is ‘made to order’ these days, so don’t try and find a VW Golf with 3 extras in a precise colour just 2 weeks before you need it! We can often find the impossible but we cannot work miracles! Think about your car well in advance. Many manufacturers now have a ‘low stock’ policy for the UK market.

What are the Pro’s and Con’s of Pre-Registered Vehicles? (see also the advice on by clicking here)
10. Check how the car will be registered. If you want to buy a “new” car, ensure you will be the first and only owner named on the registration document. Avoid websites which offer ambiguous wording such as ‘most of our cars will be new, or may be pre-registered’ or ‘trade registered’– you need to know exactly what you are getting. If you are in the market for a pre-registered car, that is fine (we sell a few ourselves if asked for them!) but remember that even if it only has delivery miles on it -but already bearing a registration – it will already be eating into its warranty from the date it was first registered
ANY pre-registered car you buy should come with its logbook so you can inform the DVLA that you are the new owner and keeper. Avoid any car where someone tells you the logbook needs to be witheld for months or weeks - the only reasons someone does that is because they aren’t allowed to sell the car to you yet and stopping you alerting the DVLA is the only way they can avoid being found out.

You wouldn’t buy a used car and allow someone to keep hold of the logbook for weeks or months in someone elses for sure - don’t do it on a brand new car!

11. If you buy a pre-registered car, ask “What was its date of registration” and “is it a latest model or a pre-model?”. If you find you are buying a car that has already used 4-6 mths of its warranty and is also an outdated model- is it really such a good buy? What you make on the purchase price you’ll lose again on its re-sale value. If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is!! Also – remember you'll be the second registered owner - this impacts the re-sale value for you too.

12. Ask yourself why it is pre-registered. Dealers do not pre-register cars in high demand. Dealers will pre-register cars to enable them to hit their sales target that month, if they are a few units short – as often that sales bonus overall will be worth them taking the financial ‘hit’ on a handful of cars which they then sell on at a reduced price as ‘nearly new’. They will usually register the least saleable ones – not those where they could get an easier ‘brand new’ price. Often pre-registered stock will be cancelled orders from other customers, so they might be stacked with pricey extras which you don’t actually need, or want.

13. Ensure your broker is willing to give you advice. If they only want to hear from you when you have made your mind up what to buy, they're only interested in your cash. Weigh up the price offered against the leadtime – a 16-week wait may not be cost-effective, on balance.

14. Use a broker that allows you to transact with a UK dealer direct – meaning your transaction is safe. A good broker should act as an 'enabler', finding you the right price and the right car. You are in a strong position should anything go wrong if your deposit and balance have been paid direct to the dealer, as that means your contract to purchase is with the franchised dealer themselves. If you have handed money to a third party like a broker or a car supermarket (not a main brand dealer, franchised by the manufacturer to sell that car), then you are in contract with that party – not a dealer. Any subsequent dispute may prove tricky as neither the car dealer supplying the car nor the manufacturer will recognise you as their customer- you have paid your money to a third party.

15. Choose your own way to finance the car, there's a wide range of high street deals to fund a car purchase. Don't be pushed into a finance deal offered by one of the broker's trading partners.

16. Don’t use a broker who requires you to hand your credit card details to them for payment, use one where you can deal direct with the supplying dealership with your credit or debit card information.

17. Is your broker up to date on manufacturer specifications and pricing that may affect your order? You should be able to rely on their advice. Have they assured you it is the latest model - or have they warned you if a new facelifted version is soon to be launched?

18. Don't forget, you are the customer. A good broker empowers you to make your own choice, using their advice, their dealer relationships and their negotiating power. Your local servicing centre will always be delighted to receive your aftercare business, but it makes sense to take some independent advice from a broker to help you buy the car at the right price in the first place.

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