How often do we go to Coles or Woolies to stock up? That’s a weekly chore for most so we know what to expect. Buying a new car on the other hand happens every couple of years and if you have never bought one, what are the things to look for in buying from a dealership? We cover some of the main ones in this guide.
 What to expect
When you have done your research online and made a shortlist of cars, the next step is to go and see these cars in person to get a real feel for whether they are right for you.
Pick a day or two to visit the dealerships of the brands you have shortlisted. In many cities and suburbs, the dealerships are generally in one spot. This saves you time travelling around.
 How many should I visit?
Like most other big ticket items purchases, when you are ready to buy a new car it is worth shopping around to see what sort of deals the dealerships are offering. It’s best to visit a couple of dealers in your area that have the car you are after. You can then compare the offers and go for the one that best suits your budget and timeline.
 Go with your partner, family or a car savvy friend
Buying a new car can feel a bit nerve racking. If you know of a friend, partner or family member that is car savvy, take them with you when you get around to visiting the dealerships.
You can talk to them about the way you feel, how the car drives and compare them to other cars you have shortlisted. They will also help you feel more confident and make car buying less nerve racking.
Saving money helps the family budget and you can do that on a new car too, by going over these 3 car buying tips.
 Call or visit the dealer
For general questions on car features or if they stock the car you are after, it’s fine to call your local dealership. We think it’s always better to visit the dealership in person to get a better idea of what the car looks and feels like in real life.
You can see the space and practical features which are sometimes hard to see online. Booking in test drives are also easier once you are at the dealership.
 Trading in your current car
If you decide that you no longer need your current car and would like to sell it, there are 2 options. Sell it privately (on your own) or trade it in at the dealership where you are buying your new family car. There are pros and cons to both.
Selling it privately will mean that you have to organise everything from putting the ad up online to being there every time there is an inspection. The main positive of selling it privately is that you will generally get a higher price.
With trading you old car in at the dealerships, you don’t have to put up with the hassle. They take the car off your hands when you buy your new car from them, saving you the trouble. Trading in at the dealerships does have its downside too. You may not get the best possible price from the dealer on the car your current car.
 How to negotiate?
Negotiating on the car is generally the scariest part of the whole car buying experience. This is because we don’t do it very often when buying everyday items. It’s always good to do your research online and know the recommended retail price of the car. You can find the recommended retail price of your shortlisted car on carloop.
Use this price as a starting point and pick a price that you will not go over for that car. Be open and transparent to the car salesperson about the price you are willing to do a deal on and the timing of when you are ready to buy.
This will save you a lot of time. If they can match that price, it’s great, otherwise leave your details with them in case they can do the deal at a later stage. It also helps to take a friend or family member that has more experience at negotiating than you. It would make the experience a whole lot better.
 When is the best time to buy?
There are certain times when you can get a better deal on the cars you have shortlisted. End of financial year sales in June is one of them. Car dealerships have big sales around that time of the year but what about if you are ready to buy at another time?
Other times towards the end of each month can also work in your favour in picking up a good deal. This is because dealerships have monthly sales targets they must reach. If they have the car you are after, they would certainly be very keen to sell it before the month ends.
Another good way to pick up a good deal is to keep an eye out on some of the local dealership deals on the car you really want to buy. You could check out the dealership websites in your area or watch out for any deals in the local newspapers. This could also work in your favour, potentially saving you some cash.
 Do you need paint protection
Paint protection is not something that gets brought up very often unless you are about to buy a new car. There are various products that promote themselves to help protect the paint of your car from UV rays, discolouration and bird droppings eating through the paint.
If you mostly park your car outside, it is worth a look in. Dealerships offer paint protection which will be applied to the car before you pick it up. It is offered for your convenience but comes at a price.
If you are after more affordable paint protection options, we recommend you getting a few quotes from your local car detailers. You can then compare these quotes to the dealership price to see if it’s in the same ballpark.
 Do you need window tinting
Window tinting is one of the very first things many Australians get in a family car. This is because it keeps the car cooler and UV safe in the hot summer sun while giving you a bit privacy. Think of it like sunscreen for you and the kids while everyone’s in the car.
Car dealerships offer tinting on any new car you buy. It is generally more expensive than if you were to get your car tinted yourself. This is because you are paying for convenience and your car will be already tinted when you pick it up from the dealership.
If you are after saving some money, we recommend you getting a few quotes from window tinting businesses so you can compare it with the dealership’s window tint price.
 What about insurance
Sometimes when you are in the process of buying a new car, the dealership might present you with optional insurances that you are not too sure about. These could include tyre and rim insurance, mechanical breakdown insurance and extended warranties.
Insurances like mechanical breakdown might not even be needed or give you a greater level of protection than what’s already offered under the car maker’s warranties. It is always best to check the warranty period and inclusions that comes with the car before signing up to additional insurances that will cost you money but might not provide any additional protection.
 Should I go with dealer finance?
Dealership finance on new cars is quite attractive when compared to some of the personal and car loans that are offered by the major banks. Some car brands offer great finance offers and in the past, Toyota has had as low as 0% finance rate on some of their cars.
All dealerships offer finance of some sort and it is worth comparing dealership finance comparison rates with the rates of the banks before signing up to one. Also, it is worth investigating the finance setup & finance admin fees at the time you buy the car as they can be quite high from some dealerships. Some setup fees can be as high as $750.
 What is dealer delivery fee and should I pay for it
Dealer delivery fee is a tricky one and it often comes as a surprise to most people looking at their first family car. It’s because it isn’t something that is often discussed. So what is it and should you be paying it?
We no longer make any cars in Australia so all cars that we buy are bought into Australia on a ship. They are then kept at the ports before arriving at the dealerships. Once a car is sold, it is brought to the dealership where a technician removes the plastic protective tapes from the car, inspects all the panel and paints for any transport damage and then give it a wash ready for you to pick it up. Just before your arrival, the dealership also registers your car and attaches the number plates so your family car is ready to go.
All these inspections and preparation costs along with a dealership margin are then passed onto you as the customer. These can range from $1000 to a few thousands depending on the car you are buying.
You can also negotiate on this fee and we recommend you doing this before signing the contract to buy the car so there are no hidden surprises.
 How do I know if they will have the car I want in stock
Not every dealership of your chosen brand will have the car that you are after. The easiest way to find out if the dealership has the car you are after is by giving them a call.
Calling them will save you time and the effort if you were to go in person, only to find out that the car you are after is not in stock.
If they have the car you are after, feel free to book in a time to see it and take it down the road for a test drive.
 Should I be adding options & accessories to my car
When you buy a new car, you may wish to personalise it. By adding options and accessories, you can have it the way you want it.
Some common options are bigger wheels, sunroof, roof racks and cargo nets. These are a bit pricey and you don’t have many other options but to get them from the dealership to really personalise your ride.
It’s always good to check that the option you are about to pay for isn’t already on the car. This quick check will save you money.