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Buying a car is an expensive purchase. It's an "investment" that many people make at least once in their lives. But there are some significant downsides to buying from a dealership, and you should consider these before making any big decisions.
Here are seven reasons why you shouldn't buy your next car from a dealership!
Dealerships are not required to have a written warranty
Perhaps the first and most important thing you need to know about dealerships is that they are not required to offer any warranty for their vehicles. This means that if something breaks down in your car, you will be responsible for the cost of repairs until the manufacturer's warranty expires.
Many dealerships will claim that they can offer peace of mind by supplying you with the "full-service history" for your vehicle, but this isn't always true. This term is also open-ended, which means that the dealer can decide what to include in your service history.
The best way to find out whether a dealership provides you with authentic records is by checking with services like Motorcheck. This website provides buyers and sellers of used vehicles with reliable information about cars, including their full-service history.
Suppose you have asked the dealer about their service history, and they haven't been able to provide you with any proof of authenticity. In that case, this is a sure sign that your car was never serviced at all - which means that it's very likely that the vehicle will break down soon after you buy it.
You often can't negotiate prices at car dealerships
Another major disadvantage of buying a car from a dealership is that you often can't negotiate the price. Since dealerships have to sell their vehicles quickly to turn a profit, they will seldom offer lower prices than advertised.
Car dealerships will often try to sell their cars by throwing in extras and lowering the advertised price of the vehicle. For example, you might see a car for sale at $20 000, but they might claim that it's worth $25 000 because it has alloy wheels or an upgraded stereo system installed.
Don't be fooled by these tactics. You should never buy a car based on what the dealer tells you because, in reality, it's only worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
Dealers often charge more for the same car than other retailers do
Dealers often charge more for the exact vehicle because dealerships add their profit margin to every item to make a more significant return on investment when they sell the car.
You may think that this doesn't matter and won't cost you anything, but it can end up costing you thousands! Even a slight price increase can add up to a lot of money throughout your loan.
The best way to avoid paying more for a car than you have to is by avoiding dealerships altogether and going straight to private sellers. They will often sell their vehicles at much lower prices because they are not looking to profit as much.
The salesperson may be pushy and coercive, making you feel obligated to buy something that you don't want or need
In many cases, salespeople will try to pressure customers into making a purchase. For example, they may claim that the car won't be available if you don't buy it today - or they might even say they have already agreed to sell it to another customer.
Watch out for this tactic because there is no other person who can decide whether or not you want to buy a car. Therefore, you should never feel obligated or forced into buying something that you don't want.
The salesperson may convince you to purchase an extended warranty for your vehicle, which can cost thousands of dollars
Some dealerships will try to sell their customers on the idea of getting an extended warranty - but this is not always necessary. It's up to you whether or not you want to get one, but it does add a high cost.
An extended warranty extends the original manufacturer's warranty and covers any repairs that may be required after your factory guarantee expires. In most cases, when the dealership tells you that they have included this in your purchase price, there is no need to buy one at all.
Another thing that dealerships will try and convince you is that getting an extended warranty now could save you money in the future because it's cheaper than paying for individual repairs. This isn't true - remember, if they were doing this out of concern, they would offer warranties to every customer, not just those who buy a car from them.
You may find that dealerships can be very pushy when it comes to selling extended warranties. Try your best to avoid buying one until you need it or until you've done some research into the product itself. Only then can you decide whether or not it's worth getting in the first place.
There's no guarantee of good customer service after the sale is complete
Unfortunately, many companies (after taking your money and providing a product or service to you) will not provide good customer service if there is an issue. Unfortunately, this is something that you'll often see in car dealerships.
Now I'm not saying that this is true for all car dealerships, but I am saying that you need to be aware of this possibility. The cold hard truth is that they are not technically responsible for everything that might happen to the car after the sale.
Now, I understand that this may seem unfair to you, and it probably does suck a little bit if something goes wrong, but there's not much they can do about it. Of course, this isn't their fault either, as most states have laws in place protecting car dealerships from being sued for things like defective parts and faulty workmanship.
It could be argued that it is simply not fair to hold them responsible as they would never be able to do business if they got sued every time something went wrong.
Your trade-in value may not be as much as it seems once they have taken their cut for selling your old car to someone else.
You've probably heard before that the value of your car immediately drops the moment you drive it off the dealership. But, unfortunately, if you ever want to trade your vehicle for something else in the future, you will find that this is not just a used car dealer's gimmick.
Car dealerships charge fees for "processing" trade-ins, and this covers everything from getting the paperwork ready to clean up all of those scuff marks on the interior doors and plastic surfaces. The result is that your trade-in value may not be as much as it seems once they have taken their cut for selling your old car to someone else.
Please keep in mind that the fee is not going directly into the pocket of dealerships, and it's simply how they make money on used cars and trade-ins. There are many little costs involved to buy or sell any vehicle, including yours if you're planning on trading it in.
Don't get me wrong; I understand that you want them to give you the best price possible on your trade but don't think of this fee as something meant only to take money out of your pocket.
Remember that the fee is there because, well, this business has many costs, and without it, they would never be able to operate on a day-to-day basis!
Let's wrap it up
So there you have it — 7 reasons why you shouldn't buy your next car from a car dealership. The better alternative would be to buy your next car from someone else.
Why not find a private seller through places like Kijiji, Craigslist, or even Facebook Marketplace? This way, you'll be able to avoid all of the problems that I mentioned above and more. You can either search for local listings in your area or post up what kind of vehicle you're looking for and let the sellers come to you.
Don't forget that this method will give you a lot more room for negotiation regarding price, as well! There are plenty of private car sellers out there who would be willing to make some deal to sell their old vehicles and get something new.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Daniel Edulan Melana