If you despise negotiating with a dealer over the price of a new automobile, a car-buying service may be a viable option for you. You may look for automobiles online from the convenience of your own home. You may also be able to save money by using a car-buying service.
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Can car-buying services help you?
Negotiating at a dealership might be daunting. If the fear of a terrible bargain has kept you from visiting dealer lots, a car-buying company may be a viable choice for you. Concierge services & membership-based services are the two primary categories of car-buying services.
Concierge services assist you in negotiating the price of the vehicle and making the car-buying process simpler by transporting the vehicle to your house or a nearby place so you can drive it before purchasing.
According to John Nielsen, general director of vehicle engineering and maintenance at the AAA national headquarters in Heathrow, Florida, several organizations, such as AAA, warehouse clubs, and credit unions, provide free car-buying services to its members. Buyers who utilize these car-buying services, according to Nielsen, may save thousands of dollars off their purchases. “I know somebody that bought a car from the program and saved $2,600,” he adds.
Though buyers stand to save a lot of money, not all car-buying services are the same, according to Lauren Fix, creator of The Car Coach and Car Smarts and consumer auto expert. She believes that buyers should understand what the car-buying service stands to acquire from these arrangements and if their interests are similar to yours.
What you need to know before utilizing a car-buying service
Consider these characteristics before searching out a car-buying service if it seems to be a good fit for you, particularly if you want to avoid haggling.
Companies provide negotiation and convenience.
According to Fix, car-buying platforms are for customers who are short on time and unable to seek and haggle for a vehicle. For example, Carvana, a popular auto-buying service, provides set costs and even deliver the car to your house for a seven-day test drive.
The rate for using a service varies, while certain services might demand a percentage of the car’s cost as a fee.
Members of Meriwest Credit Union in San Jose, Calif., for example, may use its Autoland car-buying service. According to William Fultz, a car broker at Meriwest Credit Union, using the service enables them to rarely communicate with anybody from a dealership. Members are assigned an auto adviser who will negotiate the vehicle’s pricing on your behalf and work with them to get a credit union car loan.
Free services are often reserved for members exclusively.
If you belong to AAA, AARP, Costco, Sam’s Club, or a credit union, you may be eligible for free car-buying services. Each program operates in a unique manner. Some may bargain on your behalf, while others will give pre-negotiated, set costs. These groups and clubs generally have unique discounts, extra advantages, and incentives from automobile manufacturers.
You must be a member to take advantage of these advantages. AARP membership is $16 per year and includes full access to all of its features. Clubs such as AAA, Costco, and Sam’s Club may need a premium membership or charge a fee to use a car-buying service.
Buyers should continue to perform their research.
Fix recommends researching vehicle research websites such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book before dealing with a car-buying agency to determine the typical sales price for your selected automobile in your region.
Nielsen advises buyers to have a strong understanding of what they want before contacting a service provider. “It’s difficult for me to help you if you’re looking at minivans, sports cars, and convertibles all at the same time,” he explains. To pick the ideal automobile, consider your lifestyle. Budget, commute, and frequency of usage should all be considered.
Before calling a car-buying agency, Nielsen recommends reducing your search to your top two or three possibilities, including brand, model, color, and options. “Think about what you really want to buy as well as how much you want to spend,” he advises.
When a firm has such information, it may function much more effectively to discover the automobile you’re looking for at a reasonable price.
Recognize how car-buying services are compensated.
While these services may be provided for free to members, the expenses are included into any membership fees. Concierge services may charge a fixed fee or a portion of the car’s price. Concierges often charge between $200 and $1,000 per hour, depending on how much of the purchasing process they manage.
Because of the increased sales volume, car-buying firms can often negotiate cheaper pricing with dealers. These cost reductions are passed on to the customer.
Buyers should be aware that the corporation may lead them to certain dealers with whom it has a commercial connection, according to Fix. “You have to ask yourself if you are really getting the best price.”
According to Fultz, referral money may not be the only advantage these businesses get. Credit unions often provide car-buying services to build their customers’ relationships with the financial organization. “It keeps our loans in-house at a much higher basis,” he explains. “It benefits us, the membership, and the dealers.”
Understand the return policy.
Fix advises customers to ensure they understand the customer happiness policy before taking ownership of a vehicle or truck. Otherwise, you may be left with a large purchase that you are unhappy with.
The return policy may be found on the website of the car-buying business or by calling customer care. Aside from the amount of days you have after purchasing the automobile to return it, find out whether there is a mileage limit. If you exceed the amount of miles allowed, you will almost certainly be charged for each additional mile.
Typically, the automobile cannot be returned if it has been changed or damaged; it must be in the same condition like when it was provided to you.
How to Select a Car Buying Service
Not all businesses are created equal. When weighing your alternatives, consider the following questions.
How much assistance do you require? Various services provide differing degrees of support. A vehicle concierge, for example, manages almost all of the purchasing process, while a membership club focuses solely on negotiation.
How much money do you have? When determining how much you are able to spend on a new automobile, consider the expense of employing a service.
Do you intend to purchase new or used? Some services are geared toward the buying of new or secondhand automobiles.
If dealing with a car-buying agency is out of your price range, look into car-buying applications to assist speed up the process.
If you don’t want to bargain with a salesman at the dealership, would rather avoid visiting a vehicle lot, or are short on time, using a car-buying service may be a viable alternative for you. Before you contact, do your homework and check into the specifics, such as studying vehicle rates, the fees involved, and the return policy of a car-buying platform.